Super Soph Camp Recap
Top sophomores in the country shine in ATL.
For years now, Clay Dade has been getting it done as far as camps for the elite younger players in the country are concerned. His Fab Frosh Camp was the one that really set the trend, only to follow with the Super Soph Camp. Both events were held at various locations throughout the country before settling in Dade’s home of Atlanta at Woodward Academy.
Perhaps the most beautiful high school that I’ve ever been to, Woodward Academy looks more like an Ivy League college than it does a school educating kids as young as 6. With the facilities on lock, Dade ran a grade-A event that provided stats for each game, video coverage, drills, and a roundtable in which the players were able to ask former college coaches about the recruitment process. The event encompassed more than just getting exposure from the scouting services that were there; It served as a invaluable learning experience for both parents and coaches for what to expect down the road.
With that said, here are a few of the guys who really caught our eye in ATL:
Mickey Mitchell, 6-6, SF, Prestonwood Christian (TX): Arguably the top sophomore in the country, Mitchell did everything and more to live up to the rep that he’s built over the years. A freak athlete and exceptional passer, he played all five positions at times and was able to dominate the camp with his versatile play. Doubling as one of the best QB recruits, there is definitely a chance that Mickey could be the most heralded two sport star since VA legend Ronald Curry over a decade ago.
Jaylen Brown, 6-5, SG/SF, Wheeler HS (GA): The best pure scorer of the camp was also the most highly touted 2015 in the state of Georgia, Wheeler’s Jaylen Brown. A slithery 6’5 guard in the mold of Jamal Crawford, “JB” has a nice handle for a 2-guard and can create his own shot on anyone with his ability to get to the cup yet also bomb from deep. Like Seattle’s Finest, he can get a little wild at times with the rock and needs to improve on his shot selection. The ability to create like that is both a blessing and a curse for guys like Brown, who will be one of the hotter names in the sophomore class.
Noah Dickerson, 6-7, PF, The Lovett School (GA): One of the better surprises that we saw in ATL was Dickerson, who we hadn’t seen play before. Equipped with a 7-1 wingspan and deceptive athleticism that allows him to play bigger than he actually is. Dickerson was a monster on the glass, above average shot-blocker, and even showed glimpses of a jumper facing the cup. The Anthony Bennett comparisons are inevitable at this point both due to their appearance and games, so there’s obviously a vast amount of potential there for him.
Daniel Giddens, 6-10, C, Wheeler (GA): After an up and down showing the weekend before in Chicago, Giddens showed everyone at the Super Soph Camp why ESPN has him ranked amongst their top-25 sophomores. The physical post went right at Skal Labissiere in their matchup and used his already mature body to frustrate the more finesse based Labissiere. Giddens displayed the ability to shoot jump hooks with both his left and right hand too, which is a reason many scouts are so intrigued with what the future has in store for him.
Lucas Johnson, 6-5, SF, Mallard Creek (NC): Living in NC, there aren’t many guys that get past me but Johnson was definitely one of the minority. A lanky swingman, he came into the camp without a lofty rep and left with a growing buzz. He shot the ball well from beyond the arc, got all the way to the cup, and gave glimpses of a mid-range jumper. After the performance he had in ATL, everyone in the know in NC should know who Lucas Johnson is.
King McClure, 6-3, SG/PG, Triple A Academy (TX): Another highly touted sophomore from the Texas Titans, McClure was able to get to the cup on literally anyone in the camp. The strong, shifty guard slashed well to the basket and used his athleticism to finish above the bigs that would rotate over. His shot still needs to get a little more consistent, but being a coach’s son and playing for his father in HS, that should have no problem happening.
Donte Fitzpatrick, 6-4, SG, Memphis White Station (TN): The biggest snub of the all-star games had to be Fitzpatrick, who was one of the better pure scorers we saw. The Memphis product had no problem scoring from beyond the arc, getting all the way to the cup, or pulling up from mid-range. Hopefully the explosive wing will use this as motivation to take his already emerging game to another level.
Ravion Bell, 6-8, PF/C, Southwest DeKalb (GA): The owner of the best dunk of the weekend had a nice all around performance to match. A nasty athlete who runs the floor like a deer, he really impacted the game on D with his length and energy. There’s still plenty of room for improvement on the offensive end, but the potential is there for him to follow in Shaq Goodwin’s footsteps as the next star big man out of SW Dekalb.
Samir Sehic, 6-8, PF/C, Cypress Woods (TX): Yet another Texas Titan, Sehmic is the anchor down low for the defending AAU National Champions. He looks like a grown man and has the game to match. The Houston native was looked to score everytime he touched the rock on the blocks and showed surprising range stepping out and facing the basket. Throw in some great rebounding and you see why the Titans are favored to 3-peat come July.
DJ Williams, 6-5, SF, Simeon (IL): Hailed by some to be Simeon’s next star to follow Jabari Parker, Williams did everything in his power to life up to the bar that some Chicagoans set for him. The explosive athlete set the came on fire from the rip with a few dunks but also showed off an emerging perimeter game for a young wing. He’s still rough around the edges with plenty of room for improvement, but there is a reason that the city is talking.
Skal Labissiere, 6-10, PF, Evangelical Christian School (TN): The player with the most potential in the camp had to be Labissiere, though his play may not have necessarily reflected that. He struggled a bit against the more physical big guys and his shot wasn’t falling at the clip it usually does. Still he was the best defender in the camp, displayed range beyond the 3-point arc, and even showed off a sky-hook with both hands. This simply wasn’t the weekend for the “Hatian Sensation”.
Tyler Jackson, 7-0, C, Nazareth Academy (IL): Generally when you see a 7-footer with the body of a grown man as a freshman, you’re expecting some raw big guy who just picked up the ball. This is not the case for Tyler Jackson. Instead, he showed off a pick-and-pop game out to 16 feet and shot close to 70 percent from the field for the camp. He still needs to run the floor better and become more mobile, but it’s not exactly every day that you see 7-foot freshman roaming the court.