Posted On: 04/4/18 1:14 AM
A Scout’s Take: Geico Nationals’ Standouts (Part 1)
NEW YORK, NY— Christ The King, best described as a storied program when it comes to high school folklore, was the tournament host for the Geico Nationals. Montverde Academy was a force to be reckon with sans the sharp shooting Lone Peak (UT) squad in the quarterfinals. The lethal combination of consensus No. 1 player in the country RJ Barrett and a bevy of D1 caliber sidekicks—Andrew Nembhard comes immediately to mind—would be too much for University to handle in the title game. As a result, this would be the 4th Geico Championship for Head Coach Kevin Boyle and company—and I’m sure there will be a number of reinforcements putting their name in the hat to re-stock a roster that will graduate a bevy of talent.
RJ Barrett (Monteverde Academy/FL)
2018, WF, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Joel’s Take: Barrett was clearly the most impactful player during this event and his team bagged the championship along the way. The multi-faceted Barrett is a skilled lefty who impacts the game in a number of ways. He can lead the break, zip passes to open shooters, and he’s explosive attacking the rim. In order to take his game to the next level, he must improve his jump shot as well as his ability to handle and finish with his off hand (right).
Scottie Barnes (University/FL)
2020, WF, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds
Joel’s Take: Barnes caught our eye last spring and his game continues to evolve. The multi-skilled 3-man is a point forward type whose passing acumen is a thing of beauty. In addition, he rebounds at a high rate, puts defenders on their heels in the open court, and can score in the paint. His jump shot needs polishing to reach his potential, but overall he may be the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2020.
Bol Bol (Findlay Prep/NV)
2018, C, 7-foot-2, 220 pounds
Joel’s Take: This was a difficult decision considering Bol has had a inconsistent senior campaign. There are few, if any, prospects that have his combination of length, perimeter skill, shot blocking ability, and athleticism. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen a prospect quite like him. However, despite his immense physical gifts, his assertiveness and lack of fundamentals leave a lot to be desired. If Bol wants to be a player and is willing to put in the work, his upside is immense. However, from what we’ve seen—that is a big “if.”
Best Post Player
Vernon Carey Jr. (University/FL)
2019, PF, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds
Joel’s Take: Carey Jr. has slimmed down and as a result he is more nimble maneuvering in the paint. The ultra-skilled lefty can knock in 3-pointers or utilize his advanced foot work and fundamentals to score efficiently inside. He showed face-up skills and his touch is impressive. However, against the length of Montverde Academy he struggled to convert baskets and needs to a better job of using his bulk and savvy to take away the leverage of players with great length.
Isaiah Stewart (La Lumiere School/IN)
2019, PF, 6-foot-9, 240 pounds
Joel’s Take: Stewart is a throwback who knows what he is and he excels at it. The chiseled 4-man has long arms, good hands, and his motor runs hot. He pursues rebounds in and out of his area and he knows how to carve out space. Despite not being overly bouncy he finishes through contact on a regular basis due to his immense strength and determination.
Andrew Nembhard (Montverde Academy/FL)
2018, PG, 6-foot-4, 180 pounds
Joel’s Take: I always appreciate players, specifically point guards, that advance the ball. In today’s game there a plethora of highly-rated point guards that pound the ball into submission, but Nembhard is not one of those guards. He is a high IQ point guard who is a prolific passer both in transition as well as in the half court set. If the defense sags he is fully capable of knocking in the open jump shot and he plays with great pace.