AAU season is approaching as we all know and will officially begin for most states in the next couple of weeks soon as school ball is all said and done with. We catch up with Team Melo (MD), of the Nike EYBL, recruiting coordinator to get an update on their big three’s recruitment of 2020 F Isaiah Todd, 2020 F Che Evans, and 2020 F Justin Lewis. Team Melo (MD) is a grassroots program out of the Baltimore, Maryland area and yes it is the same name that is affiliated with NBA star Carmelo Anthony.
“This is first time we have had three top-100 kids on the same 17U squad since Baltimore Elite was the name”, says Dwayne Wise. He tells me Josh Selby, Will Barton, and Roscoe Smith were the last three top-100 kids that played together on the EYBL circuit for Baltimore Elite for the 2010 class. Todd, Evans, and Lewis could be the next big three for this program as the Team Melo name has been around now for a few years.
2020 F Isaiah Todd of Trinity Academy (NC) – 6-foot-10 forward Isaiah Todd has been one of the top players in his class since he came into high school. The junior forward is in his first season at Trinity Academy in North Carolina after transferring from Virginia powerhouse John Marshall (VA) where he won their state championship last season. Todd’s recruitment , according to Team Melo (MD) recruiting coordinator Dwayne Wise, has soared since joining Team Melo (MD) late July of last year. He has offers currently from Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, Oklahoma State, NC State, and plenty more. His latest offers are from North Carolina and Kentucky and although Duke has not officially offered him yet, they are certainly interested. Maryland, Oregon, and Oklahoma State are just a few schools that have been in contact with him the most. Isaiah has a very special talent at 6-foot-10. How talented is he? Well NBA scouts have been drooling over him and he is certainly a future lottery pick in the next couple of years. Isaiah is in the process right now of possibly reclassifying up to the 2019 class, but that decision has not officially been made just yet. He is an extremely versatile forward who is able to defend every position on the floor at his size. He does show some Kevin Durant intangibles offensively and is an elite scorer for a kid his size. Each of these schools listed view him as a priority whether he stays 2020 or reclass to 2019 but again either way he will be in that future lottery pick conversation.
2020 F Che Evans of Dulaney High School (MD) – Junior forward Che Evans had recently cut his list of schools to six which included Texas Tech, Florida, Ohio State, TCU, Boise State, and UCLA. With UCLA firing their head coach at the time, other schools have been in contacts with the 6-foot-7 forward over the last couple of months. “Schools are coming hard for Che regardless of those final six schools he announced that were on his list” says Dwayne Wise. Evans recent offer came from another west coast school and that was Oregon State. Louisville and Texas Tech have been into visit recently and Vanderbilt is sure to offer next once they have set up an official visit. Che has a unique talent and holds a Jayson Tatum like body with his height and physical tools. “Scouts are hot on Che due to his ability to catch and shoot and creativity off the bounce” says Dwayne Wise. In terms of pro potential, I don’t see Che being in college no more than two years. His work ethic and natural ability to put the ball in the hole is why he is a dark horse in the 2020 class and could potentially have a stock rising spring and summer. At last summer’s Pangos All American Camp, Evans teamed in the backcourt with Georgia commit 2019 prospect Anthony Edwards and he was still able to find ways to score und and wowed scouts with his efficiency. Che has been made a priority by Boise State, who has compared him to recent top-25 draft pick Chandler Hutchinson (Chicago Bulls). Texas Tech and Florida have also been in touch with the junior forward recenlty. “His mom Anika Middleton and dad Che Evans Sr are very influential, so I’m thinking a decision will come after the high School season, before AAU starts” says Dwayne Wise.
2020 F Justin Lewis of Baltimore Polytechnic Institue (MD) – Probably one of the most underrated prospect in the class of 2020, Justin Lewis, is ready to display his talents in his last season of AAU in front of the national media this upcoming spring, summer. He holds offers from Florida, Maryland, UCF, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Marquette, UCONN, and others. “His recruitment is going really well” says Dwayne Wise. Justin wanted to focus on academics in the beginning of the school year, therefore he only took officials to Maryland and UCF this past fall. “His hard work in the classroom has bolted his GPA to 3.2 at PolyTech High School according to Dwayne Wise. Maryland, Marquette, Seton Hall, UConn, Georgetown and Virginia Tech have made him a priority. “Coaches who have reached out to me recently about Justin include Gonzaga, Louisville, Washington and Butler” says Dwayne Wise. Dwayne also told me Justin is one of the youngest in his class and one of the few who did not reclassify early. Sitting at 6-foot-8 or maybe even taller, Justin holds gifted athleticism and has improved on his jumper and his range on the floor. His body frame is certainly a major priority for the 16-year old but he has tremondous upside. “We played Lewis on 17U EYBL last year and he showed he belong at just 16-years old. Out in Las Vegas at the Jordan 8, he flat out put on a show and which is where Marquette and VTech offers were extended” says Dwayne Wise. Lewis has also attended the USA mini camp four times and is also a strong candidate for player of the year in his high school league. “Justin is my younger cousin, so I will assist him as much as possible before he chooses his college destination. I expect him to be an immediate impact and 2 way player wherever he lands” says Dwayne Wise.
We asked Dwayne Wise who are some of the programs upcoming top-150 talents and he said class of 2021 prospect Ryan Conway is already ranked in the top-100 by 247 Sports and is expect big things from 6-foot-7 forward Isaiah “Ike” Cornish. Freshman Cam Whitemore, a 6-foot-6 forward of Spalding High School (MD) is already on USA Today radar and top-100 nationally in his class. Class of 2023 Kwame Evans Jr, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard, is a special talent and younger cousin of Che Evans. “KJ as we call him, was a top-30 selection as an 8th grader at recent Pangos Fresh/Soph Camp. He is also a standout mention at MadeHoops as well as Elevate Hoops Middle School Leagues” says Dwayne Wise. “I already put the call in to every top high school scout such as Evan Daniels of 247 sports, Eric Bossi and Corey Evans (Rivals), as well Adam Finklelstein ESPN” he tells me. He also tells me that they already are aware and know that I do NOT call for 8th graders unless they are special.