Recent Highlights From Three Of UofL’s Four 2019 Commits

Samuell Williamson

Samuell Williamson
Photo Courtesy of Samuell Williamson’s Twitter Account (@S_Williamson35)

Two weekends ago, Chris Mack picked up a huge commitment from 2019 4 Star SF Samuell Williamson. The 6’6 Texas native is 45th ranked player in the 2019 class per 247sports composite rankings.

He’s a top 50 recruit who, to be honest, might be a bit underrated. I say this because Williamson just participated in a fall league game and showed off some of his amazing skills. Ballislife.com had the highlights.

Williamson shows off his athleticism with some nice dunks; including one where he is on a breakaway and takes off from just past the foul line. It was also displayed with blocked shots in his highlights. He blocks one shot while manning up the opposing player. Then he comes in from the weak side to block an opposing player from behind a couple of different times.

He displays his excellent ball handling skills using some change of pace dribbling and a quick first step to beat defenders to spots and get clean looks at the basket.

His shot making is put on full display as well. He hits a nice rhythm midrange jumper off the bounce in one highlight. In another, he displays his versatility and posts up a smaller guard; he fakes a spin move to his left, goes right, beats the defender to a spot, and hits a beautiful midrange jumper. As I said in my commitment breakdown of his game, his shot is pure. It was noticeable in the open practice at the Yum Center.

One other trait noticeable in the highlights that I noticed at that practice was his movement without the ball. You see him go back door for a dunk and also have an alley oop dunk because of his ability to find open spots in the defense. A lot of young guys have to work on movement without the ball, but Williamson seems to already understand how to do it and do it well.

Williamson is definitely a player that has the skill to be a top flight wing player in the ACC. He’s a player that has elite athleticism that is partnered with an excellent understanding of the game.

Josh Nickelberry

Josh Nickelberry
Photo Courtesy of Coach CB Williams Twitter Account (@CoachCBWilliams)

Josh Nickelberry was the first commit for Chris Mack in 2019. He committed way back at the end of May. The NC native has never wavered in his commitment and has been a great recruiter for the program. The 6’4 Star G is the 96th ranked player in 2019 per 247sports composite rankings.

Nickelberry dropped in the latest rankings, but make no mistake he is still very good. If Mack taps his potential, he will easily outplay his ranking. His highlights demonstrate this in my opinion.

What you notice first and foremost about Nickelberry in these highlights is his shooting. He hits shots off the dribble and off the catch. You see him hit quite a few with guys right in his face. The form is near perfect and it doesn’t change. He’s like a machine in terms of mechanics.

His shooting ability feeds his ability to drive to the rim. When there, we see Nickelberry finish with a highlight dunk that displays his athleticism. Also, Nickelberry is strong enough to finish through contact. There are a few times he is bumped pretty hard on layups and still makes them easily.

Nickelberry shows his rebounding ability a few times, crashing in from the wing to collect defensive rebounds. His strength is also showcased in this regard. As Mack is a pack line guy who wants the other team to take contested shots and his entire team to rebound them, Nickelberry shows he is capable of playing G for Mack in regards to rebounding.

Nickelberry is a game changing shooter with a streak of toughness. As he develops under Mack, he can become an elite level scorer with his shooting ability and strength.

Jaelyn Withers

Jaelyn Withers
Photo Courtesy of Jaelyn Withers Twitter Account (@jaelyn_durant)

Withers, a versatile F, committed to UofL back on September 9th. He’s a guy that, much like Williamson, can do a little of everything.

Withers is likely going to be a player many look back on and wonder why he was ranked so low. It’s not out of the realm of possibility Withers makes an All-ACC First team; maybe even multiple times.

Withers is a player that dunks like Trez, but has the game we expected Deng Adel to have. He will post you up low and score with a baby hook or turnaround jumper or face you up on the block, make a move, and dunk.

Withers will play on the wing and either catch and shoot 3s or drive to the basket and score. Of course, he may pull up and hit a jumper as well. In fact, he’s not afraid to shoot 3s off the dribble. He has a great shooting stroke that will allow him to play a stretch PF some at UofL.

He can handle the ball well for his size and could be trusted to bring the ball up against pressure. His ball handling makes him capable of also playing the SF or even SG position. Occasionally, he could even be coached to be a point forward type player.

Make no mistake, Withers isn’t a finesse player. He loves to be down around the rim, banging around and grabbing rebounds. He particularly, as Trez was, a good offensive rebounder. He loves gathering the misses of teammates and getting put back baskets. His physical nature makes him a great finisher around the rim. He’s just so strong.

Defensively, he can likely guard at least three positions on the floor, but definitely two. He’s quick enough to guard a SG and strong enough to guard a PF. His potential versatility defensively is a weapon.

Withers could be the steal of this class. With his size, strength, and versatility, Mack could mold him into a bona fide star. Time will tell, but regardless UofL got themselves a high-caliber player.

 

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