By Max Feldman
On Friday, November 15th and Saturday, November 16th, Prolific Prep of Napa Christian High School traveled to Champaign, Illinois to take on St. Louis Christian Academy and Aspire Academy at Centennial High School. Prolific is one against stock piled with Division One talent with headliners being Jalen Green, Nimari Burnett and Coleman Hawkins. FOG’s co-owner, Max Feldman, was first row to take in the Aspire game, and will take a deeper dive into the standouts.
Green is rated as the 3rd overall player in the class of 2020 by 247 Sports and has fluctuated throughout the Top 5 of the 2021 NBA Draft Big Board. He’s subject to another boost after this weekend. The 6 foot 6, 175 pound guard showed far more versatility than film and the highlights showed. The initial theme that caught my eye was his body language and pace throughout the game. Green consistently pulled up from three and mid-range off the dribble no matter the proximity of the defender. He made incredibly difficult moves look very nonchalant. The intangibles are all there, as Green can absolutely jump out of the gym. His shot form does not change no matter the range, releasing at the peak of his vertical with beautiful arc. He showed far more playmaking ability, and seemed to be shining when running the point guard duties. Consistent pocket passes from the high post of the zone to set up Burnett, Hawkins, Frank Anselem (#60 in 2021) and Jack Wetzel time after time. On the defensive end, Green has solid focus and instincts as both a man and zone defender where he can use his quick hands to disrupt the rhythm of the offense and cut off passing lanes. As shown by the highlights, Green thrives in transition slithering past defenders and jump up and over big man. The only weakness that can be picked on in Green’s game is his trend of somewhat disappearing within a game. He dropped a quiet 24 points against Aspire after scoring the first 5 points of the game for Prolific. Throughout the game, his relaxed demeanor can make it seem that effort is a potential question, although his performance as a playmaker against the extremely long Aspire 2-3 zone was quietly impressive.
Jalen Green is due for a raise in our 2021 Big Board rankings because of his diverse offensive skillset as a shooter, slasher and developing distributor. He has a safe floor and a sky high ceiling as a position-less scorer and playmaker. What comes next for Jalen Green? My prediction is the overseas route for one season before the 2021 Draft, although the likes of Oregon, Memphis and Auburn are still in the hunt in terms of his college recruitment…
Burnett has consistently rose up the 2020 rankings, and the Chicago native remains one of the more underrated NBA prospects in the class. His growth has a shooter and scorer from all three levels stuck out the most. He finished with 30+ points against Aspire as he refused to take his foot off the pedal all game. With a unique form with a very high release, Burnett was knocked down a pair of threes from just a few feet inside the half court logo. The 6 foot 4, 185 pound guard was pulling off the catch mostly from deep, and off the dribble from mid-range. The recent Texas Tech commit finished with power at the rim in transition multiple times. On defense, Burnett used his 6 foot 10 wingspan to disrupt the small Aspire guards and start transition. He also showed promise as a rebounding guard. Some weaknesses that can develop are his passing vision as he finished with multiple turnovers, although his instincts show optimism. Growth as a lead guard are vital in order to cement his stock as a ball handler and lead guard in the NBA, as he seems better suited off ball at this point of his career.
Slotted at number 11 overall in the FOG 2021 NBA Draft Big Board, Burnett has room to rise but also equally has the potential to drop to the 20’s. Chris Beard and Texas Tech seem like an ideal fit alongside future NBA players in Jahmius Ramsey and 2020 commit, Micah Peavy. Our stock is higher than most on Nimari Burnett due to his athleticism, wingspan and shooting range.
Coleman Hawkins The Illini commit made a huge impact in both games, highlighted by back to back poster dunks against Aspire. Hawkins showed the ability to both roll to the hoop and pop out to the arc off of screens, converting multiple and one’s as well as a strong percentage from the three. The California native shows his youth at times with poor box outs and turnovers. His body is also obviously lacking maturity with a very wiry 6-10 frame. The 4 star forward is a work in progress, and has a long way to go but shows consistent flashes of a special player.
Gethro Muscadin The Aspire Academy big man and Kansas commit is ranked outside the top 100, and the reasons for that were on display against Prolific Prep. At nearly 7 feet and just over 200 pounds, the Haitian native needs a collegiate weight room. What was a surprise was his ability and confidence to shoot from the perimeter. With Bill Self court side, Muscadin knocked two three pointers with no hesitation. Ball handling, touch and feel for the game are major developmental skills that need to be improved in order to earn playing time in Lawrence.
Frank Anselem The top 60 junior for Prolific Prep is not the star for Prolific, but his talent is certainly evident. With extremely long arms, wide arms and advanced athleticism, Anselem not only has 4-5 star level talemt, but is also an prototypical NBA big man. The Georgia native will be a steal wherever he lands because of the shadow that Green and Burnett cast upon the role players. Look for the Prolific big man to get more attention and more offers as the season unfolds, and potentially rise up the rankings. The raw talent and intangibles are undeniable.