Posted On: 07/31/18 4:05 PM
We were in beautiful Las Vegas this past week, and if there wasn’t a big tournament in my backyard of Richmond, VA I would probably still be there. The Mecca of AAU basketball the last live period of the year is always in Las Vegas, and we have been lucky enough to attend the past few years. We still have some Prep Hoops guys out there, but I wanted to share about 30 or so guys I saw while attending Under Armor Finals, the Las Vegas Fab 48 and the Bigfoot Hoops “The 8.”
Here’s a look at six underclassmen that impressed me while I was watching 17U out there.
Ziaire Williams | 6’7” G | BTI Select 17U (CA)
Williams opened a ton of eyes this weekend as a kid who may continue to shoot up the national rankings moving forward. He has tremendous size as a guard, and he knows how to use it on both ends of the floor. He handles well which allows him to get his team into sets, and he’s able to see over smaller guards and deliver passes to his teammates others can’t make. He’s a good athlete that can finish when he gets downhill, he can shoot the jumper from both deep and midrange and he’s able to guard multiple positions with his size and athleticism.
Jeremy Roach | 6’1” PG | Team Takeover 17U (DC)
There may not be a guard in the past decade that embodies the style of play in the DMV the way that Roach does. He has this toughness about him where he won’t back down from anyone and despite being one of the highest ranked guards in the country, he still plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s so quick and he changes speeds and direction with ease. He finishes plays in the paint he shouldn’t be able to, he can shoot it from deep and he uses his athleticism on both ends to take over the game. Flat out, the kid is a warrior and a player!
Eric Mobley | 7’0” C | Compton Magic 17U (CA)
I know this doesn’t mean much coming from me, but Mobley would have my vote for top player in the 2020 class. The reasoning behind that is because he’s already very special, but he still has so much room to grow both physically and from a basketball perspective. At 7’0”, he has great length that allows him to contest shots and rebound, he’s comfortable on both ends being taken away from the basket and he has a toughness you can’t teach. He’s an incredible athlete, he’s able to put it on the deck in limited dribbles in the face up to get his shot off and he will not be denied when he gets about 10 feet and in. He continues to improve his game as well, and the fact that he may not even be done growing is a frightening thing.
Jonathan Juzang | 6’5” WG | Compton Magic 17U (CA)
Juzang was the unsung hero in their thrilling overtime victory of Team Takeover, as he was the guy who stepped up and made shots from the perimeter which gave his bigs room to work. He has great size to be a three-and-d guy at the next level, and he never seemed to get tired despite running off of pin downs and flares the whole game. Once he got confident he was hard to stop, and the fact that you have to double down with all the size the Magic have got him some easy looks that he took advantage of.
Scotty Barnes | 6’7” F | E1T1 17U (FL)
Another guy who’s in the conversation as the top 2020 prospect in the country, Barnes was phenomenal when E1T1 beat Team Rio in the Fab 48 Tip-Off. At 6’7”, he’s a multi positional guy who is a walking mismatch and somehow plays both bigger and smaller than he is. He’s a big time athlete with a high motor, and he attacks the glass on both ends, protects the paint and looks to get downhill and attack you at the rim where he’ll dunk on you. He showed some point forward as well, as he handled on the break, made good passes with both hands and switched and defended guards with ease. He has a junkyard dog mentality in the end which is what separates him from other guys in the class.
Jaeden Springer | 6’5” WG | B-Maze Elite 17U (NC)
One of the most athletic finishers in the country, Springer didn’t shoot it particularly well when I watched B-Maze but that doesn’t change the fact that he was able to make plays and looks like a legitimate top 15 prospect in the 2020 class. He is built like a physical specimen with cut arms and wide shoulders, he’s an effortless athlete who finishes way above the rim and he has good length and can guard multiple positions. He still has some fine tuning to do on the offensive end to become a combo guard but he has all of the things that you can’t teach and a lot of natural ability on the basketball court.