Starting at midnight on June 15th, coaches can begin making unlimited phone calls (among other methods of communication) to members of the class of 2016. Prior to this date contact was pretty well regulated for members of that class. Who a coach calls on June 15th will be a pretty good indication to the player and fans of a particular program what player(s) are being made a priority for 2016.
Ed Cooley will be out in Colorado coaching the USA Basketball U18 squad until June 26th but here are four candidates from the class of 2016 to get a call from Ed Cooley on June 15th:
Jalen Lindsey’s former teammate at CPA in Nashville, Braxton Blackwell is having a really solid AAU season running with the Atlanta Celtics who compete in the Adidas Grassroots events. So far during the Spring, Blackwell and the Celtics have played in Dallas, Indianapolis and Orlando.
He is a consensus top 30 player in the class of 2016 per the ranking services. Rivals has him at 29th and ESPN has him at 25th.
Another former teammate of Jalen Lindsey’s, though this time from Huntington Prep in West Virginia, Miles Bridges has had one of the better Spring AAU seasons of anyone in the country in the class of 2016. He is running with The Family on the AAU circuit and he has carried them at times throughout the Nike EYBL season. His numbers from the 16 games he played in the EYBL regular season are 14.1 ppg on 46.7% from the field 6.7 rpg 1.0 spg, 1.4 bpg in 27.9 mpg. He has hit a number of game tying or winning shots and had a 17 point, 15 rebound game against Team SCAN in May in Hampton, VA.
Bridges has shot up the player rankings in the class of 2016 as well. He cracked the top 10 in the ESPN rankings released on June 4th, coming in at number 8 overall in the class. The Rivals list has him at 33rd but it was released March 28th which was about a month before the Spring AAU season began. I would expect him to rise rapidly on their list if he keeps playing like he has.
Another player that may be getting a call from Ed Cooley is Blackwell’s AAU teammate, Joshua Langford. Langford is a force. Plain and simple. He is a consensus top 25 player in the class right now and has finally been able to fully showcase his game after dealing with some injuries. He was Mr. Basketball in Alabama as a freshman in 2013. His high national ranking is largely due to his past play and reputation but he is now fully healthy and reinforcing that ranking. ESPN moved him up to 11th while Rivals has him at 21st.
If you haven’t noticed by now, the Atlanta Celtics are LOADED on the AAU circuit. Kobi Simmons is teammates with Blackwell and Langford on that Celtics squad. PC has offered 4 out of the 5 starters from the team (Kaiser Gates is another highly ranked 2016 player) and with good reason. Simmons is a big play-making point guard, measuring 6’4. He was on the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team and recently was in Treviso, Italy playing in the Adidas EuroCamp. He is ranked 28th by Rivals and 29th by ESPN in the class.
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