USA Basketball: Minicamp Superlatives
COLORADO SPRINGS --- Five-star senior Greg Brown is the player from last weekend's USA Basketball minicamp to win an NBA Dunk Contest. National Analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans hand out more superlatives to players from the classes of 2020 and 2021 in a last look at their performances in the Rocky Mountains.
MOST LIKELY TO THROW A BLOCK PARTY
Because he was out for the last part of the summer after suffering a minor injury while playing with USA Basketball, Mobley's ability to reject shots around the rim may have somehow been forgotten. If that was the case, he served a reminder over the weekend that he's still the best defensive big man in the country. His reaction time and body control are uncanny and his quickness off the floor are unmatched. Time and time again, others thought they had open looks, only to see Mobley send their shot right back at them.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR THIS SEASON
Along with the previously mentioned Mobley and current No. 2 Cade Cunningham (who wasn't at USAB because he was visiting Kentucky), No. 3 ranked Jalen Green is a cut above the rest of the class of 2020. If anybody in attendance over the weekend is going to emerge as the 2020 player of the year, Green looks like the guy to beat.
He's put up prolific scoring numbers during every step of his high school career and he'll continue to do the same as a senior. But, more than that, he's got a different level of dedication he looks to be putting into the game and his focus is the most centered we've seen during his career. Add in that he's a crowd favorite and he'll likely create a lot of support.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE NBA THREE-POINT CONTEST
There's really not to much that needs to be explained here. Is there anybody in the country, regardless of class, with a more polished looking shot than Patrick Baldwin Jr.?
Pushing 6-foot-10, he sees over the top of defenses, gets his shot off quick and it looks like it is going to go in each and every time. In Colorado Springs, it usually did. As Baldwin continues to get taller, he continues to adjust his game. What also stood out at USA was the balance he is finding between inside and outside. But, at the end of the day, that jump shot of his is a true difference-maker.
MOST LIKELY TO BE DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIS FATHER
This is big praise for Jabari Smith, whose father was a standout at LSU before hearing his name called in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft , but he earned it with his play. The 6-foot-9 forward has begun to play with much more dog, is shooting it better and more fluidly, and has improved his passing and perimeter defense to develop into one of the top players regardless of class.
He's not even close to his ceiling either. He has progressed rapidly and to the point that it won't be a surprise some June night down the road for Adam Silver to call his name early in the draft.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN AN NBA DUNK CONTEST
Greg Brown is from a planet, but it might not be named Earth. He's an absolute alien athletically and put on one of the most prolific in-game dunking exhibitions we've ever seen at USAB. For Brown, between the legs dunks for him appear to carry the same degree of difficulty as a warmup layups. The dunks he was doing while just messing around with the other guys were even more ridiculous and would win just about any dunk contest.
More importantly, though, Brown wasn't just dunking. His jump shot looked as good as it ever has, he was active on the glass and switches all over the floor defensively. Auburn, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina and Texas are his current list but it could be Memphis and Texas creating some distance.
MOST LIKELY TO MAKE IT IN SHOW BUSINESS
Watch out Charles Barkley, because Scottie Barnes is coming for your job. No one has a more outgoing personality than Barnes. He is drawn towards the spotlight. Everyone enjoys being around him and people tend to gravitate towards him. This is nothing to slight just how great of a prospect that he is because Barnes is special.
Committing to Florida State on Monday, Barnes is the ultimate utility knife as an elite defender who can play a variety of positions and boasts all of the intangibles. He could have a long stay in the NBA but, shortly thereafter, should have a chance to earn a paycheck or two entertaining the masses under the bright lights of Hollywood.
MOST LIKELY TO INTIMIDATE AS A FRESHMAN
With his big frame, broad shoulders and the way he keeps getting bigger and stronger, Sharpe looks like the rare big man who will be able to dominate physically and with his skill as soon as he arrives on campus. Roy Williams has coached a lot of great big men during his time, but not many who have been the type of physical monsters that Sharpe should be for the Heels.
MOST LIKELY TO BECOME SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Throw the name Josh Christopher around and most automatically thinks of his scoring prowess. The five-star has earned his standing as one of the top bucket-getters in America, He did just that over the weekend but it was another facet of his game that stood out and it's time he got proper recognition for it.
From here on out out, it has to be mentioned how well he can defend. A major two-way threat that uses his strength to guard near and away from the basket, Christopher looks the part of a shutdown defender at the next level.
MOST LIKELY TO MAKE THE BLUE BLOODS REGRET NOT GOING ALL IN
There's a really good chance Keon Johnson would have decided to stay home and play at Tennessee regardless of who recruited him. He's a great fit for Rick Barnes and the Volunteers staff did a great job recruiting him. It's not like he just fell into their laps. But, some of the country's big name programs are going to kick themselves for not going all in to try and land Johnson.
The guy just impacts winning on both ends of the court, keeps improving his ball handling and shooting, defends and is an elite athlete. When you are ranked as highly as he is, it is hard to move up. But, his stock is on the rise.
MOST LIKELY TO LEAD A CONFERENCE IN SCORING
As much of an impact as freshman have made in college basketball, it's still not very easy to lead a major conference in scoring if you are only there for one year. Not saying Adam Miller can't be a one-and-done, but he's likely going to spend at least a few years in college and an extra year of experience could allow him to put up monster scoring numbers.
He's strong, he can create his own shot and when he's locked in and taking good shots, he can put points up in a hurry. He's also adept at making the difficult shot too which means he has lots of upside. Miller has added a lot of strength over the last year and has developed into a tough customer on the defensive end as well.
Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois and Louisville have all gotten visits with Kansas and Wake Forest hanging on in a recruitment that, at the end of the day, looks to be between the Sun Devils and Illini.