There was some thrilling play through all the age levels participating at the 2016 Futures Camp this past Saturday, but the division that was of course flying up and down the floor, playing fast paced and really getting after it, was the 2018 Class. There was so much talent from top to bottom, that picking the top kids for the final game of the day was no easy task. Per usual, a couple players rise above the rest based off their general skill level and athleticism, competitiveness and determination, etc.
On Saturday, players like Wisconsin commit Tyler Herro (Whitnall / WI Playground Warriors) played true to form, Kevin Zhang (LaLumiere/IL Wolves) showed athleticism with huge upside, Courtney Ramey (Webster Grove / Ramey-Jets United) continued to prove his status as a top player in the class and, of course, Carlos Curtis (Riverside / Playground Elite) took home the MVP award for his level of play on the day. Others also had stellar performances throughout the day, so check out who did what on Saturday to stand out from the other group of high-caliber players at the camp in the recaps below. Below is a look at some of the top performers consistently throughout the day Saturday, minus Curtis who you can read about in yesterday’s MVP recap, as well as those who raised their stock some with their play.
2018 TOP PERFORMERS
ORLANDO ALLEN – 2018 – SF
6-7 – THORNTON – DOLTON, IL
Allen is a bit raw with his overall skill-set but he sure plays hard and has a ton of energy playing 15 feet and in. When he caught the ball anywhere within that range on Saturday, he was attacking the rim hard and either putting it home or getting the foul call. He didn’t shirk away from contact and certainly was active rebounding the basketball, grabbing a number of boards in each contest and playing hard on the defensive end in general. As his overall footwork and post moves progress, he will be very tough to defend inside and he has the athleticism and burst to be able to make moves from the perimeter potentially.
GRANT BASILE – 2018 – F
6-8 – PEWAUKEE – PEWAUKEE, WI
Basile doesn’t make it flashy when he’s out there and that’s probably what makes what he does great. He was everywhere seemingly on Saturday, rebounding the basketball with energy and using his length, caught some tough passes inside and went straight up to the basket and finished with a nice touch around the rim, and he definitely has some ability to shoot it when away from the hoop as well. The 6-8 forward will be a solid anchor inside for Pewaukee this season if Saturday was an indication, and as he adds strength/bulk with continued development of his post game – look out.
QUINLAN BENNETT – 2018 – G
6-3 – PROVISO EAST – CHICAGO, IL
An athletic guard with versatility, instincts, and skill, Bennett was impressive in flashes on Saturday as he finished in the open court and he delivered in half court sets with mid-range looks and finishes at the basket. He handles the ball and does have decent range on his perimeter stroke. Really like his potential defensively and on the offensive end of the court he has a high ceiling, both of which were evident in flashes on Saturday.
TANNER BRANDT – 2018 – PF
6-7 – WISCONSIN DELLS – WISCONSIN DELLS, WI
Brandt started slowly and then he turned it on in the afternoon and he was easily one of the most impressive after that. A skilled long forward with versatility and an ability to score at each level, Brandt ripped the nets continuously from the mid-range level and beyond the arc and he showed and excellent skill set that allows him to create matchup problems with his ability to score at each level. Still needing to add strength and some explosion to his physical tools, Brandt is a solid face up talent with the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish or hit the mid-range pull up consistently. Really like what he did on Saturday.
CARLOS CURTIS – 2018 – G
6-3 – MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE – MILWAUKEE, WI
The camp MVP for the 2018 class, Curtis was excellent from start to finish as he generally took the Alpha position game in and game out. His effort on both ends was outstanding as he was active and aggressive defensively and offensively he contributed across the board. He can get to the rim off the bounce, he showed an improved perimeter stroke, and he was all over the glass with finishes and rebounds to get extra shots for his team offensively or to collect rebounds and start fast breaks on the defensive end. A quality athlete with instincts and feel, Curtis was exceptional this past weekend.
DANIEL GOLDRICK – 2018 – SF
6-5 – LA LUMIERE – LA PORTE, IN
A native of Australia, Goldrick is a classic blue collar bruising forward who seems like a perfect fit for half court sets and a physical Division 1 conference. His skill set allows him to score at each level and he has no business mixing it up in the paint. He can finish at all three levels and he showed an ability to score in both half court sets and in transition. A max effort type who leads by example with toughness and contributing across the board, Goldrick is a tremendous leader on the court with his effort and his skill is solid as well. A solid and impressive overall performance on Saturday.
TYLER HERRO – 2018 - SG
6-5 – WHITNALL – GREENFIELD, WI
The recent commit to Wisconsin did not disappoint with his play Saturday, as he was as competitive as usual, attacking anyone who lined up to try and defend him. He had great control with the ball in the half court and utilized his arsenal of moves to score the ball, breaking down defenders and going over them with good form on his shot, getting them off balance and spinning to the hoop or just knocking down some open looks. One of the more underrated aspects to his game that was on display in Illinois was his ability to pass the rock with precision.
KESHAWN JUSTICE – 2018 – G/F
6-6 – MADISON EAST – COTTAGE GROVE, WI
Justice had a big day shooting the ball and making plays on the offensive end. With his size and athletic ability, he is a tough matchup for most other guards or ‘bigs’ which puts him at the advantage, which was evident Saturday. Justice was spotting up well on the perimeter and buried a number of three’s when he received the ball. Other times he was able to break down his man off the dribble and hit some nice mid-range plays.
NICK KLUG – 2018 – G
6-1 – BURLINGTON – BURLINGTON, WI
Klug continues to build his game and make plays in a variety ways. Saturday was a great example of what the young guard is capable of, where he was distributing the ball to teammates consistently and had great control with the ball in his hands. He ran the floor, got his team into transition opportunities well and found the open man. Besides passing, Klug also scored the ball some, making plays with his jump shot and also scoring going to the basket with quickness and impressive athleticism.
SKYLAR KOOYENGA – 2018 – PF
6-9 – WARREN TOWNSHIP – GURNEE, IL
Kooyenga is not a finished product and that’s impressive, because he had a really good day Saturday, where he seemed to just get better and better as the day wore on. It took him a bit to warm into the game, but once he did, he was a deterrent around the rim with his length defensively, and offensively he seemed to get to the right spot on the floor to open himself up and get in scoring positions. He did a nice job putting the ball in the hoop when he caught it and had good energy working for rebounds.
SERGIO NANU – 2018 – PF
6-8 – KENOSHA ST. JOSEPH’S – KENOSHA, WI
The skilled forward from Kenosha played with a calmness about his game on Saturday that underlies what a solid day he had on the court. Nanu was tough on the boards, played hard defensively and played a good team game. The piece that was eye-catching was his shooting ability though, whereas he knocked down shots from each level, finishing around the hoop, sinking shots around 15 feet and then stepping back and knocking down a couple shots from beyond the arch without hesitating. Look for Nanu to continue working his overall athleticism (burst/explosion) and he can really be a force.
XAVIER PINSON – 2018 – PG
6-3 – ST. PATRICK – CHICAGO, IL
A long wiry lead guard with handles, athleticism, instincts, vision, and skill, Pinson was a solid sleeper who opened some eyes on Saturday. He has nice quickness, great handles, and he can break down opposing guards in half court sets or create in the open court with his solid vision. His passes are generally on time and in rhythm and he has nice feel on both ends of the court. Defensively he can be disruptive on and off the ball and he has solid footwork and nice hands. He can finish at the mid-range level with jumpers and floaters and his range does extend beyond the arc. Like his upside and his potential and on Saturday he was impressive and opened some eyes with his stellar play.
COURTNEY RAMEY – 2018 – PG
6-3 – WEBSTER GROVE – ST. LOUIS, MO
Ramey is clearly one of the best guards and players in his class as he showed again Saturday. The one piece of his game he didn’t do much with at Futures was his outside shot, but that was mostly because he was working to get his teammates involved or creating better opportunities for his team by softening the defense by attacking the lane lines and pushing to the hoop. Early on he went and finished through contact a number of times, and then as the day wore on, he would attack and dish, attack and pull up, etc. He was steady with his game as usual and finds ways to make the play that needs to be made.
MICK SULLIVAN – 2018 – F/C
6-9 – MARMION ACADEMY – AURORA, IL
A blue collar max effort big man who rumbles his way through the paint on both ends, Sullivan is a double double type talent with a nice ceiling. He collects rebounds on both ends, is always in the middle of 50/50 plays, and he keeps things alive offensively with tips and rebounds to create extra shots and extra scoring opportunities for his team. He runs the floor well, can finish around the basket and out to 15 feet and he has a nice feel for positioning on both ends of the court. He’s the type you hate to play against and love to have on your team because he will constantly bring great effort, fill the box score, and help you win games. A solid effort on Saturday.
MARLON RUFFIN – 2018 – SG
6-4 – SUN PRAIRIE – SUN PRAIRIE, WI
A tough physical wing with an attack mode mentality, Ruffin was constantly the aggressor on Saturday as he attacked the rim in transition, attacked in half court sets, and impressed with his max effort game on both ends. He is a versatile wing who can deliver solid results on both ends of the floor. A high energy talent with instincts and skill, Ruffin fills the box score with consistency. An impressive effort on Saturday.
DEVYNN WAKEFIELD – 2018 – SG
6-2 – UNITED TOWNSHIP – SILVIS, IL
As a shooting guard, you really have to be able to shoot the ball well and Wakefield is every bit of a shooting guard. The 6’2 wing was on point throughout the day with his shot and did it in a variety of ways. He spotted up outside and knocked it down with a good quick release, he was able to make shots off the pull-up after getting his defender off balance with his handles and also showed good body control against contact when he got to the rim a couple times. It was a really solid day defensively overall for Wakefield too where he made life difficult for opposing guards by staying in front and staying active with his hands.
DWAYNE WALKER – 2018 – SG
6-3 – MILWAUKEE JUNEAU – MILWAUKEE, WI
Walker was excellent throughout the day as he ripped the nets off the bounce, at the mid-range level, and with jumpers from beyond the arc. A solid athlete with instincts and skill, Walker can score in bunches and he makes it look easy when doing so. A smooth lefty with game, Walker was impressive throughout the day Saturday.
KEONTAE WHITE – 2018 – PG
6-2 – MILWAUKEE HAMILTON – MILWAUKEE, WI
White was athletic, quick, bouncy, shifty and everything Saturday which really put him at advantage against his defenders on Saturday. White has a nice, quick and easy looking pull up jumper and can really get defenders off balance with his really good handles. The talented young guard did a fine job attacking the hoop as well at the camp and showed he can rise up in traffic and absorb body contact to still finish. He can hit outside as well and when he is determined to, can lockdown defensively as he has a good reach for a guard with quick feet.
BENJAMIN WOLF – 2018 – F
6-9 – NAPERVILLE CENTRAL – NAPERVILLE, IL
Wolf has a great frame and good size that he used very well at Futures. Defensively, Wolf didn’t back down to anyone and was forceful inside and on the glass. Offensively, Wolf has some nice pieces to his post game that are still developing, but he did well turning in the post and scoring around the rim, or also moving off his spot when his guards drove and located himself well for the dump down and score. He showed he can play on the rim with relative ease in traffic as well.
KEVIN ZHANG – 2018 – SF – IL WOLVES
6-9 – LaLUMIERE – LA PORTE, IN
Zhang impressed from early on in drill work at the camp with some high level type athleticism and explosion at 6’9. It will still take some work to translate it into five-on-five action more cleanly, but he makes plays that just seem natural when he is playing and uses those athletic gifts well. Zhang was constantly around the hoop on shots ready to rebound and what really impressed was his own ability to handle the ball with confidence, speed and control, and also to be able to shoot it from just about anywhere on the court. He has a nice outside shot that is still progressing and can score from each level.
Note – NY2LASPORTS.COM National Recruiting Editor Antonio Curro also contributed to this article