Tristan

Looking back at the high school scouting reports for Cavs rising stars

On Thursday, I took a look back through the high school basketball archives for the Bleacher Report NBA team.

In doing so, I compiled a list of high school scouting reports for 13 of this season's All-Stars.

Included in that group is the pride of St. Patrick's High School in New Jersey—Kyrie Andrew Irving.

The excerpt on Irving from my B/R article on Thursday is below:

Before an 11-game collegiate career at Duke, Kyrie Irving was a standout point guard for St. Patrick High School in New Jersey.
 
It was there, according to Scout.com, where Irving began to earn the reputation as a "big-game player," among other accolades:
 
"Elite level guard. High school coach once said he'd be the top guard ever to come out of New Jersey. Can score and pass equally well. Finishes with athleticism and explosiveness. He's a major impact player nationally."
 
He's become a major impact player in the NBA in less than two seasons. As a 20-year-old, he could find himself starting at point guard for the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Houston in relief of Rajon Rondo.

Later, in the afternoon—during a day dream where Tyler Zeller emphatically finishes off a half-court lob pass in the Rising Stars game from Dion Waiters only after Tristan Thompson checks out for a short breather—I began to wonder how exactly the high school scouting reports read for the rest of the Cavs' heading to Houston for All Star Weekend.

After googling, I found these reports if you're similarly curious, each via Scout.com.

Dion WaitersBig time scoring guard who owns a body built for contact. Can get himself hoops when he needs to. Great first step, accelerates and finishes at the rim. Talented scoring threat.

Tyler Zeller: Made huge strides from his sophomore to junior season. Runs the floor better than anyone in the country in 2008, has a diverse skill package and his size and academics have always been attractive. High-major, elite big man who should be in line for post-season accolades.

Tristan Thompson: Combo forward and native of Canada, he's blessed with elite upside. Long wingspan, able to guard three positions including back court players. He's a long term stock.

He's a long-term stock.
 
That line describing Tristan Thompson, true back in 2010 as a member of Findlay Prep, is still true three years later. Thompson has provided plenty of reasons to be bullish moving forward this season specifically, too, as he continues to develop his game.
 
He's not a combo forward anymore, though, but has shown the ability to also play some five.
 
For the Washington High School product, Tyler Zeller, in addition to those notes the report also included "low-block scorer and strength"  as the two areas of improvement for Zeller.  
 
While these skills have improved enough to make him a first round pick, they still need work on the NBA level. In due time,though, I believe it's coming. 

As far as Waiters' report, he does have that body built for contact but needs to keep working on how to use it—when to attack, where to attack, those time and situation related decisions.
 
That, along with an improved shot selection, could help Waiters become the big-time scorer that high school scouts first proclaimed him to be two years ago for the Life Center Academy.
 
For now, though, they'll all be heading to All Star Weekend in Houston.
Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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