By Ian Powers
Under Armour recently held its first annual Grind Session in suburban Chicago at the Lake Barrington Field House. 50 of the nation’s top players attended and took part in a series of combine style testing, drills, and games. Due to campus visits, nursing summer injuries, high school team fall leagues, many of the premier players were not able to attend. The camp did however feature some quality prospects who may someday be college and NBA stars. Coaches from IMG Academy conducted the combine portion of the event. Trainers Jay Hernandez and Hanif Hill led the skill portion of the event. Hernandez currently trains Kemba Walker and Hill trains Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, and Gilbert Arenas to name a few. Having personally witnessed the training regiment of Hill, I knew the kids would receive top-notch instruction over the course of the two-day period. Here are some of the prospects that stood out.
Andrew Harrison 6’5” 210, PG, Houston, Travis 2013 – Harrison was the highest profile player at this event and he proved why. He is big, strong, and physical. He uses his body to his advantage and is adept at creating for others. He is a good athlete with range on his jumper and once he gets a head of steam, he is almost impossible to keep out of the lane. He is the top point guard in the 2013 class and one of the top 5 overall players in the class and did not disappoint over the weekend.
King McClure 6’2” 195, SG/SF, Ovilla, TX, Triple A Academy 2015 – Only a freshman, McClure did not appear intimated by his older peers. He has a strong and powerful body that he knows how to use. He can get to the basket and can shoot the ball out to three. He can handle and get his team into their offense and creates plays for others when things break down. He needs to improve the consistency on his shot and while he has good bounce at this stage, as he matures he will need to add more explosiveness through strength and condition training. He wears a size 16 shoe and has very big hands that suggest he will grow a considerable amount. He has a lot of upside and is one of the more impressive 2015 prospects I have seen.
Connor Frankamp 6’1” 160, PG/SG, Wichita, Kan, North 2013 – The Kansas commit is a lights out shooter with a quick release. He can knock down shots at a high rate and has a lot of confidence in that part of his game. He is not lightning quick, but is crafty and smart and understands angles and hesitation moves to get where he wants. He is not the biggest kid, but he plays stronger than he looks and has a very high IQ. He did a great job running his team and getting people involved. He is a very solid player with a deceptive game. A great get for the Kansas staff.
Theo Pinson 6’5” 180, SG/SF, Greensboro, NC, Wesleyan Christian 2014 – Pinson is a superior athlete who can get to the basket at will. He is a consensus top 5 recruit in the sophomore class. The aspect of his game that needs to improve is his jumpshot. He shoots a set shot right now and at this stage, it is inconsistent. He uses his length and athleticism very well in the passing lanes and can develop into a high level on ball defender in due time.
Marcus Lee 6’8” 190, PF/SF, Antioch, CA, Deer Valley 2013 – Lee was a late addition to the camp and showed a tremendous upside. He is long and rangy athlete who runs the floor like a deer. He shows good timing in the shot blocking department and is a high-level passer for a kid his size. He is more of a face up 4 right now and needs to add bulk to his slender frame in order to bang and use his length down low. He also needs to be more aggressive and look for his offense more as he often plays too unselfish. He currently has offers from VCU, St. Mary’s and San Diego St., and is being monitored by Stanford, Fresno St., and Loyola Marymount. He has high major upside but needs time to develop. I expect his recruitment to pick up over the next few months.
Glenn Robinson Jr. 6’6’ 200, SF/SG, St. John, IN, Lake Central 2012 – The "Little Big Dog" is an impressive looking prospect. He is active and athletic, posting the highest vertical jump of all campers. He finishes well at the rim and knocks down mid range jumpers on a consistent basis. He has also added 3-point range on his shot but is deadly from mid range. He runs the floor and finishes very well on the break. His upside is significant and has the potential to be a pro if he rounds out his ball handling ability. He is committed to Michigan and should fit in well in John Beilein’s system.
Alex Robinson 6’1” 160, PG/SG, Arlington, TX, Kennedale 2014 – Robinson is a jet quick, lefty combo guard. He is very quick from end to end and displayed a lightning quick spin move on numerous drives to the basket. He is not a pure point guard and sometimes plays a little too fast. He is a decent shooter, but definitely needs to be more consistent in that area. He has a slight frame and needs to add bulk, but he has the physical tools to be a high major prospect. Robinson has offers from Texas, TCU, Houston, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., Arizona, and Baylor.