Prospect Analysis: USAB JNT Minicamp
In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier spotlights prospects who stood out at USA Basketball Junior National Team Minicamp after spending multiple days on-site in Colorado Springs, Colorado:
After a multi-year hiatus due to COVID, the annual October edition of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Minicamp returned this month with a loaded group of talent. The primary objectives in this structured environment are to get better and embrace the Team USA culture, and minicamp practices provide an excellent opportunity to see how players buy in and measure up for possible spots on the U19, U16 and Nike Hoop Summit teams in 2023. This unique setting is why the majority of NBA teams assign evaluators to get a first-hand look at potential draft prospects. Pro Insight was also on hand to take in all the action as some of the nation’s top players battled it out.
Coen Carr | 2023 | 6’5” Wing | Legacy Early College (SC) *Michigan State commit
In an event structured to get the most out of highly-ranked prospects, it was Coen Carr who redefined what playing with energy meant throughout the weekend. A wrecking ball of intensity and pogo stick athleticism, Carr wasn’t there to make friends on the court, but to show why he belonged. While the jumper and perimeter skills are still a work in progress, Carr does an excellent job playing to his strengths and thrives as an assertive slasher, ferocious finisher, productive rebounder, and high motor defender. The fit with Michigan State and Tom Izzo couldn’t be more perfect as Carr encapsulates much of the ‘Spartan Dawg’ culture, already. Expect him to quickly endear himself to fans and scouts alike when he gets to East Lansing.
Layden Blocker | 2023 | 6’2” Guard | Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) *Arkansas commit
At 6’2” and 170 pounds, Layden Blocker is a force full of energy who plays much bigger than his listed height might suggest. A fierce competitor, Blocker especially excels defensively as he pressures the ball beyond half-court, creating havoc in passing lanes. As one who continues to rise up the rankings thanks to his underdog approach, Blocker relishes each opportunity to measure himself against his peers and show he belongs with the best. Offensively, Blocker is hyper quick with the ball and is constantly looking to push the pace and put pressure on the rim. While he showed glimpses of stretching the floor and quarterbacking the offense throughout the weekend, Blocker is still developing in those areas, but projects to be a tough cover once all aspects of his game are dialed in. Look for Blocker to have a big senior season with Sunrise Christian Academy as he makes a push for five-star status and a return to GEICO Nationals.
Annor Boateng | 2024 | 6’5” Wing | Little Rock Central (AR)
Similar to Blocker and Carr, Annor Boateng separated himself from the group primarily due to his high motor and two-way potential. At 6’4” 200 lbs with a near 6’11” wingspan, Boateng automatically pops as someone with pro level tools at the guard spot. In conjunction with his high level athleticism and gritty approach to the game, Boateng excels at slashing to the hoop, out-rebounding his position and embracing defensive assignments. Sprinkle in his improving 3pt efficiency and budding perimeter skills and you get a player who’s tough not to like. Only a junior, Boateng returns to Little Rock Central as a newly minted five star recruit and with an eagerness to win a state title after falling to Nick Smith Jr. and North Little Rock in the semifinals last season.
Jared McCain | 2023 | 6’3” Guard | Corona Centennial (CA) *Duke commit
No stranger to the USA Basketball philosophy, Jared McCain returned to participate in the JNT Minicamp after winning a gold medal in the FIBA U18s this summer in Tijuana, Mexico. Amidst a group of talented guards, McCain’s poise and leadership helped set the tone for practices and scrimmages. At 6’3”, McCain is a cerebral floor general who continues to gain a better understanding of how to manipulate defenses as a playmaker, get to his spots as a creator and remain aggressive as a scorer. He quickly emerged as a go-to-guy anytime he was on the court and was intentional about making the most of his opportunities in front of numerous NBA evaluators. Look for the future Duke guard to have a statement year with a deep Corona Centennial squad as they pursue another CIF title.
Tyler Smith | 2023 | 6’10” Forward | Overtime Elite
One of the more all-around skilled upperclassmen in attendance, Overtime Elite product Tyler Smith instantly captures your attention due to his blend of smooth body mechanics, 6’10” frame and guard-like perimeter skills. As a versatile offensive threat, Smith has the ability to act as a lob target around the basket, knock down open shots, attack closeouts, and grab-and-go on occasion. Smith has an innate knack of making the game look easy at times and rarely forces the issue as a scorer. In addition to his offensive skill, Smith possesses the natural tools to be a disruptive defender, which he shows flashes of when covering ball screens and quickly cutting off lanes while in help. Smith’s performance surely opened some eyes over the weekend while simultaneously validating the Overtime Elite developmental program.
Cameron Boozer | 2025 | 6’8” Forward | Christopher Columbus (FL)
If there’s anyone to use as an example in favor of changing the NBA draft age requirements to allow prospects to go straight to the pros out of high school, Cameron Boozer would be that guy. Born a pro, Boozer once again established himself as one of the most productive and efficient players in the country in front of the majority of NBA teams. At a listed 6’8” and 227 pounds with a near 7’1” wingspan, he has a knack for making the game look easy due to his advanced feel, inside/outside skill-set, fluidity, high motor, and strong mental approach. In short, Boozer plays with a level of polish and maturity that makes it nearly impossible to grasp that he’s only 15 years old. Expect Boozer to continue his dominance as he embarks on a national schedule with the Christopher Columbus Knights (FL) this season.
AJ Dybantsa | 2026 | 6’8” Forward | St. Sebastian School (MA)
Perhaps the most impressive prospect in attendance not named Cameron Boozer was Massachusetts native AJ Dybantsa, who initially made national waves last season as he was dominating older competition as an 8th grader. A live body with major physical/athletic tools at 6’8”, 185 pounds, a 6’11” wingspan and a versatile two-way package, it’s