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High School Class of 2014: Elite Prospect Scouting Reports, Part One
by: Jonathan Givony - President
September 27, 2012
Jahlil Okafor, 6-10, C, Whitney Young H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #3, Scout: #4, Rivals: #2, 24/7: #6

Strengths:
-6-10 in shoes with a 7-3 wingspan
-Massive frame. 272 pounds, but looks to be in good shape physically
-Huge, soft hands. Palms ball like a grapefruit
-Very comfortable operating with back to the basket
-Excellent footwork and a natural feel for posting up and taking what the defender gives him
-Great body control and an array of spin moves
-Establishes position inside with ease
-Catches everything that is thrown to him
-A magnet for drawing fouls
-Finishes with either hand
-Tremendous offensive rebounder. Terrific length. Gives multiple efforts on the glass. Catches anything in his area
-Very good basketball IQ for his age
-Seems very grounded and well spoken off the court
-Incredibly young. Won't turn 17 until December

Weaknesses:
-With his body type, conditioning could be an issue in the future
-Good, not incredible athlete. Must continue to work on becoming more explosive
-Needs to improve free throw shooting
-Didn't log a single assist in eight games at the FIBA U17 World Championship. Only recorded six assists in 19 EYBL games
-Relatively untested defensively. Can he handle other players his size?

Outlook: Extremely poised young big man with tremendous size, length and strength. Has no qualms about playing inside. Very difficult to contain with his physical tools, skill-level and basketball IQ. A bigger version of Jared Sullinger? Still only 16 years old.

Highlights:



Trey Lyles, 6-9 , Power Forward, Arsenal Tech H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #7, Scout: #8, Rivals: #8, 24/7: #10

Strengths:
-6-9 in shoes with a 7-0 wingspan
-Solid frame that will fill out nicely in time
-Do-it all power forward with tremendous versatility
-Very good ball-handler for his size. Can create from the perimeter with ease. Handles the ball in transition and sometimes even in the pick and roll
-Very difficult for opposing big man to match up with on the perimeter
-Draws plenty of fouls
-Excellent footwork and body control
-Can play above the rim. Takes contact and finishes
-Can pick and pop, knock down jumpers with range out to the 3-point line
-Can make a mid-range jumper, sometimes pulling up off the dribble
-Intelligent player. Makes smart passes. Can drive and dish
-Solid rebounder. Excellent hands
-Competitive player

Weaknesses:
-Good, not amazing athlete
-Could probably stand to get a little tougher as he gets older
-Lateral quickness is average. Struggles guarding the perimeter

Outlook: Smooth, skilled, smart big man with incredible versatility for a player age. A young Greg Monroe? Still only 16 years old, but can seemingly do everything offensively. Sky is the limit if he continues to improve.

Isaiah Whitehead, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Lincoln H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #42, Scout: #41, Rivals: #16, 24/7: #30

Strengths:
-Very versatile guard for his age
-True combo who can play either guard position effectively
-Solid court vision and very good basketball IQ
-Unselfish player who knows how to make others better
-Very good on the drive and dish
-Very good ball-handler. Knows how to create offense
-Excellent in transition
-Quick first step. Nice body control. Uses body well in traffic. Finishes with either hand
-Can pull-up smoothly off the dribble from distance. Capable shot-maker
-Extremely competitive defender
-Gets in a low stance. Moves his feet well

Weaknesses:
-Is he a point guard or a shoot guard?
-A little stuck between positions at 6-3/6-4
-Will he have to play PG? Can pass but looks more comfortable looking for his own shot
-Needs to improve ability to play pick and roll, create for others in half-court situations
-Sometimes settles for long jumpers.
-Long, slow release on catch and shoot jumper.
-Not incredibly finishing around the basket. May still get more athletic with age
-A little old relative to his class

Outlook: Smooth, versatile combo guard who is very advanced for his age. Shows a good feel for the game and the ability to do a bit of everything with the ball. Has a very promising future if he continues to work on his game and is able to drown out the noise around him.

Highlights:


Joel Berry, 6-0, PG, Lake Highland Prep, HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #14, Scout: #17, Rivals: #25, 24/7: #27

Strengths:
-Solid frame. Good athlete
-True point guard
-Great floor presence. Leads the team. Wants to make others better
-Unselfish player. Terrific passer. Has a knack for getting teammates good shots
-Very good ball-handler. Strong first step. Can drive left or right
-Can create for himself and others. Gets to the basket. Can play above the rim at times
-Excellent decision maker. Doesn't hesitate in anything he does
-Has no qualms about playing strong defense. Gets in a low stance. Moves feet. Plays with good effort
-Expression never changes. Great court demeanor

Weaknesses:
-A little on the small side. Listed by most at 6-0
-Not a consistent outside shooter yet. Mechanics are not great
-Will he be able to finish inside the lane against better defenses in college?
-Needs to improve his floater

Outlook: Impressive young prospect. Pure point guard with seemingly outstanding intangibles. Shows a great knack for making others better already at a young age. Can score and defend a bit too. How much will his size hold him back long-term?

Highlights:



Justise Winslow, 6-6, SF, St. John's H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #10, Scout: #15, Rivals: #9, 24/7: #7

Strengths:
-Chiseled frame
-Extremely athletic
-Consummate role-player. Terrific teammate
-Plays under control
-Intelligent passer
-Incredible competitor. Gives maximum effort on every play seemingly
-Defends every position on the floor. Great instincts for blocking shots
-Excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor
-Extremely serious. Very business-like attitude. Never changes his face. Not affected by the ups and downs of the game
-Shows some ability to create off the dribble
-Can make an open 3-pointer

Weaknesses:
-Skill-level still a work in progress. A little bit mechanical offensively
-Shooting mechanics need a lot of work. Shoots ball on the way down
-Ball-handling skills are unpolished
-Too reliant on using his strength, intensity and athleticism to just bully his way offensively

Outlook: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist esqe competitor. Shows a tremendous knack for shutting down the opposing team's best player. Played an instrumental role in USA Basketball winning the U-17 World Championship. Poised player with a terrific attitude. Will have to work hard to polish his offensive skill-level to round out the rest of his game.

Stanley Johnson, 6-6, Small Forward, Mater Dei, HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #24, Scout: #28, Rivals: #17, 24/7: #17

Strengths:
-Excellent physical tools
-Strong frame
-Very athletic- quick and explosive
-Extremely competitive
-Tremendous defender. Guards three positions (2/3/4). Fundamentally sound. Shows nice toughness
-Good offensive rebounder
-Very good in transition. Strong first step. Powerful driver
-Finishes strong around the basket. Very good body control
-Can post up a bit using strong frame

Showing flashes of a nice crossover but still needs to keep polishing it.

Weaknesses:
-Can make an open 3-pointer, but not yet a consistent outsider shooter
-Ball-handling skills still a work in progress in the half-court
-Average decision maker. Can be out of control at times offensively

Outlook: Strong, athletic prospect with intriguing versatility. Still rounding out his skill-level offensively, but has a lot of tools to work with.

Highlights:



Jakeenan Gant, 6-7, SF/PF, Effingham County, HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #39, Scout: #40, Rivals: #26, 24/7: #16

Strengths:
-Solid size
-Great frame
-Long wingspan
-Very good athlete
-Elevates around the rim with purpose
-Good first step with big long strides
-Rotates for blocks
-Has a basic post game. Uses quickness and energy, to score inside
-Really competes on defense. Tremendous potential with his length, athleticism and energy
-Crashes the offensive glass

Weaknesses:
-Skill-level is not high at this stage
-Not much of a ball-handler
-Needs to improve as a jump-shooter
-Looks comfortable blending in. Needs to show more willingness to use his tools and talent as he continues to mature

Outlook: Plays the 4 but future is likely at the 3. Will be interesting to see if he continues to grow. Must work on his skill-level as he will be stuck between positions if he doesn't develop a much more polished perimeter game.

Rashad Vaughn, 6-5, Shooting Guard, Robbinsdale Cooper H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #12, Scout: #16, Rivals: #15, 24/7: #13

Strengths:
-Very intelligent player
-Extremely smooth athlete
-Can elevate a bit
-Has a framework of a nice skill-level
-Excellent shooting mechanics
-Can shoot with feet set or off the dribble
-Creates separation well in mid-range area
-Unselfish player. Passes well
-Shows a willingness to defend

Weaknesses:
-Needs to improve ball-handling skills

Outlook: Impressive young player with a very nice feel for the game. Everything comes easy. Doesn't force anything. Shoots the ball extremely well. Competes on defense.

Cliff Alexander, 6-8, Power Forward, Curie H.S., HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #10, Scout: #6, Rivals: #6, 24/7: #9

Strengths:
-Great frame. Already 240 pounds
-Super long arms. 7-2 wingspan
-Extremely athletic
-Great hands, timing on the offensive glass. Very competitive. Really gets after it
-Can finish impressively with power around the rim. Attacks basket ferociously

Weaknesses:
-Undersized at 6-8
-Has high hips. Lumbers a bit
-Needs to improve skill-level. Post-game, ball-handling, jump-shot
-Doesn't know how to play defense yet

Outlook: Wasn't healthy all summer after suffering an ankle injury. Showed great physical tools and potential in the little we were able to see.

Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-4, Point Guard, Prime Prep Academy, HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #6, Scout: #3, Rivals: #4, 24/7: #3

Strengths:
-Tremendous size for the point
-Huge frame. Long arms
-Excellent athlete
-Very good ball-handler
-Powerful driver and shot-creator. Turns the corner well, gets low to the ground
-Can finish around the rim. Excellent frame helps a lot
-Shooting mechanics aren't bad
-Not a selfish player. Comfortable creating for others. Very good on the drive and dish
-Great defensive potential with size and length

Weaknesses:
-Does not look like a very good shooter at this stage. Shoots ball on way down
-Takes bad shots at times
-Didn't always look very aggressive looking to score

Outlook: Extremely unique combination of size, length, athleticism and instincts at the point guard position. Needs to continue to round out offensive game, but is clearly making strides since the last time we saw him. Upside is significant.

Theo Pinson, 6-6, Small Forward, Wesleyan Christian Academy, HS Class of 2014
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Recruiting Rankings: ESPN: #9, Scout: #13, Rivals: #14, 24/7: #12

Strengths:
-Measured 6-5 in shoes, but has a very long 6-10 wingspan
-Very good feel for the game. Unselfish player who passes the ball well
-Very good scoring instincts. Shows nice body control. Uses glass well. Knows how to draw fouls
-Rebounds out of his area.
-Can defend a bit thanks to his length and smarts
-Can get up for offensive rebounds
-Can make tough shots. Has the makings of a very good shooter

Weaknesses:
-Has a very skinny frame that doesn't show huge potential. Just 181 pounds
-Not a great ball-handler, particularly in the half-court
-Needs to get stronger finishing around the rim.
-Struggled against the physical wings we saw him match up with

Outlook:

Justin Jackson, 6-6, Small Forward, East York H.S (Canada)., HS Class of 2016
College: Undecided


Jonathan Givony

Strengths:
-Amazing frame for his age
-Freakishly Long arms
-Solid scoring instincts
-Handles the ball in transition. Has a solid first step. Good feel for creating and scoring around the rim
-Tremendous defender. Smothers opponents with length. Plays hard.
-Well coached. Smart passer

Weaknesses:
-Very poor shooter at this stage. Needs to work on shooting mechanics. Elbow locked in. Release not fluid.
-Not a great ball-handler in the half-court

Outlook: Was by far the youngest player at the U17 World Championship at just 15 years old, but had no problem competing against the older players. Was Canada's best player in many stretches. Not a brilliant scorer, but finds ways to score, primarily in transition. Very physically mature for his age. Will be very interesting to see how he continues to improve as he gets older.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Jahlil Okafor
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 272 lbs.
Birthday: 12/15/1995
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Whitney Young Magnet
Current Team: Duke , Freshman
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
29.0 Pts, 9.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Jared Sullinger
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 268 lbs.
Birthday: 03/04/1992
22 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Northland
Previous Team: Celtics , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #21 in 2012 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
13.0 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Trey Lyles
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Birthday: 11/05/1995
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Arsenal Tech
Current Team: Kentucky , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
17.0 Pts, 6.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Greg Monroe
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 247 lbs.
Birthday: 06/04/1990
24 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Helen Cox
Previous Team: Pistons , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 2010 Draft
by the Pistons
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Isaiah Whitehead
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 03/08/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lincoln
Current Team: Seton Hall , Freshman
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Joel Berry
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthday: 04/01/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lake Highland Prep
Current Team: North Carolina , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


Justise Winslow
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Birthday: 03/26/1996
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. John
Current Team: Duke , Freshman
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
12.4 Pts, 6.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 233 lbs.
Birthday: 09/28/1993
21 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St Patrick
Previous Team: Hornets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2012 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
17.0 Pts, 8.0 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Cliff Alexander
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 254 lbs.
Birthday: 11/16/1995
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Curie
Current Team: Kansas , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
9.0 Pts, 11.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Emmanuel Mudiay
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 03/05/1996
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Prime Prep
Current Team: Guangdong , Freshman
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
15.0 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 6.0 Asts


Theo Pinson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 188 lbs.
Birthday: 11/05/1995
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Wesleyan Christian
Current Team: North Carolina , Freshman
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
10.0 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Justin Jackson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 168 lbs.
Birthday: 03/28/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Homeschool Christian
Current Team: North Carolina , Freshman
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
23.0 Pts, 5.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


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