CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — Tyler Dorsey entered the NBPA Top 100 Camp as the highest-rated lead guard in attendance. The St. John Bosco product ranks seventh nationally in the Class of 2015, decommitting from Arizona just days before he arrived on Virginia’s campus.
Dorsey may have had the highest ranking, but there wasn’t a point guard in John Paul Jones Arena that arrived with more hype than Dennis Smith Jr. The Fayetteville (N.C.) native and Team Loaded lead guard had spent the spring knifing through defenses and dunking in traffic while staking his claim to the title of best guard in the Class of 2016.
And while both Dorsey and Smith played really well in the first two days at the camp, neither were the best point guard in Charlottesville.
Jawun Evans was.
Evans is a 6-foot-0 point guard out of Dallas, TX, that is currently ranked 45th nationally in Rivals.com’s Class of 2015. He’s a pure point guard in the sense that he’s capable of running an offense and looks to set up his teammates before trying to get his own shot. Evans is a playmaker, capable of getting in the paint and creating off the dribble, but what was most impressive about his performance in Charlottesville was how often he made the right decision, the right read. He had a sprinkling of turnovers here or there, but in a setting where kids often try to do the spectacular, Evans was so effective because he made the smart play, the easy play.
“My biggest goal is to be the best point guard,” Evans said. If he keeps playing the way that he did on Thursday, that goal may end up coming to fruition.
Evans cut his list to eight in May as he is still considering Illinois, Clemson, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Texas, USC and Virginia Tech.
Last month, Ray Smith cut his list down to ten schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, USC, UCLA and Wake Forest.
One name you don’t see on that list? UConn, but the Huskies recently offered Smith a scholarship which was enough to convince the 6-foot-8 wing to take a visit to the school.
“UConn’s on board now,” Smith said at the NBPA Top 100 camp. “I’ll be visiting in a couple of days,” while adding that he also has tentative plans to make a trip to Louisville, but he’s still working on a date.
Smith is one of the more intriguing prospects that made his way to Charlottesville this week. He’s an active and athletic wing that currently is ranked No. 32 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com, although that ranking may end up seeming low by the time his development is done. Everything that Smith does well at this point in his development is thanks to his natural ability. He’s terrific in transition and aggressive on the offensive glass.
But he’s also mobile and coordinated and was able to get to the rim off of the dribble the last two days. He’s going to have to put the work in developing his perimeter shot, his ability off the dribble and putting together a mid-range game, but there isn’t much of a limit for Smith in terms of the kind of player that he can become.
He’s got an NBA body and NBA athleticism. The question is whether or not he’s willing to turn himself into an NBA player.