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Biancardi's Breakdown: Five stock risers

8/12/2014

Every summer prospects go out on the circuit to win, compete and improve with hopes to gain some exposure along the way. When evaluating, there are certain prospects who consistently show up and catch your eye with strong performances at a high level, affecting the outcome of a game.

Here are five players from the 2015 class whose stocks are on the rise in the all-important summer period.

1. Jaylen Brown

No. 8 in the ESPN 100

Brown played himself into star status back in June, earning his way inside the top 10. He continues to build up his résumé with outstanding and sometimes dominating performances. Brown will beat opponents with a low and quick first step to the basket and then crush them with power and explosion in the lane. Not only a driver, he can rattle off jumpers from beyond the arc with fluid mechanics. Drawing fouls and making free throws show why he is special, while rebounding is a constant part of his game. Being a top-10 ranked player means you are not allowed any nights off, as you are required to be a difference-maker. Brown is one of the elite players in the country with a chance to crack into the top 5. His list of schools includes Kentucky (which he plans to visit for Big Blue Madness), UCLA (where he recently took an unofficial after Adidas Nations), Florida, Kansas, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Ohio State.

2. Jawun Evans

No. 62 in the ESPN 100

This quick and mighty point guard is quick to penetrate and force a defense to help. When that happens he makes the opponent pay with a high-level decision. Evans plays the game fast but processes slowly, which helps his vision and decision-making stand out. His scoring prowess allows him to create drives and finish at the rim or make a step-back jumper behind a ball screen. He has a bulldog mentality to defend his position. For Evans to take the next step he must add a floater and a two-foot jump stop when driving the lane to be even more effective. He was outstanding at the NBPA camp and has kept up the high level of play all summer. His recruiting is starting to take shape as he has narrowed his list to Texas, Oklahoma State, Illinois and USC.

3. Donovan Mitchell

No. 73 in the ESPN 100

This electric guard is clearly one of the better athletes in the class and plays with a competitive flair. It’s been a steady climb for Mitchell as he improved over the spring and has exploded in the summer. His shooting and ball handing has made progress, but his physical tools have allowed him to begin separating from his peers. "He is mature beyond years and very coachable," said Jason Smith, his head coach at Brewster Academy. "Outstanding perimeter defender who plays very physical. He had breakout performance at the Reebok classic and the Fab 48. Always has been an elite athlete and now using that athleticism in all areas.” Mitchell recently committed to Louisville.

4. Derrick Jones

No. 27 in the ESPN 100

Known as a big-time finisher even when he can’t dunk it, Jones’ body control and touch are evident. His overall skill level has grown and he is able to put points on the board in different ways. His shooting confidence has improved and as a result, his jumper is making progress. "I can see his maturity both on and off the floor as he is trying to be a leader on the team and is focused about his future,” said Terrell Myers, director of “We are One” who Jones plays for in the summer. Jones has made unofficial visits to Syracuse and UConn and hopes to do unofficial visits to Louisville, Kentucky, Auburn and Indiana in September.

5. Horace Spencer

No. 76 in the ESPN 100

He quietly gets the job done without a lot of fanfare. Excelling as a rebounder, Spencer will find a missed shot and go and get it. As a shot blocker he patrols the paint with wing span and bounce. He swats away opponents’ attempts and competes with a consistent motor. When he improves his offensive skill set inside he will become more complete. “A high-motor guy who runs through the wall for you and a team-first guy who wants to win,” said Andy Johnson, his coach at Findlay College Prep (Warminster, Pa. ). Schools pursuing him are Temple, Iowa, Seton Hall, LaSalle, Cincinnati, Georgia and West Virginia among many others.