CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A lot of big-name underclassmen skipped the NBA Players Top 100 Camp this week for one reason or another. But that also left an opportunity for others to stand out. Here are five under-the-radar underclassmen who won’t be little-known for long:
Kofi Cockburn, Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y: The 6-11 junior was active underneath on the boards and a beast to move off the block. Big-time programs are noticing, too, as UCLA, Duke, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kansas have been in touch lately.
Precious Achiuwa, St. Benedict’s Prep, Newark, N.J.: The 6-8 junior power forward needs a little polish, but he goes hard to the basket and has plenty of hops. He’s the younger brother of former St. John’s player God’s Gift Achiuwa and has even bigger upside. It’s easy to see why he has been climbing the recruiting rankings.
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Armando Bacot, Trinity Episcopal, Richmond, Va.: The junior forward uses his 6-10, 235-pound frame well underneath and has been one of the top rebounders at the camp. He has solid footwork and a variety of low-post moves. He heard from 19 college coaches after midnight on Wednesday, including North Carolina, Villanova, Indiana, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Texas Christian, Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut, Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Memphis and Tennessee.
Luka Samanic, FC Barcelona: The 6-10 forward from Croatia has a well-rounded game. He runs well, has a 32-inch vertical, shoots well from outside, and is willing to mix it up underneath. He’s a strong passer and just needs to get stronger to be more effective.
Hunter Dickinson, DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md.: The 7-foot center is the only freshman at the camp, but he fits right in with the other big men. He runs the floor well, battles for rebounds and has decent court vision. He has already improved since last season.