Scouting: King City Classic

Dylan Burkhardt

Joe has been all over the AAU circuit but I managed to make it out to the King City Classic yesterday to check out a couple of Michigan prospects in action. The main Michigan targets playing were Amir Williams, Gary Harris, and Trey McDonald. The King City Classic is essentially an extension of the LeBron James Skills Academy but instead of instruction and scrimmages the campers are split into teams and participate in a tournament. It was probably the last King City Classic in Cleveland, as Mr. James likely made his last appearance in the city until the Heat head to Cleveland.

Several top 10 prospects were playing in Hamburg, Germany for the FIBA U17 so the camp wasn’t quite as loaded as in previous years but the level of play was still very high. As always you can find a full rundown of our summer recruiting content on the AAU Summer Tour page.

Trey McDonald – This was the first time I’ve seen McDonald since the King James Classic in May and it was clear that he’s come a long way. McDonald was listed on the roster at 6-foot-9, 7-foot-0 wingspan, at 204 pounds. McDonald was playing alongside Anthony Davis, one of the fastest rising post prospects in the country. I watched McDonald played two games and it’s clear that he likes to shoot the jumpshot on offense. In the afternoon game he shot it well; he hit a three pointer, an elbow jumper, and converted a hook shot with a foul. In the second game his shot wasn’t working nearly as well but his jumpshot certainly doesn’t look bad for a big man. The biggest hole in his game is that he just isn’t a big enough presence on the glass or the defensive end. Part of this might have been that he was kind of playing the four but he rarely rebounded outside of his area or blocked shots. It’s clear that he’s a hardworker though, he hustles up and down the floor and while he wasn’t the most athletic big man at the camp, he could get up and down the floor well enough.

Amir Williams – Williams disappointed me. He has so much potential but he missed out on an opportunity to prove himself on a big stage. It’s hard for big men to get involved in games like this but Williams did almost nothing on the offensive end in two games. He blocked several shots but that was about the only bright spot. Williams will have more chances to impress this summer, beginning with the Peach Jam on July 12th, but he needs to take it up a notch. Williams has high major offers from all over for a reason, he has so many tools, but it’s time to put it together this summer.

Gary Harris –  Harris had trouble getting involved in both games that I saw him play. He was basically playing the three and really struggled with his jumper in the afternoon contest I saw. In both games he tended to float out to the perimeter and settle for his three point shot often. A lot of this had to be the level of competition and trying to figure out a role. With the D3 Heat, Harris is multifaceted and makes plays in every element of the game — shooting, passing, transition, penetrating, and finishing in the lane. A majority of the players at the camp are 2011 players which means Harris was essentially playing up which could explain some of his tentative play. While Harris struggled a bit, I still love him as a prospect.

  • The other Drew

    Hey guys, not sure if anyone has already touched on this but Deshawn Sims is now with the Dallas Mavericks during the summer. He plays today at 3 pm Central time.

  • Thanks Drew. I had seen that as well, hopefully he can build off his play with the Celtics in that last game.

  • gordie bell

    On Amir Williams; Are there separate camps for the power forwards, and centers to attend. It seems Amir’s time would be better spent working on a post game and other things, instead of watching guards dominate the ball. It is not fun to run up and down the court and never see the ball unless you get a rebound. The coaches need to step up and make sure some semblance of team ball is played in these games.

  • The way Nike does this is that they have camps for each position then come together for the LeBron Camp which is two days of skill development, then 2 days of games in the King City Classic. The thing is just that pick up games like this always favor the littles.

  • AG2

    In light of LeBron James’ self-immolation last night I can’t help but feel like this whole “The Passion of the Cleveland fan” thing is overrated. I mean, last time I checked they still had Ohio State. And besides, if they’re half as bad as people keep claiming when they blame LeBron’s supporting cast for him not winning a title, they won’t have to wait long for another high draft pick to build around. Like Jared Sullinger or something.