Who were the nation's top prospects this spring?
Thus far Scout's Basketball Recruiting team has covered more than eight events this spring. Who are the best long-term prospects regardless of class that we've evaluated? Here's our take.
It was an easy choice to put Mohamed Bamba on this list, as the 7-foot post player has had as good of a spring as any prospect in high school basketball. Not only has Bamba been productive with averages of 12.7 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks a game in the EYBL, but he’s shown flashes of his elite upside and long-term potential. At his size with a 7-8 wingspan and a 9-6 standing reach, Bamba has significant measureables. He’s steadily shown improvement and continues to get better at a rapid rate. Last year he wasn’t known as a good rebounder. This year he’s added 15 pounds to his frame and is leading the EYBL in rebounding. His length, instincts and timing allow him to impact the game with his defensive presence. Offensively, he’s developed too, as he has a go-to jump hook, very good touch and is capable of making mid-range jump shots.
Recruiting: North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Kentucky, Villanova and others
One of the premier prospects in the 2017 class, Trevon Duval certainly showed why he’s so highly touted in our viewings of him this spring. At 6-foot-4, Duval has quality size for the position to go with good length, tremendous quickness and impressive athleticism. Playing for We R 1, Duval has put up big numbers, scoring 17.2 points and tossing out 4.6 assists a game on the Under Armour Association circuit. His size and physical gifts are impressive for a lead guard. But so is his ability to slice his way to the rim and finish with nifty, adjusting shots. He also has quality vision and is a good passer. Duval also projects as a good on-the-ball defender. Now he’ll need to get stronger, cut down on turnovers and improve his long distance shooting (11-for-42 from three), but there’s considerable upside here.
Recruiting: Maryland, Villanova and a host of others
DeAndre Ayton has had several moments this spring where he's proven himself as one of the top small handful of prospects in high school basketball. Playing power forward for Cal Supreme on the EYBL circuit, Ayton is averaging 19.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. At 7-foot with an over 7-foot-5 wingspan, Ayton is extremely versatile for a big and has become a legitimate threat to hit from three, as his 35.3% shooting from the perimeter in EYBL games show. Ayton's motor needs to be more consistent, but when he's playing hard he can be a dominant rebounder and score inside and out. There's no doubt how talented he is and exactly how much he impacts any given game is directly correlated to how hard he plays. A motivated Ayton doesn't have many peers at his age level.
Recruiting: Kansas, UCLA and Arizona are some of the schools putting the most effort in with Ayton.
Scout's top 2018 prospect, Marvin Bagley has lived up to his reputation as one of high school basketball's best overall talents this spring. The Nike EYBL essentially introduced a new team (Phoenix Phamily) around Bagley, and the power forward has delivered, averaging 19.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game. Bagley stands over 6-foot-10 with shoes, and while he's a four man all the way, his size, skill and athleticism make him a guy who can play either post position at the next level. Bagley's 1.1 assists per game don't do him justice, as he has good vision for the position, while he's also a very strong rebounder and score with his back to the basket or facing up, with his midrange jumper or ability to take slower defenders off the dribble.
Recruiting: Bagley's school list includes Arizona, Duke, UCLA and USC.
It doesn’t get more impressive when it comes to an overall spring than Jordan Brown. While facing constant double, and sometimes even triple, teams, Brown has been extremely productive, averaging 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. However there is more to the story with Brown. He also shows extreme potential to go with that production.
In this new age of bigs who have to be able to play outside as well as in, and most importantly be good in ball-screen defense, Brown excels in that role. He has the athleticism and mobility to guard in ball screens, he can score inside or facing the rim, and also shows a nice touch with good length.
Recruiting: Brown mentions California most frequently, but UCLA and Arizona are certainly involved as well.
There is only so much more that can be said about Romeo Langford. The 6-foot-4 combo guard leads the adidas Gauntlet in scoring, and then also is one of the top rebounders on the circuit. Overall Langford averages 23.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. What is even more impressive is that Langford is shooting nearly 59% from the floor, showing significant efficiency to his game.
With his athleticism, size, and ability to change speeds, Langford is the complete package on the offensive end of the floor, and he shows good energy on defense as well. The sky continues to be the limit for Langford.
Recruiting: It is still early for Langford, but Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, and Kentucky have offered and are heavily involved.
Not many players check as many boxes that make pro scouts drool more than Michael Porter. He has the requisite size, length, athleticism, and skill to be an NBA wing, and on top of that he also knows how to play. Despite not shooting it well from three, Porter has been dominant in the EYBL, averaging 19.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Considering he hasn’t even been at his best, that shows how good Porter can be long term, and just the type of player he projects to be at the college level, and then going forward to the professional ranks.
Recruiting: Porter’s father just got hired at Washington and they are the likely destination. Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina and a host of others have also been involved.
It should be noted that because Wendell Carter missed the opening weekend, the Scout team has been unable to evaluate him this spring.