Bossi's Best: Reddish heads All-Junior National Camp squad
COLORADO SPRINGS – More spectacular talent is headed Duke's way, this time in the form of Cameron Reddish. The five-star headlines the All-Camp team from the recently completed 2017 USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp.
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REDDISH WAS TOP DOG AT USA BASKETBALL
Standing 6-foot-7 with a sturdy 210-pound frame and impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan, Reddish has the ideal physical characteristics for an elite wing. Even better, his skill and ability match his impressive stature.
Reddish is a do-it-all wing who can initiate offense and make plays, score for others or even play some small ball power forward. He's going to keep alive the string of impact wings in Durham and for my money was the best player at USA Basketball.
ZION WILLIAMSON LEADS FIRST-TEAMERS
Since Reddish is in a category of his own as my camp MOP, I'll move on to a five-man first team from camp. For that I'll go with 2018's No. 2 player Zion Williamson, 2018 five-stars Keldon Johnson and Emmitt Williams, 2019's No. 2 player James Wiseman and 2020's No. 3 player R.J. Hampton.
Checking in at 6-foot-6 and a little over 270 pounds, Williamson remains one of the most athletically freaky players that I have scouted in nearly 20 years in the business. How he was able to sustain max energy and athleticism at that size is mind-boggling to me. Ideally he can shed some of those pounds but whether he lands at Clemson, Kansas, Kentucky or one of his other finalists, he's going to be an immediate fan favorite and one of the most unique players the college game has seen in some time.
Speaking of athletic marvels, Williams is some kind of specimen. Given that he only measured in at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, he's on the small end of the spectrum for an elite power forward prospect. But, nobody had more energy or struck more fear in their opponents than Williams as he dunked and mean-mugged his way to consistent production. There are others making their cases, but his recruitment seems to be turning into a showdown between Oregon – where he took a visit a little over a week ago – and LSU, where he visits this weekend.
Of the 2018 prospects at USA Basketball who have yet to make a decision, Johnson is the closest to getting things done. In fact, I don't think it would be out of the realm of possibility to end things within the next week. On the floor, Johnson scored with aplomb at the rim, in mid-range and from deep thanks to a reworked jump shot. Texas has been the favorite for some time but Johnson's recruitment has become very tough to call as Kentucky, Maryland and N.C. State have all made big pushes.
Rounding out the first team are the 7-foot Wiseman and 6-foot-3 Hampton. Wiseman is still lean but now up to nearly 230 pounds, runs like a deer, is getting more aggressive and is developing a jumper to 18 feet. It's not as if current 2019 No. 1 Vernon Carey is going to give up his spot without a fight, but Wiseman is emerging as a real threat to take over the No. 1 spot. He went to Kansas a week ago, hits Kentucky this week and then heads to Duke and North Carolina. As for Hampton, there wasn't a better combination of scorer and playmaker in attendance at camp regardless of class. Like Wiseman, he was at Kansas a week ago and heads to Kentucky this weekend.
2020 NO. 1 JALEN GREEN AMONG BEST OF THE REST
I'll finish up my All-Camp team with a group of seven reserves. Class of 2020's No. 1 player Jalen Green, 2020 five-star Scottie Barnes, 2019 four-star point guard De'Vion Harmon and 2018 five-stars Darius Bazley, Bol Bol, Quentin Grimes and Romeo Langford.
A scoring machine, the 6-foot-5 Green backed up his top player in 2020 status. He was firing away from deep, using his athleticism/body control to finish at the rim and showing more physicality. Green had been planning an Arizona trip but said that's on hold for now until whether or not they'll face more fallout from the federal investigation into college hoops. As for Barnes, he was arguably the top defender in camp regardless of age and looks like the second coming of former blue-chipper Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Barnes' jumper needs work, but is in better shape than MKG's was at the same age. Look for Barnes to eventually haul in offers from all of college basketball's elite programs. Teaming him on the same high school frontline as the previously mentioned Carey isn't fair.
One of only two 2019 players to make my All-Camp team, Harmon makes it for his leadership and expanded game. He's not a crazy athlete, but Harmon competes and he really gets his teammates to respond. His jump shot has significantly improved as well and he's obviously been in the gym working to get better on his own. He's been to Oklahoma at least a half-dozen times and the Sooners are his admitted favorite.
A combination forward with athleticism and versatile game, the Syracuse-bound Bazley continues to get better at a rapid pace. Between the late spring and end of summer, he rose from the 70s to top 15 in the 2018 rankings. He could push for the top five before it's all said and done.
Ranked No. 3 overall, the 7-foot-2 Bol is down to Oregon and Kentucky. To appreciate how far he's come, you really have to have seen him as a high school freshman slogging his way through junior varsity games. He can still turn things on and off, but Bol's production is much more consistent and every time he hits the floor, he does a few things that nobody else near his size is capable of doing.
I'll finish out my list from the weekend with Grimes and Langford. They were part of a group of five-star seniors that also included North Carolina-bound wing Nassir Little, Duke-bound point guard Tre Jones and uncommitted point guard Darius Garland, who were all pretty equal in my eyes throughout the weekend. In the case of Grimes, I liked him for this list because of his steady play, physicality and ability to play either point or shooting guard. He's finished trips to Texas and Kentucky with Kansas and Marquette up next. Langford backed up his status as the top shooting guard in America and got the edge because of his outstanding defense that he pairs with scoring ability. He's seen UCLA and Vanderbilt with Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina coming up. If I had to bet, the Hoosiers and Jayhawks look to be in the best position for Langford while Kansas and Texas look like they could be the top two for Grimes.