|Class of 2017: Shooting Guards|
Written by: Prospect-Central
Last summer Prospect-Central released its inaugural High School Basketball Freshmen Watch List. The Class of 2016 was the first to be featured, and it's safe to say it was a complete success. Like all initial lists for incoming freshmen basketball players, more names emerged as the season unfolded, but for the most part PC was right on the money.
If there was ever a freshmen class to begin a basketball journey with, no doubt it would be the Class of 2016. To say the class is loaded would be a severe understatement. The talent laced from head to toe is truly remarkable, as it's shaping out to be one of the greatest classes of all-time.
Now it's time to introduce the next crop of incoming freshmen ready to take the high school world by storm. It would be unfair to compare this group of freshmen to last years class, but there're still a number of excellent players ready to prove themselves on the high school hardwood. By all indications, the Class of 2017 seems ready for the challenge.
This years Freshmen Watch List features ten players, plus thirty honorable mentions for point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and posts. Because these players are still growing into their bodies, labeling them by position was more for organization than anything else, so don't be surprised if their positions change as the years go by.
Since the 2013-14 high school basketball season is right around the corner, more names should emerge between now and then, but for the time being these are some of the best incoming freshmen the Class of 2017 has to offer.
As I stated before, it would be unfair to have the same expectations for this class as last years, but it still doesn't hurt to start paying attention to some of these players now. Come this time next year, most of these recruits should be on the radar of every college program in the country. With that being said, this is Prospect-Central's HS Basketball Class of 2017 Freshmen Watch List. * Below are 40 freshmen shooting guards from the Class of 2017. Names are in no particular order.
Jalek Felton pg/sg / 6'4'' 175 / Mullins, SC
If the last name sounds familiar, it should. Jalek Felton is the nephew of Raymond Felton, who of course was a top 5 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, and currently a member of the New York Knicks. Jalek might not end up with the same notoriety as his famous uncle, but he's sure entering high school with some heavy fanfare of his own. Easily one of the best incoming freshmen in the country, it's not going out on a limb too much to consider Jalek Felton a top 10 recruit in the Class of 2017. The classic combo guard, Felton's an elite level athlete with the skill set to match. He can beat you inside, outside, from mid-range, has a high B-ball IQ, competes on both ends of the floor, and he always seems to make his teammates better. He's been tearing up every national camp he's played in, as he's regularly gotten the best of some of the top incoming freshmen in the country. As if you didn't know already, Jalek plays his AAU ball with Team Felton, and has dominated in that venue as well. He started playing high school basketball last year as an 8th grader, and easily held his own. He averaged 14.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, & 4.1 spg for Mullins High School (Mullins, SC), and should put up even better numbers as a freshman. He currently lives with Raymond Felton's parents, and actually changed his last name from Hamilton to Felton right before his 8th grade season. UNC obviously has the early edge with this coveted recruit, but over the next four years of high school basketball, you can definitely expect the offers to pour in for the talented Jalek Felton.
Alfred Hollins sg/sf / 6'5'' 175 / San Francisco, CA
"Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild, west. A state that's untouchable like Elliot Ness!" When it comes to rising talent for basketball in the U.S., it's hard not to give California Love. Not only is the state loaded for all age groups, it's home to arguably the top two recruits in the Class of 2017, as well as a plethora of other high-major D1 prospects. To put it bluntly, no place in the world, let alone the United States, produces basketball players the way California does. It's just that simple. Alfred Hollins might sound like a name for an English butler, but the only thing this 6-foot-5 wing is serving are kat's on the hardwood. He's long, wiry, athletic, and absolutely oozing with potential. Even though he's probably still growing, he already has an advanced skill set, in particularly tight handles and smooth jumper. He's extremely crafty at getting in the lane, can finish with either hand, has a nice mid-range game, and can throw one down whenever the opportunity presents itself. Basically he can do it all, and is definitely a no brainer when talking about freshmen who are immediate impact players at the high school level. He needs to get stronger, but has a solid frame to build on, plus an excellent work ethic, so there's no reason to think he can't put on the extra muscle. He was sidelined with a broken shoulder for a while, but returned to action a few months ago, and appears to be fully recovered. He's been playing on the AAU circuit with the San Francisco Rebels & Oakland Soldiers, so he should be ready for battle come the fall. He'll supposedly play high school ball at Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco, CA), and should be a fine addition to the squad. His dream school is said to be UNC, so it's only a matter of time before Roy Williams comes calling. Alfred Hollins is gonna be a good one!
Paul Scruggs sg / 6'3'' 180 / Indianapolis, IN
When it comes to the game of basketball, I can assure you Paul Scruggs is certainly no scrub. Hailing from the great state of Indiana, Scruggs has been a nationally known name for quite sometime now. As with the majority of incoming freshmen, his future position will ultimately rely on how much more he can grow, but for the time being Scruggs can definitely hold down off-guard duties. With his improved handles and strong frame, he constantly attacks the opposition from every angle imaginable. He's relentless at slashing to the rim, and does a terrific job bullying defenders once he gets in the paint. The lefty has an emerging skill set, extremely high motor, excellent athleticism, and a fearless mentality that should serve him well throughout his basketball career. Even though he's definitely a legitimate threat on the offensive side of the ball, defensively he's been an absolute pariah. He's an excellent on-the-ball defender, plays the passing lanes very well, and can guard all three positions on the perimeter. He needs to work on developing a more consistent stroke, but that should come with time and practice. He's been the best player on one of the top AAU teams in the country, the Indy Hoosiers for what seems like an eternity now, and he'll attend Southport High School (Indianapolis, IN) for his freshman year. Definitely on the radar of some big-time college programs, Indiana has already offered, and Ohio State, Xavier, Purdue, and Memphis are showing interest as well. No one could possibly know what the future has in store for Paul Scruggs, but one thing is becoming abundantly clear; he's got some serious game, and should make an immediate impact as a freshman come the fall.
It's often been said what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That may be true, unless of course you're a 6-foot-5 rising 9th grader, and play the game of basketball the way Troy Brown does. In that case, it's only a matter of time before you become a nationally known name. Obviously the former New England Patriots Troy Brown already made the name famous, but I'm fairly certain the soon-to-be freshman will sign a couple of autographs before it's all said and done. The only question is; what position will he play? Even though he just turned 14-years old this summer, he already has the size & length to play on the wing, plus he has the ball handling & vision to run the point. Basically it's pick-your-poison when it comes to Brown, so whatever his team needs, that'll be the position he'll play. With his size & handles, he can see over defenses to find the open man, as well as create for himself or his teammates off the bounce. He's a very cerebral player, rarely forces the issue, and does a nice job exploiting mismatches. He also has a smooth stroke, rebounds well for his position, and even gets after it on defense. He'll need to get stronger in order to take his game to the next level, but once he does, look out! He was ballin' with the Las Vegas Prospects on the AAU circuit this spring and summer, and he's headed to Centennial High School (Las Vegas, NV) for his freshman year. Not only should he contribute from day one, he'll probably become the leader of the team. Despite his age, he's a very intelligent young man, who's also humble, hard working, and truly leads by example. You really can't ask for anything more when it comes to developing prospects. Some schools he's interested in are UNLV, Duke, UCLA, Kansas, and UNC, and you can rest assure those programs will reciprocate the interest once they catch wind of his game. It's obviously early, but Troy Brown has all the makings of an elite prospect for the next level and possibly beyond.
Jeffrey Prophete pg/sg / 6'2'' 175 / Lauderdale Lakes, FL
In general usage, a "Prophet" is someone who can foretell the future. You want a prediction? Jeffrey Prophete will play college basketball one day; the only question is where? Like the majority of players selected to Prospect-Central's Class of 2017 Freshmen Watch List, Prophete is already a well known name in the world of grassroots basketball, and has a chance to be a nice player down the road. For the time being however, the rising 9th grader is looking to showcase his skills to coaches & recruiters, and prove there's definitely some substance to the hype. He's a skilled slasher, capable of getting to the rack in a hurry and finishing through contact. Very explosive in the open court, Prophete's constantly attacking the basket of the bounce, rarely taking his foot off the pedal. He does need to work on his left hand though, as he tends to drive right too often. While he has a decent jumper, his 3-point accuracy is still somewhat streaky, and will need to tighten up as the years go by. Like a lot of combo guards, he can be turnover prone at times, so he'll have to work on taking care of the basketball as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Prophete is pretty solid in that department, utilizing his quickness & anticipation to create steals & deflections. Originally from Haiti, he's been running with the Lauderhill Lions on the AAU circuit for a while now, and has even been playing high school basketball at Coral Springs Christian (Coral Springs, FL) since the 7th grade. He had an up-and-down season for the Crusaders last year, averaging 5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, & 1.4 spg, but given his age, athleticism, and work ethic, he should only get better as the years go by. University of Miami has shown some interest, but no schools have officially offered yet. He likes Kentucky & Baylor, but that can obviously change at any given moment. His height should be a key factor in determining his future position, but for the time being there's only two predictions for this Prophete; he has a successful freshman campaign, while establishing himself as one of the top guards in the c/o 2017.
Michael Porter sg/sf / 6'5'' 175 / Columbia, MO
Last summer Prospect-Central released its inaugural Freshmen Watch List for the Class of 2016, and the majority of the players featured lived up to the hype. One player in particular who really made a name for himself was Missouri's own Jayson Tatum. Not only is Tatum a consensus top 10 recruit in the Class of 2016, he already has some big-time scholarship offers, plus he won a gold medal with the U16 USA National Team this summer. By all indications, he's emerged as an elite talent. The reason why I bring up Tatum; two words, Michael Porter! Not only is Porter from Missouri like Tatum, his game is actually pretty similar as well. First of all, he already has excellent size & length for a wing, but since both his parents are right around 6-foot-4, he probably has a couple more inches in him. As impressive as that may be, it's his skill set on the perimeter that's really intriguing. He can score on all three levels, has a lethal mid-range game, can hit the pull-up jumper off the bounce or the catch-and-shoot, and he has some serious range to boot. To sum it up, the paramedics better be in the gym when Michael Porter's ballin', because his stroke is straight up killing dudes. If that's not enough, he also rebounds at a high level, plays solid defense, and has a tremendous amount of poise. Obviously he needs to get stronger, but the sky's the limit for this kid. He's headed to Father Tolton High School (Columbia, MO) for his freshman year, and should be an instant star. His dad is currently an assistant coach for the women's team at the University of Missouri, so the Tigers might have the inside track when it comes to recruiting at the moment. On a side not, he has a couple younger brothers that are projected to be 7-feet, so be on the lookout for that some day. Now it's time for the rest of the country to see what all the fuss is about. You know how they say, "Don't talk about it, be about it." Well, that's exactly what he's about to do. After all, Michael Porter's from the Show Me State!
Chris Giles sg / 6'3'' 175 / Allen, TX
One of the most interesting aspects about young, developing prospects in basketball; you're able to track their progression, and literally watch them blossom right before your eyes. The most interesting part however, doesn't happen until years down the road. That's when you get to see where the journey has finally taken them. I have no idea where Chris Giles will be 5-years from now, but I know where he's been up until this point; as one of the top players in the Class of 2017, plain and simple. While the casual basketball fan might not know who Giles is yet, he's been balling on the grassroots scene for what seems like an eternity now, so it's nice to finally see him enter the next phase of his basketball career; high school! He's a physical guard, with a high motor, excellent athleticism, and a knack for getting to the rim. He also does a nice job finishing through contact, competing on both ends of he floor, and playing within the confines of the offense. Because of his ball handling abilities, he's capable of playing either guard position, but his size will ultimately determine his long term fit. As I stated before, Giles has been a pretty big name on the AAU circuit for a while now, most notably with Houston Elite. He's headed to Plano West High School (Plano, TX) for his freshman year, where he'll join forces with rising juniors Mickey Mitchell, D.J. Hogg & Soso Jamabo. You should note, Jamabo's also the top rated running back in the c/o 2015, which is a huge accomplishment in its own right. As far as Chris Giles is concerned; if he continues on his current path of development, I don't see his basketball journey ending anytime soon.
Last year Josh Jackson was easily the most dynamic freshman to emerge from the Great Lakes State. Not only is Jackson the top recruit from Michigan regardless of class, he's shaping out to be one of the best players from the state since C-Webb. Brian Bowen is certainly no Josh Jackson, but he's probably the top rising freshman in the Class of 2017 from Michigan, and a name that should be heard about quite often over the next four years of high school basketball. One reason Brian should have a bright future in hoops; his father, Brian Bowen, Sr. The elder Bowen is the uncle of NBAer Jason Richardson, and played an instrumental role in helping Richardson reach the highest level. Since his pops knows what it takes to become an elite hooper, you can expect the younger Bowen to blossom under the tutelage of his dad. Even though he shares the same bloodlines as Richardson, he's not a high-flyer yet. What he lacks in athleticism however, he makes up for with ball skills, court awareness, and length. He's probably still growing also, so his future position is yet to be determined, but for the time being he's more than capable of handling off-guard duties. He has excellent ball handling skills, a smooth stroke with 3-point range, finishes at the rim with either hand, and plays with a tremendous amount of poise. He definitely needs to add some muscle to his frame, but he's still one of the more talented 9th graders in the country. He's headed to Saginaw Arthur Hill (Saginaw, MI) for his freshman year, and will more than likely contribute from day one. If you follow basketball in Michigan, you already know the city of Saginaw has produced some decent players over the years. It's obviously early, but Brian Bowen could be next in line. The only question now is; When does Izzo offer? (09/22/13) - I guess we have our answer. Only 9 days after PC asked the question, Brian Bowen has officially received a scholarship offer from Michigan State (and Missouri). Go figure!
David Beatty pg/sg / 6'3'' 180 / Philadelphia, PA
Do I even need to go into detail about the history of high school basketball in Pennsylvania? Only California, New York, and Illinois have produced more NBA players, but the type of talent to come out of Pennsylvania, especially The City of Brotherly Love, has been second to none. In West Philadelphia born and raised. On the playground is where he spends most of his days. Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool, and shooting some B-ball outside of a school. Nope. I'm not talking about the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This is the scouting report of the 6-foot-3, ultra athletic, David Beatty. Possibly the top incoming freshman from Pennsylvania, Beatty looks like a star in the making. With his strong build, tight handles, and explosive first step, Beatty gets in the lane at will and causes absolute havoc. He can finish with either hand, has an impressive up-and-under move, and plays above the rim in every sense of the word. While he has the size to play on the wing, he also has a well-rounded skill set, plus an instinctive feel for the game, so he actually might be better suited as a point guard. His non-stop motor is also quite impressive, and you got to love the fact he plays every game like it's his last. On the defensive side of the ball, Beatty's very versatile and can guard multiple positions. The one area of his game that will need to improve over time however, is his jump shot. He can definitely stroke it and has range out to the arc, but it's still somewhat streaky, and at times just isn't falling. Be that as it may, David Beatty's one of the top rising 9th graders in the country, and definitely a name to get used to. He's been an absolute force on the AAU circuit with P.Y.O., and he'll join forces with top 20 rising junior Derrick Jones at Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, PA) for his freshman year. Even though Archbishop Carroll is stacked, there's a good chance Beatty will crack the starting lineup, he's that good. I'm actually surprised no scholarships have been offered yet, but that should definitely change very soon. Wake Forest & Syracuse are his favorite schools at the moment, which is somewhat ironic considering he's already receiving Dion Waiters comparisons. The one catch with David Beatty; significant rumors he might head to Germany for high school. While that seems unlikely at the moment, it's still a possibility, and would be a severe blow for the Archbishop Carroll program. In the words of the Germans, wherever David Beatty ends up playing ball, his game is sure to be; "Am Punkt!"
You want to see what a sure fire high-major prospect looks like? Guess what; you're looking at him! I'm not sure if I believe in destiny, but when you're born with the name "Chyree Walker", it's almost a forgone conclusion you're gonna be able to ball. Sure enough, Walker fits the bill. He's long, wiry, and extremely athletic. When he attacks the rim, you might as well call him Chyree Skywalker. Kid has serious bunnies, and is definitely a highlight reel waiting to happen. He's not all razzle-dazzle either. He's got a decent stroke, with range out to about 17-feet. He needs to continue work on his ball handling, as well as extending his range out to 3-point territory, but there's no question he's an elite talent in the Class of 2017. He's been playing against older competition on the AAU circuit for a few years now, most recently with Caron Butler's 16U Team Takeover squad. Not only has he held his own, he's actually been one of the best players on the team. He's headed to Paul VI High School (Fairfax, VA) for his freshman year, and should pair up quite nicely with rising juniors Marcus Derrickson & Franklin Howard. You should note, Howard actually tore his ACL in July, and will miss nearly the entire season. Even though that's horrible news, Walker should be able to fill the void quite nicely. If all goes as planned, you can expect a breakout year from Chyree, followed by scholarship offers a plenty.
C/O 2017 Freshmen Watch List Honorable Mentions (SG's)
Mitchell Ballock sg / 6'4'' 175 / Eudora, KS
T.J. Smith pg/sg / 6'4'' 170 / Matteson, IL
Caleb Simmons sg/sf / 6'4'' 180 / Phoenix, AZ
Bradley Belt sg / 6'3'' 180 / Huntsville, AL
Devin Clyburn sg/sf / 6'3'' 175 / New York, NY
Jamal Johnson sg / 6'4'' 170 / Harvest, AL
Reggie Crawford sg/sf / 6'4'' 180 / St. Louis, MO
Adam Seiko sg/sf / 6'3'' 200 / Catsworth, CA
Keytaon Thompson sg/sf / 6'4'' 180 / Harvey, LA
Shimoore Stern sg/sf / 6'4'' 180 / Miami, FL
Phillip Flory sg / 6'3'' 170 / Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Luis Hurtado pg/sg / 6'5'' 175 / Decatur, GA
Terrence McBride sg / 6'2'' 165 / Chatsworth, CA
Cedric Russell sg / 6'3'' 170 / Alexandria, LA
Charles O'Bannon, Jr. sg / 6'3'' 170 / Las Vegas, NV
Loseni Kamara sg / 6'2'' 160 / Brookville, NY
Emmanuel Lambright sg/sf / 6'5'' 170 / Sarasota, FL
Kai Morgan sg / 6'3'' 180 / New Orleans, LA
Trevon Duval pg/sg / 6'2'' 170 / Hockessin, DE
Jaylen Nowell pg/sg / 6'3'' 165 / Seattle, WA
Tyshon Alexander sg / 6'3'' 170 / Concord, NC
Zach Butler pg/sg / 6'2'' 160 / Roebuck, SC
Kyle Stewart sg/sf / 6'5'' 175 / Los Angeles, CA
D.J. Mitchell sg / 6'3'' 170 / Hyattsville, MD
D'Andre Vilmar sg / 6'3'' 180 / Philadelphia, PA
Tyler Polley sg/sf / 6'6'' 180 / Weston, FL
Tristan Patterson sg / 6'3'' 175 / Hartford, CT
Eric Ayala sg / 6'2'' 165 / Wilmington, DE
Chaundee Brown sg / 6'3'' 170 / Orlando, FL
V.J. Bailey sg / 6'4'' 175 / Urbana, IL
C/O 2017 Freshmen Watch List
PG's - SF's - PF/C's