The Nike EYBL Peach Jam is the top AAU tournament in the country. It serves as an opportunity for college coaches across the nation to measure and evaluate the top recruits during the first July live recruiting period.
Staffs are unable to have direct contact with any players, but it’s their chance to see who is worth prioritizing, while also showing their face at marquee event.
Any coach that was in attendance had to be blown away by the play of two Mokan Elite (MO) talents: small forward Michael Porter Jr. and point guard Trae Young.
The duo combined to score 61 points in the Peach Jam final on Sunday, leading their squad to the title over a loaded PSA Cardinals (NY) squad that featured point guard Quade Green, shooting Brandon Randolph and big man Mohamed Bamba.
And Mokan Elite didn’t just beat PSA, they destroyed them. Porter was dominate in all facets of the game (dropping 33) and Young torched the Cardinals from long range (28 points) to launch their team to a 93-56 win.
So now the discussion turns to the overall picture for both of these 2017 recruits.
Does Porter have a legitimate case to be in the discussion as the number one overall prospect in the class over 7-footer DeAndre Ayton?
Is Young the top point guard in this class even over Trevon Duval?
First, let’s start with Porter, a 6’9″ small forward from Seattle, WA who recently cut his list to five schools (Oklahoma, Washington, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri). With his dad currently coaching at Washington and the connections he has with Lorenzo Romar (Romar is Porter’s Godfather), everyone expects the talented recruit to commit to UW.
And Washington could have the number one recruit in the class of 2017 because Porter sure put himself in the conversation.
He has terrific size for his position at 6’9″, offers great versatility, has outstanding potential defensively to guard multiple positions, is excellent in transition and most importantly, can score from anywhere on the floor. Porter can put the ball in the basket at all three levels: attacking off the bounce and finishing at the rim, pulling up from the mid-range and hitting from downtown.
Porter’s size gives him the advantage in terms of creativity because he can rise up above longer defenders to get his shot off. He is also athletic and long, giving him the perfect combination when finishing at the rim.
Sure, Porter could use extra strength, more toughness and better defensive skills, but there doesn’t seem to be another player with his smoothness offensively. His feel for the game is tremendous and it should translate immediately to the college level in 2017-18.
Then there’s Young, who I truly believe is now right behind Duval as the top point guard in the class of 2017. The narrative for the point guard position in this group is that there is a bit of a drop off after Duval.
That is not the case after the performance that Young put on.
Young is an incredible shooter from the perimeter – quick release and unbelievable range – and is a underrated playmaker and distributor. The 6’1″ point guard finds the open man in transition and is capable of penetrating the lane to kick to his open teammates on the perimeter.
Young doesn’t have the explosion, handles or creativity that Duval has (which is the reason that he has not jumped the Delaware native in the rankings), but he should firmly place himself in the top-20 of ESPN’s top 100 rankings.
The lead guard firmly out-played Green (who is ranked 22nd in the rankings) in the final, as he forced the PSA lead guard into uncharacteristic turnovers and forced three pointers.
Porter and Young were already on the recruiting map before the Peach Jam tournament, however, for experts and coaches who didn’t quite believe they could perform that this level, this was their coming out party.