COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Basketball has some of the nation’s top talent gathered together for two days of work at the on-campus Training Center. There are numerous prospects on hand in the BrandonClayScouting.com Rankings Discussion. Here is a look at some of the noteworthy players on the opening day:
Sitting at No. 4 in the ELITE 100, Jaylen Brown of Alpharetta, Ga., is the highest ranked senior in the building this weekend. On Saturday, the five-star scoring guard lived up to the distinction finding his way onto the scoreboard in a variety of ways. The main takeaway for us was his physical domination of any guard who tried to get in his path.
It was evident here that Villanova’s coach Jay Wright got a leader in No. 29 Jalen Brunson of Lincolnshire, Ill. The left-handed point guard led in drills as well as gameplay. His leadership even extended to the voluntary extra shooting work with fellow senior Luke Kennard of Franklin, Ohio after the camp’s evening session. Brunson, a four-star plus prospect, is exactly the type of guard who can help Wright stay amongst the Big East’s elite.
Speaking of Kennard, the future Duke Blue Devil was impressive in this setting. Currently at No. 51, the left-handed sharp shooter made multiple open shots all the way to out to the 24 foot mark. He’ll bring a high percentage shot maker to Durham next fall.
No. 64 Charles Matthews of Chicago, Ill., shot the basketball well here. He is a versatile wing with both length and size at the shooting guard position. Matthews gave Big Blue Nation reason to be excited with his performance today.
As we prepare to release the ELITE 25 Class of 2017 rankings, Troy Brown Jr. of Las Vegas, Nev., brought his A Game on Day One. Scoring the basketball at the same clip that he at the Nike Elite 100 event in St. Louis, the five-star guard. The 6-foot-5 guard did his damage offensively off of the bounce at the rim and shooting off of the catch from beyond the arc.
Jaylen Hands of Chula Vista, Calif., is a point guard with a lot of buzz lately even generating a scholarship offer from UCLA last month. The 6-foot floor general is both a distributor and able to score when need be.
Markus Howard of Chandler, Ariz., had a stellar showing in the camp’s evening session. The recent Arizona State commit made his teammates better while displaying that he can make the open jump shot or attack the rim. Herb Sendek landed an ELITE 25 caliber prospect in Howard.
Michael Porter Jr., of Columbia, Mo., is one to keep an eye on. The smooth forward could very well be a five-star prospect long-term. His dad, Michael Sr., is an assistant coach for the women’s program on campus. His older sister, Cierra, will be a freshman for the Tigers next fall.
Marvin Bagley, III of Tempe, Ariz., is a player very capable of landing himself in the initial ELITE 25 rankings when they release this time next year. He’s a 6-10 do it all type of forward who rebounded the ball, finished in transition and showed a skill set normally reserved for players much older.
At 7-foot-1, Connor Vanover of Little Rock, Ark., was the tallest player in the gym this weekend. Though he is still adjusting to playing the game at an elite speed, Vanover stood tall in a building full of the nation’s best. We’ll keep an eye on his progression throughout the school season.
Robert Woodard of Columbus, Miss., brought an energy to the forward position with his play today. He’s strong and skilled with athleticism to match. Expect him to be one of the more highly recruited prospects regionally in the freshman class.
Brandon Clay is the Executive Camp Director of the Elite Basketball Academy and the owner of Brandon Clay Scouting. Clay is also the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. He serves Director of Scouting for the OTRHoopsReport.com National Scouting Report. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as an evaluator, event operator and trainer. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com