adidas Nations Experience: Top 2012 High School Prospects

adidas Nations Experience: Top 2012 High School Prospects
Sep 12, 2010, 10:53 pm
Kyle Anderson, 6-8, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, 2012

Kyle Anderson is a big, smooth guard who towers over his opponents at 6-foot-8 and is an extremely mature young prospect with an advanced feel for the game. He is a very good ball-handler for his size – he even saw minutes at point guard for the 2012 team – and shows excellent passing skills, finding teammates off the dribble and looking highly unselfish in the process. He plays a slow, deliberate style that you rarely see from a player this young. He usually makes the extra pass and looks fundamentally sound.

Anderson is not a particularly athletic guy. He lacks a great first step and doesn't have overwhelming explosiveness. He looked somewhat limited trying to defend the perimeter as well with his poor lateral quickness. His nickname is “Slow-Mo,” after all, and he earned that for a reason.

He's more of a facilitator than a big-time scorer, although he does seem to have solid shooting mechanics from the perimeter. He also has a tendency to dominate the ball a little too much and dribble excessively before getting his team into their offense. In the paint, he has trouble scoring around length at times due to his below-the-rim style of play.

The high school recruiting services don't seem all that enamored with Anderson based on where they're ranking him right now. It's clear he doesn't have the same upside as some of the other guard prospects at this event. Still, rarely do you find a player this young with such an advanced feel for the game. That should carry Anderson pretty far if he continues to round out his skill level over the next few years.

Shabazz Muhammad, 6-5, Shooting Guard, 2012

Shabazz Muhammad is one of the most intriguing long-term prospects seen at this event. It's pretty clear from watching him here that he has an excellent future ahead of him.

A pure scorer would be the best way to describe Muhammad's game. He's as aggressive and confident an offensive player as you'll find in the high school ranks. Muhammad shows a quick first step and a knack for creating his own shot and getting to the basket. He doesn't need much daylight to get his shot off and can put the ball in the rim in a variety of different ways. Left-handed, he's particularly fond of using the glass in transition. As explosive as he is around the basket, it's Muhammad's craftiness scoring in the paint that makes him stand out so much.

Floaters with either hand, smooth lefty pull-ups, crafty scoop shots, post moves, turnaround jumpers or just putting himself in the right place at the right time for an offensive rebound, Muhammad finds a way to fill up the score sheet and looks determined to do so every time he steps out on the floor. He's very business-like in the way he goes about things. He's always around the ball, and he's never afraid to step up and take responsibility when the situation calls for it.

Muhammad's aggressiveness in putting up points could rub people the wrong way at times, as he doesn't appear particularly apologetic about the way he produces on the offensive end. He tends to dribble aimlessly and force the issue at times and displays questionable shot selection. He still needs to improve his decision making and his passing ability and cut down on turnovers.

Winston Shepard, 6-8, SF/PF, 2012

Winston Shepard is a long, athletic combo forward who is extremely aggressive on the offensive end. He passes the eye test on first glance and definitely has many of the budding characteristics you look for in an intriguing long-term prospect. He's outstanding in transition with terrific explosiveness and a knack for getting to the basket thanks to a quick first step. Shepard is still working on his offensive polish, but he looks to be on his way to emerging as a legit small forward. His perimeter shooting skills need work, as do his ball-handling and passing skills, but his talent level and aggressiveness allow him to make things happen on both ends of the floor. He's a highly competitive guy capable of making plays all over the court thanks to his terrific physical profile. This gives him excellent potential on the defensive end as well.

Amile Jefferson, 6-7, SF/PF, 2012

Amile Jefferson is one of the most highly regarded members of the 2012 high school class. He showed some intriguing characteristics in Chicago. A long, skinny 6-foot-7 forward who is clearly stuck in between positions right now, Jefferson is a good athlete who does a little bit of everything and definitely seems to have the intangibles you look for in a young developing prospect. He is fairly smart and unselfish offensively. He's also very competitive and puts a good effort in on the defensive end. He struggles to make shots from the perimeter, showing very poor mechanics; but he manages to produce offensively thanks to his ability to get to the rim with a quick first step and big, long strides. He has an affinity for mixing things up in the post. Jefferson's game is a bit on the awkward side at the moment — nothing that he does looks particularly smooth — but he's effective at this level. He grows on you the more you watch him.

Edited by Patrick Crawley, Sports Editor, Neon Tommy.

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