Evans' Takeaways: What we learned from Adidas Nations
HOUSTON – During a weekend spent in the gym evaluating some of the best high school and international talent, Zion Williamson, Jaelin Llewellyn and Cole Anthony made the biggest impressions but several others impressed as well. We discuss what we learned at the Adidas Nations Global event.
ZION WILLIAMSON REMAINS DOMINANT
There has not been a more consistently productive forward than five-star prospect Zion Williamson. He kicked off the event Friday by making all 10 of his field goal tries and finished it by converting on over two-thirds of his attempts. Williamson remains one of the more unique ballplayers that has graced the hardwood within the past decade.
COLE ANTHONY IS THE ULTIMATE PROFESSIONAL
Cole Anthony, the son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony, boasts a consistency in approach and mentality that is difficult to find in a high school prospect. He was tremendous all weekend long as he averaged over 19 points and five rebounds, while knocking in over half of his 3-point tries.
JAELIN LLEWELLYN IS A MASSIVE STEAL FOR PRINCETON
Much has already been said about Jaelin Llewellyn's commitment to the Tigers but, after Sunday’s performance, Princeton’s Ivy League opponents have to be shaking in their boots. Tossing up an event high 43-points off of 17 shots from the floor, Llewellyn is the type of playmaking, versatile guard that could become a March darling in the years ahead.
BATTLE FOR THE BEST IN 2019 REMAINS WIDE OPEN
Currently, Charles Bassey sits as the top prospect in the 2019 class and he did nothing to hurt his cause in Houston as he averaged over 20 points and nine rebounds in less than 27 minutes’ worth of action. Vernon Carey saw his week cut short due to a knee injury but he, along with Anthony, James Wiseman and a handful of others, remain in the conversation for who the best prospect is in the 2019 class.
JALEN LECQUE IS THE FREAKIEST OF ATHLETES
Jalen Lecque, who had zero high-major scholarship offers six months ago, reclassified into the 2019 class this past spring and saw his stock jump into the high-major realm. While he is evolving into the lead guard spot and becoming a better jump shooter, no one had a better pair of highlight dunks in Houston than Lecque. Heading to the Christ School this fall, the Rivals150 guard has yet to reach his ceiling.
SCOTTIE BARNES IS A SWISS ARMY KNIFE
Scottie Barnes' box score averages are far from eye-popping, but watch the game and no one impacts things without touching the ball better than the 2020 forward. There are Michael Kidd-Gilchrist qualities to him, as he is someone that can defend practically every position on the floor. Toss in Barnes' elite passing skills and you have a tremendous prospect. In what is looking to be a phenomenal high school class, Barnes looks to be one of the best.
MAKUR MAKER IS NEXT IN LINE
Milwaukee Bucks’ forward Thon Maker had to have enjoyed the performance by his cousin, Makur Maker, this weekend. A member of the 2020 class, Maker averaged over 14 points and six rebounds through the event’s play, displaying a good feel, a versatile set of ball skills and a tremendous motor. Those qualities could eventually make Maker a five-star prospect.
SAM FROLING COULD BE THE NEXT AUSSIE STANDOUT
Sam Froling showcased an impeccable back-to-the-basket skillset along with a nifty mid-range game in Houston. He is not a tremendous athlete or very strong, though his IQ, use of angles and soft hands could make him an instant impact at the high-major level beginning in the fall of 2018. Indiana, Wichita State, New Mexico, St. Mary’s, Pitt and Arizona are the schools more frequently in contact.
IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS WILL BE UBER PRODUCTIVE IN COLLEGE
A 6-foot-7, elite scoring wing that can play the 2-through-4 on the offensive end, it seems like a safe bet that Ignas Brazdeikis will be productive in college. He averaged over 25 points and got to the line close to 10 times per game in Houston. His ability to find the smallest of holes to drive and then finish is special. Brazdeikis stated last month that he will remain in the 2018 class and wherever he may land, expect for him to make an immediate impact.
REGGIE PERRY IS BEGINNING TO GET IT
Mississippi State commit Reggie Perry has never been knocked for his physical traits or raw talent. However, his efficiency and decision-making has needed work at times. Perry put it all together in Houston as he averaged over 16 points and six rebounds, while making close to two three-point jumpers per contest. A skilled, multi-dimensional forward with a college-ready body, Perry has the chance to be push the Bulldogs into the SEC's upper echelon upon his arrival next year.