On June 9th 2020, ESPN dropped the ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2023 and everyone and their mother was expecting Mikey Williams to be the unanimous 1st in the class. But he wasn’t DJ Wagner and Jalen Lewis were ranked above him, so I wanted to learn more about these two guys and see if they were in fact better then Mikey Williams. To be honest so far in his freshman year Mikey Williams looks like a top 5 player in the country and the fact that there were 2 people in front of him in his class shocked me. So today I’ll be telling you about these two mystery men and give you an explanation of why they were ranked above Mikey.
#1 DJ Wagner: The 6’3 165 lbs PG from Camden NJ is the son of Dajuan Wagner. Dajuan was picked by the Cavaliers with the 6th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He played 4 seasons in the NBA, 3 years with the Cavs and 1 year with the Warriors. So DJ has the genetics of an NBA player and you can see it. Wagner is an athletic PG that isn’t afraid of taking it to the hole, plus he can dunk already. Would I say he’s more athletic than Mikey, well Mikey has more vertical but DJ definitely got him in the speed compartment. DJ also has a smooth jumper, he has a really good catch and shoot ability for his position and age. He knows how to get open for himself off ball, he’s a willing passer. I’m not really sure about his handles but his speed can definitely get him around his defender. If I had to compare him to a modern day PG it would have to be a Kemba Walker, Kemba likes attacking the basket and he can shoot the longball in catch in shoot scenarios. I think he’s above Mikey is because there is a lot to work with when it comes to DJ, if DJ added a bigger frame he could become a Russell Westbrook with a jump shot. DJ could also become like a 6’5 – 6’6 when he’s done growing. Sky’s the limit for this kid.
#2 Jalen Lewis: Ok so can we change the definition of “a man amongst boys” to Jalen Lewis playing basketball in his age group. Jalen Lewis is a 6’8 220 lbs PF playing for Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland CA. Did I mention he’s 6’8 at the age of 15? Jalen is the complete package for a college program, he can shoot, he can catch lobs, he can block shots, and can clean the boards. This kid with DJ Wagner and Mikey Williams could be interchangeable with the top 3 players. His jumper is pretty smooth, it has a KD look to it, he can pull up in transition, he can make a fader. His shot blocking looks pretty good but could use some more polishing as he grows up. The really scary thing about Jalen is that he’ll get taller and better which means he could actually be the next Kevin Durant with some muscle on his arms. I see the reasons for Jalen being above Mikey solely because of his height and his potential with him growing as a basketball player and physically as whatever planet he comes from. Plus he already has an offer from Kansas from when he was 14. Again I’ll have to compare him to a young Kevin Durant, because his ability to shoot over people with ease.