Thursday Matt Harris and I attended the Nike Elite 100 camp at Saint Louis University, hosted by the Bradley Beal Elite of the Nike EYBL. The three day event hosts... you guessed it... 100 of the top basketball players in the 2021 and 2022 classes. There are skills development sessions and games, and it’s an opportunity to see some of the best players in the forth coming classes.
The early explorations into the 2021 and 2022 classes have been fairly light for Missouri. With so much focus on the 2020 class in the last few years we’ve barely gotten into targets in the 2021 class. If you judge by the offers Cuonzo Martin has sent out it almost seems like Missouri hasn’t either.
However we did get to check out a few players the Tigers have extended early offers to with Chet Holmgren, Kennedy Chandler, and Bryce Hopkins all participating in the event. But while there were some big time stars at the top like Jonathan Kuminga and Emoni Bates, there were a couple standouts who have been on the Tigers radar the last few months.
And a couple of them followed up the Nike 100 event with a trip down interstate 70 to the University of Missouri.
Meet Pierre Brooks Jr. and Jaden Akins
Enjoyed my unofficial visit to the University of Missouri @MizzouHoops pic.twitter.com/N3WhHznlzo— Pierre Brooks II (@nba_pbj) June 28, 2019
Great unofficial to the university of Missouri pic.twitter.com/MSvIGf4pel— Jaden Akins (@JadenAkins3) June 28, 2019
Brooks is an unranked 6-5 wing from Detroit, MI. He has early offers from Cleveland State, Duquesne, and Detroit. He’s a little more physically developed than other high schoolers and the scout on him right now is his perimeter game is still developing. Brooks projects more as a high 3-star/low 4-star player right now, but a guy who can be a fixture in your program for multiple years.
Akins is a little more high ceiling, as a 6’3 combo guard with some high level athleticism. Akins plays for Farmington HS in the Detroit area, and it would surprise me if he doesn’t end up as a 4-star player.
The guy who we know Missouri has been in contact with who hasn’t been mentioned is probably my favorite of the three. Kobe Bufkin is a 6’4 or 6’5 combo guard who has the makings of a top 50 or 60 level player to my eyes. He’s explosive off the floor and has a soft floater in the lane. On top of that he handles ball screens well and it’s easy to see him project as a lead guard at the next level. If I were Missouri I’d prioritize him early in hopes of fending off the likely charges from the in-state schools.
I didn’t get to see a ton of Kennedy Chandler but he looks the part. He’s not very big but is super explosive and can get to the rim off a ball screen with ease. It’s easy to see why he’ll be a hot recruit and one I’d be surprised if Missouri prioritizes due to the likely field of competitors.
Bryce Hopkins is the most recent Missouri offer and it’s easy to see why. He’s a legitimate 6’7 and has a sturdy frame, plus a deft three point touch. Hopkins followed up his elite 100 camp with more offers, this time from Ohio State and Cal, to join with Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin. Both Hopkins and Kennedy should have plenty of competition.
Jontay Porter isn’t signed according to Jontay Porter
Not true sir. https://t.co/ftUHPZSRCz— Jontay Porter (@JontayPorter) June 28, 2019
I feel for Schiffer on this one. He’s a terrific reporter, and having multiple sources steer you wrong on something isn’t great. I’ve been wrong before, and being wrong sucks. But I’ve never been called out by the subject of the report.
Still it’s a curious story and you have to wonder how it came about, and he’s responded to Porter’s tweet but hasn’t retracted his report. So what’s the deal?
Schiffer originally stated last week that Porter was likely headed towards a free agent deal after the deadline in early July due to salary cap implications. Teams would have more flexibility and I thought that made a lot of sense. Still, Porter is a commodity if healthy so hopefully he doesn’t have to wait long before finding his landing spot.