2023 Nike Hoop Summit Recap
Some players take advantage of showcases while others miss out. A full recap of this year's Hoop Summit.
Nike Hoop Summit is one of the last, and biggest, showcases for high school seniors and their international equivalents. This year, No Ceilings was fortunate enough to have access to the practices all week and the final game. Being that close and personal all week inevitably lead to a myriad of takeaways that didn’t align with the game itself. It was a special event with some really talented high schoolers. Here were some of the biggest takeaways from the week of events.
Jackson Shelstad – G 6’1” Oregon
That height alone may turn a lot of people off, but Shelstad was one of the most impressive players all week. He may lack great height, but he constantly played bigger than he’s listed and immediately made you forget about his size. Shelstad was consistently one of the most effective and influential players on both ends of the floor. During drills, he was one of the hardest workers. It didn’t take long for him to break a sweat, and he clearly cared about getting better.
Shelstad is very much in the mold of a pure point guard. The ball never stuck with him, he read the floor effortlessly, and he showed some dynamic ball-handling. The only time Shelstad’s lack of size reared its ugly head was when he drove. Too frequently he passed out of drives that should’ve been layups because he almost looked afraid of getting blocked by a recovering/help defender. To his credit, the kick-out passes always found an open teammate, but at some point, he’ll need to prove that he can convert those opportunities into points or fouls.
The area of the game where you’d expect Shelstad’s size to hurt him the most would be on defense, but he more than held his own. Shelstad is strong and has excellent feet. In the long run, he’ll be a one-position defender, but he showed a high IQ and impressive fundamentals. He even had a scrimmage-sealing rebound where skyed over multiple opponents to secure the ball with one hand, and he turned multiple steals into transition dunks. Even though he doesn’t have great height, don’t for a second think he’s not a good athlete.
Garwey Dual – G 6’5” Providence
You wouldn’t know it by the game log, but Dual was one of the biggest bright spots from the practices. Dual has incredible length for his position which made him a nightmarish defender. He was constantly picking pockets and recording blocks on pull-ups, weak side rotations, and chase-downs. Dual’s frenetic movements also translated to the offensive end where he’d explode out of crossovers and implement a teleportation-esque first step to get to the rim. At times, I questioned if he was Nightcrawler from the X-Men as he would be in a completely different spot in the blink of an eye.
The biggest swing for Dual will be his jumper, but it is far from broken. His mid-range pull-up looked effortless, especially after deserting his defender with a crossover, and there is promise with his outside shot. As he gets stronger and gets more reps, it should be a realistic outcome that Dual turns into an above-average shooter.
Jared McCain – G 6’3” Duke
McCain carried over his impressive McDonald’s All-American Game performance straight into Hoop Summit. McCain has the foundation for what should be an excellent shooter. While the shot still looked very good, it was his on-ball creation that was the biggest takeaway of the week. McCain consistently displayed an ability to create off the bounce for himself and for others. He got to his spots relatively easily on all three levels of the floor, especially when using a screen.
The most impressive portion of his week was a 3v3 drill that started with a pick-and-roll. McCain dominated. He constantly made the right decision, picked apart the defense, and was a nuisance to deal with. His pairing with Tyrese Proctor next year looks better by the day, and good lord is he charismatic.
Zaccharie Risacher – F 6’9” ASVEL
It was a weird week for Risacher. Last summer he was one of the most impressive players in the entire FIBA U17 World Cup as France lost to the USA in the finals. Since then, Risacher’s game has improved a ton, and he looks a lot taller. Don’t be surprised if he measures closer to 7’0” come the 2024 NBA Draft.
Back to the relevant stuff, though. In practices, Risacher looked timid. It may have been a language barrier issue or that he was one of the few players there with zero USA basketball experience. It’s an intimidating setting to be thrown into, especially if you’re naturally a bit shyer. Risacher struggled with some of the ball-handling drills, and his shot looked like a work in progress. It was a concerning first couple of days. Then they started scrimmaging.
Once they rolled the balls out and let the kids play, Risacher looked completely different. He was in his element. There was still plenty of rawness to his game, but he was more assertive, pushed in transition, and was a dog on defense. In a draft class that doesn’t have a standout top prospect yet, Risacher could vault to the top of a lot of lists if he continues making significant developmental strides.
Omaha Biliew – F 6’8” Iowa State
Biliew is a mountain of a man chiseled from granite. What’s so exciting, though, is that he is so much more than “just” an athlete. It wouldn’t be surprising if Biliew breaks onto the scene as a freshman with improved handles and a really versatile scoring game.
He didn’t get much of an opportunity in the game itself, but at dinner every night it was a guarantee that someone started things off with “gosh, did you all see what Omaha did today?” Within minutes of every practice, he was immediately drenched in sweat. He was focused on every drill and worked extremely hard to improve his game. After water breaks, Biliew was always the first one back on the court working on form shooting, free throws, or 1v1 work on the block against Justin Edwards. Given the USA’s lack of size, Biliew ended up playing a lot of center. At Iowa State, we can hopefully see him showcase his versatility a bit more on the perimeter.
Miro Little – G 6’4” and Ja’Kobe Walter – G 6’5” Baylor
It would be surprising if either of these guys were a one-and-done player, but they make it impossible to not be excited about the future of Baylor’s backcourt. We unfortunately didn’t get to see them play together since they were on opposite teams, but their styles should complement each other really well.
Little is a pure point guard who acts like a coach’s kid. He constantly does all the little things like boxing out, taking charges, diving for loose balls, and talking constantly. No matter where you were in the gym, you could hear Little calling out rotations, cheering on teammates, or directing traffic. Little’s performance fell off some in the games and scrimmages compared to practice, but his combination of quick decision-making, quality shooting, and physical defense should fit in nicely at Baylor.
While Little is the ice, Walter is the fire. Walter still has some work to do on his jumper (I know, what a shocker for a teenager), but his off-ball scoring arsenal is really impressive. He has the athleticism to get to the rim, the foundation of the shot looks promising, and he’s shown some ability as a second-side creator. Oh, and his defense rocks. There will be a learning curve for both, but a huge Sophomore season for them shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Ron Holland – F 6’8” Texas
Holland is going to be one of the most polarizing players next season, and he didn’t really do anything to convince me otherwise at Hoop Summit. To his credit, he’s coming off a week of McDonald’s events straight into Hoop Summit. There may have been some fatigue or disinterest, so feel free to take all of this with a grain of salt. During the practices, he looked like a shell of the player that dominated McDonald’s and FIBA U17 with his motor, defense, and aggression. He was just going through the motions. There wasn’t a sharpness to his practice and the shot was all over the place. He was still the charismatic leader from before, but he didn’t look like the kid who has been getting rave reviews about his work ethic.
That is until the games started. Once the whistle blew, Holland turned into a completely different animal. It was like the full moon came out and turned him into the ravaging beast capable of disrupting a game through sheer force of will. His defense was tenacious, his open-court speed was blinding, and his shot was even falling consistently. It may have just been a rough week of practice for him, or he might just be a guy who hits a different gear when the lights come on.
Andrej Stojakovic – G 6’6” Stanford
Stojakovic was one of the weirder evaluations of the week. Given who his dad is, the expectations for his shot are almost unrealistic. Even putting that to the side, coming away with a solidified opinion of it feels impossible. He has a funky release where he shoots from the left side of his face despite being right-handed. When it went in, it was absolutely gorgeous. When it missed, it was a brutal miss. Really high-level analysis there, I know, but it’s true. There weren’t really any narrow misses or lucky bounces. It was mostly an all-or-nothing transaction. Looking long-term, I lean toward buying in on him being a really good shooter. The biggest reason why is that he was working on it. It wasn’t just standstill stuff either. He was consistently warming up (after form shooting) with movement, off the bounce, and off-balance shooting drills.
That work ethic carried over to the rest of his game as well. He was consistently finishing toward the front of the group in sprints, competed on defense, and really cared about the ball-handling and live-dribble passing drills. Every time he screwed up, you could tell it pissed him off. Not in a way that affected his play, but in a way that showed he cared about doing it right. Stojakovic could really benefit from a few years in college, but he has the tools to grow into a quality role player.
Bronny James – G 6’3” Undecided
James had an unbelievable shooting performance at McDonald’s, so it wasn’t shocking that the shot fell off a bit. The calling card with James right now is his defense and athleticism. James was physically one of the more impressive players there. He is very strong and effortlessly gets off the ground. He also has exceptional defensive footwork, instincts, and physicality. These traits alone should get him minutes on a college team.
Offensively, James is at his best as an off-ball scorer. The shot is much more consistent when shooting off the catch than the bounce. His pull-ups tend to be more erratic, and he hasn’t shown a consistent ability to create. He is a smart passer who sees the floor well, but the accuracy of his passing still needs a lot of work. James consistently did the little things that contribute to winning basketball and continues to look like a legitimate NBA prospect.
Justin Edwards – F 6’7” Kentucky
If Edwards wasn’t labeled as the #1 overall recruit for ESPN, there would likely be a lot more excitement about his game—which is both not his fault at all, and another reason why rankings can be really dumb/misleading. There aren’t any earth-shattering takeaways from Edwards’ game other than he just gets how to play. His shot is effortlessly beautiful. He showed some flashes of on-ball creation for himself and others, but he was more natural and effective off-ball. The most impressive aspect of his week, though, was his defense. He covers tremendous ground as an off-ball defender and has absurd instincts. He then has the awareness and skill to quickly turn those defensive disruptions quickly into points going the other way. This class doesn’t necessarily have the dominant #1 recruit like other years have, but if Edwards instead had a #8 next to his name, people would surely be questioning, why is everyone sleeping on Edwards?
Isaiah Collier – G 6’4” USC
Collier could be one of the most physically dominant point guards we’ve seen in a while. He isn’t a super explosive vertical athlete, but his first step is as if he’s been shot out of a cannon. Paired with his linebacker-esque frame, Collier gets to the rim essentially whenever he wants to. What sets Collier apart from most guards of this mold is that he is a stunning playmaker out of drives. He doesn’t only look to get his; he has tremendous floor awareness and a natural ability to find shooters or cutters out of drives. It’s going to be frustrating, but the cliché with him all year is going to be “if the shot comes around.” It’s an unfortunate reality, but Collier’s shot has to see significant improvement this season, especially from the free-throw line.
Mackenzie Mgbako – F 6’8” Undecided
Mgbako is easily going to be one of the most frustrating evaluations. He has a gorgeous shot and tremendous scoring potential. He also has some massive mental lapses that make you want to pull your hair out. In one scrimmage, he executed a perfect back cut that they just worked on in practice but proceeded to offer zero resistance against a drive on the subsequent possession. His tools are pretty insane, but the real test is if he can prove he can execute the little things.
Surprise Standout – Carter Bryant – F 6’7” #34 ESPN Class of 2024
Before their direct matchup, both the USA and World teams scrimmaged against the Portland Generals, constructed by Pro Insight. Bryant is a 17-year-old and was the most impressive player on that team. He played excellent defense, and his shot looked really good. For Friday’s scrimmage, Bryant was one of the first players in the gym warming up and continued on for about another hour after the scrimmage with Drew Fielder on shooting drills. Once the World team finally kicked Bryant off of their hoop, he continued running lengths of the floor while dribbling for another 20 or so minutes. It was a really impressive all-around performance from a young man (the youngest in the gym) who clearly knew the opportunity he had. Dillon Jones, Koren Johnson, Josiah Lake, Carey Booth, and Jaylin Stewart all had moments that definitely made viewers take note, but Bryant stole the show.
DaJuan Wagner Jr – 6’3” Kentucky
Another tough week for Wagner who struggled shooting and finishing all week. His ball-handling was shifty, and he had a good first step. He continued to show steps in the right direction on defense. However, if he isn’t scoring, his scalability is questionable.
Aden Holloway – 6’2” Auburn
Funky shotput release with a slight pause at his shoulder on his jumper. He has good touch, and it goes in a lot but not sure how translatable it will be off the bounce and off movement. The big surprise with him, though, was his off-ball movement. He was constantly running off screens and cutting.
London Johnson – 6’3” G-League Ignite
Very quiet week for Johnson. He was often on the far side of the gym and never really popped during play. Showed some flashes and consistency as a stabilizing presence, but he never really had a moment.
Cody Williams – 6’8” Colorado
Like Risacher, Williams looked a bit out of place in this setting. He was very shy and quiet all week. Still very raw, but it isn’t difficult to imagine him sprouting into one hell of a player in the near future. He’s still growing into his frame, but his IQ was really impressive. Made some gorgeous passes, especially in transition, and played solid defense. He needs to fill out and figure out the shot, but there’s a lot to like in the long run.
Sean Stewart – 6’8” Duke
Stewart was one of the better rebounders but didn’t do much to show the versatility in his game. He was stuck playing a lot of center, which didn’t help, but he looked mostly like a role player.
Eric Dailey Jr – 6’7” Oklahoma State
Dailey had a really peculiar week where he didn’t do much of anything the first couple of days. Late in the week, though, Dailey came into his own. In one scrimmage he knocked down a handful of threes in a row and sprinkled a beautiful bounce pass through traffic to a cutter. After another scrimmage, he spent about half an hour shooting, and it went in quite a bit.
Taylor Bol Bowen – 6’9” Florida State
If you saw just a lineup of the player’s pictures, this would immediately be your first pick of who is going to Florida State. He’s super lengthy and springy. The shot is really funky, but it goes in a good amount and the form is consistent. He’ll fit right in.
Ibrahima Sacko – 6’6” Undecided
It was a tough week for Sacko who really struggled with his shot. He looked like an excellent athlete and a really good defender. There just wasn’t much to offer on offense, unfortunately. The best story, though, was one practice they broke off into groups of 3-4 and had a shooting drill where they had to make X number of shots and the winners didn’t run. He made only a couple of shots at best, but the final spot was a half-courter. On his first attempt, he pulled up like a normal jumper and drained it.
Alex Toohey – 6’8” Gonzaga
It sounds cliché but Toohey just does a bit of everything. He plays within himself on offense, is a good defender, and solid rebounder. The shot was a little inconsistent but don’t think it’ll be a problem down the road.
Tough Environment for the Bigs
Michael Nwoko – 6’10” Miami
This is not a favorable environment for centers, so the fact that none of these guys really impressed isn’t an indictment on them. Nwoko was the biggest standout, though, with his awesome performance in the game. He’s incredibly strong and proved to be a stout rebounder. In a bit more structure, he could really make an impact for Miami in a year or so.
Baye Fall – 6’10” Arkansas
Fall was always the first one down the floor in transition. He worked really hard, has great length, and is really springy. He’s just very raw, very skinny, and is missing a shot. Looks like a very fun ball of clay that could be molded into a unique piece of art.
Yves Missi – 6’11” Baylor
Missi was another big who looked very raw. He’s a good rebounder and reliable defender with good strength, but he’ll likely have a very limited role early on at Baylor.
Blake Buchanan – 6’10 Virginia
Despite looking quiet and shy, Buchanan had some really impressive and powerful moments. He’s an excellent athlete who could provide some defensive versatility down the line. The shot and offensive skills need some work, though.
Thanks. Unsurprisingly, fine brief points which gives the reader a point to start following these kids. Given his pedigree, obvious skills and fantastic body Cody Williams will be the specific one I’ll follow closely. I wonder what he will look like in 2 years.