More NBA level talent to track in 2019.
With the infrastructure of the prep system in play, the competition level has taken new heights in this country. With the attention of the media on Canadian talent, there has been more exposure. Finally, with the young talent in Canada seeing older Canucks playing at the highest levels, in the NCAA and NBA; those goals are being seen as more attainable.
Patterns have shown that the Top 5 from the last six Canadian classes are in the NBA or on NBA radars. The trend continues with the 2019 class.
#1 Prospect Stays In Canada
Number one in the class is AJ Lawson, who has garnered offers and had visits at practice from major programs such as Oregon, Vanderbilt, Pitt, Illinois, Tulane, SMU and others.
Lawson has the kind of star power and scoring ability to lead Canada’s FIBA U18 Americas squad next summer; the same way RJ Barrett carried Team Canada to World supremacy this past summer. In the recent National team camp, Lawson showed us another level yet again, as he took on the challenge of guarding Barrett head on, and did not back down.
He and several others from this class will suit up in the red and white next summer on Canadian turf in St. Catherines, Ontario for the FIBA Americas.
Lawson is in Mississauga, Ontario playing prep basketball at GTA Prep under the tutelage of Coach David Cooper, who has been instrumental in Lawson’s progress. This year Lawson has an opportunity to take his team into NPA championship contention after a rough season last year with a young group.
Lawson has proven to be the most consistent producer from the 2019 class as a scorer and a closer in many games. With an elevated mental approach and drastically improved strength and explosiveness, the other prospects in the class are playing catch-up.
There has been reviews from NBA scouts who have Lawson on their radars and label him as a versatile scorer with ideal size and length for an NBA two guard.
Tyrese Samuel is coming up on that NBA radar.
There isn’t a wide gap between 1 and 2. Lawson and Samuel are two potent prospects and have shown the “IT” factor to take over games.
A Swiss army knife, a utility player, a jack of all trades if you will.
Tyrese Samuel took the game by storm, coming on the scene this summer as an unknown and ended with a bang at CNIT, calling it the game of the year. Samuel has elevated into the Canadian class’ most highly recruited to date with over 15 schools in the mix.
His ability to play multiple positions on both ends of the floor is what makes him special. Once he’s fully activated mentally and playing every possession, he’ll be knocking on Lawson’s door for numero uno.
Emanuel Miller World Champion
World Champion. National Champion. Canadian National Invitational Tournament Champion. He’s a winner. He has winning habits.
Emanuel Miller picked up his first offer from Oklahoma. Now that says a lot, considering this is a BIG 12 conference team that is looking to turn things around.
They feel he can be a major piece and help them elevate their status back to where the Sooners were between 2013-2016.
Miller is in his first year at La Lumiere, who has been home to other Canadians that had success there, such as, Nolan Narain (San Diego St.) and Munis Tutu (Carleton), and Brandon Cyrus (DePaul) to name a few.
Most recently, during a Canada basketball I. D session and training camp, Miller came in chisled shape and looks like he has been filling his frame with lean muscle mass.
Miller had built a reputation as a hard nose defender and lock down type of player. Today, he’s becoming a lot more than that as he defines his offensive skill set for full display to America once the Prep season begin at La Lu.
Bediako Living Up To Potential
Bigs usually take longer to develop than any other position, that’s no secret.
In some cases they are still growing into their bodies in high school and at times look like baby giraffes trying to find their feet. Jaden Bediako is well beyond that stage now.
What we have seen from him in preseason is a soft touch around the basket and mobility is up a few notches in transition. He’s lighter on his feet and is looking to crush it with two handed dunks more often than before.
Bediako’s confidence is also the highest its ever been. Sometimes that confidence factor can turn a players game around completely.
There is a lot of room left before Bediako reaches his ceiling. He is the only true big man in the North Pole Hoops Top 10.
Anyone who thought of Quincy Guerrier as a one dimensional, spot up shooter, can erase that thought from their minds and cross it off their evaluation.
He is a prospect that is maximizing and producing in all areas of the game. The mental switch has taken affect, the physical strength has been tapped into and he is finishing with authority at the rim, while creating his offense for himself and teammates.
With National team and Nike EYBL experience, it had set off a trigger since he was always around Canada’s top players; and not just to be there, but as a top producer.
The last Canadian duo at Hamilton Heights in Tennessee were the number one in Canadian 2017 Nickeil Alexander-Wallker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who are respectively at Virginia Tech and Kentucky as freshmen.
Edwards has really found himself as of late and is beginning to test all of the skills he’s been working on. His outside shooting has to be respected and he uses the triple threat position effectively before attacking the rim aggressively. You never will really see his motor slow down.
We got him as a lock for next summer’s FIBA U18 Americas national team.
Edwards plays with a great deal of passion and fury. It’s in the eyes; they’re always wide and attentive to detail.
Panzo is looking like the biggest combo guard in the class…extremely versatile. Being able to see over the defense in most situations is a big bonus for Panzo.
As he continues to transition to becoming a full time point, there will need to be another level of assertiveness to keep himself an offensive option instead of becoming too passive.
Panzo will have a chance to play multiple positions on the offensive as well as guard up from one through three.
Dalano Banton has reclassified from 2018 to 2019 and is in position among the Top 10. A pretty polished offensive skill set provides value whether he’s playing as a guard or a forward.
This year at MacDuffie he will be showing the New England area what a 6’7 hybrid player can bring to the table. Banton’s crafty play making and above the rim finishes will create a buzz.
His frame is starting to fill in starting with the shoulders adding girth. Physically he’s transforming and starting to look like a more college ready body.
Don’t Sleep On Jahcobi Neath
Jahcobi Neath has recently been bumped up over 25 spots with the improvements he’s made to distinguish himself from other guards in the Canadian 2019 class.
At this point he is the most well rounded PG. Neath has a well sculpted basketball body, a tight handle to break down defenders and create for teammates or blow by. Moreover, he brings flash to his game with some of the above the rim finishes.
This year he’ll look to carry Crestwood Prep through their inaugural year in the National Preparatory Association along with his mate from the Bahamas, Franco Miller.
Another well rounded piece to any puzzle is Lual Akot, who has proven to play both guard positions at a high level.
This combo guard from the Nation’s capital in Ottawa, Ontario is suiting up for Canada Top Flight Academy.
He returns this year with a chip on his shoulder to continue to prove himself as a top combo guard.
Standing at 6’4, his first instinct is to score, since he can do it from all over. Akot’s peripherals and willingness to get teammates the ball comes in handy when double teams start to come at him.
As the season gets underway, it will also be a good indicator and evaluation for this summer’s Canadian U18 National Team that will participate in FIBA Americas in June.
There is a ton of length and offensive versatility in the Top 10 and beyond. The wings in this class hold many spots in the NPH Top 50, some names which have not made their official splash on the scene as of yet; but you’ll get to know them real soon.
Stay tuned for the release of the top Canadian prospects from the 2020 class next Wednesday and the FULL rankings show, being released November 12.