Lucas Midwest: Maker shines, talks visits
LOUISVILLE - The top prospect in the class of 2016 was among those making a big showing over the weekend at the John Lucas Midwest Invitational Camp. In part one of Rivals.com's coverage of the camp, we take a look at Thon Maker and some other notables.
Maker lining up visits
The top-ranked player in the class of 2016 Rivals150, Thon Maker had a nice showing at the John Lucas Midwest Camp over the weekend.
Beyond the expected strong play from the athletic 7-footer was news that he would like to visit at least two more schools and take a second visit to a campus he hit briefly in the past.
"We'll probably go to Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky," Maker's guardian, Ed Smith, said at the event. "We've been to Kansas. We've been to Missouri. We've been to Duke. If you look at it, Indiana and Kentucky are guys we haven't been to yet.
"We didn't spend a lot of time at Kansas, so we'll probably see Kansas again. Those would be about it in terms of if we have time in those areas. ... I'm looking at the guys who are serious with us."
A 7-footer with incredible athleticism and an inside and outside game, Maker has a host of scholarship offers and could basically play at any college in the country. He currently is at the Athlete Institute in Canada after playing last year in Carlisle, Va. Indiana assistant coach Chuck Martin has been the lead recruiter for the Hoosiers with both Thon and his brother Matur Maker, a four-star 6-foot-9 forward in the 2017 class.
"Chuck's good. He's a good guy. He's really personable. He came from the NBA side of things. He was with Oklahoma City, so he can give you some insight into that," Smith said. "He doesn't slam you with so much where it's too much. He checks to see how you're doing and how things are going. I think he understands the process."
As for Kentucky, Smith said John Calipari's history with NBA-level players is a factor.
"There are programs who have dealt with players [like] Thon. I think what you do is look at the experience of the coach and the experience of the situation. That gives him an opportunity to be under the wing of that type of leadership. That's what attracts Thon there," Smith said. "Also there is the aspect of having the opportunity to carve out something for himself, to be special in that situation. That's important to him, to have a leadership role."
Smith also mentioned Kentucky's recent combine for NBA scouts.
"I think it was a game changer. That's something that was really thinking outside the box. I think giving your kids and your program an opportunity to realistically see where you are that early is great, to see how much better they can get within a period of time."
One of the things that stood out about Thon Maker's play was how he caught the ball, ripped through and made an aggressive move on the dribble. He didn't dominate as much as he can -- he seemed to be deferential to teammates at times -- but when he was aggressive he showed why he's the No. 1 junior.
For his part, younger brother Matur looked improved even since July. He was incredibly aggressive running rim to rim and made plays with the ball in his hands facing the basket.
Allen another standout big from Texas
The camp had a number of big men who are high-level prospects, and one of them who played very well was Jarrett Allen, a 6-foot-10 class of 2016 center from St. Stephens Episcopal School in Round Rock, Texas, who currently ranks No. 30 nationally.
Allen's head-to-head battle with Thon Maker was among the highlights of the weekend. Allen had one move when he caught the ball on the left mid-post, faked a left turn then spun back and hit a jumper over Maker.
Allen also showed his right-handed hook -- probably his best move at this point -- scoring with it several times and also blocked shots on the defensive end.
He said Baylor, Texas, Houston, SMU, Kansas and Kansas State are recruiting him the hardest right now and he recently made an unofficial visit to Baylor.
Even though he's s 6-foot-10 already, Allen said he is projected to grow another inch or two.
"Right now, I'm mostly working on my dribbling so I get it at the 3-point line and take it in," said Allen, who considers Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett the players after whom he would like to pattern his game.
D.J. HarveyClick Derek FunderburkClick Coming off of a strong performance at USA Basketball top 25 sophomore Matt ColemanClick OTHER STANDOUTSHere to view this Link. was one of the clear standouts among the guards. Standing 6-foot-2, the four-star dazzled with his speed with the ball in his hands and his ability to deliver pinpoint passes with either hand while on the move. He showed terrific vision and was in control of the play on the offensive end, using his speed and dribble to get the ball to spots to set up passes to the post, to cutters and to shooters on the wing.Here to view this Link. continues to add to his game. The four-star 6-foot-9 center from St. Edward in Lakewood, Ohio, scored on mid-range jumpers consistently throughout the camp, was very athletic and aggressive. The No. 50 player in the class of 2015, Funderburk also caught the ball in the post on a number of occasions and scored on one-dribble moves and with a hook shot.Here to view this Link. was one of the best offensive players at the event. The four-star 2017 6-foot-5 wing from DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md., hit pull-up jumpers with incredible consistency. He was making them off extended moves as well as one- and two-dribble moves. He also was able to get by defenders, elevate and finish in the paint. Like Coleman, Harvey was coming off of a strong performance at the recent USA Basketball Developmental Camp and he backed up his No. 17 national ranking.
Jeff Rabjohns is a basketball recruiting reporter for Rivals.com and Peegs.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.