Friday, July 5, 2013
Best of the UA Undeniable Camp
By Joel Francisco
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Under Armour continued its "Grind" session circuit this week at Inglewood High School and the talent on display was high level. The Undeniable Camp introduced the players to a variety of skill-development drills, as well as some freelance scrimmaging.
Whether it was 2014 guard Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) blitzing the ball up court or 2016 guard Derryck Thornton (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep) putting defenders on their heels, several of the nation's elite rose to the top at the Under Armour Undeniable Camp, including a pair of 2014 Maryland commits.
However, the most perplexing aspect of the camp was the lack of urgency -- whether it was in a particular drill or scrimmage -- from many of the prospects in attendance. These camps should be a privilege for these players, and assertiveness should not be an afterthought.
Here were some of the top performers from the camp.
DeAndre Ayton (San Diego/The Balboa School)
2017, PF, 6-9, 200 If there are any other prospects in the Class of 2017 with Ayton's combination of size, length and skill, I would be shocked. The rangy 4-man can fill the lane and finish well above the rim or face up his defender and knock down the 17-foot jump shot. Due to his physical intangibles and evolving skill, he should be a top-five prospect in his class.
Point guard Derryck Thornton is a rising star in the 2016 class.
Derryck Thornton (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep)
2016, PG, 6-1, 165
Status: Claims offers from UNLV, New Mexico, Washington, San Diego State, USC, UTEP, UConn, Oregon State, Arizona and Pepperdine
Thornton came into this camp on a mission and took a no-prisoners approach with each matchup. The savvy youngster dropped off a number of high-level assists, including a few left-handed, no-look passes. His pull-up game was consistent as well, and he showed a quick burst off the dribble. Defensively, he got into fellow 2016 point guard Seventh Woods and caused him fits. Overall, Thornton’s progress has been excellent since the regular season.
Best Spot-up Shooter
Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell)
2014, PG/SG, 6-2, 190
Status: Committed to Maryland
Trimble is a stocky combo guard who possesses good strength. He uses his bulk to create space with the dribble, but his lack of burst was evident while matching up with quicker guards. He looked more comfortable spotting up and nailing jump shots off the catch than penetrating against the defense. At times, he does a nice job utilizing his strength to overpower defenders while getting into the teeth of the defense. However, defenders cannot give him too much space because his stroke is pretty feathery from the arc.
Jaylen Fisher (Arlington, Tenn./Bolton)
2016, PG, 6-0, 160 Fisher is a physical point guard prospect who competes at both ends. He pushes the ball well in the open court with good speed and quickness, and he changes speeds (solid hesitation dribble) extremely well to keep defenders off balance. Fisher runs the pick-and-roll with aplomb, but he also has the ability to get his own shot. His jumper needs polishing (low release), but overall Fisher is a promising lead guard prospect who has a ton of moxie.
Beastly Combo Guard
Kaleb Joseph (Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy)
2014, PG/SG, 6-3, 180
Status: Claims offers from Syracuse, Maryland, Georgetown, Boston College, Tennessee, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette and Minnesota
Joseph is physical combo guard who can either burst by his opponent for a tomahawk jam or pull up and nail the jump shot. Although he is more scorer than facilitator, he does have solid vision to find open teammates. Defensively, he swallowed up many of his opponents due to his physicality and excellent lateral quickness.
ESPN 100 combo forward Brekkott Chapman has an impressive all-around game.
Brekkott Chapman (Roy, Utah/Roy)
2014, PF/SF, 6-8, 215
Status: Claims offers from Arizona, Utah, BYU, Utah State, Colorado, Gonzaga and San Francisco
There are not too many prospects who possess the all-around skill set of Chapman. The lengthy left-hander has point forward skills and the ability to score at all three levels. The key aspect with Chapman is his willingness to make the right basketball play to catapult his team to victory.
Seventh Woods (Columbia, S.C./Hammond)
2016, PG, 6-1, 175 After watching some game tape and reading multiple scouting reports, I expected much more from Woods. The USA Basketball U16 standout offered up little resistance against classmate Derryck Thornton in a couple of their matchups. Thornton did a nice job keeping Woods in front of him as Woods struggled to create offense. Over the course of the three-day camp, Woods had a couple of highlight-reel dunks, but overall he lacked assertiveness at both ends.
Mustapha Heron (West Haven, Conn./Wilbraham & Monson)
2016, SG/SF, 6-4, 200 Heron is a strong lefty wing who can play the 2 or the 3 with equal effectiveness. He creates well off the dribble (solid triple-threat game) and has a knack for scoring at all three levels, especially in the mid-range area. Heron has the strength to finish through contact, the savvy to convert over bigs and a high IQ for the game. Due to his motor and overall approach to the game, this kid has winner written all over him.
Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln)
2014, SG, 6-4, 185
Status: Claims offers from Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland and Minnesota, with Kentucky and Florida showing interest
Whitehead plays at one speed: attack mode. He is relentless in the open court and his overall approach reminds me a bit of Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson. Whitehead’s jump shot is now a weapon and there are few players around the country who finish through contact like he does. He needs to do a better job of managing his pace (plays too fast) and allow the game to come to him more than forcing the issue, but he's a definite talent.
Jared Nickens (Monmouth Junction, NJ/Westtown School)
2014, SG/SF, 6-6, 185
Status: Committed to Maryland
Nickens is a willowy wing with good length and a knack for converting buckets. His 3-point shot has a high release and was fairly consistent, but he did most of his damage on slashing drives. He has ideal quickness and bounce and a solid first step. He needs to get considerably stronger to finish those drives at the next level, but his upside is impressive.