Posted On: 04/15/19 12:58 AM
DUNCANVILLE — Kellen Buffington hosted his inaugural Who Want the Smoke? showcase event at Duncanville High School this weekend. Brandon Jenkins was in on all of the action and he gives us his takeaways based on the Class of 2020 prospects who wanted all the smoke:
THE TEXAS TITANS ARE BACK
It has been five years since we have seen the Texas Titans on the scene as a Nike EYBL 17U squad and I honestly can say it was quite refreshing and exciting to watch them compete. They return every player (minus Preston Lawrence and Kylon Owens) from last year’s roster while adding an extremely talented guard from Oklahoma in Rondel Walker, a freak athlete in Greg Brown, and bringing back the ever so versatile Cade Cunningham.
After going 2-1 this weekend, I am positive that the Titans will get back in the lab and make the necessary adjustments to be ready for the smoke that will take place on the EYBL circuit.
With two nationally ranked point guards running the show (Cunningham and Mike Miles) and a two nationally ranked forwards in the frontcourt (Brown III and Jakobe Coles), the Titans on paper are easily the Peach Jam favorites. But in order for this to happen, players must buy into playing within themselves at the role that has been presented to them.
This means that Miles must continue to play within himself and not force the action. There is no need for Brown III to lead the break or become infatuated with perimeter jumpshots. Each player must let the game come to themselves for the betterment of the team. Winning takes care of everything. The Titans can achieve their goal of winning it all in North Augusta if they play together as a collective unit.
BAYLOR HEBB COULD PLAY HIMSELF OUT OF “HIS LEVEL”
The Titans made their debut against a 3D Empire squad who was without top-thirty prospect Logan McLaughlin due to a fractured wrist. With the Hebron star injured, everyone in attendance knew who had to step up and knew who the ball was going to (including the Titans). And still, the team filled with nationally ranked talent managed to get busted by elite scorer Baylor Hebb.
Hebb added to his resume by scoring a game-high 28 points and helping his team pull off the upset in a three-point win over the Titans. The Colleyville Heritage guard was fearless and scored off of catch-and-shoot threes, rhythm dribble pull-ups, and acrobatic reverse layups driving baseline. He is a willing passer but also a fundamental bucket.
Hebb is sitting on one lone offer from Abilene Christian. Which in all honesty, might be a perfect fit. It could be a place where he sets scoring records and leaves a long-lasting legacy. However, he is one who could possibly play himself into a higher status with his ability to score against the highest levels of competition. It will be very fascinating to see which Division I schools will take a chance on the 6-foot-2 sharpshooting scorer.
MICHAEL JEFFERSON BROUGHT THE INTENSITY
Michael Jefferson is a new addition to Nike Pro Skills (EYBL) and after seeing him compete this weekend, I feel it could be the move that could possibly make him a legitimate high major prospect (KEYWORDS: COULD POSSIBLY) if he plays his cards right. Under the guidance of Coach Jeff Webster, Jefferson was playing harder than I have ever seen him play previously. Defensively, he moved his feet, was disciplined in his stance, and was active while guarding off the ball. Offensively, he cashed in on open shots from deep, made pinpoint passes, and even threw down a couple of dunks in the open floor.
The three-star wing has perfect positional size at 6-foot-6; however, its all about playing the part. Pro Skills will need Jefferson to be a reliable catch and shoot threat from downtown for them to be able to utilize their size and length within their starting five. His shooting will also be vital in his recruitment and could potentially establish himself as a power five target. He already has garnered offers from Butler, Oklahoma State, Stephen F. Austin, and Tulsa. And personally, I feel he has not even played his best brand of basketball yet. The ball is in his court.