Posted On: 04/10/18 4:00 PM
Here are some of the top Class of 2019 wing prospects from last weekend’s Adidas Invitational in St. Louis:
EJ Bellinger 6’4″ Gateway: A smooth shooting guard who led his team to the championship game of the 17U Division. He has always had a strong scorer’s mentality and he has continued to add more tools to his offensive bag over the course of his career. EJ has emerged as a very capable three-level scorer with a nice shooting stroke and good elevation on his jumper. When he gets out in transition, he has a chance to display some of his explosiveness with a few dunks. A lot of colleges will surely be tracking him during the grassroots season.
Atavian Butler 6’2″ St. Louis Majestics: An explosive athlete on the wing who came up big in the championship game as the Majestics took the 17U title. He does much of his damage around the basket in a variety of ways. He is strong when slashing to the basket, grabbing offensive rebounds or dunking in transition. He is one of the best rebounding guards in the state, which is especially a dangerous weapon on the offensive end.
Jalen White 6’2″ Arsenal Hoops: A physical wing player who enjoyed a very productive weekend. His strength is his greatest asset and he uses it to his advantage to get to the hoop and get buckets. It enables him to play through the contact easily and finish in traffic and get to the free throw line. Not only is he aggressive, but he stays low on the dribble on his way to the basket. He will also grab his share of offensive rebounds to get easy buckets.
Avery Taggert 6’4″ TEM Select: A Division I football prospect who can also get it done on the basketball court. He has a big body and he moves it well on the perimeter. His overall skill set is excellent as he is very comfortable with the ball in his hands. He can get to the basket with strength, but he also has a some slick escape moves to create shots. AT is also a very good jump shooter off the catch.
Dareon Graham 6’4″ St. Louis Majestics: A versatile wing player who was really good on the final day as his team won the 17U championship. When he is on his game, he is a difficult player to defend with his combination of size and skill level on the perimeter. He knocked down a number of corner 3-pointers off the catch, plus he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make jumpers from the mid-range area.
Ben Cooper 6’2″ Gateway: A fine addition to the Gateway 17U team with his court savvy and perimeter shooting. He has a very nice stroke from 3-point range off the catch to stretch the floor. He is also a very solid ball handler and passer who moves well without the ball and keeps the ball moving on offense.
Terron Robinson 6’0″ STL Cobras Elite: The guard from Howell Central had a very productive weekend on offense. He has good quickness and a nose to get buckets in a variety of ways. He scored on drives to the basket and also in transition. Terron also did a good job from the perimeter as he kept defenders honest with some timely 3-point shooting.
Luke Hicks 6’2″ TEM Select: This young man from Hallsville was one of the top 3-point shooters that I witnessed over the weekend. He has excellent range from well beyond the 3-point line and he shot it with consistency. In one game on Saturday, he made six triples in about a 10-minute span. He does a good job of moving without the ball and making himself available.
AJ Traylor 6’3″ St. Louis Majestics: I was impressed with this young man’s overall play throughout the tournament. He really got his team off to a good start with his high energy play and activity. He was rebounding at a high rate and getting out and making plays in transition, including a few dunks. He also had his jumper working pretty well which made for an excellent weekend.
David Galantine 6’3″ Team Blackout: A hidden gem from Mid-Missouri who put in some good work during the weekend with his all-around skill set. He had one sequence where he scored 10 consecutive points. It was impressive. He has good size and strong body. He attacked the basket well and scored on some acrobatic drives. He also knocked down some very difficult jumpers off the dribble that he made look easy. His game is still a little raw at times, but he has a lot of tools to work with.