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On Wednesday the Scout basketball recruiting team, which consists of Josh Gershon, Brian Snow and I, released the post July Evaluation Period Scout Top 100.
While the same five players made up the top five, there was some reshuffling. DeAndre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba checked in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while Trevon Duval moved up to No. 3. Wendell Carter and Michael Porter (Washington commit) round out the top five.
Auburn has the most Top 100 commits with three—Austin Wiley (No. 13), Davion Mitchell (No. 37) and Chuma Okeke (No. 41). Illinois, Louisville, UCLA, Washington, and Wisconsin each have a pair of pledges. (2017 Class Rankings)
Trevon Duval makes his push
Trevon Duval continued his summer of dominance this past weekend at the Under Armour Elite 24 event. Duval, a lean, long, 6' 3" lead guard, had previously performed well at adidas Nations in early August and at the Nike Skills Academy in late July.
In the last six weeks, Duval has faced each highly touted point guard in the class of 2017, and he’s come out on top in virtually every battle.
A terrific ball handler, Duval breaks down defenders with ease. He’s quick, aggressive, changes speeds well and lives in the paint. Duval has good vision and is a good passer, but he’s also a very good scorer, especially once he gets into the paint. Duval is the best layup-maker in high school basketball, as he’s crafty at the rim, adjusts his shots well and is capable of high-glass, tough finishes.
At this point, Duval, who now ranks as the No. 3 prospect in the 2017 class, hasn’t narrowed his list of college suitors. But Duval told Scout at the Elite 24 that the schools prioritizing him are Arizona, Baylor, Maryland, Oregon, UCLA, and Villanova.
It’s along way to the top
In 2009 Will Barton, now of the Denver Nuggets, participated in the Under Armour Elite 24, an all-star game that includes a number of the nation’s top high school players. Barton scored 18 points in the game played at the famous Rucker Park in New York.
Fast forward to 2016 and Barton was a guest coach for the event that took place this past weekend on Pier 2 under the Brooklyn Bridge overlooking the New York City skyline. Barton spent three days around the players (he particularly liked Duval), including a pair of practices and the game.
Just prior to tip-off, Barton sat down with Scout for a few minutes and had plenty of advice for up-and-coming stars in the sport.
Evan Daniels: What’s the biggest difference from the NBA game to the college and high school game?
Will Barton: Just everything—strength, athleticism—the main thing when you get to the NBA you have to realize is everyone was the man on their college team. Everyone was the man in the high school. Now everyone in the NBA is that. Even guys that aren’t playing that much, even in practice, those guys are really good. You have to bring it up every day or you’re going to get embarrassed.
ED: Is there anything you wish someone had told you before you got to that level?
WB: With me it’s more on the business side and how to be a true professional. How to carry yourself early on in your career, more on the business side and professional side.
ED: If you were to sit down with these kids, what advice would you give them? Would be it be playing-wise or more on professional side?
WB: It would be both. I would tell them first of all, how hard you have to play every night. Not just in the games, but in practice. You have to practice like it’s a game so you can be prepared. It’s much more about the mental aspect of the game than the physical part and your talent, because everyone is so talented once you get to the top level. Like I said, I definitely would stress to them how to carry yourself. Know what not to do on social media, because that’s so big now. When I was coming up it was just getting big, now it’s huge. What not to do on there. How to use it in positive ways and just surround yourself with positive people and things of that nature.
ED: Is there anything you can point to that improved significantly from where you were at when you played in high school to now?
WB: I just got better every year. I think a lot of guys in my class got stagnant once they reached the peak. I feel like every year, even in high school, I was getting better and better. That’s how people started knowing me more and more, and even from college into the pros. I feel like your game has to mature and I feel like that’s where I did a good job at. I would come back with something different and say, I didn’t know you could do that or Man, you really worked on that. I showed people I could really handle the ball, and now in the league I’m kind of playing a point forward role. Working on my defense. Just trying to get consistently better every year and adding something and still being good at what I’m naturally gifted at.