2016 Lab Experience Evaluations
April 4, 2016
Once again, Coach John Lucas brought in nearly 200 of the best players from the Houston area and around the country for The Lab, a camp held at Legends Sports Complex in The Woodlands over Final Four weekend. Below are evaluations of the players who shined brightest in both the drills and the 4-on-4 games that took place, listed in alphabetical order by class.
Jase Febres (2017/6’5’’/180/SG) - Streaky shooter was nearly automatic from 3-point range this weekend. Febres is among the best scorers in Houston, and his marksmanship allows him to go by defenders and get to the basket, where he can finish with either hand. His elite size for the position also allows him to fire in mid-range jumpers with little room to maneuver. Should draw some interest from high majors if he continues making shots at this frequency.
DJ Harvey (2017/6’6’’/210/SF) - DeMatha product was in Houston all week and impressed me in his workouts at Fonde and in this event. Harvey is a mid-range shotmaker who can execute several different pivots and fakes, and often makes difficult shots seem routine. Willing to work hard inside to grab rebounds, Harvey must improve his scoring package off the dribble, but overall looks like one of the most talented 2017s in the country.
Ricky Nelson (2017/6’0’’/170/CG) - Has always been a consistent performer, but in the last few months, Nelson has elevated his game while playing with a higher sense of urgency than anyone around him. When Nelson steps on the court, he does everything with a purpose, and he showed again this weekend that he can attack the basket at will and finish through contact. Nelson also possesses a superb mid-range game and is evolving into a solid three-point shooter. In his current form, he is going to have a fantastic summer.
Jarred Vanderbilt (2017/6’8’’/205/CF) - Been working hard on improving his outside jumper, and the practice is starting to pay dividends as he looks much more comfortable and confident shooting the ball. Vanderbilt at times struggled mightily from the perimeter during the high school season, and it should serve as a lesson to everyone that even the best players must continue to grow their game in order to maintain that status. I am expecting Vanderbilt to make a serious push for EYBL MVP this summer.
John Walker (2017/6’9’’/190/SF) - Continues to open eyes with his versatile offensive repertoire. Walker has fantastic length, is comfortable raining in shots from the 3-point line, and possesses a dazzling array of moves off the dribble and with his back to the basket. Is a fantastic weak-side defender and has no problem initiating the fast break after grabbing a rebound. Walker needs to improve his physical strength, but with improvement in that department is going to be capable of making an immediate impact at a high-major program on the collegiate level.
Yeskin Williams (2017/6’5’’/180/SF) - Terrific athlete and ultimate glue guy. Williams is well under the radar but will not stay that way if he keeps improving while performing like he did at The Lab. Tremendous upper-body strength, can lock down the best opposing player on defense. Williams is a force in transition and always makes the unselfish play. Good-looking three-point shot, especially from the corner. I love guys who can make a significant impact on the game without the ball, and Williams fits the bill quite nicely.
Souleymane Doumbia (2018/7’0’’/215/C) - Big man with potential to have nice offensive skill set. Impressed with his ability to catch the ball near the rim and finish without bringing the ball down. Doumbia likes to use a sweeping righty hook among several post moves that could use some polish. Hit multiple baseline jumpers and looked comfortable facing the basket. Doumbia fought hard for rebounds on both ends, but got winded towards the ends of drills and games and needs to work on his conditioning. Overall, an intriguing prospect worth serious follow up.
Bryson Etienne (2018/6’2’’/170/CG) - A pure scorer who thrives on volume. Etienne has a tendency to run hot and cold, but at his best is an explosive threat at all three levels. Is powerfully built, welcomes contact at the rim, and caught several putbacks over the weekend. Streaky outside shooter who has great lift on his jumper and can already carry an offense by himself. Needs to improve his decision-making and overall consistency, but is going to reach significant heights before is high school days are done.
Jayden Gasby (2018/6’3’’/180/SG) - Chicago native showed a ton of versatility at the camp. Gasby uses his strong frame in straight-line drives to the basket and is tough to stop once he gets his shoulders past his defender. A solid rebounder, Gasby is adept at hitting the corner 3 and knocked down a couple of contested pull-ups from the elbow after creating space with a crossover dribble. Among the best of the strong out-of-town contingent.
Jacobi Gordon (2018/6’6’’/200/SF) - Continues to hone his considerable skills on the wing. Gordon has greatly improved his three-point shot from the elbow and the corner. Terrific at using his strength to slash his way to the basket, plays through contact effectively, and can guard the 2-3-4 spots if needed. Super-athletic and liable to start and finish the break. Is capable of being a great rebounder, but must do better job of it in order to unlock his full potential.
Quentin Grimes (2018/6’4’’/190/CG) - Stock is going to skyrocket this summer. Grimes is a special talent who is a fine fit at either guard position. Sneaky quickness and gets to the front of the rim in a heartbeat. Lethal in transition, Grimes makes difficult plays with ease. Needs to improve his outside shooting and work on making the simple play, but if Grimes fulfills his potential, he will soon be widely recognized as the best 2018 guard in Texas.
Jaedon LeDee (2018/6’8’’/210/SF) - Perhaps the MVP of the event in what was his best showing in some time after a rocky high school season. LeDee showed off a sharp outside jumper, but it was his overall intensity that impressed me the most. LeDee is a fantastic rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, and he gave a determined effort all weekend in front of coaches from USA Basketball. LeDee needs to improve his shot selection and lateral quickness, but it was nice to see a return to top form for someone who is so highly regarded on a national level.
Remy Minor (2018/5’9’’/140/PG) - One of the most skilled guards in Houston, Minor put on a fantastic performance at The Lab. A lightning rod on the court, he oozes confidence with every step and is fearless when attacking the rim. Shows strength through contact, and has no problem making difficult finishes. Excellent passer and improving his range, Minor always plays like he has something to prove and is going to turn a lot of heads this summer.
Ousmane Ndim (2018/7’0’’/220/C) - This is a raw talent with a very high motor who needs plenty of polish on the offensive end. Ndim is an excellent rebounder and disruptor defensively, and plays the game with a passion that points to him striving to get better. I am expecting a big move forward from Ndim in the coming months, and cannot wait to see what he looks like this time next year.
Trajan Wesley (2018/5’9’’/155/PG) - Been on top of his game recently and showed his strengths this weekend. Wesley is a confident, ball-hawking lead guard who impacts the game on both ends of the floor. Has a great first step and is doing a fantastic job of scoring and distributing offensively. Is a major nuisance on the defensive end and grabs a bunch of rebounds for someone his size. At his best, Wesley is not someone that his opponents will look forward to playing against on any given day.
Greg Williams (2018/6’4’’/205/SG) - Best athlete in the gym. Louisiana native threw down thunderous dunks on a few dozen occasions, both in the drills and in the games.
Williams has a powerful frame, and also showed feel when making several nice passes in transition. Has range out to the 3-point line and decent handle as well. One of the ones the folks on the sidelines at The Lab were buzzing about all weekend.
Charles Bassey (2019/6’10’’/220/PF) - Hard to come up with the right superlatives for this rare talent, Bassey has improved tremendously over the past few months. Solid in the post with serious range out to the 3-point line. Excellent defensively, he is capable of bringing the ball up court after grabbing a rebound to initiate offense, and is also a great passer. Has matched up well with the likes of Jarrett Allen and Kevin Samuel in practices and games over the past few weeks. A certain pro, the next few years of development will determine the height of his stardom.
Keionte Cornelius (2019/5’11’’/150/PG) - Displayed more range than anyone in the gym. Cornelius spent Saturday rifling in long threes, and proved Sunday that the performance was no fluke. Showed a nice first step and spent a significant amount of time in the lane while finishing nicely around the rim. Despite calling his own number on plenty of occasions, Cornelius also proved to be a willing passer, and was among the best of the players I saw for the first time at The Lab.
Jared Garcia (2019/6’6’’/190/CF) - On the verge of a breakout summer. Garcia is evolving into a matchup nightmare and plays the game with ferociousness. Seen more in the post during the high school season, Garcia can inflict serious damage from the wing and wants to finish strong on every occasion. High motor, great hands, is willing to take on any challenge defensively. Needs to improve his all-around skill set, but has the look of someone who will be a totally different player at this time next season.
Michael Joiner (2019/6’0’’/150/SG) - Nice package here. Joiner has good length for his size and ran the floor well while finishing nicely in transition. Gave great effort on the defensive end and was unselfish with the basketball while getting buckets inside and outside offensively. Overall, was excellent in the drills and made plays every time I saw him in the games. Joiner checked all the boxes and is definitely one to keep an eye on moving forward.
Kameron Ng (2019/5’9’’/130/PG) - Very similar profile to Cornelius, Ng poured in one triple after another at The Lab, and is such a confident shooter that he looks surprised when he misses. Despite his display from range, I was particularly impressed with his poise in the lane, where he always seemed to know whether he had enough space to get his shot off. Made difficult floaters and layups, and found teammates for open looks when the defense collapsed. Yet another talent that I cannot wait to see again.
Charles Smith (2019/6’5’’/180/SG) - Plays well in the open floor and thrived in the 4-on-4 format. Smith already possesses elite size for the position, and can make shots off the catch or dribble. I have been looking for Smith to be more aggressive overall, and he showed me that over the weekend by repeatedly attacking the basket and looking to dunk the ball. Smith has improved his all-around game recently, and has every right to develop into an outstanding player on both ends of the floor.
Sahvir Wheeler (2019/5’6’’/145/PG) - A top-notch point guard determined to get better. Wheeler thrives with talent around him, and is a dynamic floor leader who commands respect and pushes the pace every opportunity while creating easy baskets for his teammates. Adept at making tough finishes around the rim, Wheeler improved his outside shot over the course of the high school season, and flashed a mid-range game this weekend that I had not seen from him previously.
Greg Brown (2020/6’7’’/170/SF) - Going to be a dynamite wing in the very near future. Brown must get stronger and improve his ball-handling, but has the potential to blossom into Texas’ top 2020 prospect. Above-average three-point shooter off the catch. Is not shy on the offensive end, and looked this weekend like a player used to dominating who was stepping into deeper waters for the first time. While there will be a learning curve for Brown at this level, I expect by the end of the summer we will see a much more polished player. The sky is the limit for this young man.
Isaiah LeBlanc (2020/6’1’’/150/PG) - A ball-dominant scorer for whom the light is green at all times. LeBlanc steps on the court looking to shoot the basketball, and settled for too many outside jumpers over the weekend despite making a whole bunch of them. This is a prospect that can use his handles to free himself for a shot from anywhere on the court, and as he gets stronger and more mature is going to develop into feared opponent capable of regularly putting up video-game numbers offensively.
Tramon Mark (2020/6’2’’/150/CG) - A terrific two-way player, Mark possesses excellent length and uses his speed and agility to score from all three levels offensively. His fantastic court vision makes Mark capable of playing either guard position. He is mature for his age, and already has a solid mid-range game and is an excellent finisher around the rim. Perhaps possesses the most upside of anyone in the loaded 2020 class in Texas, it will be interesting to see Mark battle with Brown, LeBlanc, and others for supremacy during the next few seasons.
Written by: Nick Milosevich (Top 100 Talent)