WAUKEGAN, Ill. – Take a look at the Rivals150 and you will see members of the 2018 class that have used the NY2LA Futures Camp to springboard their way onto the national platform. This year’s event was nothing outside of the norm, as some of the very best Midwest prospects hit the floor in Waukegan displaying the talent to be highly valued college prospects. Junior guards Charles Smith IV, Harlond Beverly and DJ Carton more than backed up their four-star rankings as Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Michael Foster showed that they are worthy of tracking though they haven’t played a high school basketball game yet.
TALENTED FOUR-STAR GUARDS GO TO BATTLE
Charles Smith IV, Harlond Beverly and DJ Carton, three members of the 2019 Rivals150, showed just how talented, productive and better they can be. Smith IV is a native of Texas and is enjoying his first full year in the Midwest. He has enrolled at the mighty La Lumiere program in Indiana, allowing several well-known local powers to get involved.
Smith IV visited Notre Dame at the beginning of September and also boasts an offer from DePaul. A number of other Big 12 and SEC programs remain involved, and for good reason. Smith IV was on fire with his mid-range jump-shooting skills and athletic, bouncy scores at the basket. He will be a highly prioritized and recruited prospect as he enters his junior high school season.
Carton, who was profiled on Tuesday, has begun to cement his standing on the national scene, due in part to his physical tangibles and feel for the game. He visited Creighton on Monday and will head to Minnesota this weekend. Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and a slew of others remain involved, as the 6-foot-2 playmaker has the frame, toughness and competitive grit that will make him a deeply wanted man.
While Smith IV and Carton have enjoyed high-major recruitment for several months, things are just ramping up for Harlond Beverly. A 6-foot-3 lead guard with an innate feel for the game, Beverly displayed the size, pace and decision-making skills that every high-major coach looks for in a lead guard. A big-time scorer at the basket, Michigan State offered Beverly this summer. The school intrigued him greatly, though a number of others have begun to pursue.
BALDWIN JR. & FOSTER TRACK AS ELITE
Throughout the day, it was a battle between Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Michael Foster that was worthy of the price of admission. While it may be a bit early in the process, the two members of the 2021 class showed tremendous potential as high-level college prospects.
Baldwin Jr., the son of Wisconsin-Milwaukee first-year head coach Pat Baldwin, is a tremendously skilled 6-foot-7 small forward who is eerily similar to a younger Michael Porter Jr., the top-ranked player in the 2017 class. Granted, those are giant expectations to place on a high school freshman, but at this stage the super-talented wing is the ideal position-less ballplayer in today’s game who can act as a playmaking agent where his feel, passing skills and decision-making abilities remain top notch. Not a super bouncy athlete, Baldwin Jr. is tracking as one of the best in his class nationally.
While Baldwin Jr.'s game is more about skill and finesse, Foster’s play is highlighted by his versatility in the frontcourt, toughness around the basket and intimidating skills in the lane. The most efficient player at the event while also the top rebounder and shot-blocker, Foster remains a relative unknown. The native of Mississippi has been playing the game for just over a year, but expect a bevy of high-major offers to roll in any day now as Foster, just like Baldwin Jr., tracks as an elite recruit.
OTHER PLAYERS OF NOTE
• Emanuel Miller continues to fly under the radar, but that should all change very soon, as he showed he is one of the most underrated juniors in America. The Canadian is now a member of the La Lumiere program, and his stock should soar while playing for a nationally regarded high school this winter. Oklahoma and SMU are the only high-major schools to offer Miller, a 6-foot-6 playmaking wing who can defend three positions and does not fail to pass the "look" test.
• We would be doing a disservice if we didn’t include Nobal Days in this report. The 6-foot-9 center has yet to fill out and can struggle with contact, but he showed a much-improved skill set and was more productive because of it. A hard-playing junior and one of the best passing frontcourt prospects in America, Days has not struggled to attract some quality college recruitment. Illinois, Boston College, UNLV, Tulane and Marquette have shown interest in the Racine Park star.
• Baldwin Jr. and Foster soaked up most of the attention from the 2021 class, but Anton Brookshire deserves some love as well. The 6-foot lead guard was the top scorer in the entire event, as he averaged 27 points per game and displayed a vast scoring skill set from each level on the floor. The Missouri native is just beginning his story and is due to receive a number of offers in the coming years.