Christian Popoola ,6-3, SG, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2017 High School Class
One year removed from a 2014 Nike Global Challenge in which he posted a negative 4.5 PER over the course of four games, the 6' 3 scoring guard bounced back to lead his team in scoring to the tune of 27.9 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted on 39% from two and 46.2% from three.
The Lone Peak High School guard and Las Vegas native is a dynamic athlete who gets into the paint at will by using an explosive first step and impressive change of speeds, while staying extremely low to the ground.
Popoola is very left-hand dominant and doesn't have a ton of combo moves in his repertoire, but his speed alone allowed him to get a piece of the paint whenever he wasn't pulling up for threes. While undersized for a two-guard, Popoola does have a fairly wide frame and at least average length (6' 5.5 wingspan) to go along with his tremendous quickness. He got into the lane almost at will, but Popoola struggled to finish (39.4% from two), and looked uncomfortable trying to set up teammates when on the move. He can be a bit selfish in the half court and should be viewed as strictly a scoring two-guard at this stage of his development.
Popoola really made his mark as a perimeter shooter, where he knocked down 6-of-13 triples, most of which came off the dribble. His mechanics change a bit when you move him out of mid-range spots, as his follow through has more of a hitch, but he was able to knock down nearly 50% of his three-point attempts. Popoola doesn't have the most natural shooting mechanics but the fact that he proved capable of making shots off the bounce with range is a good sign moving forward.
Defensively, Popoola was very good on the ball. He showed solid effort pressuring the ball and sliding with his man, and quick hands to force turnovers both on and off the ball. One of the oldest players at the tournament, Popoola did a nice job competing on both ends of the floor, even if it resulted in a handful of out of control possessions. Popoola showed that he can fill it up in a variety of ways, and he should continue his bucket-getting ways as a two-guard wherever he goes to school. But given his size, he would really benefit from greatly improving his feel for the game and decision-making.