Posted On: 04/10/18 5:00 AM
The 16U grassroots season is a major step up from that 15U level. The level of play has climbed to a new stratosphere and college scouts are now locked into those games.
We’re still a couple weeks out from the D-I programs being able to watch live, and many other programs are putting the finishes on their 2018 classes. However, this weekend was a window into who’s ready for the show to begin.
(The 2020 recap will be split up into frontcourt and backcourt recaps.)
Norrils is a very good football player, but he could also have a future in basketball if he chooses to pursue that path. He’s effective around the basket and has elite body control. Norrils craves contact on the drive and is able to withstand a midair blow before finishing on the way down. Long arms.
They played a much slower pace than last season, because of a couple injuries and a short bench. We were impressed that Norrils was able to switch up his usual up-tempo style of play and control a more methodical game.
Rubin made quite an impression on Saturday. He pushes the secondary break by advancing the ball via the pass. Overall, Rubin has a good feel for the court and is unselfish. He creates passing lanes with a lethal jumper. He shoots it with range and lets it go off the dribble better than most everyone his age. Although Rubin plays at a small high school and with a group of AAU teammates who aren’t on his level, he was able to overcome defensive attention to dominate games.
The no. 2 sophomore prospect in Ohio cemented himself in that position by showing considerable improvement as a shooter this weekend. Clarke mostly let the deep balls go off the catch with his feet set. We were again impressed with his ability to change direction in the open floor without having to break full speed.
Clarke played with the Rebels this weekend and will do so on non-circuit weekends. However, he will play with All Ohio Red at the EYBL.
Cochran really shoots the 3-pointer at a high level. In a class that is thin with reliable shooters, it’s a trait that will continue to boost his stock. Besides the catch-and-shoot triples, Cochran also had the highlight of the day when he dunked over a 6’6” forward in the fast-break.
Fenner’s game is all about pace. He constantly moves without the ball and can create a lane to the rim by curling around screens and attacking immediately. Even with the ball in his hands, Fenner changes speeds cleverly to get into the lane. Once the defense helps, he has the presence of mind to find spot-up shooters. He’s a nice point guard.
Adio was more of a utility guard last summer. Now, he’s looking like a legitimate scoring threat from the wing. He shoots it off the dribble pretty well and made the defense pay for going under screens multiple times. Adio has a slippery handle that gets the defense off balanced.
Ellis might become the headliner on this Cincy Lakers 16U team. He was their most productive player on Sunday and has plenty of room to grow still. Ellis does a little bit of everything as a big combo guard. He uses his athleticism to rebound on both ends. Also, he facilitates once he’s in the lane and has drawn two defenders, often hitting a big man with a sneaky interior pass. As a scorer, Ellis hunts the mid-range jumper and shows that he’s been working on his craft in creating space.
He struggled to consistently make good decisions with the basketball. To become a high-level point guard, he’ll need to value possessions. But, we really liked what we saw from him as far as skill and athleticism.