Friday, May 19, 2017

Baldwin has Next Level Potential

Patrick Baldwin, Will Jeffress, Dionte Hughes, Caleb Furst & Chris Hodges
Earlier we profiled the top guards that attended the UA Next Combine in Chicago, but it was clear there were a number of quality bigs and wings in the house as well. In terms of long-term prospects, Patrick Baldwin (6’6/WF/2021/Evanston, IL) legitimately could have been the top prospect in the gym.  Baldwin is long, agile, and has a good touch around the rim. He can also handle rock, pass, and he fills the lane on the break at a high level.  With a father who coaches at Northwestern University, it’s easy to understand why Baldwin has since an impressive skill level, IQ and upside potential. 

While we’re talking about long-term prospects, William Jeffress (6’5/WF/2021/Erie, PA) has a high ceiling as well. We’ve caught Jeffress in action on a number of occasions and have always been impressed with his athleticism, explosiveness and the ability to finish at the rim at a high level. Jeffress is long, defends well and can guard multiple positions.  Look for Jeffress on a college campus in a few years! Dionte Hughes (6’6/WF/2021/Indianapolis, IN) is another one to watch.  An athletic combo forward, Hughes finishes well around the rim with dunks, grabs more than his share of rebounds and can push the rock from baseline to baseline off the rebound.

Caleb Furst (6’8/C/2021/Ft. Wayne, IN) has long been considered one of the top bigs in the country, and his play in Chicago did not hurt his reputation.  Furst is a lefty with a soft touch on his jump shot.  He also rebounds well, has some nice back to the basket moves, and he make his free throws.  Furst is also a solid long-term prospect with high major potential. Chris Hodges (6’8/C/2021/Schaumberg, IL) attracted some attention in Chi Town. Hodges was biggest big at the combine. He moves well, shows toughness, finishes around the rim and defends the paint.

We should have already mentioned Max Christie (6’2/PG/2021/Arlington Heights, IL) among the top PGs at the event, but we will say it here; the kid can ball! Christie already has good size for his position, can score from all three levels and looks like another long-term prospect.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that Christie’s mother played college ball at Northwestern!  We have to give a shout out to Noah Peeoples (6’2/WF/2021/Akron, OH), who traveled to Chicago and re-established himself as a national talent.  Peoples continues to demonstrate his ability to handle and score the ball away from the cup.  He’s an undersized power forward who is developing wing skills.

Pierre Brooks II (6’4/WF/2021/Detroit, MI) also logged in a solid event and did nothing to harm his growing reputation. We also saw some flashes from Makail Cottingham (6’0/PG/2021/Parma, OH), A.J. Braun (6’6/PF/2021/Springboro, OH), Glenn Bynum Jr. (6’3/CG/2021/Mint Hill, NC), Skyler Schmidt (6’6/PF/2021/Goshen, OH), Jaden Winfield (6’1/CG/St. Louis, MO) and Gregory Johnson (5’11/PG/2021/Cincinnati, OH).  Now that Chicago is in the books, we are now looking forward heading to Atlanta for the South Regional Combine.  Stay tuned!

Midwest Combine Player Pictures

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