NBPA Top 100: Five-star Cole Anthony heads Friday night six pack
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A six-pack of prospects headlined by 2019's top point guard Cole Anthony stood out on Friday. Who were they and what's the latest with their recruitments?
The top-ranked point guard in the class of 2019, Cole Anthony has only enhanced his status this spring. This week, the five-star guard has become a much better facilitator, finisher at the basket and, most of all, he showed the ability to create offense out of nothing whenever his team needed it the most.
The son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony, Cole Anthony has been solid across the board. While his jump shooting needs to improve, his professionalism and consistent production is impressive. His recruitment remains on the backburner for now, though during the first full day of direct contact with the college coaches, Anthony heard from Indiana, Baylor, UNC, Duke, UCLA, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, Georgetown, UConn, St. John’s, Miami, Wake Forest, Louisville, Virginia, Kansas, Notre Dame, Arizona, Pitt, Utah, UNLV, Ohio State, Cal and Memphis.
The class of 2019 has been out in full force this weekend, and while Cole Anthony, Ashton Hagans and Christian Brown have received most of the attention, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has silently put together his own quality weekend. A 6-foot-8 power forward with good ball skills, an awareness for the game and defensive versatility, Robinson-Earl had his best on tap during his Friday afternoon session.
He finished with efficiency and knocked in a pair of corner threes. While Robinson-Earl does have to get meaner, the rising junior's upside and intellect leave one with the impression that he will only get better. By playing to his strengths, Robinson-Earl has averaged nearly 12 points and five rebounds per game while making 63 percent of his shots.
Scoring has never been an issue for Keldon Johnson. Facing off against the very best at the NBPA Top-100 Camp, Johnson has been terrific. While he has struggled at times with length in the lane, the top-35 wing has carried an alpha-dog mentality to the playing floor, which has resulted in sparkling numbers.
Johnson was nearly unstoppable from getting to the basket on Friday afternoon as he notched 28 points on just 11 shots attempted. He got to the foul line frequently, as he attempted 15 shots from the stripe while missing just one. Johnson averaged over 15 points and five rebounds over the course of the weekend. Maryland and Texas seem to be the two to beat, though the local Virginia basketball program could be the dark horse for his services.
Another class of 2019 big man who stood out in camp was Armando Bacot. Averaging over 11 points and seven rebounds per outing, Bacot has showed as much touch and skill as any post player.
Think of him as somewhere between former five-star prospects Jahlil Okafor and Omari Spellman in terms of style, and like them he appears destined to be a five-star prospect. Local programs like Virginia and Virginia Tech have made him a priority recruit and should be strong with him while others like Duke, Maryland, Kansas, Georgetown and many more figure to factor into his recruitment.
Carey had his best outing of camp on Friday night. He's a ball handler with size who can get hot from deep and does a great job changing pace and mixing up his dribbles.
His 21-point outing was a good preview of what he could do on the college level. Carey wants to be recruited as a point guard, although he has the ability to easily be a high-scoring two at the college level. Seton Hall, Syracuse and Rutgers are among those trying desperately to keep him close to home, while Indiana and Kansas have been turning things up a bit.
Talk about a classic case of production vs. potential. Bryan Penn-Johnson is seven-feet tall, has tremendous length and is potentially a big-time rim protector with some touch. But he doesn't put up very impressive numbers yet.
Do we focus on the lack of production, or do we take the lesson we learned with Justin Patton -- who was very similar -- at the same age and roll the dice on upside? That's a question for us to decide in the next Rivals150 -- where he's earned a spot -- and for schools to decide with offers. California, San Diego State, TCU, USC, Nebraska, UNLV and Purdue are among those who have seen enough and more should follow with offers.