The Woolfolk Watchlist Camp took place in Macon, GA, this past weekend. Some of the top middle school prospects in the state put their talent on display in a showcase format. Here is part 1 of my standouts… Maxwell Cowart (5’2/G/’29/John…
The Woolfolk Watchlist Camp took place in Macon, GA, this past weekend. Some of the top middle school prospects in the state put their talent on display in a showcase format. Here is part 1 of my standouts…
Maxwell Cowart (5’2/G/’29/John Milledge Academy)
Maxwell Cowart was hands down the best shooter in the gym. He would confirm this during the 3-pt shootout with a spectacular final round, going 10 for 10 from behind the arc. I cannot stress enough how special of a shooter Maxwell can become if he continues to put in the work. I didn’t see him miss many open shots, which speaks to the work that he puts into his jumper. He is more than capable of scoring off the dribble as well. This self-creation ability is probably what stood out most about the young prospect. He has a good understanding of how to get his defender off balance to provide the small window needed to get his lightning-quick jumper off. Maxwell has all the potential to be a high-impact player as he continues to develop physically. Max could be a highly sought-after player if the frame catches up to the jumper.
Deshonvaris Lundy (4’9/PG/’29/Central Fellowship Christian Academy)
Deshonvaris was one of the smallest players on the court but had arguably the biggest impact. A true floor general with an impressive handle. Simply runs circles around most of the defenders tasked with slowing him down. Deshonvaris made some outstanding reads throughout the day, and I would wager that he was the top dimer at the camp. It’s a joy to see him lead the fast break, as he is faster than most that he will come across. There is quite a bit of functional flair to his game. There were 3 or 4 Sportscenter-worthy assists that drew lots of “oohs” from the crowd. Deshonvaris didn’t look for his shot much but did show the ability to score when needed. Due to his stature, he has developed a nice floater with more than adequate lift to get a shot off over much taller defenders. As he progresses through the high school level, it will be critical to show that he can knock down perimeter jumpers consistently. I am excited to keep up with this young prospect as he continues to shine.
Austin Dennard (6’5/SF/’28/McDonough MS)
Austin is a player that grew on me the more I watched him. Possessing the most impressive physical tools in attendance, I assumed he was going to be a lumbering big type of prospect. While he is more than capable of scoring in the post, there is much more to his game. He basically scored at will all day. Flashing the ability to put the ball on the floor further supports the possibility of Austin being a perimeter player as he progresses to the HS level. He recorded a large number of blocks in an impressive manner. These weren’t due to being larger than others; he made legitimate help-side rotations and extra effort to chase down blocks in each game I saw. He didn’t shoot many jump shots but knocked down the only trey I saw him attempt. The form is not broken and could be the key to unlocking his potential down the road. I know it’s early in his development, but I will be shocked if Austin doesn’t garner significant recruiting interest if he continues down this path.
Tristan Robinson (5’8/PG/’28/TJ Elder MS)
Tristan was the most impressive athlete by a wide margin. The 5’8” 8th-grader is already capable of finishing above the rim. There is a level of explosion here that is incredibly rare in middle schoolers. Honestly, Tristan is more athletic than the majority of varsity players that you will find. Built like a running back, it is difficult to keep him away from the basket. He showed the ability to go through or around help defenders and possesses one of the nastiest hesitation dribbles I have seen. Tristan also showed the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers off the dribble. His physical tools naturally translate to the defensive end, where he picks up the entire length of the court, making life miserable for opposing ball handlers. Incredible bounce allows him to pick up blocks at a high rate for a guard, and he was also one of the better rebounders in attendance. Tristan Robinson and Austin Dennard were arguably the Co-MVPs of the entire camp.
Keelyn Johnson (5’11/PF/’29/Feagin Mill MS)
The first thing that stands out with Keelyn is his frame. Broad shoulders, long arms, and a sturdy build are what make Keelyn’s game go. A physical mismatch, he has a great understanding of where to position himself for easy buckets. He showed some unique self-creation abilities as well. I was impressed with his ability to grab a board and take it coast to coast, as not many players were willing to step in front of him when he had a head of steam. The handle is impressive at this early stage of his development. It’s always tough to predict height at this age, so it is a good indicator for future success that Keelyn is already sound in the fundamentals of the game. He was such a dominant force against ’29 prospects that he was moved up to match up with older prospects, where he more than held his own. There is a level of aggression in his game that I hope he maintains throughout the remainder of his career.
Syre Hopkins (5’8/PG/’28/Richmond Hill MS)
Syre is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands. Extremely entertaining to watch and has all the tools to be a recruitable prospect soon. Good positional size with the ball handling skills to get to the rim at will. He consistently showed the ability to finish around the rim at a high level with lots of creativity when getting downhill. Syre also showcased the ability to stop and pop in his middle game as well as beyond the arc. He looks to score more than set others up at this stage but, at times, showed the ability to make solid reads and cross-court skip passes. A vocal leader that I will be tracking over the next few years.