Josh Cooper 2028
Josh Cooper is a name to remember as he’s a really athletic kid that plays with a high motor on both ends of the floor. Offensively, the wing showed a very quick first step when he took some strong baseline drives to finish at the rim. Cooper looked to flush home a few no matter who was in his way. His ability to absorb contact and finish at the rim was huge for him. Defensively, Cooper used good athletic ability to deny guys that tested him at the rim. He’s a very versatile defender that showed he could multiple positions. He has some true untapped potential that’s going to be interesting to see how he taps into it in the near future.

Kash Bonner 2028
Bonner was simply one of the best on ball defenders at the Next Gen Academy. The diminutive speedy guard was like a bug to his competition as he got up under bigger ball handlers causing major problems for them and completely making guys uncomfortable. He was all over the court making plays which got the crowd more into the game as well just off of his hustle plays. The size, strength or speed of a defender didn’t matter to him. Offensively, he was just as fast with the ball as he was without. He used a slow to fast pace game that got him by defenders at will and made him tough to keep in front.

Eli Tu 2028
When it comes down to keeping the game simple while being able to leave your mark and not do anything extraordinary, that’s what Tu brought to the table for his team. He made all the simple plays on the offensive end such as make the extra pass when guys were open, kicking the ball ahead, putting pressure on defenders, taking and making the mid-range jump shot, moving without the ball and being an assertive player. He didn’t look to play the isolation game, turn the ball over and jog back on defense and he didn’t try making home-run plays to be the guy. On the defensive end, Tu was able to read guys well in order to be a step ahead of them. He picked off passes and did a good job at using his body to cut off driving lanes.

Sterling Pritchett
Pritchett had his underrated scoring ability on full display for his squad. It kind of took awhile for him to get in his groove but he showed he could do some amazing things with the basketball in order to get to his spots on the court. A shifty guard with good size, good speed and a solid body frame. He got by defenders and made it his duty to get to the cup where he finished acrobatically at the rim. He made it tough for guys to reject him at the rim and when they appeared to have done so, he was likely heading to the charity stripe after picking up a foul. As he looks to be more aggressive he’ll be a tougher player offensively.

Jeremiah Anderson
Anderson is a combo guard that showed some pretty good shot mechanics from the outside. He shot the same shot with consistency not throwing off his rhythm that he had going. Anderson showed exceptional footwork when he caught the ball and released or effectively operated using triple threat to make a play. He was comfortable scoring the ball off the bounce as well as he got into the seams of defenses, used his body to create space and didn’t let the presence of defenders throw his shot off. Anderson also did a good job at finishing in the paint with a nice touch off the glass that I thought he could’ve got to more often. 

Baer Bailey
Bailey was one of the lankiest of the forwards that was in attendance at the Next Gen Academy. What I loved about his game was his ability to consistently knock down the mid-range shot free-throw line extended just off catch and shooting alone. He didn’t look to put the ball on the floor over exerting himself but instead he shot where he was more comfortable. His size allowed him to shoot over smaller defenders and he had no problem doing so. Bailey has an evolving offensive skill set. He was a tough rebounder on both ends and a problem on the defensive end. His mobility mixed allowed him to contest shots from all over if he didn’t block them. He could easily defend multiple positions with his lateral quickness.

Kevin Warren
Warren was one of his team’s main ball handlers and he didn’t disappoint running the show. The guard displayed a strict package of moves that he used effectively to get past defenders. Warren didn’t toy with the ball, he dribbled with his head up, got downhill and often times went to his soft touch floater if he didn’t finish acrobatically at the rim. Warren also did a good job at setting his teammates up to be successful in their sweet spots. Warren also stood out on the defensive end where he used his long arms, quick and active hands to cause havoc to ball handlers. His pressure forced guys to play at a pace they weren’t subjected to playing at.

Lamar Byrd
Byrd was one of the most athletic athletes in attendance at the Next Gen Academy. The 6’5 wing ran the floor harder than anyone and he did so with great intentions. Byrd looked to finish above the rim every chance he got with his quick leaping ability. He took long strides to get down the court and finished well around the basket in traffic or through contact. Although Byrd was at his best off the ball, he showed he was more than capable of snatching down rebounds and pushing the ball up the court himself. Byrd also took a few jump from the outside showing a glimpse of what’s in the works of being added to his game.

Jaydon Shannon
Shannon showed promises of being one of the better on ball defender at the Next Gen Academy and he took pride in doing what was asked of him. He picked guys up full court, showed good foot speed to stay in front, active hands to be disruptive and a ton of relentlessness to do it over and over again. He did so all while being able to put the ball in the basket as well. He didn’t celebrate after he scored but turned his attention to getting stop after stop. Shannon was streaky shooting from the outside but saw success when finishing around the basket. He’s a player any coach would’ve loved to have on their team at the Next Gen Academy.

Ashton Jones
Jones is a shifty guard that showed some quick twitches and a nice hop to his game. He broke defenders down left and right before getting downhill where he got into his mid-range pull up jump shot or his go to floater. Jones thrived well playing out of the pick and roll action which opened up his game more. He showed an ability to make some good reads while making no-look passes out of it. Defensively, Jones did a good job at sliding his feet while being an honest defender. Where he turned my head was when he took back to back charges. Completely putting his body on the line to give his team a change of possession.

Isaiah Moreno
Moreno is a combo guard that showed he’s capable of being a shot maker from anywhere on the court. He has a nice stringy handle that he operated with to create space from defenders before firing away mainly from behind the arc. He has a fluid release on his jump shot, he doesn’t change his form and he looked to take high percentage shots. He also made it no task of getting to the basket after he saw a few treys fall though the net during one particular game of action. It was hard keeping Moreno from getting to his spots as it was hard figuring out whether he was going to shoot the ball or drive to the basket.