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.
It’s been said on many occasions that the Class of 2015 is lacking when it comes to point guards who can run their teams at a high level, with wings and big men taking up the majority of the top slots in the rankings put together by major scouting services. One of the top point guards in the class is Kimball HS (Dallas, Texas) senior Jawun Evans, with the four-star prospect rated as the 26th-best player in the class by Rivals.com.
Evans is on an official visit to Oklahoma State today, with that trip following his visit to Illinois last weekend. According to Alex Roux of the Daily Illini, Illinois’ student newspaper, a decision from Evans is expected to come in the near future.
Jawun Evans' mentor tells me there won't be any "prima donna" press conference announcement for Evans, decision likely next Wed or Thurs.
Counting Oklahoma State, Evans has taken three official visits thus far with Illinois and USC being the other schools to have hosted him. But Roux’s tweet is interesting for the fact that Evans was expected to visit Texas next weekend according to 247Sports. Does Thursday’s news mean that Texas is out of the equation? That’s tough to answer, especially without the player himself saying anything about the status of that trip.
Oklahoma State added three point guards to the program this summer, two of whom will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16 (JUCO transfer Jeff Newberry and freshman Tyree Griffin). Yet even with that being the case, Evans would give them a very talented option at the position as the Cowboys look for a player capable of leading their program for years to come.
As for Illinois, the Fighting Illini find themselves in a position of need with Jalen Brunson having committed to Villanova early this month. Tracy Abrams, who will miss the 2013-14 season due to a torn ACL, is expected back for a fifth year but John Groce can really use Evans to bolster a backcourt that added Jalen Coleman-Lands earlier this week and has Jaylon Tate, Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill (all sophomores) as well.
All three of Texas’ current point guards will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16, with junior Javan Felix and sophomores Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy being those options. USC has two point guards who will have eligibility remaining in sophomore Julian Jacobs and freshman Jordan McLaughlin. Evans will help any of these four programs, regardless of when he announces his decision. The question some will debate is who the decision to announce next week favors.
Jawun Evans is one of the best point guards in the nation. The No. 26 overall player in the 2015 class, according to Rivals, Evans is down to Illinois, Oklahoma State, Texas and USC and he’s one of the most coveted player in the country.
Here’s a mixtape of him courtesy of Courtside Films. A 6-foot native of Dallas, Evans still has official visits scheduled to Oklahoma State (9/24) and Texas (10/3).
Ben Simmons: With his performance at Peach Jam, Simmons proved he’s the No. 1 player in the 2015 class. He passes well with both hands, attacks the rim with either hand and has great handles. He also defends laterally pretty well and rebounds and pushes tempo. If his perimeter jumper improves, look out. (SP)
Isaiah Briscoe: Simmons is the best prospect in the Class of 2015, but Briscoe was the best player this week. He averaged 22.4 points — second best at Peach Jam only to Allonzo Trier — and 3.8 assists while leading the Playaz to a title. (RD)
Jayson Tatum: This is currently a tough category to fill, since I saw so many elite 2015 and 2016 prospects this week, but with Tatum’s skill level and size, it’s easy to see why some have him at No. 1 in 2016. While Josh Jackson and Malik Monk were up-and-down this week and Harry Giles is still recovering from his knee injury, Tatum kept on chugging along and putting up great numbers. (SP)
Ben Simmons: I think I actually agree with Scott here, but in the interest of differing opinions I’ll go with Simmons. The 6-foot-8 forward certified himself as the best player in the class in North Augusta. (RD)
Quinndary Weatherspoon: A borderline top 100 recruit, the 6-foot-5 Weatherspoon put on a pair of scoring displays at Peach Jam. He can be a bit inconsistent, but any high-major program that needs perimeter firepower should be tracking this kid.
Levan Alston: The 2015 guard from Team Final is tough on both ends of the floor and a fiery competitor. Coming in just outside of Rivals top 100, I’ve seen a lot of guards ranked ahead of him that I wouldn’t take over him.
NON-TOP 150 SLEEPER:
Braxton Beverly: A 2016 point guard from Hazard, Ky., Beverly was terrific at Peach Jam. He finished third in the tournament in assists while protecting the ball and showing he could his a three-pointer with time and space. He’s tough, too. I saw him fight through a sprained ankle to beat Mac Irvin Fire with three driving buckets in the final five minutes. (RD)
Jalen Poyser: The CIA Bounce 6-foot-4 Class of 2015 guard surpassed his EYBL high scoring mark twice at Peach Jam and had multiple productive outings in the event. Multiple college coaches were intrigued by Poyser’s ability to attack and he has a natural smoothness about him. (SP)
Josh Jackson: It’s not that I wanted more out of Jackson’s talent, of which he has plenty, but I wanted to see the elite 2016 wing take better shots and use his passing more to set up teammates. The 6-foot-6 Jackson was benched during one game at the UAA Finals with five minutes left in a one-point game and that should never happen to an elite player. (SP)
DeAndre Ayton: Ayton is believed by some to be the best prospect is all of high school basketball, but the 6-foot-11 big man from the Class of 2017 is nothing more than a prospect at this point. He’s got terrific physical tools but the rest of his game still needs polishing. The good news? He’s got plenty of time. (RD)
BEST LEAD GUARD:
Jawun Evans: Since I already went with Briscoe as the Player of the Week, I’m going to mix it up at the lead guard spot, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that follows this site that I am picking Evans as the best lead guard from this week. The 5-foot-11 Texas native is, for my money, the best pure point guard in the Class of 2015, and he played that was in Atlanta for the UAA Finals. (RD)
Donovan Mitchell: There are better point guard prospects in the 2015 class, but nobody had a better week than Donovan Mitchell. Whether it was the elementary school day campers at Suwanee Sports Academy or national championship-winning head coaches, they all went nuts over Mitchell’s play this week. (SP)
Malik Monk: The 40-point performance at Peach Jam was epic and once Monk gets more strength, he’ll be able to put up performances like this with more consistency. Sometimes Monk hunts highlights too often, and while the 2016 class is talented, I don’t see how Monk isn’t a top-5 player at this current juncture. (SP)
Allonzo Trier: Trier was the leading scorer at Peach Jam, averaging more than 30 points in the give games that he played, including the 42 that he put up while handing Briscoe and the Playaz their only loss of the event. Trier’s had a great spring and summer while shooting up the national rankings. (RD)
BEST WING FORWARD:
Jayson Tatum: The game just comes easy to Tatum. Although the 6-foot-8 wing was a man among boys playing in the 16U ranks at Peach Jam, you can still see he has all the necessary tools to be a star. (SP)
Ben Simmons: I see Simmons playing a role similar to that of Royce White at the collegiate level, which would make him more of a point forward than a wing forward. (RD)
D.J. Hogg: There aren’t many great shooters in this class but Hogg can fill it up when he gets hot and he has a shooter’s mentality with good size at 6-foot-7. Once he gets in better shape, Hogg’s shot will be more consistent because right now. (SP)
Camron Justice: Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was front and center while tracking his his commitment. The No. 136 recruit in the Class of 2015 shot very well throughout Peach Jam. (RD)
BEST LOW POST BIG:
Tyler Davis: Again, not the best prospect I saw as a low post player, but Davis was the most productive big man I saw last week. The 6-foot-10 Davis is impossible to move off the block, owns a good set of hands and has improving footwork and counter moves in the post. He’s right on the cusp of elite status. (SP)
Diamond Stone: Davis was easily the best low-post big man at Peach Jam, and Stone was just as impressive at the UAA Finals. He’s getting into a habit where he is settling too much for perimeter shots, but some of that is a result of Stone trying to prove that he has expanded his game. He’s known for his ability to score on the block already. (RD)
KeVaughn Allen: Allen was one of the biggest stock-risers in Georgia this week, averaging 19.0 points in eight Peach Jam games. The Florida-commit showed off an improved three-point stroke, but where he was most impressive was on the defensive side of the ball. He will thrive in Gainesville. (RD)
Chris Clarke: I would take Chris Clarke on my team in any game. The Class of 2015 wing plays hard, defends on the perimeter, hustles after every loose ball and generally lifts the energy of the teammates on the floor with him. He’s just the kind of player that makes winning plays. (SP)
ONE MORE GUY DESERVING OF ATTENTION:
Franklin Howard: Franklin Howard is already ranked and committed to Syracuse, but I was impressed by his recovery from a major knee injury that forced him to miss the high school season. Howard doubled his minutes during the Peach Jam from the EYBL and looked pretty good despite shooting the ball poorly. (SP)
Alterique Gilbert: A 5-foot-9 PG, Gilbert is No. 92 in the Class of 2016 on Rivals. He’s a quick, shifty point guard that can get to the rim and finish in traffic. He also doesn’t appear to get rattled by big moments or big plays. He averaged 18.2 points in the event. (RD)