Player evaluations from the Deep South All-American Camp and a bonus at the end.
by Aggrey Sam
Last week, I was back in Louisiana for the Deep South All-American Camp, hosted by my man Jamie Palmer at Baton Rouge Community College. In just the camp’s second year, it’s turned into a prime destination for college coaches looking for under-the-radar prospects from Louisiana, Mississippi and Memphis. While there weren’t necessarily a lot of big-name players nationally in attendance, check out my evaluations of 15 kids you’ll probably be hearing from in the future:
–Brian Bridgewater, 6-4 rising sophomore combo forward, Episcopal (LA): One of the most talked-about prospects in the state, the Baton Rouge native has a great frame for his age, solid perimeter skills, inside-outside scoring ability, surprising athleticism, nice rebounding prowess and a physical mentality down low.
–Octavious Brown, 6-7 rising senior combo forward, Brandon (MS): A long, bouncy athlete with a deft shooting touch out to three-point range and solid ball skills, Brown also possesses a knack for blocking shots, a high activity level and is active on the glass.
–Tre’ Drye, 6-6 rising senior post, Glen Oaks (LA): The nephew of former prep phenom Lester Earl doesn’t quite have his uncle’s size, but is an undersized warrior who dominates the paint with his ferocious work on the boards, explosive finishing ability and intimidating physicality.
–Javon Felix, 5-10 rising junior point guard, St. Augustine (LA): Felix isn’t a speedster or high-riser, but his calm demeanor, advanced playmaking ability, steady handle, strong frame, basketball IQ and court vision allow him to control the game as a floor general, in the style of “Action Jackson.”
–Cameron Golden, 5-10 rising senior combo guard, Ridgeway (TN): A scoring lead guard, Golden is jet-quick, possesses tremendous range, is a clever finisher, capable playmaker, fearless driver and determined on-the-ball defender.
–Andre Hollins, 6-2 rising senior combo guard, White Station (TN): The first of three prospects from Joe Jackson’s alma mater, Hollins is a high achiever in the classroom (Harvard was in attendance to see him), but is no slouch on the court, as evidenced by his solid frame, deep range, pull-up game, tough D and ability to play on or off the ball.
–Zay Jackson, 5-10 rising senior point guard, St. Thomas Aquinas (LA):
–Jernard Jarreau, 6-8 rising senior combo forward, McDonogh 35 (LA): A skilled and slender sleeper, Jarreau has developed a lot since I first saw him as a freshman in New Orleans, developing into an interesting inside-outside player with a terrific handle for his size, speed in transition, great passing skills, accuracy on his J out to 15 feet, good post moves, an active force on the boards, solid shot-blocking ability, excellent length, nice athleticism and a willingness to bang, despite his lack of bulk.
–Darius Johnson, 6-2 rising junior point guard, Istrouma (LA): A big floor general, Johnson is a tough defender, good distributor, has a solid handle and a nice first step that he uses to get to the bucket, where he finishes well.
–Nino Johnson, 6-7 rising senior post, White Station (TN): A physical insider, Johnson’s combination of strength and athleticism allows him to rule the painted area with his dominating rebounder, solid shot-blocking and beastly finishing, but he also has nice agility, the ability to run the floor, decent ballhandling and range out to 15 feet.
–Aaron Jones, 6-7 rising senior combo forward, Gautier (MS): Arguably the camp’s top prospect, Jones is a big-time sleeper with an intriguing package that includes remarkable length, the ability to put the ball on the floor in both halfcourt and transition, decent passing skills, solid rebounding ability, defensive versatility and deep range on his J.
–Abron McDarion, 6-10 rising junior post, Canton (MS): McDarion is a long-term project, but in addition to a huge frame, he is a solid finisher, tough on D, effective on the boards, has good hands, owns a nice touch and plays with energy, despite some conditioning issues.
–Deion Taylor, 6-7 rising junior post, St. Augustine (LA): The least heralded of the featured trio of “Purple Eagles” (alums include Avery Johnson and Kerry Kittles), Taylor has an excellent motor, is a bouncy athlete, has nice range on his jumper, runs the floor well, finishes above the rim, defends with intensity and is active on the glass.
–Craig Victor, 6-7 rising freshman combo forward, St. Augustine (LA): Still a long way from being a finished product, the youngster is able to play on the perimeter, hit mid-range jumpers and handle the rock, but is also a solid rebounder, good finisher and willing defender.
–Marvin Williams, 6-7 rising senior post, White Station (TN): Blessed with soft hands and nifty footwork, the big-bodied insider isn’t an explosive athlete, but is capable of stepping out to 15 feet, making an impact on both ends of the boards and scoring with his back to the basket.
I’m headed to Vegas for summer league in a little bit, and with John Wall’s debut last night, here’s a video of him, as well as footage of SLAM’s top prospect, Quincy Miller, who plays for Wall’s old AAU team and has an extremely bright future, as evidenced by his MVP, game-winning performance in USA Basketball’s FIBA Americas Under-18 championship victory.