Charles Bassey Once Again Gets Rave Reviews at the 2016 John Lucas Enterprises Lab Experience
April 6, 2016
Published by Clark Francis (The Hoop Scoop)
Among the many things that we did at this year's NCAA Final Four in Houston, TX was attend the 2016 John Lucas Enterprises Lab Experience, which was held from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM on Saturday and on Sunday morning at Legends in Spring, TX And, once again, 6'10 Frosh Charles Bassey from San Antonio (St. Anthony Christian) TX solidified his spot at the top freshman in the nation. We're talking about somebody with tremendous length, agility, and athleticism, excellent post moves, a terrific nose for the ball, and great timing when it comes to blocking more than his share of shots, and has the ability to run the court and step out and hit the mid-range and long range jump shot. And, if that weren't enough, he also has a good motor and plenty of upside, especially if he doesn't lose any of his speed, quickness, and athleticism, as he gets bigger and stronger physically. In other words, we're talking about somebody with incredible talent right now and I also am hard pressed to think of any freshman in high school that I have ever seen who is any better than his guy is at this stage of his career.
On the other hand, Bassey is not as good right now as 6'8 Jr Jarred Vanderbilt from Houston (Victory Prep) TX, who is currently ranked #6 nationally in the junior class by the HOOP SCOOP and can be as good as anybody in the class when the light clicks on and he decides to play hard. If you recall, Vanderbilt has the skills of a point/forward and he's quick enough to guard smaller guys out on the perimeter and he's got the length, quickness, athleticism, and finesse around the basket to get more than his share of rebounds when he has to play in the paint. However, if Vanderbilt wants to be a superstar at both the college and professional levels, he will need to improve his outside shooting. And that was one of the positive things that we saw at this camp, as he appears to have developed more consistency on his jump shot out to about 18-feet. And not to far behind Vanderbilt when we start talking about both the top juniors in the nation and the top players in the camp is 6'6 Jr D.J. Harvey from Hyattsville (DeMatha) MD. Not only does he have the size, skills, versatility, and athleticism necessary to play both the 2-guard and wing forward spots, but he is a thoroughbred in the open court and is a his best when he using his explosiveness and agility to get to the basket and finish at the rim.
We also made note of the fact that 6'8 Soph Jaedon LeDee from Houston (Kinkaid) TX has grown several inches since we last saw him last summer and, with his excellent size for his position and ability to both shoot and slash, there is no doubt that the value of his stock will continue to be on the rise.. And what about 5'6 Frosh Sahvir Wheeler from Houston (Christian) TX, and 6'4 Soph Quentin Grimes from The Woodlands (College Park) TX, both of whom have to be in the discussion when we start talking about the top five ranked players in the camp. Wheeler also was the best pure point guard in camp and he did a great job of finding both Bassey and 6'6 8th Grader Gregory Brown from Austin (Brentwood Christian) TX, as they teamed up to form a great one-two-three punch on what clearly was the best team in camp. Wheeler also has grown and he's like a coach on the floor with his great ball handling and passing skills, ability to penetrate and dish, and knack for being able to run the show and make everybody else better. He's also has a tremendous basketball IQ and he's really good at taking what the defense gives him with his quickness to the basket and ability to knack down the outside shot. Grimes also has some point guard skills, but what we liked most about him were his willingness to compete, quickness in transition, and ability to both get to the basket and knock down the outside shot. This also a good place to add Brown into the mix, as this long fluid athletic wing forward really impressed us with poise and court savvy, showed both a soft touch on his jump shot out to 3-point land and nice moves and a knack for being able to get to the basket, and is just flat out good enough to be a legitimate top five-ranked player nationally in the Class of 2020.
And, of course, there were guys like 6'2 Soph Bryson Etienne from Richmond (Ft. Bend Bush) TX, 5'5 Soph Eden Holt from Sugar Land (Ft. Bend (Austin) TX, and 6'6 Frosh Jordan Turner from Houston (SATCH) TX. Etienne is an athletic 2-guard who is explosive in transition and we really liked his nose of the ball, willingness to compete, and ability to attack the basket. Holt is a pure point guard with excellent speed and quickness, great ball handling and passing skills, a knack for being able to find the open man, and he's one of those guys who continues to get better every time we see him play. Turner is a multi-dimensional athletic wing forward with long arms, quick hops, a good nose for the ball, and plenty of explosiveness to the rim. We also think 6'7 Jr Deion Rhea from Porter (H.S.) TX was good enough to deserve some top 10 consideration among the players in camp due to the fact that he has excellent speed, quickness, and athleticism and the versatility and skills necessary to play both inside and outside. And, if that wasn't enough, he also has good ball handing skills for somebody is size, although he also had a tendency to over handle and dominate the ball, which was not good for his team's chemistry. However, nobody in camp was more of a pig than 6'7 Soph Jacobi Gordon from Houston (Fallbrook Prep) TX. Not only was the outside shot not going down, but he was a chemistry killer, as he seemed more intent upon going one-on-one than ever passing the ball to an open teammate. However, in fairness to Gordon, he does have the physical attributes and athleticism necessary to be a match-up problem inside and Van Coleman tells us that the outside shot was going down and he played much better on Saturday.
There also was a plethora of evolving big men in camp and right at the top of that list is 7'0 Soph Ousmane Ndim from St. Louis (Christian) MO. He doesn't always finish when he's around the basket and needs to continue to work on his post moves. However, he does have a nice frame, is active on the boards, and he did a good job of holding his own when he was matched up against the above mentioned Charles Bassey. It also was hard not to like the length and athleticism and upside and potential of 7'0 Soph Souleymane Doumbia from Bryant (Arkansas Christian) TX. Not only was he very fluid and mobile and around the basket, but he ran the court, was active on the boards, and is a good shot blocker. What 6'10 Jr Jeremiah Allen from College Station (Aggieland Prep) TX lacks in quickness and mobility, he more than makes up for with his willingness to bang and set picks and screens in the post, plus he gets more than his share of rebounds and knows how to bully his way to the rim. There is also is 6'11 Jr J.J. Jones from San Antonio (Athlos Leadership Academy) TX, who is much more of a potential guy than a finished product. But, like they say, you can't teach somebody to be 6'11. And what about 6'10 Jr Kevin Samuel from Houston (Redemption Christian Home School Academy) TX, who is a a long athletic lefty big man who runs the court, rebounds and blocks shots, and still has plenty of upside? We like the way 6'8 Jr Simon Falokum from Houston (Alief-Taylor) TX used his length and athleticism to rebound, block shots, and pass out of the post and 6'8 Jr John Walker from Missouri City (Ft. Bend Marshall) TX is another one of those guys with big time athleticism, but lacks strength and doesn't shoot it well enough to play out on the perimeter.
We also want to mention some other players, like 6'3 Jr Everette Hammonds from Laurel (St. Vincent Pallotti) MD, 6'5 Jr Jase Febres from Houston (Westfield) TX, 6'5 Soph Jamal Bieniemy from Katy (Thompkins) TX, 6'3 Frosh Kevin McCullar from San Antonio (Brennan) TX, 6'2 8th Grader Isaiah LeBlanc from Sugar Land (First Colony Middle School) TX, and 6'3 8th Grader Tramon Mark from Dickinson (Middle School) TX. Hammonds is an athletic combo guard with good ball handling and passing skills, excellent speed, quickness, and a knack for being able to find a way score. Fabres is not that skilled, but this 6'5 wing forward is very fluid and athletic, has quick hands and feet, and plays with a lot of energy. Biemiemy is an athletic 2-guard who has always been able to score, but now appears to be developing the point guard skills that he will need to become more of a combo guard. McCullar is a versatile wing with good ball handling and passing skills, an excellent court demeanor, and a great nose for the ball, which allows him to be an excellent rebounder for his size and position. LeBlanc simply picked up where he left off several times earlier this month with the soft touch that he has on his jump shot and ability to flat out score. Mark is another extremely talented 8th Grader who showed that he can play with the older guys and it's hard not to like his quickness, athleticism, and knack for being able to score off transition.