By Marcus Shockley
The Boost Mobile Elite 24 event is intended to showcase the best 24 high school basketball players in the country who are rising seniors, and it follow what has become the norm for high profile televised All-Star basketball events, there is little defense, little offensive flow and not much point in scouting the game beyond simply seeing a little taste of player’s talent and how they work in an open court running game.
To be honest, very few colleges are able to employ a frenetic open court style, so it limits the scouting even more. Defense is not encountered, so players who look like star slashers are getting way too much freedom.
That being said, here are some thoughts from this year’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 event:
The big news of the day was the college announcement of Kyle Wiltjer, the 6’9″ PF and offensive weapon who committed to Kentucky for the Class of 2011. Wiltjer is a quick, sure handed PF who plays a finesse scoring game and relying on getting off quick hook shots to beat the defense in the post, and he approaches the big forward spot like a shooting guard. Wiltjer is not a power post player but definitely adds offense to a roster.
Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011) had an overall solid game, despite being injured after leaping for a high pass. Rivers used his size to grab several rebounds and has a lengthy stride that is deceptively quick, as he uses a crossover at the perimeter to get to the basket repeatedly. Rivers is one of the deadliest slashing guards that has come along in some time. He can hit the outside shot, but his strength is in getting defenders on their heels and hitting a running floater, which is almost impossible to guard.
Quincy Miller (SF/PF, 6’9″, 2011) showed flashes of his game that make him look like a solid pro prospect, showing he is still an outside shooting threat and has quickness with the ball.
Jabari Brown (SG, 6’5″, 2011) continues to be my most underrated player of the 2011 class. While Wiltjer was getting most of the on-air discussion, Brown was putting the ball in the bucket and showing his ability to handle the ball even at 6’5″ and from the off-guard position. The only thing I’ve yet to scout Jabari for is his defense; I’ve read some reports that knock his rebounding, but I’m not sure how seriously I can take a scouting report that considers minimal rebounding from the SG position as an actual factor. Jabari recently eliminated several schools from his list.
Duece Bello (SG/SF, 6’3″, 2011), often linked with Quincy Miller, showed his ability to get up and down the court, slash and dunk in transition. Very explosive player who knows when to push the ball into overdrive and attack the basket.
Myck Kabongo (PG, 6’2″, 2011) was extremely active, getting involved and making a ton of positive plays. Kabongo has verbally committed to Texas. James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011), a UNC commit, looked like a solid inside forward, with a great high-arc baby hook and jumper. McAdoo looks physically ready for the college game.