COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2018 USA Basketball Fall Developmental Camp got off to a fast start on Saturday morning. National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi has his takeaways from the first session of action.
1. FIVE-STAR DARIUS BAZLEY'S ASCENSION CONTINUES
The improvement that Bazley has shown in the last year or so has been impressive and I'm taken by how much he's improved since the end of the summer. He's already ranked No. 14 in the country but if this morning's session is any indication of what he has in store we have him ranked too low.
The southpaw is athletic, he plays hard and he makes plays on both ends of the floor. In today's game wings need to be able to switch up and down the floor and to be able to play some small ball power forward and Bazley is built to do just that. I'd like to see him add some bulk to his skinny frame but in my eyes he's one of the best pickups to date in 2018 and he's looking like a potential one-and-done type player.
2. 2020'S HAMPTON COULD BE BEST POINT GUARD IN ATTENDANCE
A scoring machine who has the ball on a string, I think Hampton is the best point guard in attendance at USA Basketball, regardless of class.
None of the many five-star point guards from the class of 2018 in attendance could slow Hampton down and he's lots of fun to watch. Not only does he score at all levels, but Hampton does so with flair and personality that make it tough focus attention elsewhere whenever he's on the floor.
3. 2019 FOUR-STAR ZACH HARVEY BECOMING MORE VERSATILE
I'm not ready to list 2019 four-star Zach Harvey as a point guard. But, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Topeka, Kans. is showing that he can play some stretches at the point and that he should be considered a combo guard from here on out.
Harvey has gotten a little bigger and stronger since I last saw him in July but it was the work he did operating off of the high ball screen that really caught my attention. I didn't see anybody make better decisions or more passes that led to easy buckets during Saturday mornings scrimmaging. That added dimension to his game makes Harvey a much more versatile prospect and somebody that should be in even more demand than he already is.
4. EMMITT WILLIAMS IS INTIMIDATING
The way the Fall Developmental Camp is set up, players from 2018, 2019 and 2020 all compete head to head. Sometimes, it creates a situation where the strength and physicality of the seniors is too much for the younger players. Never has that been more clear to what five-star power forward Emmitt Williams was doing to the younger players in the first session.
A total beast against players his own age, the 6-foot-7 Williams totally terrorized younger players around the rim on both sides of the floor. He dunked at will, he ripped shot attempts out of the air with one hand and he did everything in his power to physically and sometimes verbally intimidate the younger players. At times, I was scared for the younger guys because of what Williams did to them.
Williams took a visit to Oregon last weekend and he's got a trip to LSU coming up next.
5. SCOTTIE BARNES TRACKING AS ELITE IN 2020
Doing the first ranking of a class is often nerve racking because I can never really know what to expect to happen with players just beginning their sophomore years. After getting a fresh look at the class of 2020's No. 7 ranked player Scottie Barnes, I feel pretty good about where we ranked him and he's tracking as a truly elite prospect.
Barnes is 6-foot-7, attacks the glass, runs effortlessly in transition and is pretty dangerous as a slasher. Where I really love him, though, is as an ace defender who can lock down multiple positions. He's got a chance to be truly special on that end.
Now teamed up with 2019's No. 1 player Vernon Carey Jr. in high school, Barnes has attracted offers from the likes of Florida, Oregon, Miami, UCF and Syracuse and I think he'll have offers from pretty much every major program in the country before too long.