adidas nations International prospects
adidas nations NCAA prospects
adidas Nations Basketball Experience Notebook (Day One+Two)
Adidas 2009 High School Player Evaluations
With that said, it wasnt too difficult to see where the intrigue is coming from. Favors is an extremely long and lanky big man with a great frame, excellent athleticism and a very smooth demeanor to him. He plays very good defense and gets up and down the court well, looking very cool and calm at all times, even to a fault.
We were warned in advance that Favors is the type of player who gravitates radically from outstanding to almost invisible depending on what night you catch him on. Hes not always as intense as you might hope if not involved in a big-time match up, so its easier to understand why he showed so little in the few times we evaluated him in New Orleans. He got knocked out of the camp late after taking a big time shot to the nose, so we didnt get to see as much of him as we may have hoped. Hes also only 16 years old, so maybe our expectations were a little too high at the end of the day. Its obvious from watching him early on that hes going to have to rack up the intensity if he wants to reach his full potential.
Stephenson has NBA written all over him, both physically and from a skills standpoint. Featuring a terrific body with great strength and excellent athleticism, Stephenson can do many things on the court thanks to his wide array of tools. Hes quick and very explosive off his feet, showing a wide array of hesitation moves and terrific ability to change gears and get to the rim. Once hes there, he has the strength and tenacity to finish through contact. The fact that hes such a good ball-handler obviously helps him out in terms of creating his own shot, and he has the physical ability, skills and instincts to do so almost whenever he pleases at this level. His mid-range game is also very polished already, numerous times throwing a strong crossover at his opponent only to pull up sharply off the dribble for a smooth jumper. He goes left or right equally well and is extremely aggressive looking for scoring opportunities. His jump-shot from deep looks good as well, even if he at times forced things from behind the arc.
Now that weve gotten the many incredible strengths that Stephenson possesses out of the way, we must also share some concerns. Stephenson showed a very questionable attitude throughout the event, picking fights with opposing players, showing questionable body language, and generally looking very immature. He pouted whenever things didnt go his way, blaming the refs, his teammates, the opposition, or basically anyone besides himself when things went even slightly wrong. When all is well hes an incredible looking prospect, but once him or his team hit a rough patch, he basically gave up. All too often he played selfish basketball, showing a poor basketball IQ, running into brick walls, and tossing up terrible shots, while putting forth absolutely no effort on the defensive end. At this point, hes much stronger than anyone else in his class, which gives him a huge advantage on the court. You have to wonder whether that is going to hold up once everyone else catches up physically. Weve seen this happen in the past, and it rarely turns out well.
Stephensons career could go in many different directions from here. He could capitalize on his immense potential and become a one and done player at whichever school he chooses (lets take a wild guess and say Louisville or Memphis), and then turn into a legit NBA player, or he could completely flame out in college. Its hard to see much of a middle ground here. Hopefully he does eventually mature, because were obviously talking about a special talent.