After going on a 10 day road trip around Texas and Southern California, going to four games (Texas beat Louisiana Tech by 15, SMU beat Boise St by 23, Princeton upset USC by 10 in OT, and San Diego St in narrowly upset Gonzaga by 2) and four practices (UT-Arlington, Texas, SMU, and San Diego) here are some Juniors and Seniors that impressed from watching 10 teams practice or play live. And if you want to check out our NCAA 2018 Senior Rankings. Mo Bamba, by far the best prospect of the trip, was profiled here.
Jarrey Foster | 3.5 | JR | SMU
Looks like a NFL linebacker. Just a monster physically. Has worked a lot on his shot. The play him as a 3-4-5 and whenever they have a center they can’t guard like DeAndre Ayton, they throw Foster on him. Focused but very workman like. Leader by example.
Against Boise’s 2-3 zone Foster was used at the elbows and on the baseline. Was a super interior passer, hit Ethan Chargois for dunks, had 4 assists but because of teammates misses should have had more. Defensively he’s constantly effecting the game, bangs inside, gets out to contest shots, excellent switch and help defender. Doesn’t have a super burst but decent vertical athlete. Efficient, minimal dribbler. Shot wasn’t going, could have shot more often too. Does a lot of little things but not an aggressive scorer. Great at boxing out, unselfish, lets teammates grab rebounds.
Shake Milton | 1.5 | JR | SMU
Super Long. Nonchalant but he’s a baller. Had near triple-double and it was casual (11-7-7). Milton isn’t that athletic or a real 1v1 attacker but he’s got vision, can shoot it, and handles the ball under pressure. The game comes easy to him. Plays a lot of PG but in the future is a playmaking wing. Has a 7′ wingspan. Is very calm, cool and just picked Boise St. apart.
Chimezie Metu | 5 | JR | USC
Likely NBA 1st round draft pick. Two things that were impressive about Metu was his ball-handling for being a center and ability to make plays. Metu is a grab and go big and went coast to coast multiple times. Also showed some passing, drove middle and kicked to the weakside corner fluidly. Had 25 points and kept USC in the game whenever the team’s energy would really fade. Just went in the post and overpowered the much less physically gifted Princeton frontline. Played all 45 minutes, never subbed out
Chandler Hutchison | 3 | SR | Boise St.
Has really got stronger and should continue to fill out. Physically now looks the part. SMU is a much better team and Hutchison had to force a lot of plays against them. But he really is an interesting driver. Has the handle and vision, fluid, not so quick but takes big, long strides. Threw up some tough shots. Doesn’t have a pull-up jumper. But when he gets near the basket he can really finish. 6’7″ with long arms and now strength. Takes contact, gets to the FT line. Never looked totally comfortable spotting up, forced 3pt shots to try and get going. Strong baseline cutter. Active on defense, anticipates well, interesting help side defender and can really clean up the defensive glass.
Kevin Hervey | 4 | SR | Texas-Arlington
Potential NBA draft pick. Had ACL tears in his Senior year of high school and Sophomore year of college. Really efficient outside shooter. He’s been shooting it great this season but didn’t have a lot of shots go in during practice. Physically he looks really impressive. When you’re that size with length and he can shoot like he can, there’s a spot in the NBA to get a closer look at him. Showed off some passing skills, they use him against press situations to find someone open down the court. There are some defensive concerns, not always boxing out or rotating in help defense but the past few games it has improved. Gets rebounds in his area but usually not outside of his area.
Johnathan Williams | 4.5 | SR | Gonzaga
In Gonzaga’s loss, Williams had a man sized game. Modern 4/5. Hammered the glass. Was excellent in middle of 2-3 zone, really protected the rim. Played a lot of center and served up numerous ‘GTFO’ style blocks. Had 2 face-up drives to poster dunk and-1’s. Even hit a 3. Could of had 20 rebounds. Was physical inside, super on box out screens to open guard driving paths. His line was 12 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assists. Williams played with a lot of emotion, him and Melson kept Gonzaga in it, played with real heart.
He still has kind of an old school-ish game. His shot is really funky, there’s a whole wind-up to it. And even if his jump shot clearly is not there yet and probably will never be past Derrick Brown levels, there has been some progress. Difference for someone like Brown, he’s a decent FT shooter, Williams isn’t (3/6 FT game, 57.1% season). But a big thing is how good is body looked and how long of stretches he was able to play hard for. Banging. His game isn’t just of a 4/5 but also now his body matches too. Played 35 minutes. He’s probably a better fit long-term in Europe, the lack of shooting really hurts him in the NBA. But he can get a 2-way contract if he wants like Jacob Wiley. Or follow an Anthony Gill type path.
Jordan McLaughlin | 1 | SR | USC
Even in a fairly off game he had 24 points and 8 assists in an OT contest but USC still lost to Princeton by 10. That shouldn’t happen. USC never really had any flow offensively and McLaughlin didn’t get anybody going till late. He has vision, can do work in the PnR, and handles ball pressure well. Is super in transition, can get to the rim in an instant. Didn’t really get aggressive till USC felt the pressure late, inconsistent, sometimes he needs a push. But he is one of the few with real clutch ability and toughness on the team. Even the game before he saved them with a 19 assist extravaganza. Still a likely top 10 PG in the senior class.
Elijah Stewart | 3 | SR | USC
Close to an NBA wing athlete. Stewart can really spot-up from 3 but he didn’t really hunt for shots till USC made that furious comeback late. But a lot of the reason they came back was because of his shooting. He’s an excellent marksman with time and space. Typically averages a block a game. 3&D wing potential. Just isn’t always locked in, took him a while to get warmed up. Didn’t really dribble to anywhere, missed shots off the bounce you’d think he’d make. Needs to be setup.
Malik Pope | 4 | SR | San Diego St.
Considering he’s 6’10” with a 7’2″ wingspan, Pope does have a decent handle and unique ability for his size. He’s a 4 cause of height but really not sure where to play him. He likes to face-up and go 1v1. Didn’t get many shots in the flow of the offense. Forced drives, had a couple bad turnovers. Can grab n go. But truly not sure what his game is. Has enough size/length and some tools to be enticing as an on-ball player but is just erratic and his game isn’t close to fine-tuned yet. Long-term project type guy. He’s their senior, potential NBA draft pick and didn’t play the last 6 minutes in a close upset victory over Gonzaga. He wasn’t in foul trouble and is a 72% FT shooter this season. Played 21 minutes overall.
Isaiah Pineiro | 4.3 | JR | San Diego
Interesting frame, solid, agile but still strong. USD uses him as ball-handler in PnR but he can be a screener too. Killer at the rim. Grab n go 4. Has a handle. Finishes with both hands. Focused but not so talkative. Will pay heavy attention to how his shot develops. Really high release on his shot. Overall just has an enticing skill + size, can play a modern role. Other scouts that have come in have agreed Pineiro is their best pro prospect. Averages over a block and a steal a game. Certainly a good sleeper for the 2019 senior class.
Jacobi Boykins | 3 | SR | Louisiana Tech
Still lanky, skinny but has definitely bulked up since last season. Frame looks closer and closer to pro wing but there’s still some time to go. Just could never get going vs Texas, wasn’t his day, also looked possibly hurt. But Boykins is a role player or ‘star role player’ wherever he goes. He shoots 3’s, has length, and can play some defense. Is Chris Johnson like with his frame and game. Can get his shot up off the dribble. Lefty, smooth form, sometimes fades away. Hit two 3’s in a row in the first half but really was cold besides that. Low-key mentality, could have forced up even more shots, especially since his team was desperate for him to get going.
Dylan Osetkowski | 4.5 | JR | Texas
It was a strange game for Osetkowski who showed off his offensive versatility but also his warts. It was a Saturday 1 pm game, few students/fans, odd atmosphere and the game lacked intensity. He had 3 assists and 7 turnovers. Tried to force too many bad passes. Did splash 3’s (3/5 3FG) and was a key facilitator from the top of the key. When Texas actually put him at the 5 with space he overpowers in post-ups. But with their usually big-big lineups the floor almost always lacked space to work inside. Has feel, touch, power in bunches on offense but the mistakes were there. A key will also be his ability to defend in space as a pro, below the rim player. Tulane transfer, redshirt junior, should be able to graduate if he wants.
Josh Perkins | 1 | JR | Gonzaga
Really off game for Perkins. 1/7 FG (1/6 3FG) and had 6 turnovers to his 7 assists. But he was just not locked in and in general neither was the team at large. Gonzaga lacks attackers, they are so front-line oriented with their lineups. Perkins provides that spark, that burst but was passive in this game. He’s having a good season, shooting it at 48% from 3 so the off shooting night really affected him.
Silas Melson | 1.5 | SR | Gonzaga
As Melson goes Gonzaga goes. He’s their heartbeat. Super defender, really gets up and puts pressure on the ball. Good guard rebounder. Had some nice finishes in transition, looked smooth there. But has to have his shot going (1/5 3FG) to really be a threat offensively. He starts at the 2 and is Gonzaga’s backup PG. Can handle pressure, play in PnR, and plays with the good pace. Every Gonzaga guard knows how push the ball, get early offense going. But Melson lacks half court creation ability.
Kerwin Roach | 1.5 | JR | Texas
Wiry, freak athlete. Willing to be a complimentary player. Biggest thing for him this year is he is really converting a lot more shots when he gets in the lane. 2FG% is way up, his touch is better and he is just much more efficient with the shots he takes (shooting over 70% on 2’s).
Not that it was a down game as much for Roach as Texas just dominated inside and didn’t need as much from him. Mainly used off the ball. Needs transition to get scoring opportunities because Texas has no space for him to drive in the half court. Was better when coming off action where he has momentum (DHO, PnR, cut), not really just going to create out of nothing 1v1. Generally wasn’t very aggressive in this game. Played active defense, was focused. Didn’t have or create enough opportunities to show off his speed and athleticism. Has been described by some scouts as possibly the most athletic guard in the country (watch the UNC game). Just has tremendous quickness and leaping ability. Is a blur.
Ben Emegolu | 3 | SR | SMU
A tank for a guard. Big shoulders, long arms, kind of hunches over. Even with his bulky frame, Emelogu is mainly a shooter. And in the game he showed to be an excellent shooter. Attacks to shoot a jump shot. Decent rebounder. Switch defender. Role player, does his job, mainly takes good shots. Plays his game. Is shooting 62.1% on 58 3pt attempts this season.
Devin Cannady | 1.7 | JR | Princeton
Doesn’t standout physically, average build but enough to be a pro. Sneaky vertical, was ripping down dunks in pre-game. Princeton in general was deceptive athletically, lot of guys with Ups. First and foremost he is a SHOOTER! Started the game firing away and didn’t stop (4/13 3FG). Takes some unbelievably tough shots and makes them. Will have the Jaycee Carroll ‘wow I shouldn’t have shot that moments’. But is such a hungry shooter, hunts for shots, have to respect it. On-ball, coming off screens, in transition.
And as the game got going he went into his drives, has decent in the lane shiftiness, finished on both sides of the rim. Skill player. He’s their scorer and his play is what gets the team fired up. Is fiery. Can pass some, drive and hit a corner shooter. But not a ball handler under pressure, had a bad turnover late against the USC press. Didn’t sub out, played all 45 minutes.
Erick Neal | 1 | SR | Texas-arlington
Really creative PG, makes flashy plays, has super vision. 3rd in the NCAA in assists But he makes/takes risky plays and shots. In a recent game they were losing, he hit three 3’s to bring them back in the game, gets a steal and takes an unnecessarily tough corner 3 right away. He’s working a lot on making the right play, being efficient and giving the ball up when necessary.
He plays with fire, talks during practice, and brings up ideas. He’s active and involved. Really fast and has a great ability to pass on the move. Coaches also just want him to shoot more, take the open 3 instead of always trying to make a play. The shot is there but he needs to just get more game reps and take the outside shot if it’s open.
Johnny Hamilton | 5 | SR | Texas-Arlington
He’s huge. Physically really stands out and has athleticism too (listed at 7’0″, 230 lbs). Put down some huge dunks. He’s a transfer from Virginia Tech, senior, this is his only season at Arlington but possible he can apply to NCAA for another season of eligibility. Runs well, jumps well, pretty fluid for someone with that big of a frame. Don’t run many post-ups for him, needs to find his points off hard work or getting in position for Neal passes. He’s the most talented center they’ve ever had there with current staff. From Trinidad and Tobago.
DaQuan Bracey | 1 | Soph | Louisiana Tech
Very short but stocky, Kay Felder-ish. Aggressive, he’s their engine. He was the only guard who kept LA Tech in the game. When Bamba was in it was tough for him to finish in the paint but with the center in foul trouble Bracey was able to attack a lot. Has a really nice floater game. Loves transition. Running back mentality. Attacks. Was 7/10 from FT line. Doesn’t have great vision on the move, once he’s attacking he’s looking to score. Put up some really tough shots but team needed him too.
Isaiah Wright | 1.5 | JR | San Diego
Super guard body, thick arms, good balance. His shot is flat but not bad, encouraging in initial shooting warmups. Post guard. Good in PnR. Legit vision in the lane. He’s there PG even though he’s taller than the other guards. Pretty stoic. Game comes naturally to him. When you have a big, physical guard with ball skills like him it’s an encouraging start.
Olin Carter III | 2 | JR | San Diego
Really has touch. Big time shooter. Super floater game. But very lightweight. Kinda long but lean. Didn’t see the switch and open pass to post-up on a play in practice, coach called him out. Has to read game better. Has some emotions, he’s hoophead. Came in as just a catch and shoot guy and has improved, added to his game.
Myles Stephens | 2.5 | JR | Princeton
Unique frame, broad shoulders, balanced, strong but you don’t totally realize it until he hits someone. Extremely focused. Silent worker. Had a career game: 30 points with 9 rebounds vs. USC in their house. He looks like a 2/3 but kind of plays every position and in Princeton’s 4 guard sets he’s essentially their power forward. Along with the other 2 guards, Princeton has a pretty complete backcourt.
Stephens is a post-up and spot-up guard/wing. Excellent on the offensive glass. Not much of a dribbler but is always under control. Good footwork, has a jab step. Anytime he can get physical he usually has an advantage, he’s built like a brick house. Takes good shots. His form isn’t pretty and it’s slow but it’s fairly effective. Went 8/8 from the FT and sealed the game, clutch. Plays the game with good pace, patience, can pass, Princeton player. Lacks burst. Body allows for a lot of defensive versatility, switch defender. Played whole game, 44 minutes.
Amir Bell | 1.5 | SR | Princeton
Wiry frame, longest of the Princeton guards. Quiet but also locked in. After huge victory he barely celebrated and got in line to shake hands. Just does his work.
Even though he’s 6’4″ he functions as Princeton’s PG (Cannady the Shooter, Stephens the physical wing). Really good at handling the ball under pressure. Had a near triple-double (18-7-9 and 5 steals). He’s so damn patient, almost to a fault. Classic Princeton player. But love his poise. He lulls the defense to sleep. Really picks his spots for attacking. Always the one to calm down the offense. Good finisher inside, gets his shot up clean. Kind of awkward pull-up shooter, just doesn’t have much range. Needs to get better with floaters, in the lane game. Good on-ball defender, really put pressure on McLaughlin. Played almost the whole game, 43 minutes, except they subbed him out late in regulation but ultimately that’s also when they lost the lead.
Trey Kell | 1.5 | SR | San Diego St.
Has been out with injury so he comes off the bench. Provided a total boost for the team. Played tough, was a physical driver. Kept drawing fouls (8/10 FT). Attacker. Showed emotion but also was calm when under pressure, was clutch.
Jimmy Whitt | 1.5 | Soph | SMU
Long, wiry guard. Still skinny but explosive. Transfer from Arkansas. Pretty emotional, team’s engine. Had an awesome game. Whitt is everywhere. Foster is the big man glue-guy, Whitt is the guard glue-guy. Threw down some super baseline cut alley-oops, totally changed the momentum of the game. Just a dog. Picked up Hutchison on defense most of the game. Against the 2-3 zone they just put him at the elbow and he buried mid-range jumpers. But his 3PT shot looked broke in practice, though he is effective without shooting them in games, is 0/0 3FG for the season.
Hungry defender, pesky on the ball, goes for steals, tries to pick the pocket. Flies in transition. Breaks down the defense. Is streaky, plays off his energy. Even played some PG. He’ll probably be drafted eventually. 3pt shot needs to be overhauled.
Jalen McDaniels | 5 | Fresh | San Diego St.
Potential NBA Prospect to follow. He’s skinny but he’s long and tall. Plays with great energy, runs the floor hard, and is a putback dunk artist. Has great vertical ability. In 28 minutes he had 15 points and 10 rebounds. As his frame builds up, he is a super modern 5 prospect. Even went 5/6 from the FT Line vs Gonzaga. Is a gazelle running the floor and is elusive on the offensive glass, tough player to track down. Need to follow to see when the skills/body/energy all matchup.