Tuesday, May 23, 2017

UA Next Combine South Standout Performers 6-20

 Jalen Breazeale, Miles Versa, Garrison Powell, Oliver O'Brian & Jalen Hood
Yesterday we featured our picks as the top 5 players that attended the UA Next Combine Series in Atlanta, GA on Saturday.  Today, we would like to list players 6-15, including several players who made our Honorable Mention squad.  It’s always difficult in events like these to see everybody enough to accurately evaluate each player.  We do our best to see everybody, but we understand we often fall short.  Players need to understand that the window of opportunity to shine often closes quickly, so a slow start early, rest in the middle, or being too fatigued to give their maximum effort for an entire event could all conspire to produce under recognition and exposure.  Of course, some players are simply off their game for some reason.  With that said, let’s take a look at whom and what we saw on Saturday.

We over heard a coach describe Jalen Breazeale (5’8/PG/2021/Mauldin, SC) as the top PG at the camp.  Although we can’t confirm that, based on the standout performance logged in by Khalil Brantley, we can confirm that Breazeale was quite impressive!  He’s supper quick with excellent ball handling skills, and he excels at breaking down his defender and getting into the lane for a layup or dish. Breazeale is also athletic, and his ability to find open teammates and then deliver accurate and timely passes makes him an excellent playmaker.  He’s also explosive, and his knack for finishing wrap around passes in a crowd is exciting to watch. Breazele is a high energy player who seems to make a lot of things happen on the court.  Moreover, he defends at a high level.  Take a look at the highlight video below and we’re sure you will agree that Breazeale has game!

Miles Versa (5’10/PG/2021/Athens, TN) logged in a fine performance as well. Versa has a nice looking mid-range jumper, and he’s also aggressive at attacking the cup. He has an explosive first step and he does a good job of finishing plays.  He also sees the floor well and is a very capable and willing passer.  Versa also has good body control, and he plays with solid motor. We also saw some good stuff out of Garrison Powell (6’2/CG/2021/Roswell, GA). Powell, has good length, is athletic and finishes well through contact.  Powell is a bigger guard, and he finishes at the free throw line.

He may not scare anybody getting off the bus, but few players were more productive on Saturday than Oliver O’Brien (6’1/CG/2021/Davidson, NC). From what we saw, the highly skilled O’Brien just makes plays.  We did’nt keep his scoring numbers, but every time we looked up he was scoring the ball and making highlight plays.  The son of a high school basketball coach, it’s clear O’Brien has been in the gym doing skill work.  

Tony Watters II, Trayvien Curry, Jalen Clark, Robert McCray & Jaden Thomas
Any discussion about the top PGs at the event has to include Tony Waters II (5’9/PG/2021/Charlotte, NC).  Watters put in work on Saturday! He got to the cup on a consistent basis, hit mid-range jumpers off the bounce, set teammates up for easy buckets, scored in transition and was generally difficult to guard. Watters is also quick, explosive and relentlessly attacks the cup where he finishes at a high rate.  Teamed up with Breazeale, the duo gave teams problems all day.  We expect some good things out of Watters in the future. 

Just outside our top 10 were Trayvien Curry (6’4/PF/2021/Cleveland, TN) and Jalen Hood-Schifino 6'0/PG/2022/Charlotte, NC). Curry has good length, a solid frame and was at his beat protecting the rim against would be scorers.  He’s not just a good defender, Curry was seen finishing plays with his left hand. Curry appears to still have plenty of room to grow, so it would not surprise us at all to see him playing college basketball in a few years. Boyd also did enough to catch our eye on Saturday.  He’s well built, strong and he has a nice touch on his jumper. He’s also smooth, poised and plays with nice pace.  Although he did some nice things, everything tells us he had more in him that he did not let go.  Boyd could be another good one with continued growth and development.

Ashton Williams, Marcus Stewart, Anthony Hopson, Collin Albert, Ja'Sean Morris
We were also impressed with Jalen Clark (5’7/PG/2021/Indianapolis, IN), who caught our eye early. Clark is a great floor general, who plays the pick and roll well, is patient, keeps his head up in search of cutting teammates, and he does a good job of making plays.  He pushes the ball well in transition, but still understands how to play with good pace.  Robert McCray (5’11/PG/2021/Columbia, SC) was another solid PG who showed us flashes of talent. McCray was at his best driving to the basket.  He’s also fast, athletic and aggressive. Rounding out our top 15 is Jaden Thomas (6’0/CG/2021/Indianapolis, IN), who is another one to watch going forward.  Thomas has good size for his position, has a great motor, long arms, and he does a good job pushing the ball in transition.

Our Honorable Mention list includes: Justin Dobbins (6’5/PF/2021/Indianapolis, IN), Ja’Monti Wright (5’10/PG/2021/Louisville, KY), Anthony Hopson (5’10/PG/2021/Indianapolis, IN), Marcus Stewart (6’2/CG/2021/Columbus, OH), Colin Albert (5’10/PG/2021/Beachwood, OH), and Quante Berry (5’10/CG/2021/Cleveland, TN). 

Although the event did not have a lot of the big named kids due to a couple of big competing events, we were still please with the overall talent level. The UA Next Combine Series heads to the west coast (LA) nest week for the Memorial Day weekend.  From what we understand, the talent level should be significant!

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