By Ian Powers
Marvin Bagley 6’11” 215 PF Corona Del Sol, Tempe, AZ 2018
Upon viewing him, It doesn’t take long for one to figure out that Bagley is the “real deal”. He is incredibly versatile for a kid his size. He moves like a guard but can protect the rim and rebounds in and out of his area like a big is supposed to. You can switch him onto guards in ball screen action and not have to worry about it. He is an adept passer who has a feel for the game that is uncommon for young big man his size. He can bring the ball down the floor and has a nice lefty stroke out to 3. He’s a little inconsistent right now from that distance, but his shot looks good and will become more dangerous as he matures. The sky is the limit for this kid, as he is already entering the conversation for top overall prospect at the HS level and he’s just going into his sophomore year. Need more evidence? Coach K watched at least 2 of his games at Peach with his entire coaching staff and the games Coach K didn’t attend, he had somebody from the Duke staff there.
Jonathan Isaac 6’9” 185 SF IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL 2016
Isaac has been one of the hottest names on the circuit this year and he did not disappoint in North Augusta. He is long and skilled in the mold of Kevin Durant. In fact, he’s the closest thing I have seen to Durant. He has a sweet jump shot and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He is a very good rebounder and can block shots at a respectable rate as well. He’s just scratching the surface of his potential and looked like a top 5 player in the country. He is a great kid who has no idea how good he is or can be. If he continues to stay humble and work on his game, he has a chance to be a great player and will be the jewel of the class Leonard Hamilton and his staff at Florida St. have assembled.
Harry Giles 6’10” 230 PF Wesleyan Christian, High Point, NC 2016
The biggest crowds at the Riverview Park Activities Center were there to see Giles and he was worth the price of admission. His versatility is what makes him arguably the top player in the 2016 class. He showed a little bit of everything in North Augusta. The most underrated part of his game is his ability to put the ball on the floor from the perimeter and get to the basket. He has the quickness of a small forward and utilizes that skill from time to time. He also can step out and shoot the 3, but most of his damage comes down on the box. He can score in a variety of ways down there, highlighted by his ability finish with a nice jump hook over either shoulder. He also rebounded at a high level in North Augusta and protected the rim as well. He seemed to tire somewhat down the stretch after playing at Peach after helping the US win a Gold Medal at the World Championships in Greece, but he has immense upside and will only get better.
Jayson Tatum 6’8’ 190 SF Chaminade, St. Louis, MO 2016
Tatum, like Giles was fresh off an overseas trip to Greece and he was able to summon enough energy to play well enough to lead his team to a championship game appearance. He was fantastic all week and carried his team at times. His offensive game is thorough from the mid post area. He does a great job of surveying the defense and getting to his spot on the floor and getting his shot off. Where he struggles is from the college 3 point line. He’s not a great long range shooter and that aspect of his game will need to be developed to become the player he can potentially become. His versatility is second to none and he’ll be a great fit at Duke in Coach K’s system, similar to the way Jabari Parker was used.
Alterique Gilbert 6’1” 170 PG Miller Grove, Lithonia, GA 2016
Gilbert just committed to UConn and he fits well in the Coach Kevin Ollie’s guard oriented system. He is strong and quick with the athleticism to finish in the lane against the bigs. He is lightning quick and is a terror in the open floor. He has the range and consistency on his jump shot to keep the defense honest. He is a versatile guard that can score when he needs to and run a team when he needs to and despite his quite demeanor, is a great leader on the floor. He was deadly in transition and when he didn’t score he dished to a teammate for a finish. He’s in the mold of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright and will form a dynamic backcourt tandem with Jalen Adams in the near future in Storrs.
De'Aaron Fox 6’4” 170 PG Cypress Lakes, Katy, TX 2016
Fox was the best guard at Peach. He used his trademark speed to create havoc on both ends and put a lot of pressure on the defense. He shot the ball just ok, but his calling card is his ability to break you down off the bounce and get in the lane for a finish or a dish. He was a pest defensively and used his length and cat like reflexes to deflect balls that lead to easy run outs. He made a strong case for the top guard in the class with his performance and has no shortage of suitors. It will be interesting to see where he decides to go because he is a unique player that is at his best in an up tempo, pressure defense system.
Malik Monk 6’4’ 185 SG Bentonville, Bentonville, AR 2016
The Arkansas Wings/CP3 game was a high level game featuring two of the top 5 players in America. Monk is a special athlete who can provide highlight reel dunks and they sometimes overshadow everything else he brings to the table. He is a very good ball handler and can play some point for you in a pinch. When at the point he can get in the lane and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He’s at his best scoring the ball and he did that quite well at Peach. His handle allows him to get wherever he wants to get to on the floor and he compliments his ability to put the ball on the floor with a nice steady stroke from deep. He competed hard on both ends and is the premier shooting guard prospect in America at this point.