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June 12, 2013

Elite 100: 2016 prospects rising up


ELITE 100: Frontcourt players | Perimeter players

ST. LOUIS -- Over the weekend, the 2013 edition of Nike's Elite 100 camp wrapped up on the campus of St. Louis University. Composed of the nation's top rising juniors and sophomores, the Elite 100 is a camp designed for evaluation rather than exposure and many top players burst onto the scene each summer at the Elite 100. In this final installment of camp coverage, we take a look at some of the top class of 2016 prospects in attendance, such as Malik Monk.

DeAaron Fox: The slender point guard from Houston oozes talent and confidence with the ball in his hands.

An angular scorer, he is at his best attacking off the dribble, where he uses an assortment of floaters and pullups from between 5-12 feet. He will get consistency on his deep jumper and be a stronger finisher with maturity but at the early stages of his development, Fox is easily tracking as a high-major prospect.

Oscar Frayer: The hype coming out of the Oakland area regarding the 6-foot-5 wing had been pretty considerable and he showed why. Perhaps more athlete than player at this point, Frayer is a high flyer with power and a natural inclination to attack the basket in the half court or transition. His shot mechanics look pretty good and he was pretty natural on the wing, considering he plays in the post for his high school team.

Dedric Lawson: A combo forward with skill, Lawson doesn't overwhelm opponents with athleticism. But, don't make a mistake of thinking that he's unathletic because he can summon up some burst when needed. At 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Lawson can play big and his crafty scoring is impressive for a rising sophomore.

T.J. Leaf: A 6-foot-7 faceup four man from California, Leaf impressed during the high school season when we watched him at the Tarkanian Classic right before Christmas. Leaf's performance at the Elite 100 was inconsistent, but he showed that he can be a bouncy finisher in the lane and that he's a very capable jump shooter. With age and maturity, he should add on to his 198-pound frame and be able to play with more physicality.

Thon Maker: We've already written quite a bit about Maker this spring and the seven-footer looked like a future five-star prospect, again. He is very thin at just 191 pounds and his hands are a bit suspect at times, but he's also incredibly skilled for a rising sophomore with his size. He's not a dominant shot blocker, but he certainly makes opponents think twice and his ability to go coast-to-coast after along with his jumper are impressive. If he keeps working and can add weight to his thin frame, Maker has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.

Malik Monk: Pound for pound, Monk was probably the single most explosive athlete in camp. He was also likely the best perimeter prospect in camp. More of a two guard right now, Monk gets tremendous elevation on his jumper, has super quickness and is an electrifying finisher on the break. He's operating on the "feels like leather" plan when it comes to deciding if a shot is a good one, but coaching and time will help to improve his shot selection. Even so, he is an offensive talent with big time confidence and has the look of a future five-star prospect.

Zach Norvell: Given that he closed down the camp championship with a game-winning slam dunk in the mug of a defender with less than five seconds to go in overtime, we have to mention Norvell. Frankly, the slam was surprising as Norvell had spent most of the weekend shooting deep jumpers. A southpaw, he has the skill to slide over and play some point and he's just another in a long line of talented players at Chicago (Ill.) Simeon.

Caleb Swanigan: It's impossible to watch Swanigan play and not think a few things. One, is he the second coming of Keith "Tiny" Gallon and two, does this kid play football? The answer to the latter question is, yes. He started as a freshman left tackle at Fort Wayne Homestead and has Alabama and LSU interested. Swanigan is a wide body who has a soft touch around the rim, excellent hands and a massive 7-foot-3 wingspan to go along with his 6-foot-7 size.

Howard Washington: A rail-thin, 6-foot-1 combo guard from Buffalo, Washington is all ballplayer. He does everything asked of him, plays team ball and has limited mistakes. He has good feet and opens his hips making him a good defender and on offense he can make shots or deliver to teammates. He didn't get a ton of touches, but he was productive with what he was given.

Cassius Winston: The Elite 100 was Rivals.com's first chance to get a look at the explosive 6-footer from Detroit and he didn't disappoint. Winston is a bull with the ball, has a great first step, can rip jumpers and is totally comfortable playing as a scorer or a setup guy. He's one of the best point guards that we've seen in the 2016 class to this point.

Kassoum Yakwe: A 6-foot-5 wing with an impressive 7-foot wingspan, Yakwe plays the game with a lot of aggression. He chases down rebounds, likes to play physically on both ends of the floor and is a high-level athlete. He makes mid range jumpers and needs some work on his ball-handling. His development will be fun to watch and coaches will absolutely love his motor.



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