The final of July’s three live periods has come and gone, and the grassroots basketball season has reached an unofficial end. Before we move on to covering official visit season, National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi – with input from Rivals.com analysts Corey Evans, Krysten Peek and Dan McDonald – reveals his All-Third Live Period Team. Because of the abundance of talent in Las Vegas, this list will feature rising seniors only; we’ll get to the top underclassmen in a separate feature.
THE STARTING FIVE
Why he’s a starter? Dotson was incredible playing alongside Zion Williamson at the adidas Summer Championships. He is as in your face as any point guard in the class of 2018 and has made a major case for elevation to five-star status.
Why he’s a starter? One of the best in 2018 at getting to the rim, Dosunmu put up one big game after another in the Las Vegas Classic. He has tremendous size for a point guard and is improving as a playmaker for others.
Why he’s a starter? The recent Mississippi State commitment was absolutely dominant at the adidas event. He’s always been big and strong, but he’s added a new element of overall skill and aggression to go with his size and athleticism.
Recruitment: Committed to Mississippi State.
Why he’s a starter? There are areas that Williamson still has to improve – mostly as a jump shooter – but he put on quite a show in Las Vegas. His power and quickness are staggering for a young man with his strength and body type.
Why he’s a starter? Laszewski raised his game to an entirely new level while helping lead the New England Playaz all the way to the title game of the adidas event. He’s a knockdown jump shooter from deep who has some athleticism and ball skills off the bounce.
COMING OFF THE BENCH
If there is one thing we have learned, it’s that 2018 is the year of the point and lead guard. The class is loaded with great ones, and they were once again all the rage in the last live period.
At the adidas Summer Championships, five-stars Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes had tremendous outings. Quickley will give it to you on both ends of the floor and is down to Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Miami in his recruitment. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him choose before the end of September. Grimes put up big scoring numbers, was effective distributing the ball and most importantly tried to put his team on his back down the stretch in multiple ball games. We would strongly disagree with anybody who doesn’t see Grimes as a guy who will help a big-time program win.
Over at the Fab 48, Tyler Harris, Anfernee Simons and Bryce Hamilton really impressed. In leading his team to a championship at the Fab 48, Harris was electric. He hit deep shots, drove fearlessly to the rim and elevated his Team Thad teammates. Simons remains one of the best pure scorers in the class of 2018, and though he’s relatively slight of build, he should be an instant impact guy at Louisville. As for Hamilton, he was one of the event’s best off-the-dribble scorers playing for Belmont Shore. A tough guy with some size, Hamilton’s play was most impressive because he was under some pressure to produce big after a relatively average spring. Some kids would complain or make excuses; Hamilton just showed what he’s really about.
We’ll round out the team with some versatile bigs in Cole Swider, E.J. Montgomery and Kamaka Hepa. Swider was actually playing with BABC at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, but our Dan McDonald says that the Villanova pledge was far and away the most impressive player in Orlando because of his scoring and skill. Committed to Auburn for some time now, Montgomery showed a commitment to playing more around the rim at the adidas Summer Championships. He’s added some good weight to his lean frame and seemed to be playing with some hunger we’ve not always seen in the past.
Finally, Hepa is another who had just a so-so spring outing and needed a big July. He came through for the Portland Basketball Club (and in one moonlighting appearance for Belmont Shore) as a versatile big who can space the floor, run in transition and help on the glass.