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2015 Nike Hoop Summit

The Nike Hoop Summit is an annual event featuring an international selection of the best Under-19 youth players. Several days of practices and drills end in a single game between the US and the international team.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Nike Hoop Summit is likely the most prestigious basketball event featuring youth players. Having become a staple in the calenders of NBA scouts since its inaugural event in 1995, the Hoop Summit has featured several notable players like Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, and Tony Parker.

This year's event is played on April 11th, 12 pm. In the States, you can catch it on ESPN2. Here's an in-depth look at the rosters:

Ben Simmons might be the star player at this year's Nike Hoop Summit. Multiple draft portals project the Australian native to be a top three pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Born into a basketball family in Down Under, Simmons laced up his sneakers at the age of seven and played for a local club before accepting scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sports which was also Dante Exum's home prior to declaring to the draft. In January 2013, Simmons moved to Florida to play at Montverde Academy where he made an instant impact on the US scene. The Australian won the national high school championship in 2014 alongside college stud D'Angelo Russell.

Simmons competed at the Adidas Nations and FIBA Under-17 World Championship where he played a minor role on a silver medal winning Team Australia starring Dante Exum. In 2013, he took part in the Jordan Brand Classic and was a McDonald's All-American in 2015. He was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year for '15 and is going to play college ball at LSU whose coaching staff has ties to Simmon's father. He has limited experience with the Men's National team after competing in two games against New Zealand, and he took part in its training camp prior to the World Championship in 2014.

Watching Simmons play with Exum at the FIBA event, he looked slightly chubby but seems to have transformer his body extremely well.

Here's a neat picture of Exum and Simmons when they were kids:

They look kewl.


Simmons possesses a superlative sense of timing for making the right play at the right moment. A southpaw, Simmons gains tremendous advantage from left-handed deception and impulse. He thrives facing the basket, knocking down short- and medium-range jump shots, putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim, making slick passes all over the court, crashing the offensive glass and generally reading defenses like a very tall quarterback.

He possesses uncommon coordination for a 6-8 athlete, and he utilizes every ounce of that ability to make an impact. Simmons also is aggressive around the rim and has filled out naturally to 220 pounds, making him very effective at drawing contact and forcing foul trouble onto opponents. He’s a good leaper with a running start, and he likes to roam anywhere from the baseline to the elbow for quick jumpers off the catch.

Thinking ahead, is the 6-8 Simmons athletic enough to be a four-man in the NBA? And if he’s a wing, will he possess the quickness to reside full-time on the perimeter? NBA scouts may fret that he lacks the shot-creating talents to be more than an opportunistic scorer in the pros. He doesn’t possess vintage NBA burst and isn’t much of a straight-up leaper, nor is he extremely agile.

Meanwhile, he’ll need to improve on his free throw shooting, particularly given how much time he spends on the line. He hovered in the mid-60 percent range for E1T1, definitely a liability. His shooting range requires expansion, too, as he’s both reluctant and ineffective from deep.

RIVALS150: #1  ESPN100: #1 #2

Ben Simmons 2013-14 Mixtape

Ben Simmons Interview

The 2015 World Team is also headlined by Haitian native Skal Labissiere who is currently projected to go high in the 2016 lottery. Labissiere moved to the United States at the age of 14 after the a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2014, causing the death of 100.000 people. Labissiere himself was lucky to escape alive. Looking for shelter in his parent's home, the structure collapsed and trapped Skal with his mother and a sibling beneath the debris for hours. Skal lost feeling in his legs temporarily and was unable to walk for weeks.

After that tragic event, Labissiere had the opportunity to enroll at Reach Your Dream prep school in the States which specializes on integrating international talent into the US hoops scene. Skal made a name for himself right away and was a highly sought after recruit as a five star prospect. He made it known that he intends to play for coach Callipari at Kentucky. The Haitian switched High Schools to begin the season on a more competitive program but was ruled ineligible for some reason. Thus, he is unable to play any organized basketball apart from the Hoop Summit until he can enroll in college.


Labissiere’s reach, mobility, quickness and overall skill level have cemented him near the top of the class. He boasts outstanding face-up ability for a 6-11 hoopster, stepping as far outside as 22 feet and drilling three-pointers from the top of the key. Not only that, he can score from the interior and middle areas as well.

Meanwhile, unlike most big guys with shooting touch, he doesn’t need to be stationary or require much time to release his shot. He genuinely shoots like a smaller player and in Vegas even hit some stepback jumpers from the baseline. Just imagine what five more years of experience and muscle will do for his game.

He also does have a tendency to overdribble. He’s very coordinated and can handle in spots, but in the open court he’s prone to getting ripped by guards. Becoming more judicious in that regard will be part of his development.

RIVALS150: #4  ESPN100: #3 #3

Skal Labissiere summer mixtape

Skal Labissiere interview

Thon Maker is another international prospect who is developing his skills in the States. Well, he's not just "another" prospect. Maker might have been the biggest name in the high school circuit for about a year and was billed either the next Kevin Garnett or Kevin Durant 2.0.

Maker's history is similar to Labissiere's in that he's escaped a threatening situation even though it wasn't as defined as in Skal's example. Maker was born in South Sudan which was a disputed territory at this point. Thon escaped the civil war with his brother Matur, also a hoops prospect playing with him at a Canadian high school, and his aunt. They were granted refugee status in Australia where Maker was discovered by a local Australian scout while playing soccer. After dominating the youth scene in Australia for a while, Maker got the opportunity to play in North America.

Recently, high school scouts have asked people to temper their enthusiasm for Maker a bit. His mixtapes are impressive and you won't find many seven footers who can dribble the ball as well as he does. However, scouts say that he's not nearly as polished as he appears in those videos, and might struggle to transfer these skills that are defining him to the next level.


Maker is very quick both off the floor and laterally. Down the road he could prove highly effective defending against the pervasive screen and roll offenses of college and the NBA, and his explosive leap enables him to swat shots at a solid rate. He also retrieves offensive rebounds before opponents are able to jump into the play, and his rapid dunking style catches many observers off-guard. He does need to gain lower body strength.

RIVALS150: #5  ESPN100: Class '16 Class '16

Thon Maker mixtape

Thon Maker interview with Jonny Givonny

Zhou Qi is this year's World Team third headliner. Qi has been dominant at the youth circle by not only being extremely tall (7'6 wingspan) but also by possessing great mobility and fundamentals. He's just a treat to watch posting up, spinning off either food to finish smoothly off either hand. In his CBA debut this year, Qi has shown some of the issues that were apparent in years past. He's not very physical on either end and has had stretches were he looks very passive and has trouble making his presence felt. Unsurprisingly with such length, weight is an issue. Adding strength to such a long frame isn't easy and even if he doesn't fill it out, there's hope that he learns to use his length and footwork to bother players in the post.

Zhou had a very good rookie year still, anchoring a top five defense in China and averaging 3.3 blocks in 30 minutes which netted him the Chinese Defensive Player of the Year Award. He also shot 70% from the floor in a physical league and isn't a turnover machine which is also a good sign.


The vast majority of his scoring has come as a finisher out of the pick-and-roll and off of putbacks. Zhou has improved as a screener, extending his legs wide to set position. He moves very fluidly diving down the lane, has soft hands to catch the ball on the move and plays above the rim as a target for lobs. He’s unable to finish through contact and lacks strength to elevate with power to finish strong around length with consistency.

His lack of strength also keeps him from establishing inside position under the glass but his length and jumping ability help him reach the ball at a higher point than the average competition and rebound outside of his area as well.

He also impacts the game through his length and jumping ability on the other end. Zhou has good quickness rotating to the front of the basket in help-defense and is able to play above the rim both as a shot blocker and by using verticality to alter opponents’ balance through body contact.

Zhou Qi CBA Highlights

Awkward Zhou Qi interview with Jonny Givonny

Diallo arrived in the United States on Valentine's Day in 2012 without speaking any English or having anybody from his family accompany him on his trip. Through the international program of a high school focused on hoops, Diallo got in touch with organized basketball for the first time after just starting to play the game two years prior. He learned quickly and started to dominate all sorts of AAU camps and competitions. Recently, he was named the MVP of the 2015 McDonalds All-American game where he scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

Diallo seems to be a great guy as well who doesn't forget where he comes from. Much like our Gorgui Dieng and OKC's Serge Ibaka, Diallo is helping out his native home of Mali wherever he can, even as a hoops amateur. Diallo gathered all the gear he would be handed out for free at AAU events and camps, threw them into seven suitcases and took them back to Mali to distribute them for free. Among those were more than 50 pairs of shoes which he gave to kids playing streetball with improper footwear.


Diallo plays with the energy and is fairly skilled. Watching him for five minutes can be misleading because, despite his intensive focus on the little things, he actually bundles impressive overall ability under the layers of rugged work and competitiveness. He’s a fantasy player’s dream, because even on nights when he’s less involved offensively, he still gets numbers.

I’ve always regarded Diallo as a short 6-9, but his 7-3 wingspan negates any controversy about his height.Diallo combines exceptional physical gifts for offensive rebounding with indefatigable stamina, making him a constant weapon cleaning up his teammates’ misses.

Meanwhile, he’s a flexibility dynamo. Diallo can extend and contort in seemingly painful ways to snag a rebound out of his area. That capability, along with his long arms, enables him to play much taller than the average 6-9 center. His footwork also isn’t too bad. He can set up on the block and deliver buckets via short turnarounds and the occasional dropstep or step-under move.

Defensively, he’s a superlative shot blocker who should become even more effective positionally once he gains muscle. At 210 pounds, he isn't a lightweight now and already possesses wiry strength.

Diallo’s post offense still looks haphazard. He possesses some skills but lacks identity, and thus he’s not yet a consistent go-to scorer. Diallo also must improve his free throw shooting. He converted on a woeful 58 percent this year for Team Scan, making him an attractive target for opponents looking to put someone on the line late in a tight game.

He sometimes misses opportunities that are available and on other occasions forces a low percentage shot. His overall efficiency is indisputable, but that relies heavily on his energy and natural talent. Should he (likely) ascend to the NBA, the physical advantages will dissipate and he’ll have to become more dependent upon skill.

RIVALS150: #7  ESPN100: #1 #9

Cheick Diallo mixtape

Cheick Diallo interview

I guess George Lucas is this year's Bruno Cabloco if scouts actually gave a damn about the South American youth scene in the past years. I don't quite know what to think of Lucas. His tools are exciting. He's not as big as you'd want him to be on the wing but he's strong, seems to have great wingspan and huge hands. This makes me want to lazy comp him to Eric Bledsoe. On the other hand, I can't help but think that Lucas is an overreaction to last year's 'Cablocogate' where nobody ever heard of Bruno before he suddenly got selected in the middle of the first round. Did scouts expose Lucas recently just for the sake of exposing somebody from South America? I have no idea. It will be interesting to see him go up against a bunch of very good, versatile guards on both teams. He's also turning 19 years old in just a month so he's not exactly the youngest guy in this field.

Currently, Lucas is not a rotation guy with Brazil club Pinheiros, appearing in only six games and 26 minutes total. He's had some experience against international talent at the Under-18 Americas and the NIKE Global Challenge where he was named an All-Tournament performer.


Stronger than he is explosive, Lucas has filled out his frame substantially in the past six to eight months and does not look anywhere near a finished product athletically. While not a high-flyer at the moment, he's a fluid and shifty ball-handler who can operate at different speeds and is able to get to almost anywhere he wants on the court thanks to his terrific size and strength, particularly in transition.
His gigantic mitts, reminiscent of baseball gloves, give him an added dimension as a ball-handler and distributor, allowing him to execute some advanced moves with the ball and whip passes all over the floor. While still at an early stage of his development as a playmaker, he's a very creative and unselfish passer, a willing facilitator who sees the floor well at his high vantage point of 6-5, and does a nice job particularly in drive and dish situations. The point guard position appears to be his natural spot on the floor, as he's not a combo looking to convert to the position.

George Lucas mixtape

Federico Mussini looks like a baby, but this kid has been a killer in European youth circles. Federico Mussini just turned 19 years old and he has extensive pro experience to show for his youth. After getting his feet wet in the Italian League and Eurochallenge last year, Mussini has become a rotation player for competitive Italian club Reggio Emilia. Mussini projects to become a player who can be unconscious from the three point line. He's struggling with his efficiency with a bigger workload against serious, mature competition but has been an elite youth shooter from beyond the arc and the free throw line for many years now.

Mussini is not a one trick pony, however, and has shown the ability to run an offense patiently as well, able to read options as well. Just like so many young ball handlers, he's been turnover prone. Also while he has remarkable instincts and is fairly quick, he does look to have trouble getting into the lane on a pick and roll at times. He's also appears to be a surprisingly effective and active defender, at least at the youth stage.

Mussini seems to be on an amateur deal with Reggio Emilia as it's becoming more and more likely that he will move to the States to play collegeball.

Federico Mussini highlights

Federico Mussini interview with Jonny Givonny

Nedim Buza is the oldest participant in this field as he's turning 20 next month. You might wonder why Buza is wearing a shirt of our beloved Bucks (go Bucks) in this picture. Buza was touring the States for pre-draft workouts last year and also participated at the Wassermann combine next to guys like Marcus Smart and Joel Embiid.

Buza stands somewhere around 6'8 or 6'9. He's been playing consistent rotation minutes for KK Spars Sarajevo in the relatively weaker Bosnian league for two seasons and is having himself a fine campaign this year as well. Buza projects to become an interesting shooter with size who is not afraid to put the ball on the floor. He's hitting around 35% of his three pointers for the second year in a row on a decent volume. More than 50% of his shots come from beyond the arc and he should be able to stretch the floor for this World team. He's not been doing much other than spotting up for shots in the past years. This year however, he's been much more active on the boards and is showing active hands on defense, accumulating a good number of steals.

Buza won gold alongside Jusuf Nurkic at the Under-20 B-Division Euro Championship last year. He's also participated at numerous NIKE Junior Tournaments across Europe where he was named an all-tournament performer twice. All in all, he's had extensive experience at the European youth circle.

Nedim Buza highlights at Wassermann event

Tai Wynyard was born in 1998 and might be the youngest participant here. Born in Auckland, Wynyard debuted in the New Zealand NBL at the age of 16 before traveling to the States to compete at the Jordan Brand Classic. Tai made his debut for the Men's National team in a game against South Korea, and joined the team for its camp prior to the FIBA World Championship in 2014. Instead of competing with the Seniors, Wynyard led the Under-18 tournament at the Oceanic Championship where they lost the final in a nail biter to Australia. Wynyard finished the tourney averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds on a beastly 67% from the field.

Recently, the Kiwi has joined an Australian NBL team on an amateur deal preserving his NCAA eligibility. Wynyard has declared to play for the prestigious Kentucky program but probably won't join them before 2016/17.

Tai Wynyard mixtape

Tai Wynyard interview with Jonny Givonny

Jamal Murray is a Canadian guard who has gained momentum over the last year and is seen as one of the better point guard prospects in North America right now. He's returning to the Hoop Summit after competing last year where he scored 10 points to go with 5 rebounds and 2 assists as the lone capable ball handler on the World Team next to Manuel Mudiay. He has also competed in numerous prestigious youth events like the Adidas Nations, the Nike Global Challenge and FIBA Under-16 Americas and Under-17 World Championship. He's also been an invitee at the first Basketball Without Borders camp in New York City two months ago where he was named a camp all-star.

Unlike many point guards his age, Murray is very much in control throughout games. You won't get incredible highlights from him, but you also barely come across games where he chipped high turnover and low shooting numbers which is uncommon for ball handlers in Under-17 competition. Murray is currently playing at Orangeville Prep School where he's a teammate of Thon Maker. He's also a terrific shooter.


Players who boast a mid-range pullup game always command respect, and Murray is far ahead of his years in terms of creating his own shot off the dribble and elevating from 14-18 feet. He's also a tricky dribbler and has excellent size for the backcourt. With time, he should develop into a fine defender as well.

RIVALS150: Not ranked ESPN100: Not ranked #34

Jamal Murray mixtape

Jamal Murray interview with Jonny Givonny

Peno grew up in Serbia and moved to Spain in 2011 to join the junior squads of FC Barcelona. I often get the feeling that Stefan Peno does not have many fans in Europe. At 6'5, Peno possesses great size to play the point guard position but his wild playing style hunting for highlight plays at times, and his shooting have made his life running an offense fairly hard in the last few years. Peno is not showing much progress as a shooter, either from beyond the arc or the free throw line.

In 2012/13, Peno was promoted to FC Barcelona's second team which was playing in the 2nd Spanish league at the time. Here, he wa sharing ball handling duties with Ludde Hakanson. Playing against prospects and veterans alike, Barcelona couldn't handle the competition being run by two 16-year olds and got demoted to the 3rd league after finishing with a win loss record of 5-21. This year, Hakkanson is sharing time between Barcelona's Senior and second team which gives Hakanson more of an opportunity to dominate the ball (He's played in 11 more games than Hakanson out of 25 total games). The results aren't pretty as Peno's individual numbers are quite hideous and Barcelona II having a win loss record of 9-17 in the 3rd Spanish league.

Peno does remind ma of Zach LaVine a little. Due to some traits that are rather hard to find in Europe, he was tasked to develop in the role of a point guard which might not suit him given his court awareness and timing. It's not that he's anywhere as athletic as LaVine, but his playing style mirrors that of US point guards since he's an amazing slasher. There is a lot of good and some more bad with Peno, but he's not turning 18 until August 2015 so there's still a lot of time to develop.

Stefan Peno scouting video

Stefan Peno interview with Jonny Givonny

Jaylen Brown is probably the biggest name on the US team. He's played several US camps sponsored by clothing companies, played for the Under-18 team at the FIBA Americas and is a McDonalds All-American. Also, he's been of the first US players to attend Eurocamp after it expanded to a delegation of US players.


Now 6-7 and a lean, muscular 220 pounds, he possesses a dynamite first step, top-shelf body control, elite speed and leap, and a natural aggression that all add up to his being a preeminent slasher. And clearly, slashing is an area he specializes. Like a highly physical running back operating behind a massive offensive line, Brown loves to hit defenders over and over, wearing them down during the course of a game. He finishes sensationally above the rim but might be even more effective when he's ground-bound and putting his shoulder into a defender's chest.

Brown is an adequate handler for his size and a whipsmart passer who doesn't need to advance the ball all the way to bucket. He can stop short for little floaters and runners when shotblockers cover his intended driving angle, and he can change his direction in traffic either to score or create a preferred angle for a dish. Meanwhile, he's a far better dribbler with his right hand than his left, and he needs to continue improving his mid-range shooting game.

His jump shot remains a point of contention. At times, Brown appears to be a genuine long-range threat capable of playing with ideal inside-outside balance.

His defense is stellar. Even if Brown doesn't round into shape as a complete offensive player, he could develop into a Ruben Patterson-style defender (but bigger) capable of shutting down even the best scorers thanks to his athleticism, strength, wingspan and toughness.

Competitively, Brown clearly seeks to demonstrate his own prowess yet doesn't lose sight of the team concept and plays to win. He'll step right in and confidently — and unselfishly — contribute to the collegiate program of his choice.

RIVALS150: #2  ESPN100: #2 #1

Jaylen Brown mixtape

Jaylen Brown interview with Jonny Givonny

Malik Newman was named MVP of  the Under-17 World Championship. Newman is a scoring guard who loves to pull up on threes and mid-range shots while being remarkably efficient.


Newman is a supreme scorer with athleticism, skill and intangibles. He creates his own shot nearly as well as anyone in high school basketball, regardless of class. He buries threes, generates mid-range offense and attacks all the way to the basket. He's slightly short for a wing and must improve his floor command in order to become a point guard, but clearly his future is very bright.

RIVALS150: #3  ESPN100: #4 #8

Malik Newman mixtape

Malik Newman interview with Jonny Givonny


Perhaps his best athletic trait is footwork. Rabb nimbly moves from one spot to another, shifting from block to block gracefully and gliding from the rim to the high post. With his back to the basket, he utilizes spin moves, drop steps, up-and-unders and other moves that make his actual finishes painfully simple for him and frustrating for his opponents.He’s also nearly ambidextrous at close range.

He’s also a fine turnaround jump shooter with range to 15 feet, and from that range he also can put the ball on the floor and attack the bucket. Rabb loves to take a big initial step and then work his way into his shot from there.

Though not extremely explosive, Rabb possesses ample hops to rebound and block shots. He averaged double figure rebounds each of the past two years on the EYBL circuit with the Soldiers, and he’s also a consistent shotblocking presence due to his reach and timing.

Nevertheless, his production didn’t equal his promise during the spring and summer. He averaged a solid, but unspectacular 15 points per game for the Soldiers and saw his rebounding and shotblocking drop notably from the 2013 travel season. He also struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 69 percent with the Solders. And he’s a very agile athlete, not necessarily an elite in terms of explosion.

Thus, while Rabb could disappear for long stretches and generally not impact a game the way one would expect, a significant caveat does apply. Consider that assertion along with his 60 percent shooting from the floor, and there’s your indicator.

RIVALS150: #8  ESPN100: #6 #5

Ivan Rabb mixtape

Ivan Rabb interview with Jonny Givonny

Henry Ellenson will play college ball for Marquette University.


Ellenson does two things very well that could propel him to long-term success playing the game: He runs the floor with grace and tireless stamina, and he also buries facing jump shots to the three-point stripe.He plays a reasonably complete game, but he's unique in the senior class with his ability to run and play outside at 6-10.

More than a stretch four, however, Ellenson handles very well for a big man and is particularly effective driving past fellow frontcourt opponents to his right. He's also a gifted passer.

Additionally, he weighs a solid 235 pounds and isn't far from a college-appropriate weight, though of course he'll need to become much stronger. Still, he faces less of a physical hurdle than most teenaged big guys.

While Ellenson is both capable and productive, he's far from efficient. He converted on just 40 percent from the field, an alarmingly low number for such a mobile big guy, dragged down in part because he made just 29 percent from three. In addition to the long bombs, he also sometimes settles for long, one- and two-dribble pullups from 16-19 feet.

RIVALS150: #18  ESPN100: #5 #6

Henry Ellenson mixtape

Henry Ellenson interview with Jonny Givonny

Seven footer Stephen ZImmermann is also playing at Bishop Gorman high where he's a teammate of Chase Jeter. Look for some chemistry between these two.


Zimmerman is at his best catching and facing the basket, either putting the ball on the floor for crowd-pleasing slams or lofting in a soft medium-range jump shot. The southpaw moves the court gracefully both in a straight line and laterally. His overall ball skills as a handler and passer further complement his scoring tools, and his game fits the professional trend toward more versatile big men. He does need to gain strength for the next level.

RIVALS150: #11 ESPN100: #10 #8

Steven Zimmerman mixtape

Steven Zimmerman interview

Chase Jeter plays high school hoops at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas which is the same school that produced our bazzed overlord. Jeter will play collegeball for Coach K at Duke University.


Jeter's style encompasses that of a modern big man with the fundamental trappings of a player from a bygone era. He possesses outstanding straight-line mobility and comfortably changes ends of the court even in the highest-octane environments.

Jeter's offense includes a workable face-up jump shot with range to 15 feet. Facing the rim doesn't yet stand as his forte, but the mechanics are present and he continues to make strides. But he presently does his best work in a more traditional context. Jeter actually earned my praise as the summer's best rebounder, not only using his size and quickness but also good straight-up leaping ability and finely coordinated hands to rip down caroms in traffic.

Offensively, he's downright old school. By far — and I mean, by far — his best offensive weapon is a jump hook from short-range. He works hard to establish post position and quickly turns into that shot. He already makes them from as far away as 10 feet and is fairly accurate even from more challenging angles along the baseline. Jeter also is a fine passer whose ability to find shooters and other big men will become even more valuable as his jump shot improves from 15 feet. In that respect his passing is somewhat dormant for the time being but should blossom later.

Jeter is basic. As much as I admire his meat and potatoes style, eventually he's going to require greater wrinkles than he currently possesses. He's more of a linear athlete and not the kind of guy who's going to score on drives with great agility, so most likely he'll need to expand his game outward.

RIVALS150: #9  ESPN100: #9 #11

Chase Jeter mixtape

Chase Jeter interview with Jonny Givonny


Swanigan is a beast in the paint. That is the easiest way to describe this power player from the Hoosier state. Weighing in at 260 pounds, he throws his weight around with force and it is often too much for opposing defenders to give an adequate resistance.

While the most notable attribute of Swanigan is his physical stature, what will makes him a 5-star prospect is his skill. He showed determination while working on the low block as he utilized the shot fake against longer opponents. Swanigan showed a nice jump hook in the lane over his left shoulder as well. And when defenders sat on his jump hook, he showed nimble feet to spin back to finish over his right shoulder. He did not show the range on his jumper that others have seen in past months. In a game full of slashing guards, he will need to be a threat on the step outs and I-cuts to be a well rounded post.

RIVALS150: #17  ESPN100: #8 #10

Caleb Swanigan mixtape

Caleb Swanigan interview


Ingram isn't just long, his wingspan is extraordinary for a small forward. For one thing, at 6-8, he's already huge for the wing.

Ingram is a very capable finisher around the rim because he can score over his defender and even finishes over and around big guys. He doesn't rely on leaping ability because he can lay the ball in at full extension without issue, and when challenged effectively he brings surprising trickery to the table. Ingram changes speeds extremely well, and he also changes angles at full, long-legged stride. That enables him to counter whatever a helpside shotblocker has in mind for a swat, and his ultimate shot attempt remains under control. The more shots he takes around the rim, the better.

He's an excellent dribbler and passer at that size who actually can initiate offense. He's comfortable handling right or left, and he can drive in either direction. Ingram already possesses a short turnaround jump shot that should serve him very well in college and beyond. Meanwhile, his passing is sharp and at times creative.

On defense, Ingram boasts tremendous potential. His long arms (his wingspan gets reported at both 7-0 and 7-4, but either way you get the idea) enable him to contest jump shooters while simultaneously backing off a step to contain dribble penetration.

Ingram fires jumpers with nice arch and touch, but his release comes from his shoulder. He hit only 28 percent on threes during his time with Stackhouse Elite, so clearly he needs to raise his accuracy from distance. In fairness, however, he shoots better from medium-range and also hit 81 percent from the foul line, so obviously he holds potential as a jump shooter.

A lack of strength also stands out prominently. Most high school players are skinny and need time to develop, but Ingram is extremely thin (185 pounds) and may require years of development before he brings himself to par. His athleticism also is below average.

RIVALS150: #19  ESPN100: #12 #12

Brandon Ingram mixtape

Brandon Ingram interview with Jonny Givonny

New York native Isaiah Briscoe will go to Kentucky University to play for Coach Callipari.


He possesses exquisitely nimble feet that enable him to remain on balance and able to change directions at any moment. He’s plenty quick from a standing position, but it’s the ability to make adjustments on the fly — after forcing defenders to commit — that makes Briscoe such a prolific scorer. Briscoe’s talent for movement draws a lot of contact and bewilders shotblockers, who find that their efforts to time him frequently meet with failure.

Briscoe is a capable, albeit very streaky jump shooter who easily creates his own shot. He does possess three-point range and thus can’t be defended as a driver only.

As referenced and evidenced by his assist totals, he has worked hard to enhance his playmaking. Briscoe has cultivated a strong grasp of kick-out passing and also is a talented bounce passer to big men.

While not a lockdown defender, he’s aggressive and strong and capable of making plays that lead to fast breaks the other way. His overall style is tough and confident, and that’s why his teams are so difficult to beat. Apart from his excellent feet, Briscoe is a good, not great overall athlete. He’s also slightly small for the NBA wing and likely will need to develop more of a scoring lead guard style — which, to his credit, he’s already doing — to maximize his professional aspirations.


RIVALS150: #10  ESPN100: #13 #17

Isaiah Briscoe mixtape

Isaiah Briscoe interview with Jonny Givonny

Combo guard Allonzo Trier will play on Arizona's college team.

Trier is a pure scorer. He became a marquee attraction to local fans, who stood in awe of his ability to pour in buckets. His game is based less on explosive athleticism and more on cunning and craft. Trier is a tremendous long-range shooter with range that extends legitimately to 24 feet. He has a quick release and possesses exquisite concentration for burying contested shots.

He's able to continually free himself for long-range shots because he's also an exceptional driver. His critical talent on the move is world class body control: Trier changes speed without notice and can pull up for a short jumper at any range. He eludes shotblockers because he can twist around them, and he lofts in short bankers like a seasoned pro.

He also creates contact to the extreme frustration of his opponents. Trier drew fouls on the EYBL circuit like Dwyane Wade in his heyday. A great deal of his production therefore is boiled into his freebies and should continue to serve him very well in the Pac-12.

Trier also is a sure ballhandler capable of dribbling versus pressure. He possesses a full toolkit of moves and shakes opponents with crossovers, stepbacks and hesitation dribbles.

Chances are, Trier's athleticism will be fine for college. The long-term question he faces is whether his short stride and average first step will hamper him versus the world's elite hoopsters. He's also just average in terms of length.

He has a tendency for force the action and committed more than four turnovers per game with Athletes First. Meanwhile, his shot selection can by messy and thus he's subject to some rough outings in terms of efficiency. He'll need to get to the line frequently to smooth the rough edges; will he be able to do that versus quicker, longer opponents?

RIVALS150: #13  ESPN100: #15 #16

Allonzo Trier mixtape

Allonzo Trier interview

Point guard Jalen Brunson has signed with Villanova University.


His entire game exudes deception, as he changes speeds, darts horizontally and vertically without notice, uses his eyes to befuddle defenders and whip smart passes to big men for dunks, sets up jump shots after faking a pass, rubs opponents off screens they don't see coming, and on and on and on.

For a guy not noted for quickness and who stands only 6-0 even, Brunson excels at penetrating the lane. He possesses a powerful set of shoulders and lowers the boom without fouling, turning his hips to create lower body contact and then riding off the defender with his upper body. He also drives left or right with equal effectiveness.

Brunson possesses remarkable balance. He's able to turn into the defender, as mentioned, but just as easily he turns away and then swivels to loft in a shot in traffic. He's less athletic overall, but in that regard he reminds of a young Damon Stoudamire.

He also loves to shoot from behind high ball screens and has range to 24 feet. Brunson can catch fire from long-range, and when he does the party doesn't stop until all the opponent's balloons have burst.

As much as we might admire and enjoy his playing style, it would be foolish to overlook Brunson's physical limitations. The bottom line is that he does lack height and has the kind of stocky body to suggest he's finished growing. He also has average quickness and doesn't jump particularly well. Long-term, his ability to finish in traffic may become problematic. His shot selection also can be poor.

RIVALS150: #16  ESPN100: #17 #18

Jalen Brunson mixtape

Jalen Brunson interview with Jonny Givonny

Luke Kennard will be one of the guys trying to defend the NCAA championship next year as he's joining Coach K's program where he will meet Chase Jeter again.


The southpaw wields a smooth stroke past the three-point arc, knocking down long jump shots thanks to touch, follow through and rhythm.But though his shooting may provide the basis of his offense, he doesn't just stand around waiting to receive a pass and launch. He's a fine ballhandler and a truly excellent passer who catches defenders off-guard due to his frequent use of ball fakes. Meanwhile, he possesses a nice mid-range game that flows effectively from his dribble into jumpers from the elbow.

Kennard carries a solid frame and has the potential to become a very strong guard. He's also tough, intelligent and clutch. He's also an above-average straightline athlete who finishes in the open court with slams and who's plenty speedy transition from one end of the floor to the other.

Albeit a tall guard at 6-5, Kennard's wingspan is pedestrian and thus functionally he's shorter than his height would indicate. He's also just average in terms of lateral quickness and first step, and for that reason he doesn't project as a slasher.

He also may struggle in certain defensive matchups, particularly in Duke's pressure style. Surprisingly enough, his jump shot also is a bit of a concern due to his low release point. It's easier to challenge than would be ideal.

RIVALS150: #25  ESPN100: #23 #24

Luke Kennard mixtape

So what's left to say? Watch the game and enjoy it.

dedicated to the racoon goon