#OTRHoopsReport: Class of 2017 Signing Week Special – 11/10/16

Class of 2017 forward PJ Washington of Dallas, Texas, signed with Kentucky today. #BBN fans will love his do-it-all style. Photo cred – Jon Lopez/Nike

The second week of November is a big moment for college basketball fans. Most of the nation’s top prospects ink their NLI during this window.  While several 5-star prospects had committed weeks or months before this week (Deandre Ayton – Arizona, Michael Porter – Washington, DJ Harvey – Notre Dame), there is still plenty of intrigue left for this week. Here are the top storylines from the #OTRHoopsReport team.

Signing Day Special

By: @JLHemingwayPSB

Kentucky Lands Three

Coach Calipari has a reputation for swooping in on signing day and scooping up many of the nation’s best. This year he scored three top 50 players. P.J. Washington of Dallas, Texas, is this Kentucky’s highest ranked signee. He played with Team Penny EYBL on the summer circuit and compete with Findlay Prep again this season. Here is our latest evaluation on the versatile 6-8 forward.

PJ Washington Photo: Jon Lopez

Photo: Jon Lopez

Washington is a power forward who produces consistently. He makes shots inside and out of the paint. His 17 points and 11 rebounds were good enough for All EYBL 2nd Team. He only made 7-23 from 3 point range between circuit and Peach Jam play. That is the only area where he could grow in terms of development. – Jonathan Hemingway 7/24/16 

Joining Washington is 6-10 center Nick Richards from The Patrick School in New Jersey. Richards is a post full of offensive potential and a shot changer defensively. Gilgeous-Alexander decommitted from Florida a little over a month ago. Add in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Hamilton Heights in Tennessee. The 6-4 point guard showed dynamic scoring ability as he averaged 16 points a game with Team Portis Wings Elite on the EYBL circuit.

Dawgs Haul in Hammonds

Coach Mark Fox landed a big in-state recruit in 6-7 forward Rayshaun Hammonds of Norcross High School. With Hammonds the Dawgs gain a versatile forward who can affect the game inside and out. The left-handed 4-star prospect is a top 100 player nationally. He concluded a terrific campaign with the Alabama Challenge on the EYBL circuit. Here is our latest evaluation of Hammonds.

Rayshaun Hammonds (Photo by Jon Lopez)

(Photo by Jon Lopez)

Hammonds is a combo forward who can make plays at the top of the key or elbow area. He can score with jumpers or with post ups. His versatility is his strong suit currently. He averaged 18 points per game on the circuit while shooting over 50% from the field. His 8 rebounds per game shows that he can play the frontline and not be afraid of contact. – Jonathan Hemingway 5/24/16

Duke Stocks up on Shooters

The Blue Devils landed Alex O’Connell of Milton, Georgia, earlier this year. The 6-5 guard mixes a great deal of athleticism and scoring ability at the shooting guard position. He told OntheRadarHoops.com this spring that he models his game after Grayson Allen and he will have a chance to follow in his footsteps starting next fall. Today, Duke added one of the best shooters nationally in Gary Trent Jr., of Apple Valley, Minn. Trent Jr. will play his high school ball this season at Prolific Prep in California. Trent led the EYBL circuit in scoring in the spring/summer leading up to his junior year. Here is the latest evaluation on the 5-star guard from this season.

Photo Jon Lopez

Photo Jon Lopez

Trent Jr. can flat out score the ball. He’s a guy who produces even better with a lead guard like Tre Jones on the floor. Jones was out this weekend with an injury. That said, Trent Jr. is averaging 22.2 points, 6.2 rebounds a game. – Brandon Clay 5/24/16

Oregon Lands Brown

The Ducks continue their outstanding recruiting in the PAC-12 conference. Head Coach Dana Altman landed 5-star guard Troy Brown of Las Vegas, Nevada. Brown is a versatile 6-6 guard who can play a number of perimeter positions. This is the fourth straight year that the Ducks have landed a top 50 player. In 2014 it was Dillon Brooks,  in 2015 Tyler Dorsey and in 2016 Payton Pritchard. This is what Brandon Clay had to say about Brown from his year on the EYBL circuit:

Troy Brown Photo: Jon Lopez

Photo: Jon Lopez

Brown will push the ball in transition. He has gotten strong enough to take the bump and still make a play around the rim. He’s averaging 15.9 points a game though shooting under 30%. I see him as a scoring guard longterm with the ability to handle. He’s an elite rebounder at the guard position grabbing 8.8 per game.


Coach Hemi-100-100Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on  twitter @JLHemingwayPSB

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