High School Basketball Recruiting 2017 Summer Report

July 12, 2017

By Christian Siagian

The Memorial Day weekend traditionally is a busy recruiting week at the start of the summer season. However, this year the AAU California circuit (Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas) started earlier, well before the school year finished. The good news is that the players are in mid-season AAU form, allowing for an objective evaluation of their current skill level.

Furthermore, the seniors-to-be have gone through the process a few times, so now scouts and scribes alike can gauge an individual player’s progress and improvement.  This particular point is critical, especially when one is projecting a player's ability to succeed at the college and professional levels.

One should note that this report does not include players in the Adidas circuit, many of whom I have seen the previous summer, such as Zion Williamson, Immanuel Quickley, and Romeo Langford. They are at the same level as the top players seen in the Nike EYBL and Under Armour Association camps.  It is also important to note that AAU games are much more wide open than the typical structured high school game.


The senior class of 2018, much like other recent years, has depth at the point guard position.  Among the top 50 players, are a group of point guards that are similar in physical attributes and skill level, but with different characteristics.

The shooting of Anferne Simons sets him apart, along with his hard-nosed defense.  Javonte Smart almost always makes the proper pass.  Ayo Dosunmu is versatile player who is considered a combo guard, while Cobi White is one of the fastest players at this position.  Darius Garland rounds out the group as perhaps the best all-around point guard.

Outside of the top 50, Matt Bradley has shown the ability to drive strong to the basket and to overpower opponents with his physicality.  Foster Loyer has the experience and maturity to run a college offense.  Spencer Freedman has been in the limelight for quite some time while playing for Mater Dei High School, and he is one of the most cerebral players in the class.

For the junior class of 2019, Cole Anthony stands atop the rankings and could be well on schedule to be an NBA Draft pick, whenever he enters the pros. At nearly 6’3”, he can get to the basket on almost any play. His shot is very accurate and his leaping ability is second to none.  Tyger Campbell has been in the spotlight at La Lumiere for many years and is about to move up a class to 2018. His experience will carry him through, but he needs to improve his shooting.

Zion Harmon from the class of 2020 is not only physically mature, but also skilled enough to compete with his older peers. He will stay atop his class over the next few years provided he can improve his shooting and grow a bit taller.


In terms of lights-out shooting, Class of 2018 top 25 player Louis King at 6’8”, is a great shooter with incredible size.  He does have a shooter’s mentality of tending to linger outside, but with his size, he could be even more productive by getting into the middle of the action.

Another top 25 player who fits the bill is 6’4” Tyler Herro, as he has shown the consistent ability to knock down shots from extended range. For a more all-around player, 6’5” Quentin Grimes, ranked just outside top 10, seems to be the most ready to contribute in multiple ways at the college level. He is polished offensively, committed defensively, and appears to be a great leader.

Robert Woodard (6'6") is much sturdier than others on this list. He goes strong to the basket, and demonstrated consistent defensive intensity.  Brandon Slater (6'5"), on the other hand, is a smooth and versatile swingman with a mature game.  Dane Goodwin (6'5") has a knack for making plays in a variety of ways, not just as a shooter, as he utilizes his athleticism to make things happen off of broken plays. He also knows how to pick his spots in the offense.

Outside of top 50, Darius Day is a player on the upswing.  He is a good shooter and can contribute in a variety of ways, as he has shown good defensive intensity with the upside to be elite. He has all the marks of being a productive player.  Vince Williams (6'5") is a sleeper with only MAC offers right now, but he has a great feel for the game and makes plays around the basket. To move up, he needs to improve his offensive skills.

Moving to the junior Class of 2019, Scottie Lewis (6’5”) is probably at or near the top of the position.  Though he still needs to develop physically, he possesses elite athleticism, as he can smoothly get to the basket and get off a shot.

Cassius Stanley (6’5”) also has top end athleticism, and has played at the highest level since before his freshman year. With such recognition comes scrutiny, and his shooting, many point out, is one phase of his game that needs to improve in order for him to be considered a "can’t miss" player.

Outside of top 50, Charles Smith IV does many great things. At times he can play point guard, with the savvy to be a playmaker, and the athleticism to be an excellent defender.

The shooting guards of the Class of 2020 starts with top 5 Kyrie Walker. He is physically mature and ready to play. He can will himself to the basket, and is an accurate shooter. He is an emotional player who may need to improve his focus.


Contrary to the the 2017 Draft, most of the players projected to be top picks in 2019 are forwards and centers.

At 6’7”, Cameron Reddish can be the top of shooting guard and small forward for the high school Class of 2018. He has the size and skills to be the offensive focal point of a team at the next level. In addition, with a bit of experience, he can also play some point guard, especially in a wide-open, fast-paced offense.  He can get into the lane at any time, as he possesses the highest level of athleticism, complemented by his good shooting.

Ranked among the top 15, 6’8” Emmitt Williams is ultra-athletic and physical, with shooting his steadily coming along. He is currently projected as a power forward, but with his shorter stature, his long term position should be as a small forward, who occasionally gets slotted at power forward to speed up the game.

Another fellow top 15 player, 6’6” Keldon Johnson, also has the versatility to play inside and out because of his strength and athleticism. What makes him stick out is that he always seems to be in the middle of the action.

Of all the players that I have seen in the camps this summer, the one player I feel is a sleeper is 6’8” Darius Bazley, who was hovering in top 60, but moving up to near top 30. He has a high upside due to his excellent ballhandling ability for his size. If gets his shot to go in at a higher rate, he will be a productive player at the next level.  His rotation on his shot and overall shot selection is excellent, he just has to knock it down.

Another player in top 100 who should be productive right away, is 6’8” Ignaz Brazdeikis. He is physical and can do a bit of everything. He shoots well, has playmaking skills, and is a strong and versatile defender who can defend a shooting guard or a power forward.

In the Class of 2019, 6’7” D.J. Jeffries is a very fast player who can get from the wing to the basket with skill and control.  His AAU teammate, 6’8” Chandler Lawson, is just as athletic and fast, although he is smoother, while Jeffries is more forceful.  Defensively, Lawson is quite effective at putting on defensive pressure for 94 feet.

Another top 20 player Precious Achiuwa at 6’7”, as he is a top-end physical talent, with ease of movement to the basket, a developed shot, and the length to defend. Also among the top 15 at small forward is 6’8” Trendon Watford, who is more of a shooter and clearly experienced in taking what the defense gives him.


Probably deepest position for class of 2018, 6’11” Marvin Bagley III leads the pack by consistently affecting the game both at his nationally top-ranked Sierra Canyon high school and his AAU team. One thing about him is that he is smooth when he needs to be and physical when he is challenged. Also for an inside player, he has nice shooting range.

Depending on who you talk to, 7’1” Bol Bol, with his very unique skills and height, is trending up right now enough to be considered top 10, even top 5. His extraordinary reach, along with his good timing on blocks, is a tremendous boost to any defense. Offensively, he is an inside-out player, who has very high potential, comparable to Kevin Durant. However, because he often times does not assert himself on offense, he can get lost in a shuffle.

Leading a trio of stretch fours, a position that is always needed in today’s offenses, are 6’9” Jontay Porter, 6’8” Kamaka Hepa, and 6’8” Taeshon Cherry. All of them have great shooting accuracy and range. Porter is great at tracking rebounds, is tough, and always competes. Hepa has similar qualities to Porter, but Porter is physically more ready.  Cherry is an emotional player and won’t back down from a challenge, but could be more physical at times.

If a traditional physical power forward is needed, 6’9” Silvio De Souza fits the bill. With efficient motion, power, and high athleticism, he can dominate off of pick-and-roll action, and backdoor plays. In addition, he is one of the more emotional players in this class, as he plays with an edge.

At 6’8”, Simi Shittu is similar to De Souza, but plays more actively on both ends. Another to watch is 6’10” Jalen Smith, who definitely adds a strong physical presence on the floor.

For someone who possesses both finesse and strength, look no further than 6’9” Reggie Perry or 6’8” Miles Norris. Both are polished enough to be a factor on the perimeter, but can also hold their own on the blocks.

Moving to the class of 2019, the two players who stick out are 6’10” Charles Bassey and 6’11” Vernon Carey. Both Bassey and Carey can play center at the next level. Adding shooting range to their low post game would make them unstoppable.


At 7’1”, Moses Brown is the top true center in the class of 2018. He is tough, willing to work for his shot, and mobile enough to drive the baseline.

For the class of 2019, there are two names at top: 6’11” James Wiseman, and 7’1” Balsa Koprivica. Wiseman relies more on his athleticism and jumping ability to dominate, while Koprivica is incredibly skilled for his size.

Near top 25, 6’10” Kofi Cockburn is physically massive and should be able to muscle himself into many high percentage layups and shots, while also being an effective defensive presence.

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