LAS VEGAS -- With LeBron James pulling double duty as camp host and Olympic gold medal hopeful, the sixth-annual skills academy bearing his name closed Monday night. The final day featured a flurry, as final verdicts were handed down.
Nigel Williams-Goss (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep)
2013, PG, 6-3, 180 pounds
Coach Lorenzo Romar nabbed a winner in the ultra-savvy Williams-Goss. If you want further proof, look no further than the LeBron James Skills Academy, where he led his team to a come-from-behind win in the championship game. He has great size for the point, and his IQ for the game is outstanding. Whereas most point guards need time to develop that leadership trait, Williams-Goss thrives in that role. Plus, there is no wasted motion to his game, his passing is precise and he can knock down the midrange, pull-up jumper on a consistent basis.
Bobby Portis (Little Rock, Ark./Hill)
2013, PF, 6-9, 215 pounds
The lengthy 4-man runs hard in transition and is relentless around the paint area due to his assertiveness, hands and bouncy nature. He can step out and nail jump shots from the elbow, and he even delivered some nifty assists in the half-court set.
(Mouth of Wilson, Va./Oak Hill Academy)
2013, SG, 6-4, 190 pounds
Thornwell is a high-octane scoring guard with a passion to win. He attacks the paint area with a vengeance, and he can finish through contact at an impressive clip. If his drive is cut off, he can nail the 3-point shot with regularity as well. Defensively, he utilizes his strength, active hands and will to shut down opponents.
Billy Garrett Jr. (Chicago/Morgan Park)
2013, PG, 6-3, 190 pounds
Garrett doesn’t have the résumé of many of the nation’s elite prospects, but his consistent effort vaulted his team to the championship game. The rangy point guard prospect slithered his way to the rim and had a number of high-level finishes. He possesses excellent body control while attacking the rim, and his vision is impeccable. The Blue Demon commit was the catalyst on a number of significant runs by his team.
Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton)
2013, PF, 6-8, 220 pounds
If someone wanted to make the argument that he had the best week of camp, it could be done. There wasn’t a forward in attendance with more pure game. His versatility stems from his ability to rebound, run, knock down 3s and compete. He does a lot of different things and does them well. He unfurls in traffic for rebounds he has no business snatching. He’s got a good thing going and his appetite for rebounding sets him apart from most high school prospects at the same position.
2014, SF/PF, 6-7, 185 pounds
Looney ratcheted up his play and started attacking off the bounce. The kid runs the floor with a purpose and when he zeroes in on the rim, he’s not thinking about laying the ball in. Playing with intensity and effort is one thing, getting consistent results and setting the tone versus older players speaks volumes. He’s got a high-wattage smile, an athletic frame, broad shoulders and a penchant for performing on the big stage.
2013, PF, 6-8, 240 pounds
When Randle plays focused and attacks inside the 3-point line, he is arguably the best high school senior in the country. He is definitely the most unstoppable force in high school basketball. The strength and athletic ability of the big lefty are unmatched in high school right now. There would have to be a long discussion between he and Andrew Wiggins for the best player/prospect in camp.
Kentan Facey (Long Island, N.Y./Lutheran)
2013, PF, 6-8, 190 pounds
He is an ultra-thin post player who is athletic and super active. Facey is raw but productive and has improved every day of the camp. Despite his lack of girth, Facey is a very effective rebounder and an active shot-blocker. He may not be known very much right now but in the next two weeks his profile could explode, especially with the lack of quality bigs in the 2013 class nationally.
JaJuan Johnson (Memphis, Tenn./Southwind)
2013, SG, 6-4, 175 pounds
He is a natural scorer who can be dominant offensively in streaks. Johnson is a solid shooter with range to 22 feet and an effective slasher who loves to go right. He has very good length and is a good basketball athlete. Johnson was big in the camp championship game showing his offensive repertoire, and we look for his school list to grow over the next two weeks.
Justin Jackson (Houston/HCYA)
2014, SF, 6-7, 175 pounds
Jackson is a smooth operator. He is very thin but wiry strong and has an extensive offensive arsenal. He can shoot the deep 3, post and turn to score, and he has a solid midrange game. Jackson is a solid athlete who needs to get stronger, but he is already a solid rebounder. Jackson already has a solid national reputation and only needs to continue to improve to sustain his current ranking.