The following are my quick player notes on guys who popped from last night’s McDonald’s All-American game. I’ve seen some of these players in person before (Porter, Ayton etc.) but for some guys like Robinson this was my first exposure. Thus, keep that latter point in mind with a limited sample. I’ll provide far more in-depth analysis after the week of Hoop Summit practices.
Bamba shined with his combination of mobility and now infamous go-go-gadget 7-foot-10 wingspan. He erases the sun in the paint, as evidenced by the possession where he blocked Ayton effortlessly on the baseline and then used his insane arm length to reach around Ayton’s post up attempt plucking the ball away on the entry pass (he also literally took the ball away from Porter on a dunk attempt).
We knew about his size and length combination, but Bamba impressed with his coordination and mobility on the floor. He moved well in space and showed plus hands offensively. While he airballed a 3 undershooting it by about a foot, his range shot didn’t look as raw as expected. He’s a inconsistent but capable mid range shooter, and if he ever becomes consistent in that area or extends his range we’re looking at a potential game-changing talent (he probably already is).
Pardon the somewhat lazy outlier tools comparison, but Bamba looks like a more mobile version of Rudy Gobert. This big class is loaded.
I was very high on Carter entering this game after watching high school film, and I’m even higher on him now. The biggest thing that stood out to me is how well he moved defensively in space. A defensive possession at the end of the game really illuminated this, where he sat down in his stance and walled off Preston, and then switched onto Bowen and contained him as well. He’s very comfortable sinking down and sliding showing very good feet, a rarity for someone with his weight. He combines nimbleness with legitimate strength at the 5 (he’s definitely a 5 but usually plays the 4 in these all-star events), and when you factor in his 7-foot-5 wingspan there is a lot to work with.
Carter is also lowkey very skilled. You could see his vision on display, like on the wrap around pass to Bamba in the first half, as well as on a high-low attempt to Bamba where he didn’t put enough on it. He didn’t make a jumper but he looked comfortable and coordinated on the dribble pull-up he missed. The left hand jump hook he made was very impressive.
Overall, Carter adds a playmaking element at the 5 that both Ayton and Bamba can’t match right now. He’s going to shine at Duke.