NBPA Top 100 Thursday Notebook
ORLANDO, FL - Thursday at the NBPA Top 100 camp was filled with a ton of exciting action. The day kicked off with some 3x3 play before the 5x5 games began. The energy felt different in the gym today. It was special watching these players participate in this prestigious camp on the actual NBA draft night. Here are some of my main takeaways.
3x3 is Here To Stay
The 3x3 segment was incredible to watch. With a 12 second shot clock and different rules from the usual 5x5 play, it understandably took the players some time to adjust. It takes a certain type of skill set to be effective in 3x3 play and there were some players that definitely stood out. Caleb Foster was terrific during this segment. Leading his team to the championship game, he scored from everywhere on the court. He maximized his dribbles and made smart plays throughout the segment. Big man Jaxon Kohler was nearly unstoppable in the paint before he went down with an injury. His low post arsenal was evident and he even stepped out and knocked down several shots around the perimeter. Jett Howard, Cason Wallace, Adem Bona, and Stephon Castle also had really good 3x3 showings.
The Big Man is Still Alive
The caliber of post players in this event is through the roof. In a world of fast paced play and 3-point shooting, there are definitely plenty of quality big men on the high school scene. These kids are athletic as hell and can dominate on the low block. Adem Bona may be the most athletic big man in the country. The 6-foot-10 big man is a high motor player that constantly throws down powerful dunks. Yohan Traore had a fantastic day during game play. He got anything he wanted in the paint and showed he can be effective off the dribble. Kel'el Ware is a long, versatile big man that has shown his ability to be effective inside-out. Donovan Clingan is an athletic 7-footer that moves well and has great hands. Ernest Udeh Jr. who has seen his stock skyrocket over the past couple of months has been his usual, active self. Running the floor, dunking everything, and being aggressive on the boards. Baye Fall and Jaxon Kohler have looked good as well.
Georgia Guards Stand Out
The Georgia PG duo of Isaiah Collier and Stephon Castle are two of the nine 2023 players invited to the camp and they have more than held their own. Both players helped to lead their teams to the 3x3 championship to begin the day and have had strong performances in the 5x5 game play throughout the week. I have been on record numerous times saying that I believe that Collier is the top passer in the country and this camp has only reaffirmed that for me. Playing against the best of the best at the high school level, he continues to make passes that wow me. Castle is a big, strong guard that plays with a ton of control. At 6-foot-7, he has a strong frame that he utilizes on both ends of the floor. Already considered two of the top guards in Georgia's 2023 class, don't be surprised to see these two end up as two of the most sought after guards in the country.
Jett Howard's Big Day
Howard began the day on a very high note, leading his team to the 3x3 championship. The 6-foot-7 guard out of IMG was one of the top performers during the 3x3 segment. He quickly caught on to what it took to be effective in that type of game play. He was able to carry his momentum into the 5x5 game play where he looked really crisp. Howard shot the ball effectively from the perimeter and got to the rim with ease.
Strong PG Play
The depth and level of PGs at this event is incredible. Caleb Foster, Seth Trimble, Aden Holloway, Tre Holloman, Jaden Bradley, Collier, and Castle have played at an extremely high level through three days at the camp. Each of these players possess their own unique qualities and will be fun to watch at the next level.