Nike Saturday: What we knew and what we didn't know
DALLAS — It was a full day of hoops in Dallas with the third leg of the Nike EYBL circuit underway. We came in knowing a good amount which was supported further with all that we saw but there was also a handful of information that we picked up along the way.
WHAT WE KNEW...
Sharife Cooper remains a dominant stat sheet stuffer. He is no stranger to the headlines thanks to his standout plays over the years with the AOT and the McEachern High bunches. His ability to consistently throw up strong stat line after strong stat line is something that not many in the high school game can do. Auburn, Kansas and Kentucky are the three most talked about landing spots for him and wherever he lands, one should expect an immediate go-to piece at the lead guard spot.
Daeshun Ruffin is one of America’s top tough shot makers. He might not possess the ideal standing stature but the confidence that Ruffin plays with cannot be beat. Every shot he takes comes in the elevated variety which enables for him to get a much cleaner look at the basket compared to others his size. Ruffin began the day with a 30-point outburst and is one of the few that can singlehandedly carry a team thanks to his scoring prowess alone as Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss have already offered.
Cade Cunningham is elite. There really is not a play that Cunningham cannot make. Smooth and efficient, the five-star guard is what next level playmakers look like. He never wastes an ounce of energy and has done a great job of working on his athleticism. His feel and ball skills are off of the charts and so is the intangibles that he envelopes into his game. Trending upward, Cunningham continues to set the bar for what a premier high school prospect should play and act like.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim is one of the best isolation scorers in America. The son of Shareef Abdur-Rahim, the top-50 junior has been on fire all spring long. Deadly out of the mid-range thanks to a mixture of sound footwork and jump shooting capabilities, not many score it better off of their own abilities than Abdur-Rahim. He was expected to visit Michigan this week but thanks to the recent coaching change, things have been postponed as many others continue to prioritize.
Devan Cambridge is one of the best athletes in America. Available as a class of 2019 recruit, Cambridge is tremendous whenever the speed of the game picks up. He is instinctive, engaged and super explosive, assets that he uses well as an open floor dunker, out of area shot blocker and rebounder. He told Rivals.com that he plans on keeping his recruitment open until past the middle of July but is also set on taking a visit to West Virginia next weekend.
WHAT WE DIDN'T KNOW...
The recruiting process is still heating up for RJ Davis. This time last year, just a handful of power conference programs littered Davis’ recruitment; now, over 20 high-majors are involved with no end in sight. Davis told Rivals.com that he doesn’t plan on committing until next year and would like to take a handful of visits before then. Who could host him include Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Penn State and Pitt, though no dates have been set at the time being.
Just how good Niels Lane is. Finishing with 22 points in a competitive affair, Lane is everything that one looks for in a high-major two-guard: tough, well built, an above average athlete and, most of all, can make shots. In a class that is at a loss for good sized scorers, Lane’e value cannot he understated. Within the past four weeks, California, Florida, Virginia Tech and Xavier have each offered and more should be on the way.
Dylan Cardwell is a high major center. Cardwell has shown tremendous progressions with his game since this time last year but it is more about what he has done these past few weeks that really stand out. The body has always been there but so is the motor now, too. UConn just offered and more are due to follow. The regional powers in Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee are involved but for hard playing big men that can protect their basket, finish and rebound, a guy like Caldwell is always of tremendous value.
Oklahoma State has made the state of Arkansas a must stop. The Cowboys already hold the commitment of Rivals150 guard Davonte Davis and are hoping to add two more of his travel teammates. Jaylin Williams, an underrated big man with tremendous upside, and Chris Moore, a high-motor forward, will take official visits together to the Big 12 program on June 8. A commitment might not come from either but it does look as if OK State is on great ground with both.
Montreal Pena is the next big man to emerge from Texas. Getting the run with the Texas Titans squad this weekend, Pena was tremendous off the bench, finishing with 21 points thanks to a number of rim running finishes and drop off scores. Long and light on his feet, Pena remains slightly under the radar but a few of the regional powers have shown heavy interest including LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M. July should be the time whenever his stock completely soars.