NEW YORK — After missing Day 1 of the Under Armour Elite 24 practices, Thon Maker more than made up for it on Day 2.
The 7-foot 2016 big man from the Carlisle (Va.) School put on a show in the scrimmage, draining 3-pointers, handling the ball in transition and flushing one dunk after another.
In a game that also featured likely future pros Jaylen Brown, Malik Newman and Stephen Zimmerman, among others, Maker stood out in terms of his raw talent.
“He’s KD on offense and KG on defense,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who watched from courtside along with a throng of other enthralled basketball junkies, told SNY.tv.
Ed Smith, Maker’s legal guardian, has heard the comparisons to Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett before, but he doesn’t necessarily think they’re fair.
“Yeah, I think he’s just gotta be Thon Maker,” Smith told SNY.tv following the scrimmage. “That’s what you have to do. You have to determine just who you’re going to be within the game.”
Maker’s display of dunks and drained 3’s came in an all-star game setting where little to no defense was being played, yet it showcased that Maker will be a special offensive force going forward. He has the skills of a 3 man in the body of a 4 or a 5.
Earlier this month, Maker, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, earned MVP honors in the Adidas Nations championship game after putting up 18 points and 8 rebounds in Team Lillard’s win.
“Also, he’s done it on the Adidas circuit,” Smith said. “I think he had the highest winning percentage. I usually evaluate the wins of the top prospects, and I think he’s if not No. 1, in the top two in terms of his team winning and his team going further. A lot of guys put up more shots, but he covers a lot on the floor. And when you see him put on an offensive show, you know what he sacrifices to get the win as a team.”
Smith said Maker now weighs 205 pounds, but by “next summer we want to be around 215.”
“Still keeping his quickness and his explosiveness,” Smith said.
That will help him battle more in the low post and take hits against bigger, stronger players.
Meantime, it’s still possible Maker could reclass to 2015 but that seems unlikely at this point.
“That’s a work in progress with our academic partners to see what happens with that,” Smith said.
On the recruiting front, Smith said Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Indiana are working the hardest.
“I think for us, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Indiana were really present all through the summer,” Smith said. “They put in the most effort in terms of recruiting. They’re trying to find out how serious he is with them.”
Smith said Maker plans to cut his list “probably by the end of September.” He recently visited UCLA and may also take a visit to N.C. State for a football game sometime this fall.
**Derrick Jones was expected to arrive later Friday for Saturday’s game. He is the only player in the game yet to arrive after Brown, Newman and Maker came for Friday’s practice.
**The event also features a Dunk contest, Skills contest and Three-Point contest that will take place on Friday (tonight) that will be carried live on ESPN3 and will re-air on ESPNU on Saturday at noon ET.