COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 16-Under USA National team trials got underway Friday night with 24 prospects out of the 27-man roster participating full-time in the first practice. Out of the impressive group, Jabari Parker led the way.
The wings, thanks in part to Parker, are the most talented position at the trials. Parker, a 6-foot-7, class of 2013 combo forward out of Chicago, had an extra gear to his game compared with his competition. He repeatedly got to the rim both in transition and in the half-court and was also a force on the boards.
Stephen Domingo (6-foot-7 2013 wing from San Francisco) - Domingo carried the momentum of his outstanding performance at the Pangos All-American Camp into this first practice. He is one of the top shooters at the trials and has a solid all-around game as well.
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Tyus Jones (6-foot-1 2014 point guard from Apple Valley, Minn.) - Jones has an impeccable feel for the game at the point guard position. His change of pace and court vision are highly developed and his passing is timely, crisp and accurate. He is a poised scorer as well. On the night, he stood out as the top point man.
Justin Jackson (6-foot-5 2013 wing from Houston) - Jackson impressed with his overall feel for the game and his knack for scoring tough shots off the dribble.
Johnathan Williams III (6-foot-8 2013 combo forward from Memphis) - Like Jackson, Williams is a lefty who can make an array of shots off the dribble in the midrange. He also uses his ballhandling prowess and speed to make plays in the open court.
Paul White (6-foot-7 2014 wing from Chicago) - Another impressive wing, White scores with the best of them. He drained threes, worked the midrange off the dribble and scored off an impressive post-up game. He is still developing physically and has a tremendous upside.
Theo Pinson (6-foot-5 2014 wing from Greensboro, N.C.) - Pinson's scoring game is not as developed as the wings already mentioned, but he is every bit as athletic as any of them. He used that athleticism to make plays on the defensive end and in the open court offensively.
Beejay Anya (6-foot-8 2013 post from Hyattsville, Md.) - Anya was the top post player in the practice. His long arms and quickness off the floor resulted in a flurry of blocked shots.
Trey Lyles (6-foot-8 2014 post from Camby, Ind.) - Lyles isn't an overwhelming athlete, but he uses his frame and his highly developed skill set to make plays. He had the most success offensively out of the post players.
Conner Frankamp (6-foot-1 2013 combo guard from Wichita, Kan.) - He doesn't wow you physically, but Frankamp is an intelligent player who shot lights out on Friday. He did a great job playing off the penetration and passing of Jones. With the USA likely to face a bevy of zone defenses, Frankamp's skill as a shooter could very well land him on the team.
Ohio State recently offered Justin Jackson and is one of his top schools along with North Carolina, Texas (offer), Washington, Georgetown and Kansas. Jackson is looking for a school with a strong basketball tradition.
Beejay Anya was impressed with his recent visit to UCLA. He has an offer from the Bruins as well as from Texas, St. John's, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Maryland and Georgetown. Kansas and Syracuse have not yet offered but are recruiting Anya. The talented big man is looking for a program that takes pride in its big men and a program where he can make an early impact and also develop his game.
Jonathan Williams listed Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan State, Missouri and Arkansas as the schools recruiting him the hardest. All but North Carolina and Michigan State have offered the left-handed combo forward out of Memphis.