Daylan Jones in a Class by Himself at the 2016 John Lucas Camp Right Way-Chicago

Published on August 31, 2016 by Clark Francis

Over the weekend we attended the 2016 John Lucas Camp Right Way-Chicago, which was held at Quest Multi-Sport Complex in Chicago, IL, and, any way you slice it, the best player in camp was 6'2 8th Grader Daylan Jones from Wichita, KS. We're talking about somebody with the athleticism and versatility necessary to play multiple positions, but is ideally suited for the 2-guard spot due to the fact that he can really score. And he can do so in a variety of ways, as was evident by the fact that he was almost impossible to stop with his moves and quickness to the rim, knack for being able to pull-up and hit the mid-range shot, and soft touch on his outside shot. He also has good ball handling and passing skills, a willingness to compete, and a great nose for the ball, plus he is talented enough to be ranked among the top 10 or 15 players nationally in the Class of 2021. Jones will need to get bigger and stronger physically, but he also appears to be just scratching the surface in terms of reaching his outside and potential and it's pretty clear that he is one of those guys who can be as good as he wants to be with a lot of hard work and normal growth and development.

It also was hard not to be impressed with 6'3 8th Grader Tevin Smith from Danville, IL, who checks in as the second best player in camp, behind Jones and ahead of guys like 6'2 8th Grader Pierre Brooks from Detroit, MI, 6'4 8th Grader Jaylon McDaniel from Lee Summit, MO, and 6'0 8th Grader Jimmy Scholler from Grand Rapids, MI. Smith has the skills and athleticism necessary to play just about any position on the court, but, without an outside shooter's mentality and his quick hands and feet and ability to rebound, blocks shots, and score in the post, he did his best work around the basket in this camp. We also got a chance to see Brooks and McDaniel go head-to-head in what arguably was the best match-up that we saw during the course of the weekend and we have to give the nod to the former over the latter based on his versatility, athleticism, quickness, soft touch, and good ball handling and passing skills for somebody his size. On the other hand, when we start talking about upside and potential, McDaniel gets the advantage based on his great length and athleticism, ability to run the court, rebound, block shots, and score around the basket, and the fact that he is a long way away from being done growing. Scholler is another guy who played inside and got more than his share of rebounds at the defensive end, but also did a good job starting the break, handling the ball in transition, and either finding the open man or finishing strong off transition. However, just like Smith, he's going to have to develop more of an outside shooter's mentality, if he's going to be a shooter, instead of just a slasher.

On the other hand, 5'11 8th Grader Harrison Kelly from Germantown, TN was arguably one of the best outside shooters in camp, thanks to his quick release, excellent form, and scorer's mentality. However, he also has good ball handling and passing skills, a high basketball IQ, and deceptive speed and quickness when it comes time to get his shot and get to the rim. Next on our list is 5'6 8th Grader K.J. Crump from Clarksville, TN and this quick-on-quick point guard impressed us with his crafty handle, good court vision, and knack for being able to get to the basket and finish at the rim. And, of course, there also were guys like 6'1 8th Grader Garrison Powell from Roswell, GA, 6'2 8th Grader Demari Martinfrom Cincinnati, OH, and 5'10 8th Grader Rone Smith from Wichita, KS, who round out top 10 players based on performance in this camp. Powell has a soft touch on his jump shot, but what he does best is be athletic and he's at his best in the open court and when slashing to the basket. Martin needs strength and toughness, but it was hard not to like his silky smooth demeanor, versatility and athleticism, ball handling and passing skills, and ability to both get to the basket and knock down the outside shot. Smith has the versatility necessary to play either guard spot, thanks to his good handling and passing skills, great nose for the ball, and excellent speed and quickness, which allows him to thrive in an up tempo setting.

The camp also had good depth, as is evident by the fact that guys like 5'7 8th Grader Preston Murphy from Omaha, NE, 6'2 8th Grader Brandon Eckles from Olathe, KS, 5'6 8th Grader Gregory Johnson from Cincinnati, OH, 5'10 5'6 7th Grader Larry Hughes from St. Louis, MO, 6'0 8th Grader Chanse Perkins from Webster, TX, 5'10 8th Grader Sylvester Jones from Grand Blanc, MI, 6'2 7th Grader Amari Thomas from Wichita, KS, 5'2 7th Grader Bryant Handley from Chicago, IL, 5'6 8th Grader Michael Mitchell from San Jose, CA, and 5'10 8th Grader Elijah Jackson from Mason, OH all fall in the 11-20 range. Murphy is a chip off the old block (his father is an assistant coach at Creighton) with his excellent speed and quickness, good handling and passing skills, knack for being able to get to the basket, and ability to run the show. Eckles is a tough hardnosed competitor who gets after it on the boards, scores both inside and outside, and has deceptive quickness and athleticism. Johnson makes a living going coast-to-coast, but he's never heard of the old adage that says "be quick, but don't hurry." Hughes was the best 7th Grader in camp and he reminds us of his father, who is a former NBA All-Star and goes by the same name, in a lot of ways. Perkins needs strength, but we liked the ways he gets to the basket and he's versatile enough to play both inside and outside. Jones is built like a tight end and his deceptive speed, quickness, and athleticism allows him to play anywhere from the point guard to the power forward spot. Thomas is a physical specimen and we like the way he goes strong to the basket, is aggressive on the boards, and makes an impact at the defensive end. Handley has good handling and passing skills and he's a jet in an up tempo setting. Mitchell needs strength, but we really like his silky smooth demeanor, quickness to the rim, and excellent moves with the ball. Jackson is a strong physical athletic combo guard who can shoot the three and is a tough match-up when he attacks the basket.

And, when we dig a little deeper, we find that 5'11 8th Grader Alexander Zwerner from Atlanta, GA, 5'8 8th Grader Christian Henry from Chicago, IL 5'11 8th Grader Jaden Winfield from St. Louis, MO, 6'3 8th Grader Kayren Spiller from Kansas City, MO, 5'11 8th Grader Kyle Schilling from Morgan Hill, CA, 5'9 7th Grader Jett Howard from Miami, FL, 5'10 8th Grader Myles Estrada from St. Peters, MO, 5'6 8th Grader Cameron Baker from Grand Blanc, MI, 6'4 7th Grader Andre Casey from Tinley Park, IL, and 5'11 7th Grader Tamin Lipsey from Glencoe, IL are all good enough to fall into the 21-30 range. Zwerner is a tough hardnosed competitor who makes a living slashing to the basket, sets picks and screens, and doing the blue collar things that often don't show up in the box score. Henry is a pure point guard with a good ball handling and passing skills, an excellent feel for the game, and good moves to the basket. Winfield is more of a slasher than a shooter, but we like his ball handling and passing skills, feel for the game, and athleticism. Spiller is a physical specimen in the post, but it's his upside and potential that really get us excited. Schilling has excellent skills, a high basketball IQ, and he plays like the coach's son that he is (his father is an assistant coach at UCLA). Howard is not a tough customer and doesn't have a takeover mentality, but it's hard not to like his athleticism, length, potential, and pedigree (his father is Juwan Howard). Estrada is a tough hardnosed competitor who scores, rebounds, and makes plays in the post. Baker is athletic combo-guard with good quickness to the basket and the ability to more than just keep you honest from behind the arc. Casey passes the look test with his size, length, and athleticism, but left us wanting more every time we watched him play and, as a result, is more of a potential guy than a finished product. Lipsey is an athletic 2-guard who is equally effective when slashing to the basket and knocking down the outside shot.

THE HOOP SCOOP'S RANKING OF THE TOP 30 PLAYERS AT THE 2016 JOHN LUCAS CAMP RIGHT WAY-CHICAGO

1) 6'2 8th Grader Daylan Jones from Wichita, KS

2) 6'3 8th Grader Tevin Smith from Danville, IL

3) 6'2 8th Grader Pierre Brooks from Detroit, MI

4) 6'4 8th Grader Jaylon McDaniel from Lee Summit, MO

5) 6'0 8th Grader Jimmy Scholler from Grand Rapids, MI

6) 5'11 8th Grader Harrison Kellyfrom Germantown, TN

7) 5'6 8th Grader K.J. Crump from Clarksville, TN

8) 6'1 8th Grader Garrison Powell from Roswell, GA

9) 6'2 8th Grader Demari Martin from Cincinnati, OH

10) 5'10 8th Grader Rone Smith from Wichita, KS

11) 5'7 8th Grader Preston Murphy from Omaha, NE

12) 6'2 8th Grader Brandon Eckles from Olathe, KS

13) 5'6 8th Grader Gregory Johnson from Cincinnati, OH

14) 5'6 7th Grader Larry Hughes from St. Louis, MO

15) 6'0 8th Grader Chance Perkins from Webster, TX

16) 5'10 8th Grader Sylvester Jones from Grand Blanc, MI

17) 6'2 7th Grader Amari Thomas from Wichita, KS

18) 5'2 7th Grader Bryant Handley from Chicago, IL

19) 5'6 8th Grader Michael Mitchell from San Jose, CA

20) 5'10 8th Grader Elijah Jackson from Mason, OH

21) 5'11 8th Grader Alexander Zwerner from Atlanta, GA

22) 5'11 8th Grader Jaden Winfield from St. Louis, MO

23) 6'3 8th Grader Kayren Spiller from Kansas City, MO

24) 5'11 8th Grader Kyle Schilling from Morgan Hill, CA

25) 5'9 7th Grader Jett Howard from Miami, FL

26) 5'10 8th Grader Myles Estrada from St. Peters, MO

27) 5'6 8th Grader Cameron Baker from Grand Blanc, MI

28) 6'4 7th Grader Andre Casey from Tinley Park, IL

29) 5'11 7th Grader Tamin Lipsey from Glencoe, IL

30) 5'8 8th Grader Christian Henry from Chicago, IL