Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nike Elite 100: Breaking down the class of 2016

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RANKINGS: Class of 2014 - 2015 - 2016
ST. LOUIS -- Monday, we took a look at the overall standouts from the Nike Elite 100 held on the campus of St. Louis University. Today, we shift our focus to coverage of more class of 2016 standouts such as Omari Spellman before wrapping up coverage Wednesday by taking a look at some of the class of 2017 notables in attendance.

Marques Bolden's game is coming around to match his physical presence.
Marques Bolden: The big man from DeSoto (Texas) High is now a four-star prospect and will factor into the 2016 rankings update at the end of the month. A sturdy kid with 6-foot-9, 236 pound size and a 7-foot-4 wingspan he has very good measurables. Bolden doesn't just fit the profile physically, though, his game is coming on. He has pretty good hands, relatively soft touch and the ability to play rugged in the post. He is easily a high-major prospect.
Bruce Brown: Simply put, Brown is a bucket getter. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Brown has high confidence and a very short memory. Missed shots don't get to him and is more than happy to keep firing away because of his confidence. Off the dribble, Brown uses his powerfully built body to get into the lane and finish through contact. He had a good year at Vermont Academy, has been solid on the grassroots trail with BABC and looks to be improving his overall profile.
Trent Forrest: One of the top wing athletes in camp, Forrest looks like a player who is appropriately ranked at No. 59 in the class of 2016. He can defend in space, attacks the rim in transition and is a solid all-around shooting guard prospect.
Alterique Gilbert: Coming out of a Miller Grove program in Georgia that wins state titles every year (well at least the last six), it wasn't surprising to see Gilbert playing smart, team oriented basketball. He isn't the biggest guy around, but he has the command of his team and is a leader on the floor. Skinny but quick, Gilbert can also make defenders pay from deep.
Carlos Johnson: This kid's game is all about toughness and being aggressive. He is strong and athletic and takes everything to the rim that he can. A combo forward who is a bit undersized (listed at 6-foot-6 but looks to be more like 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4), Johnson has an incredible motor and nose for the ball. If he can show more perimeter skill he will be a very intriguing prospect because his game doesn't fit into any conventional box/position mold.
Mitch Lightfoot: Easily one of the most competitive players in camp, the 6-foot-7 power forward from Arizona plays with much more physicality than you would expect given his skinny 196 pound frame. Lightfoot was constantly battling for position, hitting the glass and running the floor. He's pretty quick off his feet around the rim and looks to be a good faceup shooter to at least 16 feet.
Skylar Mays: Already committed to LSU, Mays is a by-the-book point guard. He runs the plays he is supposed to run, gets the ball to who is supposed to get it and has great command of the high pick and roll. At 6-foot-3 he has good size and looks like a solid early get for LSU.
Rodney Miller: Over the last year, the center from New York who attends Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill has improved considerably. He runs the floor much better, he has gotten much stronger (up to 245 pounds) and he is starting to understand how to use his 6-foot-10 size to impact the game on both ends. Not yet a developed offensive player, he does rebound, alter shots and pick up buckets where he can in transition or off of clean up opportunities.

Omari Spellman was one of the best players in St. Louis regardless of class.
Jagan Mosely: A rugged and long armed 6-foot-2, 200 pound shooting guard, there is nothing soft about the way Mosely plays. He is going to attack the rim off the dribble, seeks out contact and is a physical defender. Mosely is a guy that Big East and A-10 programs should be all over if they want a tough guy wing.
Omari Spellman: One of the best players in camp, the 6-foot-8 power forward outplayed his current ranking of No. 37 in the class of 2016. He has very soft hands and is surprisingly quick and athletic given that he is lugging around 270 pounds. That size makes him tough to move out of the post where he makes jump hooks and turnarounds with ease but his ability to block shots straight up and make jumpers make him a valuable prospect.
Lamar Stevens: Tough and athletic, Stevens is a combo forward who really likes to attack the rim via the dribble. He is always in the mix when it comes to rebounding, runs the floor and is a very strong finisher at the rim.
Nick Ward: Probably more of a natural center with power forward size, Ward is very good in the low post with his back to the basket. He uses his 230 pounds to hold off defenders and has soft hands to go along with good footwork. A seven-foot wingspan helps overcome being slightly undersized (measured 6-foot-6 in his socks) and he is a promising prospect who should be monitored by high major programs.
Howard Washington: A point guard from Buffalo, NY, Washington is a steady performer who moves the ball, plays good defense and can score when needed. Ranked No. 50 in the current rankings for the class of 2016, Washington first popped onto our radar at last year's Elite 100. Last summer he seemed to be more of a shooting guard who could play some point but he has developed into a true point guard while retaining his ability to score.
Greg Williams: Originally from Houston, Williams plays for his brother at Lynchburg (Va.) Genesis Academy. The 6-foot-4 wing has an electric first step to go along with top shelf athleticism. His motor runs a bit hot and cold and he is rough around the edges. But, he shows lots of ability as a transition finisher and looked pretty promising as a jump shooter on a few step back jumpers.
Cassius Winston: One of the highest ranked players in attendance at No. 30 in the class of 2016, the six-footer from Detroit backed up his reputation and played quite solidly at the point. Winston is a tough competitor, has outstanding quickness and is about getting others involved first. He makes enough shots to keep defenses from totally backing off on him.

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