2022 Jordan Brand Classic: Prospect Impressions

Continuing the ongoing streak of big weekends for the class of 2022, the Jordan Brand Classic is up next. Taking place in Chicago, IL, the rosters include a lot of the same players that we’ve seen over the past couple weeks at McDonald’s, GEICO, and Nike Hoop Summit, but there are also some new faces to these big events, including Oregon-bound Dior Johnson.

(Full roster found here)

Team Air beats Team Flight 118-109

Montverde wing Dillon Mitchell (Texas) wins MVP for Team Air; North Little Rock guard Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas) wins MVP for Team Flight.

Richardson guard Cason Wallace (Kentucky) put his fingerprints on the game early with a floater and a mid-air dumpoff inside for an assist. He projects especially well on the defensive end given how opportunistic his hands are, but the offense projects well too given his level-headedness.

Wallace’s smooth offensive game continued with a nice mid-range fadeaway early in the second. In that quarter, he had a few three-point misses, but the mechanics looked decent and the touch was soft.

Archbishop Spaulding wing Cam Whitmore (Villanova) continued to bring the physicality as a driver, earning an and-one in the first quarter.

North Little Rock guard Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas) made an impact early in his stint with back-to-back threes before being fouled on a third attempt. His range does a lot to open up his inside game, where he’s very crafty with the ball creating opportunities for himself and others. He finished with a game-high 27 points (2-6 2P, 5-7 3P, 8-8 FT), 3 rebounds, and 4 assists.

As the game went on, Smith’s deep shot and creativity with the ball play in and play out left me no choice but to give him Montverde guard Dariq Whitehead‘s (Duke) spot in my far-too-early 2023 top 3.

Skill Factory wing Kam Craft (Xavier) used his craftiness with the ball to create his own shot; a floater in this case. Craft will give newly-named head coach Sean Miller a go-to scoring threat for likely multiple years in a loaded Big East.

IMG guard Keyonte George (Baylor) took a few attempts to get his first one to go, but once they started falling, the touch was clear.

Sierra Canyon guard Amari Bailey (UCLA) showed off his own mid-air playmaking with a nice dish in transition. He’s very smooth with the ball in his hands, as he followed it up with a sidestep three shortly after.

Link forward Tarris Reed Jr. (Michigan) brought all sorts of variety from his game to the floor. He had physical drives, soft touch from mid-range and outside, as well as disciplined defense.

This is the last big look at these guys before their college debuts, and I cannot wait to see what these guys look like. My most fun prospect watch teams for 2022-23:

Duke: Dariq Whitehead, Dereck Lively II, Mark Mitchell, Kyle Filipowski

Arkansas: Nick Smith Jr., Anthony Black, Jordan Walsh

Baylor: Keyonte George, Miro Little

UCLA: Dylan Andrews, Amari Bailey, Adem Bona

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my eye on the NBA Playoffs officially getting underway on Apr. 16, grassroots ball over the summer, and the U17 FIBA World Cup in July.

Categories: College Basketball, High School Basketball, NBA Draft

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