As we continue to march through our coverage of last weekend's Prep Hoops Colorado Prime Time Prospects Combine at Gold Crown Fieldhouse, today we dissect some of the top performances from the sophomores in attendance. The class of 2018 has…
As we continue to march through our coverage of last weekend's Prep Hoops Colorado Prime Time Prospects Combine at Gold Crown Fieldhouse, today we dissect some of the top performances from the sophomores in attendance.
The class of 2018 has the chance to be an excellent one in Colorado, and we were glad to get a look at a few of its top members.
Eugene Rivers, 5-foot-9 guard, Gateway
We mentioned Rivers yesterday in our list of players who went from obscurity to the forefront given their performances at the combine.
Rivers was certainly one of those players thanks to his innate instincts with the ball. He's a smooth dribbler who handles the ball well in the traffic and knows how to distribute among big bodies once he drives to the lane. Rivers will obviously hope to add a few inches to his frame, but his skill set has the chance to get him to the next level.
Brody McCord, 6-foot-2 guard, Legend
McCord, whose older brother Connor is a 6-foot-7 senior forward at Legend, already has a mature body for a sophomore at 6-foot-2, 160 pounds with a frame that looks like it has plenty of room to grow.
McCord is solid with the ball and showed a quick release during the catch-and-shoot drill from the elbow. Has the strength to create separation off the dribble and elevates well to shoot over defenders.
McCord handled the ball well and is a tough matchup with good size and strength on the perimeter, and he's not afraid to mix it up underneath either. Can use some seasoning, but could be an intriguing prospect on the perimeter with a little bit of growth.
Jovan Dodig, 5-foot-11 guard, Lakewood
The first thing that stood about Dodig was just how intense of a competitor he was. He attacked each of the drills during the testing portion of the event with ferocity. Again, we are still a couple days away from getting the full testing results back, but I'd be surprised if Dodig wasn't among the quickest in the lane agility test. He zoomed through that square course.
As far as skills, Dodig handled the ball well. He was particularly strong in the elbow shooting drill, sprinting off the end line and stopping on a dime as he caught the ball at the elbow. His form on his shot could use some work, primarily a need for more extension on his follow-through, but those items are correctable.
Importantly, Dodig was easily identifiable as a player who plays with maximum effort and makes life difficult for the opposition. If he can grow a few more inches and polish up some raw skill sets, he could give himself the chance to be a small-college player.
Jaylen Harden, 6-foot-4 forward, Columbine
At 6-foot-4 and 180 lean pounds, Harden already has the look of an intriguing prospect. He could stand to become a little more explosive, but the athleticism piece is there, and he demonstrated strength in a crowd on Saturday. He also ran the floor well.
Harden displays nice shooting touch and can handle the ball well. Defensively, he was active and engaged on Saturday. His size gives him a chance to play a role for Columbine, and it will be interesting to track his growth. If Harden can get to about 6-6 with the strong frame he already has, he could turn heads.
Jalen Talbott, 5-foot-11 guard, Eaglecrest
Talbott was a walk-up registrant on Saturday morning, and we're glad he showed up the fieldhouse. Continuing in the tradition of talented Eaglecrest guards, Talbott has a toughness about him that was on display.
He guards the ball with aggressiveness, and he has good lateral quickness. On the offense end, Talbott is an effective ball-handler who can play off the ball or on, and he's able to penetrate and makes good decisions with the ball when he does.
Talbot and Rivers were part of an impressive group of guards from the Rocky Mountain Vipers that also included Gateway guard Michkaleke Baker and Eaglecrest's Rayhann Webb. All four players could stand to add more size, and surely will once season weight-room sessions kick in, but their skills make the whole group of Vipers players to watch going forward.
Raekwon Azor, 5-foot-5 guard, Denver South
Azor is small than most guards, but that doesn't affect his toughness. A very capable ball-handler, Azor isn't afraid to mix it up in the lane with bigger bodies.
Obviously, he'd like to grow a few inches, but his toughness and ball skills will be enough for now to give Azor a chance to contribute. His speed made a difference in transition on Saturday, and it also helps him be an aggressive on-ball defender.