Atlanta shows star power
At the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis the one major theme was the star power coming out of the city of Atlanta. The two highest level performers from the event were Jaylen Brown (pictured, at top) and Kobi Simmons. Both are already five-star prospects with high rankings, but each could be in for a bump from their lofty perch given their play.
Simmons was clearly the best point guard in attendance. The class of 2016 floor general is a big time athlete, has an electric first step, can hit from deep and is dynamic in the mid-range. Add in that he also has good floor vision and can pass, and it is easy to see why he is becoming one of the hottest commodities in the class of 2016. He currently isn't the top ranked point guard in the class, but there is no question he should be firmly in the discussion for that honor when the rankings are updated.
In the 2015 class Brown is already one of the premier prospects checking in with a top 10 ranking, but he has gotten even better since the high school season. Always a freak athlete who was impossible to stop going to his right, Brown has now added a fairly reliable jump shot along with the ability to go left. Those two additions to his game make him one of the most impressive prospects in the nation.
Already Brown is the top small forward in the class, so there is nowhere to move there, but now he is going to push for a spot potentially in the top five. Brown has an elite motor and is super competitive to go along with his impressive skill set, and it is all coming together for him at the right time, as he is clearly becoming one of the most dominant players in the 2015 class.
— Brian Snow
Tinkle may come with high major prospect
There's another benefit in hiring Wayne Tinkle - his son, Tres Tinkle, is a talented 2015 prospect that looks every bit the part of a high major hybrid forward.
Scout.com talked to Tres this weekend at the UA Invitational, before his father was named new head coach of Oregon State, and he addressed the potential of playing for dad.
"It would be awesome to play for my dad but he knows what's best for me, and if that's going somewhere else or playing for him, he'll support me all the way," said Tres.
Checking back in with Tres following his father's promotion, he said playing for his dad has become more appealing but that he "definitely" plans on going through a recruiting process.
"It stands out to me more but as of now I'm still open to anything," Tres said.
— Josh Gershon
Don't forget about Stone
After covering six events and based on my viewings, I think the race for number one, at least at this point, goes through three players – Simmons, Stone and Ivan Rabb. All three are very different, but all three are tremendous prospects.
Stone, who stands at least 6-foot-10 and weights in at 255-pounds, was a dominant force at the Under Armour Invitational this past weekend.
Perhaps what stood out the most at the UA invitational was his effort on the defensive end. He patrolled the paint looking to block shots and affected many more. He's always been long, which has allowed him to contest shots, but his improved conditioning has him getting off the ground quicker.
|Stone's tableau increasingly impressive|
To go with his strong defense, Stone couldn't be stopped on the offensive side of things. He scored over 20 points in three of the four games this weekend, including 27 points twice.
His offensive game is versatile, as he can score with his back to the basket or facing it. He has terrific touch, a great set of hands and can go over for either shoulder for baskets. He was also very effective shooting the ball and even hit four three-pointers in his final game of the weekend.
Through six games in the Under Armour Association, Stone is now averaging 24.8 points, 11 rebounds and 4.3 blocks a game.
— Evan Daniels
Giles needs time to recover
Although we at Scout.com like to tout our expertise, none of us is a doctor and thus it would be unwise to speculate as to the nature of Harry Giles' recovery process.
That said, for as long as it takes for him to return to form, no one should busy themselves contemplating his ranking. At this past weekend's EYBL event, fans in attendance could be heard grumbling: "This guy is supposed to be No. 1?"
And that's reasonable, if they'd never before watched him, before his surgery following a severe knee injury he suffered last summer. But the real Harry Giles won't be able to stand up — at least without favoring his knee — for several months. That much was obvious while watching him last weekend.
He still has it. Giles made some extraordinarily impressive moves putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim, and as he gains strength and confidence in his repaired knee, he'll begin to plant and explode again.
My point here is that no one should expect that process to occur in a matter of weeks. Given that he's still only able to play in short stints, hobbles at times and ices his knee, a 100 percent return likely won't occur until after the summer. Maybe I'm wrong and I hope that I am — again, none of us here is a physician — but from a scouting perspective no one should attach his short-term statistical production to his talent or long-range potential.
His frustrations in Hampton were evident. He has been a great player and will be one once again when he becomes healthy, but he isn't right now and that's obviously a bitter pill for such a talented young athlete — and determined competitor — to swallow.
But we'll be right here patiently awaiting his full convalescence, however long it takes.
— Rob Harrington
Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report