Day 2 of practice brought out the competitor in a lot of kids and many of them thrived in the live scrimmage portion of practice.
Players who impressed:
Jahlil Okafor C 6’11 270: Duke
After a rough first day the Duke signee was his usual dominant self on day 2. Using an array of post moves he dominated UCLA bound big man Thomas Welsh in the scrimmage portion of practice. I don’t see anyone being able to take away the top spot in the rankings from the future Blue Devil.
Trey Lyles PF 6’9 241: Kentucky
No player in this class has transformed their body more than Lyles, he has lost the baby fat and gained muscle. After leading his Arsenal Teach HS team to the Indiana State Championship on Saturday, it would be understandable for Lyles to be fatigued this week. However, today Lyles completely bounced back from a slow Monday. Lyles showed the ability to consistently hit the 15 ft. jump shot and also ran the floor better than I have ever seen him. Lyles also may be the best passing big man in the class as he continued to find open shooters out of the post.
Stanley Johnson SF/SG 6’7 220: Arizona
For the second day in a row, Johnson showed the versatility to play both guard and wing, often times bringing the ball up on the break for easy assists. What is most impressive about Johnson is his almost Michael Gilchrist like motor, he plays hard all the time and his energy is contagious with his teammates. If his outside shot continues to improve, he has a chance to be all PAC 12 as a freshman.
Devin Booker SG 6’6 205 Kentucky
Arguably the best shooter in the class, Booker was lighting it up today. Most impressive is his ability to shoot off the bounce, he can create his own shot using both the jab step and step back. Booker will need to get stronger but if you give him any space at all he will make you pay with perfect form and elevation on his jump shot.
Emmanuel Mudiay PG 6’5 185 SMU
After a turnover prone first practice, Mudiay turned it up a notch today showing why many believe he is the best PG in the class of 2014. Mudiay used his strong body to get into the lane and dish off to Lyles and Okafor for easy buckets. Most impressive is how much his outside shot has improved as he has broken the bad habit of fading away on his jump shot and is becoming a more consistent 3 pt. shooter. Mudiay’s harassing on ball defense caused more than a few turnovers today and he made it a point to contest every shot.
Romelo Trimble PG 6’2 190 Maryland
Although Trimble is coming in as one of the lowest ranked McDonalds All Americans, he has shown that he belongs among the elite point guards in this class. At 190 lbs, he is powerfully built and uses his strength to penetrate the lane. Most impressive has been his decision making as he rarely turns the ball over and never seems to force the big play. Trimble should be an immediate starter for Maryland and will make Terps fans forget about some of the poor guard play they saw this past season.
Tyler Ulis PG 5’9 150 Kentucky
The diminutive Ulis continued to impress on Day 2 creating easy shots for his teammates and attacking opposing guards every chance he got. What was most impressive today was his defense, despite his lack of strength Ulis’s lateral quickness and quick hands harassed UNC signee Joel Berry all over the court.
Failed to Impress
Myles Turner PF/C 7ft 230 Undecided
The constant questions of where Turner will play in college may be weighing on the Texas big man as he has had a rough couple of days. Turner struggled to finish in the post and missed a couple of easy baskets in transition. Turner is considered the best shot blocker in the country but seemed to be going through the motions on defense, often times late on rotations and sometimes not contesting shots. There is no doubt Tuner has a ton of upside, but he has not played hard this week and has gotten away from his strength of playing above the rim.
Thomas Welsh C 7’0 245 UCLA
Unfortunately for Welsh he had the assignment of guarding Okafor or Lyles over the last two days and they took turns punishing him in the post. Welsh must get stronger and also develop a more consistent back to the basket game. The potential is there and he grabbed some impressive offensive rebounds but it’s obvious that Welsh is far behind the other bigs in this game.
Joel Berry PG 6’1 190 UNC
For the second day in a row Berry struggled bringing the ball up the court against the defensive pressure of Ulis. Besides turning the ball over, Berry became passive on the offensive end passing up many open shots. On the defensive side of the ball Berry struggled to keep Ulis in front of him and his lateral quickness is a definite concern.