There are a few Canadian prospects that are currently blowing up on the AAU circuit south of the border. The next NCAA and NBA prospects have taken the court and owned their competition. Rowan Barrett Jr.(UPlay Canada), Tyrese Samuel (UPlay Canada), Simi Shittu (CIA Bounce), Ignas Brazdeikis (CIA Bounce), Jaelin Llewellyn (Team Loaded), Noah Kirkwood (Brookwood Elite) and Luguentz Dort (Brookwood Elite) are some of those prospects.
Besides these names, there are others like Eze Dike and Daniel Sackey who are building stock quickly. Stay tuned for more on Dike and Sackey in another piece.
The amount of Coaches who have been texting and calling on the names above is like no other previous year; the reason for that is long term potential.
In Rowan Barrett Jr.’s return to the AAU Circuit he was nothing short of phenomenal. How’s 26 points and 15 rebounds in his first game back, along with a win?
At one point he threw down this one hand slam after rebounding the ball and going coast to coast.
All this while multiple high major head coaches like Sean Miller (Arizona), John Beilein (Michigan), Shaka Smart (Texas) and many more filed in to watch UPlay Canada.
Barrett is the type of player that makes everyone around him better. The UPlay Canada squad that showed up in the first EYBL session without him in Virginia, and the team this weekend are like night and day.
The special factor with RBJ is that he is a human Swiss army knife. Watching and evaluating last night gave an indication that he can play any position from point guard to power forward. While likely having a pro position as a 2 or 3, he can produce at any position.
Defensively, he brings it every game. Effort is always there as he blocks and alters many shots.
Someone with a similar body type, Tyrese Samuel of LaSalle, Quebec is gaining interest as he mirrors Barrett on the opposite wing.
Not quite as polished but the body type, leaping ability and versatility make him a suitable counterpart in the UPlay equation.
It’s not what he is right now, rather what he could be.
Shittu has had the opportunity to continue expanding his skill set by experimenting off the perimeter. He is getting to the basket using one or two dribbles and finishing on either side.
He and Barrett pique the greatest curiosity on the NBA level. The physicals, skills and athleticism on Shittu are stupefying. A double-double every game is not far-fetched, especially as the three ball is getting more reliable.
On top of offensive contribution, Shittu is average around three blocks per contest. He has radar for shot blocking, the timing and awareness put him in good position to content or swat.
Brazdeikis, another in CIA Bounce’s power supply started yesterday’s game on the bench as the coaching staff elected to provide minutes to some of the guys that don’t get a lot of burn. Yet when he’s injected to the game Brazdeikis is instant impact.
On many occasions, we’ve seen him recognize a mismatch in the post and back his man down with a big man move to finish.
Other times he catches on the 45 degree angle and either pops his accurate three or takes his man all the way.
“Iggy” is merely scratching the surface. With increased foot speed and flexibility, he shows promise as an elite level producer at the high major college level. The offers at that level have been rolling in.
UConn, Oklahoma, Michigan are the latest. He is completely wide open in his recruitment as more continue to call in and offer. Some have extended an offer as a 2017 and others as a 2018.
This guy is something special.
I’ve given Luguentz Dort a Dwayne Wade NBA comparison. The explosiveness, change of direction and overall play making ability make him another of those ultra elite NCAA prospects and someone for NBA personnel to consider for the 2019 draft.
There’s many players that have burst, but few that get up with little gather needed, Dort is one of those guys.
A next level body shields the ball on his way to the basket and he invites and absorbs contact while being able to finish on three point plays.
Just as he was about to start cutting his lengthy list, more schools have jumped in the mix.
NC State, West Virginia, UConn, Pitt are all schools now to consider.
Long time AAU teammate Kirkwood has been being tracked hard by Harvard. All high school season the staff made their way into Canada and all AAU season they’ll be in attendance at all of his games.
Academics are extremely important to the Kirkwood family but at the same time they’re not ready to lean one way or another.
USC, Cal are two California programs that were added to Kirkwood’s list.
While most see a shooting guard at the next level, I see the potential for PG developing in Kirkwood for college and beyond.
His feel, size, ball handling, strength, vision and more give the inclination of a complete transition in position. Although, interchangeable, playing at point definitely raises his value, which is why he is intending to use the post-grad option as of now.
Last but certainly not least, Jaelin Llewellyn.
A bloomer that is catching attention from all levels. A pure PG with great intangibles. A student with high character. A yes sir, no sir type of player that coaches love to coach.
I have always been high on Llewellyn from 4 years because it was clear, that given the opportunity to run a team he would thrive by setting up offense, scoring and keeping teammates fed.
On the Adidas circuit he is averaging 11 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and his team is in first place in an eight team pool with a record of 5-0.
Llewellyn is a name that you will continue to hear about as the summer season progresses.