The United States U19 team played its first game in the FIBA U19 World Championships in Crete Saturday morning, beating Iran by the final score of 83-53. One of the highlights in the game was produced by Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans and 2016 forward Jayson Tatum with 1:24 remaining and the outcome no longer in doubt.
Evans got things going on the defensive end, stripping Iran’s point guard of the basketball and setting out on what appeared to be a race to the basket between the two guards with a second Iranian defender trailing the play. However Tatum was also trailing the play and Evans knew exactly what to do with the basketball, tossing it off the backboard with the 6-foot-8 forward throwing down a two-handed dunk.
Video courtesy of FIBA
Oklahoma State lands commitment from elite point guard in 2015
Jawun Evans has committed to Oklahoma State, the four-star point guard and Kimball, Texas, native announced on Wednesday morning.
Evans is the No. 26 player in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals, and picked Oklahoma State over Illinois and USC, among many others.
It’s debatable where Evans ranks in the pantheon of points guards in the class of 2015. He’s neck-and-neck with Villanova-commit Jalen Brunson as the best pure point guard in the class, and there are many that believe that top ten recruit Isaiah Briscoe is also point guard. But regardless of whether you think Evans is the best or third-best lead guard in the class, Travis Ford has landed himself a ball-handler that is going to be the foundation of his program for four years.
Evans is not built in the mold of some of the other elite point guards in recent years. He’s not an overwhelming athlete, like a John Wall or Russell Westbrook. He’s not an elite scorer, and he’s not the kind of player that is going to break ankles and throw no-look passes all over the floor. But he’s an exceptional decision-maker — I watched him play upwards of ten times this summer, and no one made the right play more often than he did — that competes and defends as well as anyone.
Offensively, he needs to improve his ability to shoot from the perimeter, but Evans is quick enough to get into the paint and has a knack for finishing over taller opponents. He doesn’t turn the ball over, and while he isn’t one to make flashy plays, he’s got excellent vision and creates easy looks for his teammates.
Evans’ commitment is all the more important when you consider his relationship with Elijah Thomas, a top 20 big man that is also from Texas. Oklahoma State will lose Michael Cobbins, Le’Bryan Nash and Anthony Hickey — three starters — after the 2014-2015 season, meaning that Ford is going to have to reload with this 2015 class. Landing Evans is a great way to start, especially if it means that Thomas will follow as well.
Jalen Brunson is considered by most people that cover college basketball recruiting to be the best pure point guard in high school basketball.
The best point guard in the country may actually be Isaiah Briscoe, although there is still some debate over whether or not he is actually a point guard or a scoring guard that is able to create for his teammates.
For my money, however, the most impressive point guard I saw in the Class of 2015 this summer was the kid you see in the mixtape below: Jawun Evans.
Evans, who will be announcing his college decision on Wednesday, is a top 40 recruit. He stands just 5-foot-11 and he lacks the kind of vertical explosiveness that you see out of some of the best point guards in the country these days, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better decision-maker than Evans. His basketball IQ is off the charts.
Evans needs to work on extending his range as a shooter, but he’s a dynamo defensively and he can get into the lane and finish over bigger defenders as well as anyone.
One of Oklahoma State, Illinois or USC is going to end up very happy on Wednesday.