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USA Basketball U18 Training Camp Scouting Reports: Forwards

USA Basketball U18 Training Camp Scouting Reports: Forwards
Jun 19, 2016, 03:38 pm
A look at four of the most intriguing forward prospects in attendance at the USA Basketball U18 Training Camp, including scouting reports and video interviews.
More USA Basketball Coverage
-U18 Scouting Reports: Point Guards
-U18 Scouting Reports: Shooting Guards
Michael Porter Jr, 6-10 SF/PF, Father Tolton, MO, 2017 Class, Uncommitted

Strengths
-Nice combination of tools for a combo forward – measured 6' 10” in shoes with a 7' 0.5” wingspan and a 9' 0” standing reach, very good for a combo forward. Thin with an average frame, especially in his lower body, but he's done a solid job of filling out his upper body. Now 212 pounds, up nine pounds since the USA Basketball Development Camp in October.
-Fluid athlete who plays above the rim with ease in space.
-Uses his fluidity to get out in transition. Can grab and go or fill the lanes. Opportunistic scorer in the open court.
-Soft touch on his jumper that can extend out to 3-point range. Elevates, gets good rotation, not bothered by hand contests. Still extending his range with consistency but he shows great potential – 86% from the free throw line in 27 Nike EYBL games. Good footwork on 1-2 dribble pull ups. Can make off balance pull ups.
-Can straight line drive from the perimeter
-Likes to fly in on the offensive glass. Uses his fluidity, leaping ability and reach to keep plays alive. Shows impressive instincts on the defensive glass as well – 14.0 rebounds per 40 minutes in 27 career Nike EYBL games.
-Sharp instincts in the passing lanes. Nice timing rotating for blocks. Quick off his feet.

Weaknesses
-Good not great frame, especially in his lower body. Rail thin legs – skinny ankles, calves and thighs. Has historically measured average in the length department – 6' 10.5” wingspan last October.
-Physicality comes and goes. Not the most durable player. Can improve his ability to play through contact. Gets knocked off course on straight line drives, forcing him to settle for tough runners.
-Has potential as a shooter but is a bit slow getting to his release. Employs a full body dip before rising up into his shot. Shoots on the way down at times. 28-for-87 from three (32%) in EYBL.
-Can improve his handle, especially with his off hand. Has the skill set of a perimeter four man at this stage. Struggles to create versus pressure.
-Has some vision but isn't always the most willing passer. Will force up contested jumpers rather than moving the ball.
-Light on his feet but struggles to sit down in a stance and keep quicker wings in front. Lacks the physicality to defend the post consistently.

Outlook Porter has a very unique blend of tools and skills that translate quite well to today's NBA. At 6' 10” he can grab and go in transition, space the floor, attack in a straight line and finish above the rim in space. He also shows flashes on the glass and as a defensive playmaker. Porter, whose father recently accepted a job on the University of Washington coaching staff, has to get stronger, fine-tune his offensive skills, and improve as a 1-on-1 defender, but he's most certainly an intriguing long-term prospect with one-and-done potential.


Miles Bridges, 6-6, SF/PF, Huntington Prep, WV 2016 Class, Committed to Michigan State

Strengths
-Tremendous athlete. Has a rare and impressive combination of power, body control and explosiveness off two feet that is difficult to find. Quick off his feet
-Strong 225 pound frame.
-Quick first step and strength makes him difficult to contain in straight line driving situations
-Has some touch on his shot that gives you hope he may be able to develop his jumper in time. Showed the ability to make a catch and shoot jumper in glimpses.
-Very active rebounder. Goes out of area regularly with timing and intensity
-Good basketball instincts. Can pass the ball very effectively when he wants to, with either hand
-Uses his strong frame, toughness, high intensity level and anticipation skills to make plays all over the floor defensively. Shows the potential to guard multiple positions

Weaknesses
-Only measured 6'6 ¼ in shoes by USA Basketball. Has the height of a NBA 2-guard but the skill-set of a face-up 4-man. Has measured in the 6'6 department on three different occasions now. 6'9ish wingspan and 8'7 standing reach is also more like that of a SG/SF than a PF.
-Very inconsistent shooter. Has a number of issues mechanically with his jumper that he'll need to address to become a capable threat in-games. Very low release point. Elbow flies out. Tends to contort his body sideways at times. Doesn't get great rotation. Doesn't have great command of the ball coming out of his hand right now, which leads to some really bad misses.
-Struggles to make shots off the dribble at this stage
-Relies on his first step and power as a slasher. Needs to improve his advanced ball-handling skills. Mostly a straight-line driver. Struggles in isolation situations, will get turnover prone when he tries to overdribble.
-Needs to show he can effectively guard wings to make the conversion to playing on the perimeter full time.

Outlook Top-10 RSCI recruit who is expected to be among the leaders of this U18 squad, as well as an immediate impact freshman at Michigan State. Impressive athlete who has strong basketball instincts and plays with a high intensity level. Doesn't have great size, length or shooting ability, but has quite a few things going for him otherwise.


Kris Wilkes, 6-7, SF/PF, North Central High School, IN 2017 Class, Uncommitted

Strengths
-Impressive physical profile. Tremendous athlete. Frame that will out nicely in time. Highly explosive vertically, and also has nice quickness
-Very effective in transition
-Has some instincts as a scorer
-Shows some flashes as a jump-shooter. Gets off the floor and can throw the ball in the basket. Makes turnaround jumpers out of the post
-Can get to the rim in a straight line
-Has the potential to be a multi-positional defender who can make plays on the perimeter and interior. Covers ground nicely. Switches ball screens

Weaknesses
-Has the measurements of a small forward at 6'7 in shoes, 194 pounds with a 6'10 ½ wingspan and an 8'8 standing reach, but the game of 4-man right now.
-Average ball-handler. Straight line guy. No off hand. Settles for floaters from outside the paint
-Feel for the game is average. Average passer. Doesn't always know his limitations. Very focused on his scoring, to the point of demonstrating poor shot-selection.
-Jump-shot is a major work in progress. Doesn't get great balance underneath him. Kicks his legs out on the release.
-Catch and shoot guy right now. Doesn't have any off the dribble shooting ability
-Still figuring out how to fully utilize his tools defensively. Plays on his heels at times, reaches.

OutlookFace-up 4-man tracking as a McDonald's All-American early on judging by his recruiting rankings. Has some real tools to work with physically, particularly on the defensive end, but has a long ways to go skill-wise at the same time.

Interview


David Nickelberry, 6-7, Small Forward, Windermere Prep, FL 2017 Class, Uncommitted

Strengths
-Will bring the ball up the court at times and get his team into their offense
-Excellent passer. Likes to find the open man and get teammates easy baskets. Sees the game at a very high level
-Uses both hands to pass
-Has some touch on his jumper, so may be able to develop this part of his game in time if he can fix his shooting mechanics

Weaknesses
-Only has a 6'8 wingspan and an 8'6 ½ standing reach
-Average athlete. Doesn't possess great quickness. Struggles to turn the corner with better defenders on him.
-Struggles to score in the half-court
-Very limited outside shooter. Has an unorthodox lefty jumper with a very flat arc. Doesn't get very good results with it at this stage. Splays his misses all over the place.
-Turns the ball over at a very high rate. Not a great ball-handler at this stage. Struggles to finish with his off hand.
-Not overly physical, which limits him defensively. Mostly indifferent on this end of the floor.
-Bad body language. Gets visibly frustrated with teammates

Outlook Small forward who is getting a lot of attention on the national level. #33 ranked recruit according to Scout.com. Shows unique court vision and versatility for a player his size, but still figuring out how to utilize that as he's not a great athlete or a very effective scorer in the half-court. Guards mostly power forwards, but fancies himself somewhat of a point forward.

Interview

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