Posted On: 07/31/18 3:58 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 part three of the rising senior standouts I saw in Las Vegas.
Jaykwon Walton | 6’6” G | Team Thad 17U (TN)
If you’re into versatile, multi positional guys that should translate easily (we all should be into that), then Walton is a guy that you’ll love. The 6’6” guard can play on the basketball or on the wing, he can guard almost every position on the floor and he’s tough to game plan for because you aren’t sure where he’ll be or what he’ll be doing. He showed he can shoot it, get downhill and finish and he’s unselfish and can handle pressure on the ball. It’s no wonder he has a rack of high majors chasing him.
Damion Baugh | 6’3” G | Team Thad 17U (TN)
Baugh may not have the size that Walton has, but that doesn’t change the fact that you only have to watch him play for about two minutes before you say “Yeah, he can go.” Baugh plays like he was shot out of a cannon. With a quick first step and exceptional end-to-end speed, he’s able to force turnovers and take off and no one can catch him. He changes directions on a dime with the ball, he’s a strong and crafty finisher and he has dumb bounce in transition as well. Very exciting kid to watch.
Zac Ervin | 6’5” WG | B-Maze Elite 17U (NC)
One of the best tweets I saw all weekend was from a Bristol area reporter who said that another media guy texted him saying “This Ervin kid from Gate City hasn’t missed since April.” While that’s funny, it does sum up this role that Ervin has been on since July started. He went for double digits in almost every game at the UA Challenge in NY two weekends again, and now he put his mark on the UA Finals despite a disappointing performance as a team. Ervin is doing what he does best, which is shoot the basketball. He hit five three-pointers in their loss to Illinois Wolves, and if he continues shooting the way he has he will have to see a recruitment uptick here soon.
RaQuan Brown | 6’3’ PG | Team Charlotte 17U (NC)
Brown looked like one of the more underrated kids in the UAA on Thursday as he helped Team Charlotte make it to the Final Four. A stocky and quick guard, Brown showed a good first step that allowed him to beat his defender out of the triple threat and he’s a super strong finisher in traffic. He showed a good midrange game and pretty good feel when we got downhill and created for others. He also is a good defender who uses his strength to wear down opposing guards.
Donovan Gregory | 6’3” WG | Team Charlotte 17U (NC)
If there was anyone I had seen before where I was surprised how low his recruitment was at it was Gregory. The super bouncy 6’3” off guard is athletic, has a high motor on both ends and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s productive on both ends of the floor, as he’s able to use his athleticism to guard multiple positions, rebound on both ends and he can finish way above the rim in transition and in traffic. His toughness and ability to make winning plays is something you have to admire, and it doesn’t really make sense to me why he only has three offers.
Matthew Smith | 6’6” WF | Team Charlotte 17U (NC)
A skilled wing with good size, Smith is being touted by many mid major programs and it makes plenty of sense. He’s a versatile offensive player who can shoot, attack the rim and he has good feel with the ball in his hands. He’s able to play and guard inside-out, and he can switch everything on the floor. He’s an above average athlete who understands the game and he’ll continue to get better as time moves on.
Tre Mann | 6’3” WG | E1T1 17U (FL)
Mann has been sky rocketing with his recruitment as of late, and he continues to impress in Vegas. He’s a long and skilled, can play on and off the basketball and he makes contested shots from all over the floor. He has effortless range and great form, he can attack closeouts and he plays at his own pace and rarely gets sped up. He gets hot quickly and isn’t afraid to let it fly when he does.
Vernon Carey | 6’9” PF | E1T1 17U (FL)
The highest ranked big man in the country showed why he’s considered that when E1T1 beat Team Rio in the Fab 48 kick off. Carey is a lefty with a big body that’s nimble on his feet and skilled as well. He gets off his feet easily and has great explosion, he can protect the rim and rebound on both ends and he continues to improve offensively with his skill set. He shoots out to the three-point line with ease, and he can face up and blow by. He also has a soft touch with both hands around the rim, and he’s a walking double-double every time he’s on the floor.