The 2018 NBPA Top 100 Camp concluded Saturday (June 16) with the Philadelphia 76ers team led by Villanova commit Justin Moore and Southern Cal commit Isaiah Mobley defeating the Golden State Warriors squad, 78-70, in the championship game. Moore, who received an offer from Virginia, is AAU teammates with Cavalier commitment Casey Morsell, who is in Colorado competing for a spot on the USA Basketball 17U squad.
My focus throughout the week was on Virginia’s known targets, so here is my take on those players and how they could possibly fit in if they chose the Cavaliers.
Drake London, Guard, Class of 2019
The 6’5” rising senior out of Moorpark (CA) averaged 8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 turnovers per game last week, shooting 31.3% from the field and 19% from beyond the arc (all stats per Exposure Basketball Events). His outside stroke, which you can see by checking out his Top 100 highlights below, looks much better than his 3-point shooting percentage indicates.
London, who is a top target of head coach Tony Bennett’s in the 2019 Class, will take an unofficial visit on Grounds today (June 18). The potential two-sport collegiate athlete plans to meet with the men’s basketball and football coaching staffs today, which brings me to my biggest question about him from a basketball perspective. I can certainly see why Coach Bennett likes him, but can he max out his potential if he plays two sports throughout his college career? Remember, football would be the priority since he’d be on football scholarship as a two-sport athlete.
I see London as a wing in the mold of a Devon Hall or Malcolm Brogdon if he chose the Hoos.
Patrick Williams, Guard/Forward, Class of 2019
The 6.7” Williams struggled from beyond the arc (like Drake London, he shot only 19% from 3), but overall I thought he showed well at the Top 100. The West Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.) star averaged 7.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game and made 47.6% of his field goals.
Williams, who may be 6’8”, is a high-riser. Here, he gets a rebound and scores with an emphatic dunk.
Williams would be a versatile wing for the Hoos. I could see him guarding the 2 through the 5 positions … with his size, he could guard 5s, but I’m not sure he has the De’Andre Hunter-like quickness to guard quick point guards. Williams, who has shown his ability as a shooter on the Nike EYBL circuit, could be a pick-and-pop player. In Hampton and again in Charlottesville I watched him drive the ball to the basket, either scoring himself or setting up a teammate. Williams is a good passer as well.
Williams would be another good fit for Virginia in this class, but at this point we have to see if he makes a visit.
Jaelyn Withers, Guard/Forward, Class of 2019
Withers, a 6’7” wing, saved his best for last, pouring in 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting (3-of-4 from 3-point range) in a 2-point loss to the Bucks on Saturday. The North Carolina native, a rising senior, averaged 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, making 24-of-38 field goals and 4-of-7 from 3.
This recruitment doesn’t seem to be going Virginia’s way currently. Withers had a great visit at Louisville recently, and Chris Mack and company are considered the favorites right now. If his play at the Top 100 is any indication, I think Withers very easily could become a target of the “blue blood” schools as the summer progresses. The key for UVA’s chances is getting him on Grounds for a visit.
If Bennett can secure a visit, I think Virginia and Withers would be a fit. Withers is very skilled offensively – a terrific shooter who has the ability to drive with his left and right hand. He could come off screens for jumpers, but I also like his ability to create his own shot. He’s a fluid athlete and he’s very quick. Defensively, the physical potential is there to be a very good defender who can guard multiple spots.
Ziaire Williams, Guard/Forward, Class of 2020
Williams showed a lot of resilience and character to me. After a disappointing first day of action in which he did not record a point or a rebound and played limited minutes, the 6’7” rising junior was extremely active in the ensuing days, crashing the boards and playing hard defense while waiting for his offensive...
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