The Nike Elite Top 100 event is a camp environment that prides itself in bringing in some of the very best rising juniors and sophomores throughout America into one gym, along with a few freshman mixed in with the lot of talent. This past weekend’s session showed HoopsIntel a lot in regards to how specific kids can compete in a situation like itself and how they deliver against some of the best in a four-day affair. The point guard crop is thin in 2015 crop, yet several showed their faces in St. Louis from the younger ranks.
Tremont Waters/6’0 Team SCAN 2017
As I like to call him the ‘Silent Assassin,’ Waters was fabulous all weekend long. The New Haven, Connecticut native can do it all on the floor. Whether it is setting his teammates up off the bounce in leading the break, making the appropriate decision off the high-ball screen, or nailing the deep range jumper, of which he can hit off the bounce and off the catch, Waters was fabulous and fearless at the same time. There isn’t an opponent that he will back down from and he controls the floor each time he steps out onto the hardwood. Capable of making others better at the drop of a dime, the rising sophomore is going to be a highly touted recruit over the next three years. Due to the lacking depth of elite level talent at the 1 and the overall skillset and talents of the New Englander, Waters has the ‘it’ factor that is the cherry on top to his overall prospect profile that can make him a national recruit.
Temple Gibbs/6’1 New Jersey Playaz 2016
In staying up in the northeast, the youngest Gibbs brother has the chance to be really good. Sporting a 6’7 wingspan and the ability to score with consistency in traffic at the rack, the Playaz prospect was dynamite all weekend long. With a dominating presence in the backcourt and a strong driver of the ball off his right hand, Gibbs can get wherever he wants on the floor due to his length, strong body, and quality first step. He competes on every possession, tends to welcome the physically heightened affairs, and can take over games when need-be. Though more of a scorer at the lead spot than a distributor, Gibbs can still pass it accordingly and against some of the very best around, the Seton Hall Prep guard shined brightly.
Howard Washington/6’1 Albany City Rocks 2016
In a setting that tends to rely on getting out and running the floor, playing off instincts, and
highlight reel attempts off of breakdown plays, a guy like Washington usually doesn’t stand out. However, his composed and patient demeanor still found its fit against the very best and Washington’s ability to play both on and off the ball should be commended. The mature junior sets the floor for his squad, understands how to feed the post, makes crisp passes on the perimeter, and can make shots when his feet are set. He isn’t the fastest and nothing stands out immediately in the New York native, yet the ability to make others better is becoming more and more valuable, hence a primary reason why the fine student off the floor had his phone buzzing all day long.
Cassius Winston/6’0 The Family 2016
Winston is as hard-nosed as they come with the basketball in his hands and he exudes some Detroit toughness in the backcourt. He competes and doesn’t take any plays off and is getting better at making the appropriate decision off the dribble-drive. Now, he does tend to play at full speed a little too often and rely on right hand drives in the half court, yet once he slows down, Winston makes the appropriate read near the bucket and is known for making solid dump off and dishes to open big men near the rim. An already well-acclaimed point guard throughout the Midwest in 2016, expect for Winston’s name to continue to remain in the know for the next two years.
Jared Harper/5’8 Southern Stampede 2016
He might be tiny but the little dude controls the ball and doesn’t turn it over, while he can really pass the basketball and score off of pull-ups and floaters in the lane. Super shifty with the ball in his hands and capable of getting wherever he wants on the floor, Harper is going to see an array of levels come after him from the college side. Due to his smaller body of sorts, it will take a head coach to really value the kid’s ability to control the floor and make the right read and play in order to take the Atlanta native at the high-major level, yet there is no questioning the kid’s talent. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is impossible to contain and is one of the more entertaining kids to watch on the hardwood.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
2017 Boo Williams guard Matt Coleman is super quick off the bounce, has developed some strength over the past few years, and is capable of creating for others and scoring off his quick lefty release from deep.
2016 King James guard Xavier Simpson is one of the best point guards throughout the Midwest, regardless of class. Sporting a super strong frame who takes contact well after the first hit and will turn himself into a priority Big 10 recruit.
2016 Oakland Soldiers guard Jordan Ford may be unassuming by nature but the lead guard is a skilled passer of the basketball and if he can grow a bit in the coming years, Ford will be a special get at the Pac-12 level.
Not a lead guard by any means, 2017 Iowa Barnstormers wing Connor McCaffery was easily the best passer of the basketball that HoopsIntel saw all weekend long. The son of the Fran McCaffery, Iowa Hawkeyes head coach, Connor has the intellect and passing skills that are off the charts for being such a young kid.
2016 Mac Irvin Fire guard Charlie Moore is a fun kid to watch. You can tell he enjoys being out on the floor and plays with a sense of pride. The Windy City guard is super quick off his first step, makes good reads below the arc, and contains well on the perimeter.
· With the crop of rising juniors now capable of receiving direct contact with the college coaches, Howard Washington has already heard from Stanford, Virginia, Ohio State, Alabama, Dayton, Vanderbilt, and Villanova today.
Cassius Winston received an offer from Michigan head coach, John Beilein today, while Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Tommy Amaker of Harvard placed the rising junior a call.
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