As the month of July comes to a close, so does the period when coaches can watch recruits play across the country. Highlighted by the Peach Jam, Team USA FIBA competition and the Las Vegas tournaments, NBC Sports handed out awards for who was the best of the best from the 2017 class.
The best guard of the summer is Calipari’s top point guard prospect, Trae Young.
Part of the reason that Porter (named NBC’s MVP) was so good during Peach Jam is that he had Trae Young beside him on MoKan. A 6-foot-1 guard with deep shooting range on pull-ups, Young is underrated as a setup guy as his aggressive scoring capabilities open up a lot of offense for his teammates. Also a member of the USA U18 team that won gold with Porter, if Young shoots it that efficiently from three-point range in the future, he’ll be in the discussion among the best guards in the class.
During the Peach Jam, I didn’t see a better guard in the gym, yet most recruiting services don’t even place Young in the top 20 overall. Young’s Team USA teammate, shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, was tabbed as an honorable mention on the wing.
The best big man award was delivered to DeAndre Ayton. The 7-foot Wildcat target beat his greatest competition consecutively — Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter and Mitchell Robinson — to advance to the Peach Jam Final Four.