Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, two of Canada’s top basketball prospects both performed well at recent events.
The fine folks at Flagrant Fouls had a nice recap of how they and other Canadians did at the AAU Super Showcase.
Of Wiggins they say:
“Wiggins played 16′s this week for the first time this summer and helped lead a loaded Bounce squad to the Championship on ESPNU. He’s learning to play harder and harder and as a result is punishing his opponents. At the 16u age group Andrew should be illegal, as his freakish athleticism, terrific basketball instincts, and length make him a game changer. The one area where he still needs a lot of growth is in his understanding of helpside defense. Florida State, Syracuse, Pitt, North Carolina, Kentucky, and way more were posted up at his games this week.”
I still believe that it would have been nice to see Wiggins play for Canada’s U-19 team at the FIBA Worlds this summer since he is a good enough prospect that all the big schools are already after him (meaning he doesn’t need the camp exposure like other Canadians), but what’s done is done.
ESPN also weighed in on Wiggins:
“Wiggins is an extremely talented player for a rising sophomore. He is a tremendous athlete who plays well above the rim and had three monster dunks in the championship game. He is a solid shooter to 17 feet, but needs to improve his range. He has the ability to dominate inside 17 feet, is a good slasher and can rebound. Overall, Wiggins is one of the best rising sophomores in North America.”
They also spoke highly of Brampton’s Tyler Ennis:
“He is an impact combo guard who is wired to score. Ennis is a good slasher who finds a way to get in the lane and put the ball in the basket. He has range on his jumper to 20 feet and he can create off the dribble for himself and others. Ennis has a chance to be one of the better guards in the 2013 class.”
Wiggins, Ennis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes of Scarborough stood out as CIA Bounce (Toronto) beat Garner Roads (North Carolina) 66-55 in the final of the tournament. Wiggins had 28 in the game.
- Crown wrapped up the LeBron James Skills Academy, where Wiggins and Anthony Bennett (Brampton), Canada’s top prospects of any age group (along with Myck Kabongo and Khem Birch) at the moment, did well.
Apparently Wiggins wasn’t as dominant against the older competition as he was playing against those his age, but still showed huge promise and held his own.
Bennett has seen his stock go on a meteoric rise and continues to back it up:
“This has been the summer of Anthony Bennett. No player in North America has seen their stock sky rocket like he has. With momentum flowing, he used the Skills Academy to sustain his new found status. You would have a hard time trying to find a more explosive big man in the whole camp than Bennett. He is a handful for opposing bigs.”
- Elsewhere, Toronto’s Northern Kings AAU team won the U-16 title at the FAB 48 Tournament at Las Vegas. I believe this is the same event Grassroots Canada featuring Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Olu Ashaolu won a few years ago. The Northern Kings are largely made up of Oakwood Collegiate and Eastern Commerce players but Martingrove star Connor Gilmore also stood out, along with a few other players.
- Toronto’s Kyle Johnson, who averaged about 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 35% from three over four strong seasons at Long Island University has decided to play internationally for Great Britain. He is playing for their development team and doing quite well, leading the team in scoring most games. Johnson is a former member of the Northern Kings, as is Canadian national team scoring guard Jevohn Sheppard.
- In pro ball news, Dwight Howard is working out with Hakeem Olajuwon for the second summer in a row. That should do wonders for his game. Howard was better offensively than ever this past season, while still dominating defensively.
- Former Butler star Matt Howard has signed with Olympiacos in Greece.
- Canada isn’t the only country with problems getting insurance. Australia was not able to get insurance for star centre Andrew Bogut (no surprise since he has an unfortunate history of constantly being hurt), so Bogut will be an assistant coach instead.