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Starting Five: Five-star Anthony shows off well-rounded game

DALLAS -- The top point guard from the class of 2019, Cole Anthony, did it all on Sunday at the EYBL. In this week's Starting Five, National Basketball Analyst discusses Anthony, a rising star and much more as he recaps what he saw and heard on the final day of April's first live evaluation weekend.



Over the weekend, I wrote that I felt 2020's R.J. Hampton was the best point guard in the country regardless of class. I'm not sure that 2019's top ranked point guard Cole Anthony agrees with that and he surely has a compelling case of his own for top point guard in America honors.

What I like most about Anthony is that he rounds out a box score. What I mean is that if his shot isn't falling, he's usually going to play tremendous defense, or rebound or set others up and end up making a major contribution. When he's got all of those things working together and he's scoring the ball like he did on Sunday, he's not going to be stopped on the high school level.

Duke, Louisville, Georgetown, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Texas, Michigan, UConn and many others are making a play for his services and things are about to get intense.


Not many players left a bigger impression than 2020 power forward Isaiah Jackson who plays with Detroit-based The Family.

Playing up a level, he's on a team with known scorers Rocket Watts and Terry Armstrong -- who were both outstanding themselves on Sunday -- Jackson stood out thanks to freaky athleticism, great hands and far above average instincts as a shot blocker, rebounder and finisher around the rim.

To me, he's a lot like Texas A&M's Robert Williams but he's got a motor that is always tuned up and has burst onto the scene much earlier than Williams did. Florida State, Creighton, Mississippi State, Marquette and USC are among the schools who have already offered and his play in front of in state coaches Tom Izzo and John Beilein had to have the Michigan State and Michigan bosses thinking pretty hard about making an offer.


A strong big man with good feet, four-star center Francis Okoro of Bradley Beal Elite is just one of several 2019 prospects considering a move to 2018.

The smell of that reclassification blood is in the water and the recruiting sharks are circling. Should he elect to move to 2018, it sounds as if Purdue and Oregon could have the inside track. If he stays 2019, things get a bit more open with Illinois and Missouri among those who could be more of a factor.

Right now, I would lean slightly towards a move to 2018 being the most likely move for Okoro.


There's still plenty of time left in the spring, but for my money Jaden McDaniels is coming on as strong as anybody in the country.

I liked what I saw of McDaniels on film during the winter, I liked what I saw from him at the Hoop Summit and on Sunday he looked even better while going for 26 points and 10 rebounds for Seattle Rotary in a win. McDaniels was active around the rim, quick off the floor, showed good hands and is kid with some faceup ability.

With McDaniels it's a long term bet because much of what makes him so intriguing as a prospect is his upside. But, he's not purely and upside guy and is already really good. Arizona, Texas, Washington, San Diego State and Oklahoma have all offered and more are likely to be on the way very soon.


* Four-star wing Patrick Williams is coming on strong. The 6-foot-6 wing for Team United has always shown flashes of being an early contributor at a high major but never quite put it all together. Looks like he's in the process of getting it all rolling. Athletic finisher, capable of creating shots off the dribble and defensively versatile, he's on the rise.

* Junior power forward Trayce Jackson-Davis backed up his move to five-star status nicely on Sunday. He'll still need to get a bit stronger but his skill is coming along quickly and he's got great hands and still plenty of upside. Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and many others watched on Sunday.

* Syracuse-bound guard Brycen Goodine is an interesting eval. He was watched by members of his future coaching staff on Sunday when he hit the floor with BABC and he finished with 25 points. However, it has to be noted it took him 25 shots to get to his point total and he was just 2-10 from beyond the three-point line. Goodine can create a shot pretty easily off the dribble and the Rivals150 guard isn't bashful. Strength should come with age, but also important for him is focusing on taking good shots.

* It's going to be fun to see how good 2021 forward Paolo Banchero can be. He is averaging nearly 15 points and nine rebounds per game playing up two age levels for Seattle Rotary in the EYBL. He's definitely one to watch from the freshman class.

* The last game I watched on Sunday was a fruitful one as 2020 five-star Josh Christopher, 2019 four-star wing Jaime Jaquez and 2019 guard Jaden Shackelford put on an impressive display. Christopher is a certified big-timer and Jaquez has one of the best motors in the junior class, but I want to focus on Shackelford, who went wild scoring 40 points. He made one three after another, was deceptive with the bounce and just kept pouring in buckets. If he replicates anything close to his Sunday performance next week his offers will go through the roof. As it is, his Sunday play earned him a scholarship offer from Kansas State.