USA Basketball: Ten tidbits from the Final Four
NY2LA: Bossi's Saturday takeaways
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – For the second consecutive year, USA Basketball hosted a plethora of the top high school prospects from the 2020-22 classes during the week of the Final Four. Here are 10 tidbits from the event.
... NBA scouts remain pessimistic about the 2020 draft class, but credible buzz about the possibility of R.J. Hampton and Jalen Green reclassifying a year up into the 2019 class could help ease some of those concerns. To be clear, neither Hampton or Green has made any sort of announcement about their plans, but both have displayed ability that could make them worthwhile lottery picks next year.
... This was the best we have seen Greg Brown from a physical standpoint. The super explosive and talented five-star prospect showcased a more well-rounded skill set to go along with a much stronger physique in Minnesota. He passes the eye test with ease, which is why Memphis, Texas and North Carolina have placed such a heavy priority upon him.
... Adam Miller showed just how much he has improved in recent months. He can go and get his off of the bounce with his elite pull-up game, but he also displayed the ability to defend across the perimeter and compete for the 50-50 ball. Arizona State, Illinois and UCLA are just a few programs involved.
... Nimari Burnett can and will do it all. The definition of a do-it-all type of guard that can play on and off of the ball, Burnett's impact on the game stood out. He is the sort of player that will immediately improve a program. Illinois, Louisville, USC and others continue to pursue him.
... Johnny Juzang is a utility knife wing prospect. The top-30 junior is not elite at anything, besides maybe just how smart he is, but whether it is scoring on nifty runners in the lane, creating for others off of the dribble-drive, or defending three positions, Juzang did just that in Minnesota. He has already taken an official visit to Virginia, while Arizona, Kansas, USC, and UCLA continue to prioritize.
... R.J. Hampton continues to round out his game. The five-star's talent level and athleticism makes him elite right off of the bat. Now that he can defend multiple spots, create for others and himself and has filled out more, the production has followed suit. Kansas and Memphis are the front-runners, with Duke and Kentucky not too far behind.
... Jabari Smith is probably underranked. The four-star prospect ranks No. 33 in the 2021 Rivals150 but after a quick glance at him over the weekend, it sure seems like he belongs a little higher in the rankings. The 6-foot-7 sophomore is the ideal multi-positional prospect that can toggle between either forward position and, most of all, make shots. His name is just beginning to escape the Peach State, but it won’t be before long that blue bloods come calling for him.
... No one played with a better motor or a greater purpose than Will Jeffress. A 6-foot-7 forward by way of Erie, Pa., Jeffress seemed much more comfortable and confident with what he does best, producing second-chance points and defending all across the floor. His shot is getting better, too. Pitt, Penn State and Syracuse are just a few programs involved early on.
... Andre Casey will be a heavily-recruited prospect. The next man up out of the always talented Simeon program in Chicago, Casey must get stronger but his catch and rip abilities, touch around the basket and light-footed nature that should equate to a multi-positional defender should make for a pressure packed recruitment. DePaul and Illinois have already come calling with an offer