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Friday, July 13, 2012

Nike Global Challenge Preview - USA West

SG Stevie Clark (#62) - Stevie Clark is a small scoring guard (6') who can really light it up from deep. He is listed as a 2 guard, but would need to slide over to the point in order to have a NBA career. Clark is a hard worker and a gamer, so I wouldn't count him out. Lately, he has been getting more hype as he apparently has stepped up his passing game and he's always been a solid ball handler. He might be an AJ Abrams type. Hes from Big 12 country and is considering both Oklahoma State and the Sooners. Clark also is a high character guy and gets after it defensively. He has his shortcomings, but he can make a lot of noise in college. Some of called him a little Jimmer. NBA scouts arent going to be in a hurry to scout him, but when his time does come, his shooting will get him some looks.

SF Justin Jackson (#9 Class of 2014) - Justin Jackson is one of the youngest Americans playing and he has earned his spot by being a deadly shooter from outside. He has that sleakish shooters frame, that is reminiscent of Reggie Miller and moves according. He does a great job of getting open, picking his spots, and setting his feet. He has no problem moving off the ball. He has a great feel for the game and is always in the right spot. He can also make shots inside, as his feel for the mid-range game is equally as good and he has a nice little floater. He shows great energy trying to race down court to spot up for a shooting opportunity. He is a good athlete and has ridiculous length. Everything about Jackson screams NBA player. He might not be a superstar, but he can be very good for a long time. Its still early for him but Duke, Ohio State, Texas A&M, and Washington are among the favorites.

PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright (#29 Class of 2014) - The first thing that should be mentioned when discussing Jackson-Cartwright is that he is 5'7''. Unlike most short PGs, he is not simply a guy who blazes guys with his speed all game. He is a very smart point guard with a ton of veteran saavy, understanding how to change speeds and utilize pick and rolls. Despite his size, Jackson-Cartwright has fared well at every event he has been too - not letting big point guards get the best of him. He is one of the best out there in terms of making others better, one of those rare talents that only come around every ten years. Like Earl Boykins did to adapt, Jackson-Cartwright is going to need to put on strength to help counter his size, but everything else about his game is on point. He can't help his size, but that is the biggest thing that will hold him back. I can't wait to see him in college and hopefully he will get a shot in the NBA.

PF Torren Jones (UR) - Torren Jones is an undersized PF, but his arms help him make up for it. He is an absolute force inside, working for great position down low, rebounding the ball, and finishing very effectively around the rim. His body is that of a man already. His offensive game is evolving to the point where he is more than just an energy guy on offense. Still, his game is only enough to keep opponents honest, and he can't create offense for himself. He needs to become a more fluid athlete. With a fully developed body and the fact that he is undersized and not a naturally fluid athlete, the upside for Jones probably ends at college. He isn't much of a NBA prospect.

PF Marcus Lee (#27) - Lee is a very interesting prospect. He is labeled a boom or bust kind of guy, but its not because he is a head case or doesn't play smart and hard. In fact, he is a very high IQ player. The thing is, he has no strength and can't finish with contact, which takes away from his elite athleticism. Also, he is built like a face up PF, but he doesn't have any offensive skills besides facing up and driving inside for a slam. Lee is such a great athlete though, and plays very smart so he can figure it out. He is also a good passer and has the potential to be a great defender. Lee is definitely going to be on NBA teams radars and will probably be hotly debated whether he is or isnt a potential lottery guy. Indiana, Duke and a host of others are interested in his services.

C Kennedy Meeks (#28) - Meeks is a huge body in the mold of a Sheldon Williams, Joshua Smith, or Sean May. He is a highly skilled, great passing big men that can start fast breaks and make plays for teammates int he post. He is a great post player that can not only pass, but score out of the post with a wide array of moves. He's a high character guy. Of course, the down sides with Meeks are the same as a lot of oversized bigs - he doesnt play above the rim and wont be an impactful defender. He does, however, move his feet surprisingly well. The NBA has moved away from guys like him and a guy like Joshua Smith could help influence his draft stock one way or another with how he turns out. Meeks could be heading to North Carolina though, where the shadow of Sean May's bust of a career may make scouts weary of him.

SG Wayne Seldon (#20) - Seldon is an older player who reclassified to the Class of 2013 to attend prep school. He has great size for a 2 guard, sporting a 6'10'' wingspan. He also already has a NBA body, possessing great strength and power. He is a ferocious dunker. He may rely too much on his strength at this level and will have to adapt when he isnt the only full grown man playing. If he doesn't adapt, he may not end up with a halfcourt perimeter game that is up to the NBA level of standard. Right now, he is a freight train in transition - impossible to stop. He is a solid passer . His shooting needs work, especially at the line. He also needs to continue to improve his mid-range game. Seldon looks the part of a NBA guy, but he needs to put it together quickly before he plateaus and his upside begins to look less attractive. He could be a lottery guy next year or could end up a bust. He certainly is exciting. He could be another Kentucky recruit.

SG Sindarius Thornwell (#24) - When people talk about Thornwell, the first thing they mention is his killer instinct, or his attacking mentality. Thornwell is a wing prospect that can handle the ball very well, find his teammates, and can especially get to the rim himself. He is a versatile guy who can play all 3 perimeter positions. He has the toughness and court vision needed to be interchangeable at the PG and SF spot. He is a great athlete with a motor to match. There may be some Terrence Williams in his game. When it comes to his weaknesses, he needs to stay focused and also shoot better. His form needs some work. His recruiting is very much wide open and he is looking at both mid and high major schools. Thornwell should be in college for a couple of years.

PG Nigel Williams-Goss (#57) - Williams-Goss is another guard from the Northwest who just loves the game and knows how to play. He has good size and skill, but isn't particularly athletic or a good shooter. He does know how to score though, thanks to his high basketball IQ. He isn't the truest of PGs, but makes smart passes and is a natural leader. He needs to do a better job of creating for others and taking care of the ball. I wouldn't count out Nigel as a NBA prospect, but lets let the Huskie fans enjoy him for a few years before turning him loose amongst the pros.

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