FISHERS, In. — The Indianapolis area was the main hub of college basketball recruiting for the second April evaluation period as both Nike and Under Armour had events in the same vicinity.
This year’s Under Armour Association features a number of different talented players across multiple classes, but we’ll focus on the storylines that will mainly have an impact on the Class of 2018.
Here are five main takeaways from the weekend at the Under Armour Association.
1. Jahvon Quinerly, Devon Dotson add their names in top point guard discussion
I noted yesterday that there were a number of quality point guards in the discussion for top dog and in the Under Armour Association, Jahvon Quinerly and Devon Dotson both had great weekends in Indianapolis.
The 6-foot Quinerly has some similar traits to former North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige as he’s leading the UAA in assists at 6.0 per game. Also capable of scoring from all over the floor (fourth in the UAA at 19.0 points per game). Quinerly can knock down three-pointers, and he’s a nearly 90-percent free-throw shooter.
At 6-foot-1, Dotson plays in constant attack mode as he is ultra-aggressive attacking the paint. Showing growth as a distributor and floor leader since last year, Dotson can still be turnover prone, but he’s one of the best playmaking guards in the class with his quickness and ability to get in the lane.
Both of these guards are already regarded in the top 40 in most rankings and could push for five-star status if they continue to elevate their play on a national level.
2. Silvio De Sousa is still a monster
It seems like Silvio De Sousa has been on the scene for a long time since he has been playing 17U ball for three years, but the five-star big man deserves a ton of credit for always playing hard.
The high-motor 6-foot-8 forward is leading the UAA in scoring at 21.3 points per game while also coming in third in rebounding at 9.0 per contest. Besides the double-double production, De Sousa is shooting a ridiculous 69 percent from the field. A man among boys against most of the UAA, De Sousa has been very strong so far this spring as he’s lived up to his five-star status.
It’s still early in the recruiting process for De Sousa as he wants to play out the spring and summer before making any kind of serious moves. If he continues to play like this, he might become a priority recruit since he’s so active on the interior.
3. Eric Ayala has an interesting dilemma with his potential reclassification
On Monday I talked a little bit about the decision that Jontay Porter is facing with potentially reclassifying and playing next season. Four-star guard Eric Ayala is facing a similar decision, as he confirmed to reporters this weekend that he has enough credits to enroll in college this season.
Syracuse seems to be getting the most play with Ayala potentially playing for them next season, but Ayala is going to play out this summer and see where things stand before making a decision. I think this is a smart choice for the 6-foot-3 guard because he isn’t as ready for the college game as Porter is.
Ayala has played well on WeR1’s 7-1 team so far this spring but he’s also been only a modest 44 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three-point range. The combo guard definitely needs to improve his shooting before reaching the next level but he’s also one of the few high-major guard options available that can play next season.
If Ayala feels that high school basketball isn’t going to push him to get better, then he should make the jump to college next season. But Ayala also might not be ready to handle a heavy minutes load right away if a program wants him to start as a freshman.
4. Nazreon Reid is still a top-flight talent
Class of 2018 big man Nazreon Reid was one of the more productive interior players of the last two weekends as he averaged 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game playing with Sports U.
Teamed up with an elite lead guard in Quinerly, Reid gets plenty of opportunities down low while also looking like a force on the glass and as a shot blocker. At 6-foot-10, Reid is the type of athletic interior presence who can make a huge impact on the college level if he remains consistent with his game.
One of the big knocks on Reid in the past has been how he can be ineffective during certain stretches of play, but he’s been a force throughout the spring and looked like one of the best players in the country.
5. Under Armour keeps doing innovative things in grassroots basketball
One of the nice things about the Under Armour Association has been its willingness to adapt to changes in modern basketball. As the years have gone along, the league has often been a trendsetter with some minor tweaks that help improve the overall quality.
Going to four quarters, and resetting team fouls at the end of each quarter (five fouls for bonus and seven fouls for double bonus each quarter), is a great addition to the UAA this spring as it helped game flow and gave each team a natural timeout to rest between quarters.
The UAA has also provided some new and interesting things away from the court, most notably combine measurements for each player. Showing measurements like wingspan, vertical, hand length and standing reach are valuable recruiting tools for college coaches and it also gives pro scouts a growth chart over the years as some of these players move on to the NBA Draft Combine.
Among websites in the shoe company leagues, the UAA’s is also superior in many ways, especially with regards to mobile navigation and easily finding things like box scores and sortable player stats.
These are all minor things in the grand scheme of things, but they’re the types of little changes that could lead to things like this becoming the norm across grassroots basketball. It’ll be interesting to see if others look to follow suit.