Courtesy of USA Basketball
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Was North Carolina bound five-star Caleb Love the most impressive player on day on of USA Basketball's October Minicamp? National Analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans take Rival Views from Friday's action.
1. WHICH PLAYER MOST STOOD OUT TO YOU ON OPENING DAY?
Bossi's view: Back in July, I walked away from USA Basketball thinking that it would be hard for me to see five-star point guard Caleb Love play much better. He did that and more on Friday.
During the first day of action the recently committed to North Carolina floor general was easily my day one stand out.
He hit deep threes, he showed burst to the rim for dunks and most importantly he did all of his scoring in the context of the game while making his teammates look good. There is an air of confidence him right now that is hard to deny and the Heels have landed a guy who is quite capable of stepping right in and taking over for Cole Anthony if Anthony can go to the NBA as expected after one year.
Evans' view: Bar none, no one had a better showing from beginning to end on Friday than Jabari Smith. Inching closer to 6-foot-10 but seeing his greatest growth in the confidence department, there wasn’t a whole lot that Smith did not do. He looked much quicker off of the floor, showed the ability to lead the break off of the defensive glass, and most of all, shot the ball at a high rate. Creating offense with his size is not much of an issue and his ability to convert from each level on the floor, but also take the right ones, is just another reason why he is a top-six prospect in the 2021 class.
He knows that he belongs compared to a year ago whenever he was just trying to get things aligned which is why half of the SEC has already made him a priority, including his dad’s alma mater, LSU. However, Duke and Kentucky have begun to show interest and for good reason as Smith fits today’s power forward mold to a tee.
2. WHICH FIRST TIME USAB MINICAMP PARTICIPANT LEFT THE BIGGEST MARK?
Bossi's view: For me it has to be Chet Holmgren. I'm just saying, many more outings like his first ever day at USA Basketball and we need to start seriously considering him for the No. 1 overall spot in the class of 2021.
I get it, he's already ranked No. 4 overall so it's not a huge leap but I don't remember scouting many like him who can shoot from deep, run the floor and block shots. The vision of him challenging North Carolina bound tough man Day'Ron Sharpe (who had a good day) at the very top of the shooting square and getting his hand on top of the ball is one that is tough to forget and that's not even getting into the ground he covers to make many of his blocks. Arkansas, Baylor, Florida State, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Kansas Memphis, Minnesota, Ohio State, Tennessee, Wake Forest, West Virginia and at least five or six other high level programs have offered. To me, he's the most unique player in all of high school ball.
Evans' view: It is a bit of a surprise that this is Day’Ron Sharpe’s first trip to Colorado Springs. Regarded as a top-25 prospect for practically the entire time that the 2020 Rivals150 has been installed, Sharpe did not hold back from doing what he does best: dominate the paint. The future North Carolina Tar Heel has begun to expand his face-up game but give credit to where it is due; he knows where his bread is buttered and that is around the paint. Sharpe is a walking double-double and the epitome of a tone setter from 15-feet and in. He competes with a consistent motor, is a brute force with impeccable hands, and is only improving. Place Sharpe alongside Walker Kessler next year and Roy Williams may have one of his best 1-2 freshmen frontline tandems since I can remember.