-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: Elite 2012 Prospects (Part One)
-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: 2012 Prospects (Part Two)
-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: 2012 Prospects (Part Three)
Jabari Parker, 6-9, Small Forward, Simeon, 2013
Considered by most to be the #1 prospect in the 2013 high school class, Jabari Parker (#1 Scout, #2 Rivals, #1 ESPN) came into this Hoophall Classic event with major expectations. The end result was somewhat uneven, as his Simeon squad was blown out 75-50 by Findlay Prep, with Parker scoring 24 points on 10-22 shooting.
Parker stands out first and foremost thanks to his tremendous size. He measured 6-9, 222 pounds at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy, with a 6-11 wingspan, but plays almost exclusively on the wing.
Still only 16 years old, Parker is likely still far from reaching his full athletic potential. At this point, he appears to possess just average quickness and explosiveness, something that may become more pronounced in the future as the level of competition he faces stiffens.
Incredibly polished and mature, Parker has an outstanding skill-level for a player his age. His shooting mechanics are excellent, complete with terrific footwork and deep range. He can make shots with his feet set, but is also extremely dangerous pulling up off the dribble, being capable of getting clean looks off fairly easily thanks to his size, smarts, and ability to create separation smoothly from his defender.
More than just a shooter, Parker is also a capable passer who appears to enjoy getting teammates involved. He passes ahead in transition when the opportunity presents itself and plays the game at a very nice pace, keeping mistakes to a minimum and showing impressive basketball acumen considering his lack of experience. He finds plenty of ways to score around the rim at this level, whether he's seeking out a putback by crashing the offensive glass or being aggressive on a simple post-up play, Parker shows very nice instincts for picking up easy points.
Despite his tremendous size, Parker can also handle the ball in transition or take his man off the dribble in the half-court, even if he's not an exceptionally efficient shot-creator. His lack of explosiveness hampers him somewhat from getting all the way to the rim, as he still needs to improve his ball-handling skills, particularly with his left hand. If he's unable to simply bully his way to the rim using his superior strength, he's pretty content settling for pull-up jumpers fading away from his opponent, which he can often make with a hand in his face, albeit not a terribly high percentage.
Defensively, Parker shows clear-cut strengths and weaknesses at the moment, like virtually all players his age. On one hand, his size, length, smarts and competitiveness help out tremendously, as he's typically the biggest player on the floor at the high school level and sees most of his time at power forward or center. On the other hand, his underwhelming lateral quickness makes it difficult for him to stay in front of most wing players at the moment, and his intensity wavers, as he tends to get winded late in games due to his average conditioning level. To reach his full potential on this end of the floor, Parker will need to improve his technique, awareness and toughnessthings that will likely come in time as he continues to mature.
Despite only being 16 years old, Parker has received as much national attention at this stage as any high school player we've seen since O.J. Mayo. The son of former NBA first round pick Sonny Parker, Jabari is often lauded for his outstanding intangibles. He's reportedly an outstanding student, an excellent teammate and extremely coachable, which will surely help in his long-term development. He's been described by many respected analysts as the best prospect in high school basketball, and was awarded the prestigious USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year honor, being the youngest recipient ever.
Parker will have to work extremely hard to live up to the incredible accolades he's received at such a young age. It will be interesting to see how he develops athletically over the next few years, as he does not appear to possess the type of quickness and explosiveness you typically find in a #1 overall recruit. With that said, his skill-level, maturity and basketball IQ are unheard of for a player his age. Just how high is Parker's ceiling as a long-term prospect? We'll have to continue to watch and evaluate.
Julius Randle, 6-9, Power Forward, Prestenwood, 2013
Julius Randle's (#2 Scout, #4 Rivals, #3 ESPN) Prestenwood squad lost by 30 points to a very deep Oak Hill Academy team, with most of his 23 points coming in garbage time. Nevertheless, we've been able to get a very good feel for Randle's strengths and weaknesses watching him over the past year or so, and have always came away fairly impressed.
Randle sports an unbelievable frame for a 17-year old, to go along with good size at 6-9, but just an average wingspan at 6-10 (measured at the Nike Skills Academy).
Playing the face-up power forward position that seems to be incredibly en-vogue in today's basketball, Randle is a very fluid and mobile athlete with soft hands and outstanding scoring instincts, posing a tremendous mismatch threat for opponents every time he steps on the floor.
A very talented ball-handler, Randle has an excellent first step and an array of shot-creating skills he can utilize in the mid or high post. Very left hand dominant, he shows terrific footwork and creativity on his drives, both in the half-court and in transition, mixing in jab-steps, crossovers, spins and other advanced moves. With his strong frame, nimble feet, excellent body control, and solid leaping ability, he can finish aggressively through contact in traffic and gets to the free throw line at a very good rate.
Randle has good mechanics on his jumper and is a threat to catch and shoot with range out to the 3-point line. With that said, he tends to prefer slashing all the way to the rim and at times will force the issue driving and spinning into brick walls. A natural lefty, he can become a bit predictable for defenders since he's much better with this hand, and isn't a great passer to boot.
Showing the ability to post up inside, Randle should be able to do significant damage with his back to the basket in time with his terrific footwork and touch. Right now he gets a little too caught up in showing off his perimeter skills, though, and doesn't always fully utilize this part of his game.
Just an average defender, at best, at this stage, Randle's fundamentals and awareness will need plenty of work if he is to reach his full potential on this end down the road. He regularly takes plays off, doesn't get in any type of stance, and reaches excessively issues that we often see in players this age. His conditioning appears to be just average at this point as well, something he'll likely want to shore up by the time he lands in college.
Randle might fancy himself as being somewhat of a small forward, but at his size and with the way his body is developing, that might not be ideal for his long-term development, as it appears he'd be a far more potent weapon at the 4. Comparisons to Al Harrington and Terrence Jones are already making the rounds, and Randle's scoring ability seems to justify them.
Considered one of the top prospects in a loaded 2013 high school class, Randle will be drawing plenty of attention from scouts the moment he steps on a college campus.
Nate Britt, 6-1, Point Guard, Gonzaga College, 2013
Committed to North Carolina
A left-handed point guard with very good quickness, Nate Britt (#18 Scout, #11 Rivals, #14 ESPN) had an unremarkable showing at the HoopHall Classic, but has good potential to improve down the road.
Standing around 6-1 with a solid frame, Britt is a good athlete who shows a nice first step and the ability to change speeds with the ball. Comfortable creating for himself and others off the dribble in the half-court with his solid ball-handling skills, he likes to beat his defender with a strong crossover and then either drive and dish or finish with a floater inside the lane.
Very aggressive in transition, Britt takes the ball strong to the rim, but may have some difficulties finishing inside the paint at the college level considering his size. As a passer, he shows decent vision finding the open man, but like all young point guards needs to work on controlling the pace of the game in the half-court and cutting back on turnovers. He's not a very vocal player on the floor, something Roy Williams will likely want to see improve in time in terms of his leadership ability.
Capable of making shots with his feet set, Britt is a streaky shooter with unconventional mechanics typical of left-handed players. He struggles to make shots pulling up off the dribble as he does not get great elevation on his jumper and possesses a fairly slow release. Considering his size, this is something he'll have to shore up in time.
Defensively, Britt is a bulldog who brings great toughness on this end of the floor. He's pesky in the passing lanes and can put solid pressure on the ball both in the half and full-court. Not exceptionally tall or long, Britt will need to continue to play with intensity on this end to not see a drop off at the college level.
Still in an early stage of his development, Britt shows a lot of good attributes for a young point guard, and should continue to improve down the road.
BeeJay Anya, 6'9, Junior, PF/C, DeMatha Catholic
BeeJay Anya (#42 Scout, #29 Rivals, #36 ESPN) was one of the most impressive prospects in attendance from a physical tools perspective, primarily by virtue of his enormous 7'9 wingspan, which is the longest wingspan measured in the history of the DraftExpress database. This measurement was confirmed to us by USA Basketball coach Don Showalter, who admits he was astonished upon learning of it and asked for his wingspan to be measured again for confirmation last summer.
Anya also brings to the table a massive frame to go along with already solid athleticism despite a little extra weight he's carrying. He has nimble feet, runs the floor adequately well, and is capable of getting above the rim in most situations, though still isn't quite at his athletic peak, as he could sacrifice some excess mass while not losing strength as he spends more time in the weight room over time.
In terms of his contributions on the basketball court, Anya flashed some impressive things in his two games here, but also some limitations. On the offensive end, Anya can be a massive force operating in the painted area, where he has great (and huge) hands, good touch, and the ability to finish with power and finesse on cuts and post moves. His post repertoire is still limited, but he exhibits solid hook shots and drop steps at times, along with an excellent knack to get deep position by using his strength and mass.
Anya's biggest problem at this stage is he is prone to disappearing at times, mostly due to his inability to contribute much outside 10 feet of the basket, but he does a solid job staying involved by crashing the offensive glass and trying to clear space around the rim. Still, developing more versatility to his game and maximizing his athletic abilities will help him stay more consistently involved going forward.
Defensively, Anya is solid with his man-to-man post defense and using his unreal length to help block and contest shots on the weakside, but still could become more of an impact player on this end. He does a better job on the glass, especially on the offensive side, where he shows a nice edge and ability to power up, secure rebounds, and finish with power consistently.
As he matures and gains experience, he'll likely learn how to maintain his focus for longer stretches and find ways to use his excellent bulk and length to his advantage on every possession. Right now his intensity level wavers somewhat, which is not uncommon for a player his age.
Looking forward, Anya is obviously a special player from a tools perspective, and appears to have the groundwork of skills and feel to make sure those tools don't go to waste. He already has offers from a handful of top schools, and he appears to be nowhere near his potential both physically and from a skills perspective.
Kuran Iverson, 6'9, Junior, SF/PF, Northwest Catholic
The younger cousin of Allen Iverson, Kuran Iverson (#56 Scout, #65 Rivals, #29 ESPN) had a fairly disappointing showing here this weekend, struggling greatly against a talented DeMatha squad, finishing with just 4 points, 5 turnovers, and 4 fouls in just 18 minutes.
Standing 6'9 with good athleticism and length but an underdeveloped frame, Iverson has excellent physical tools at this disposal, but is still coming into his own from a skills standpoint and with his overall feel for the game.
Iverson had a really tough time on the offensive end, being unable to get much going, seeing most of his possessions facing up from the perimeter. His ball-handling looks largely unrefined and it holds him back from getting a complete step on his man, which often leads to him settling for contested mid-range shots without much chance for success. He occasionally flashes some nice moves, be it spin drives or runners in the lane, but he's very inconsistent and really struggles to contribute regularly in a structured offense.
Iverson looks better when making more simple plays offensively, be it spot-up mid-range jumpers or getting out to finish around the basket in transition. He appears set on being a shot creator from the perimeter, something that could lead to growing pains at the college level if he struggles to score efficiently.
There's not much better to say about Iverson on the defensive end, where he was in constant foul trouble and appears to be undeveloped from a fundamentals standpoint. One thing he should definitely look to apply himself fully with in the future is rebounding, something he definitely has the tools to do successfully at the college level if he puts his mind to it.
Looking forward, Iverson has a great deal of raw talent and potential and is indeed getting looks from elite schools in Kentucky, Connecticut, and Syracuse. He will probably need to make some adjustments to reach his full potential down the road, though, particularly in regards to his body language and all-around approach to the game.
Mickey Mitchell, 6'7, Freshman, SG/SF, Prestonwood Christian
One of the youngest players in attendance this weekend, though he certainly doesn't look like it, as he stands 6'7 with a good, toned frame, albeit not much bulk, was Mickey Mitchell. Mitchell's length isn't great, but he appears to have plenty of athleticism for a wing prospect, and considering he's a freshman (albeit a year old reportedly for his class), there's obviously still the possibility that he'll continue to grow as well.
Mitchell didn't have the greatest performance from a contribution standpoint, and neither did most of his team for that matter, as they were blown out 85-55 by the extremely talented and well-coached Oak Hill Academy squad. Still, it's clear to see Mitchell has some talent and tools, already looking like he belongs even at a very young age.
Mitchell does most of his damage on the offensive end with his jump shot, where he has a decent feel for putting the ball in the basket but is still coming along from a fundamentals standpoint. Mitchell's mechanics are inconsistent, and he's prone to fading away unnecessarily on his three-point attempts, though he did make 3-for-6 overall from behind the arc here.
Mitchell didn't show much in terms of attacking the basket, not making a field goal inside the arc in the game, but he appears to have solid ball-handling for his size and handles the ball a bit on the perimeter,even bringing the ball up the floor at times. His passing is a bit further along, as he does a good job taking advantage of his height to see over the defense, and makes solid decisions moving the ball around.
Mitchell shows good potential on defense, where he did a nice job using his length and size to block three shots both on and off the ball, having good timing and constantly hustling, looking for ways to impact the game. It's unclear which position he'd be best suited to guard in the long term, especially because it's impossible to know how tall he'll be 3-4 years down the road, but he appears to have enough athleticism and capability to put on strength to adequately guard either forward spot at the least.
Looking forward, Mitchell is obviously still a very raw prospect with plenty of room to grow, and there's no telling how good a player he'll be or what his likely potential is. He's also apparently a very talented football player, potentially at the quarterback position, and hasn't yet decided which sport to pursue seriously, though he still has plenty of time to decide.