UA: Preston elevates his game
ARDSLEY, N.Y. -- The action at the final Under Armour
Association league stop in New York continued at the House of Sports on Saturday
and the big timers came to play. Class of 2017 forward Billy Preston
played with vengeance while class of 2016 bigs Dewan Huell and Edrice Adebayo were among the many others having strong days.
Preston elevates game
There's a narrative that has been built regarding Billy Preston, the
No. 9 player in 2017, of MWA Elite. While the 6-foot-9 combo forward is very skilled and
loaded with talent, his motor has been questioned while his talent has been
lauded. Anybody who has seen him play over the past two years knows it and, most
importantly, Preston knows it.
Even more importantly, he's gone to work on changing that narrative.
The skill is still there. He can handle the ball, he can shoot with range and he
has a deadly game in the low post. He recognizes mismatches and exploits them.
The big change is that, since moving from California to Texas, he has added
strength and turned the motor up in a big way.
On Saturday, Preston played a man's game on both ends of the floor during a 22 point and eight rebound outing against the Carolina Wolves. He attacked the
basket with strength, he took jumpers when they were available and during a game
that featured two five-star prospects from the class of 2016 -- his teammate
complete player on the floor.
The Dallas (Texas) Prime U product took unofficial visits to Baylor,
said that he won't get serious about his recruitment until his senior year. For
now, he's concentrating on showing people that he does care about his game and
putting forth a good effort each time out.
"California basketball and the south basketball is way different," Preston
said. "I took basketball for granted when I was in California. When I
moved to Texas it just made me a tougher person. I started playing harder, my
motor got better and I started to displace the rumors that Billy Preston has no
No list for Adebayo
No matter the setting this spring, Edrice Adebayo of Washington (N.C.)
Northside has been a stud. The No. 8 player in the class of 2016, Adebayo has
impressed with Nike's Team Penny, Adidas Team Loaded North Carolina and now he's
done it on the Under Armour circuit with Team Felton.
A 6-foot-9 power forward who is already built like an NBA player, Adebayo plays
with a tremendous amount of energy each time he takes the floor and is a true
intimidator on the interior. The 13 points and eight rebounds he had during a
morning win were nice, but the numbers didn't do any real justice to the way he
controlled play in the paint. For the most part, opponents back away from his
non-stop physicality and double teams simply have to foul him to stop him from
dunking on them.
In many ways he's similar to Louisville's Montrezl Harrell (another North
Carolina product) but he's bigger and further along than Harrell was as a rising
Adebayo said t his gameplan in New York is a simple one
"Every time I play I just try to go as hard as I can," he said. "I think
that my energy is contagious and I can really get going on the glass."
So far, Adebayo has avoided listing schools that stand out to him and he won't
even list the schools that are showing interest. He will get more serious about things in the next month
"Probably by the middle of summer," said Adebayo when asked when he will release
a list of schools. "I'm looking for a good place where I fit in with a good
coach and a good campus."
Huell opening things back up
Cutting a list to 11 isn't exactly making a huge cut, but it still qualifies.
After taking some time to look at things, though, 2016 four-star Dewan Huell is opening things back up and says that he has no
The 6-foot-9 power forward, ranked No. 21 in 2016, said that
despite cutting his list he realized that he was still unsure about what
really serious about him.
"I decided on a top 11 and I realized some of those schools weren't recruiting
me like I am looking for," Huell said. "I decided to open it back to everybody
to find the schools that really want me."
Any program who saw him go for 37 points and 14 rebounds for Florida-based Team
Breakdown against the Houston
Defenders on Saturday would be ramping up their recruiting efforts. Showing
quickness in the lane, Huell finished again and again at the rim and played with
a relentless level of energy. He ran the floor, hit a few short jumpers and was
For good measure, he added another 16 points and 12 rebounds during his second
game of the day. When rankings get updated in late June, he is going to be under
heavy consideration to be elevated to five-star status.
More Saturday notes and news
Making his first appearance on the grassroots circuit since breaking his foot during his junior season, four-star guard
Kwe Parker had some impressive flashes. Arguably the single most explosive athlete in high school basketball, Parker just missed on some acrobatic lob finishes but it was his jumper that looked good. In addition to the jumper, he is a high-level defender and unleashed a filthy baseline floater that he can make out to 12 feet.
For the second day in a row,
Speaking of No. 1 players, 2016's No. 1 Josh JacksonClick We are going to keep it real simple regarding 2017's No. 1 player DeAndre AytonClick MWA is loaded with talent from top to bottom and guards Skylar MaysClick Seventh Woods brought it at a high level. We mentioned above that Billy Preston was the best player on the floor during MWA Elite's win over Woods' Carolina Wolves, but Woods was no slouch at all. He single handedly turned what looked to be a blowout into a contested game and finished with 31 points, four rebounds and three assists while making 12-of-19 field goal attempts.Here to view this Link. and Victor BaileyClick Seventh Woods brought it at a high level. We mentioned above that Billy Preston was the best player on the floor during MWA Elite's win over Woods' Carolina Wolves, but Woods was no slouch at all. He single handedly turned what looked to be a blowout into a contested game and finished with 31 points, four rebounds and three assists while making 12-of-19 field goal attempts.Here to view this Link. both had terrific outings against the Carolina Wolves. A three-star point guard and Rivals150 (No. 106) player in the class of 2016, Mays was efficient and solid across the board while racking up 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. A two guard built to score, Bailey ranks No. 35 in 2017 and scored 14 points while adding two rebounds and three assists. He's learning to mix his athleticism and shooting which is an encouraging sign.Here to view this Link.. The seven-footer showed zero signs of rust during a sparkling 28 point and 13 rebound effort in the afternoon. He dominated the lane, made alert passes out of double teams and also hit a few medium-range jumpers. He's not just the best player in his class, he's the No. 1 prospect in high school regardless of class.Here to view this Link. was a beast in a Saturday night win over the Carolina Wolves. He scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while dishing out three assists and did it in highlight fashion. He played way over the
Once again Houston Defenders shooting guard Kameron McGustyClick Playing with Louisiana Elite, three-star forward Wayde SimsClick rim, hit a nice catch and shoot three and was unstoppable in transition. Where he shined the brightest, though, was on the defensive end. His three steals and five blocks were impressive but don't come near telling the full story of how good he is on that end. With his quickness, long arms and natural instincts he can defend multiple positions and he does it at the highest level a high school player can.Here to view this Link. has kind of operated under the radar. A hard worker who runs the floor and does most of his damage around the basket he was good for 25 points and five rebounds on Saturday afternoon. If a mid-major can sneak him in under the radar, they will love what he can do for them.Here to view this Link. was an offensive dynamo while scoring 31 point and grabbing six rebounds. At 6-foot-5 he can really create off the dribble, is aggressive and is among the best in the class at moving without the ball. He's made a play to move into at least the top 75 in 2016 and is maybe even pushing for top 50 status.
KansasClick McGusty's point guard J.J. Caldwell was good as well with 10 assists in the Defenders' loss to Team Breakdown. The recent Texas A&M commit is very strong up top and has a great feel for passing the ball. Had his teammates -- other than McGusty -- converted at even a reasonable clip around the rim he would have had at least 15 assists. The next step for Caldwell is to improve his shooting and finishing in traffic.Here to view this Link. commit
It's hard to be underrated when you are in the top 10 of your class, but upon further review 2017's No. 10 player Trevon DuvalClick LaGerald Vick is a legit talent. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is ranked at least 100 spots too low (he's currently No. 137) if he decides to stick in the class of 2016 and should be considered as a talent in that range if he moves to 2015. After scoring 25 on Friday, he added 28 and 23 on Saturday while going 19-of-34 (8-of-16 from three) from the field during his two Saturday games. He can create off the dribble, is quick and has deep range on his shot. Vick is quite thin and the lack of strength could be an early obstacle for him in the Big 12, but he's an offensive talent.Here to view this Link. may just be slightly under-ranked. He's athletic, strong and has good size for a point guard at 6-foot-3. He finished his night netting 23 points, seven rebounds and six wins in a We R1 win.
At the 16U level, the Indy Hoosiers are a borderline juggernaut. A lot of that has to do with 2017's Kris WilkesClick Louisiana Elite's 16U team has several wing talents. Whether or not Galen AlexanderClick A few weeks ago at the Jayhawk Invitational, Rivals150 small forward Damien JeffersonClick We R1 teammate Kodye Pugh left it all on the floor. A former Rivals150 talent in the class of 2016, the small forward will move to 2017 to give himself a year to get stronger and work on his perimeter game. He had 11 points and four rebounds and played himself to the point that his body was completely taken over by cramps after his final game.Here to view this Link. of the SYF Players teased with his ability but frustrated with an inconsistent motor. Saturday night in a win over New Heights the motor never stopped as he played strong on drives to the rim, hit jumpers that were given to him and scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He looks like a Big Ten, Big East or upper A-10 level wing all the way.Here to view this Link. is a true wing might be slightly up to debate but his motor, physicality and production aren't. The 6-foot-6 class of 2017 prospect had 18 points and seven rebounds in an afternoon win. Teammate Josh AndersonClick A few weeks ago at the Jayhawk Invitational, Rivals150 small forward Damien JeffersonClick We R1 teammate Kodye Pugh left it all on the floor. A former Rivals150 talent in the class of 2016, the small forward will move to 2017 to give himself a year to get stronger and work on his perimeter game. He had 11 points and four rebounds and played himself to the point that his body was completely taken over by cramps after his final game.Here to view this Link. of the SYF Players teased with his ability but frustrated with an inconsistent motor. Saturday night in a win over New Heights the motor never stopped as he played strong on drives to the rim, hit jumpers that were given to him and scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He looks like a Big Ten, Big East or upper A-10 level wing all the way.Here to view this Link. (15 points and eight rebounds) is also quite productive and has a pretty high ceiling as a potential high-major prospect. The class of 2017 in the state of Louisiana looks to be quite strong overall.Here to view this Link. and
Paul Scruggs. A 6-foot-7 small forward with a baby face, Wilkes is skilled, athletic and has started to really fill out.
He has not shot the ball great just yet, but the signs are all there that 2018 point guard Prentiss HubbClick The No. 21 player in his class, Wilkes had 14 points and six rebounds in a blowout win over Team Charlotte. A physical, athletic and tough 6-foot-3 point guard who ranks No. 31 in 2017, Scruggs has improved his all around game. He gets into the paint off the dribble when he wants, can defend and scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out a pair of assists without even breaking a sweat. Wilkes, Scruggs and their talented teammates will get a longer look on Sunday.Here to view this Link. of DC Premier's 16U squad could be a pretty highly sought after talent. He changes speeds, gets into the lane and has a good enough feel for the game that he needs to be monitored closely.