On Saturday we published an early look at several players who stood out in the skills and drills portion of the UA Next Combine Series in Dallas, TX. Of the 40 elite 8th graders who attended the event at Duncanville High School, there were several players who logged in standout performances during the games on Saturday afternoon. We liked them early in the day and we were even more impressed with P.J. Neal (6’2/PG/2021/Houston, TX) and Duncan Powell (6’7/PF/2021/DeSoto, TX) during the games. Neal was of one of 2 elite guards on the day and his play on Saturday clearly explained why he’s effective playing up on the UA Association with the Houston Defenders’ U15 team. Big, powerful, with a pass-first mentality best describes Neal’s game. Powell has a big body and can bang with the big boys in the paint; however, he's skilled and more than capable of stretching the floor and scoring on the perimeter. For their efforts, Neal and Powell were ranked #1 and #2, respectively.
In terms of guard play, Wade Taylor IV (5’10/PG/2021/Dallas, TX) was one of the best guards in the gym. Taylor is very active on both ends of the floor and excels at getting buckets. He’s good at changing speeds and direction, and when he attacks the cup he finishes at a high rate. We also liked Taylor’s willingness to defend. From what we saw, Taylor should be an early contributor at Duncanville High School next year. In terms of upside potential, Jaylon McDaniel (6’6/PF/2021/Lees Summit, MO) had as much as any player we saw. A rebounding machine, McDaniel has great length and he plays with a big time motor. He has some dog in him, and he understands the need to protect the rim. A big time prospect and D-I caliber player in our opinion!
|P.J. Neal, Duncan Powell, Wade Taylor IV, Jaylon McDaniel & Emmanuel Obaseki|
Rounding out our top-5 is Emmanuel Obaseki (6’2/PG/2021/Allen, TX), who is long, athletic, bouncy and quick off his feet. He defends well and is always a threat to catch an ally oop for a highlight play. Obaseki plays the pick and roll well and he flashed a nasty spin move in the lane, which he finished. Obaseki is another good-looking prospect. Possibly the best shooter in the gym, Gavin Perryman (6’1/SG/2021/Dallas, TX) was a late entrant and seen knocking down treys all day. He’s not just a catch and shoot threat, as Perryman can go get his shot off the bounce. He moves well with out the rock, he’s got good court vision and he does a god job finding open teammates.
We also liked the skill set of Juan Reyna (6’2/PG/2021/San Antonio, TX). He’s crafty, has the rock on a string and is a threat to hit the 3-ball if left unguarded. He’s also a threat to score off the bounce, going to his left or right. Christopher Felix (6’3/CG/2021/Fresno, TX) has good length, solid ball skills, hits his free throws and has a nice looking floater. It also looks like Felix has a lot more growing to do. Later in the day, Nicholas Davidson (6’6/PF/2021/Mission Viejo, CA) started making a little noise. Like most bigs his age, Davidson needs to add strength, but on the perimeter, Davidson is money. He does much of his damage in the pick and pop situations, but he’s really a stretch 4, who’s most valuable in catch and shoot opportunities from beyond the arc. He could be a good one in a few years!
|Gavin Perryman, Juan Reyna, Christopher Felix, Nicholas Davidson & Damon Nicholas Jr.|
Rounding out our top 10 is Damon Nicholas Jr., (6’2/CG/2021/Arlington, TX), who is another long guard with ample athleticism. Nicholas also has the ability to knock down 3-pointers. Other guys who caught our eye included: Cameron Smith (5’11/CG/2021/Little Elm, TX), Wilfredo Amaro (6’3/CG/2021/Floresville, TX), Zion Swader (5’11/PG/2021/Murfeesboro,TN), Dallan Coleman (6’3/CG/2-21/Memphis, TN), Harrison Ingram (6’5/WF/2021/Dallas, TX), Jacobi Lewis, Kendell Fair, Damon Gentry, Jaden Jones (6’5/WF/2021/Richardson, TX) and Elijah Bernstein (5’8/CG/2021/Missouri City, TX). The 5th and final UA Next Combine rolls into Washington DC this coming Saturday to close the 2017 campaign and will conclude with a boatload of talent.