Five-star big man K.J. Evans breaks down his top 5 during EYBL Session 1 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / June 20.
  • Five-star big man K.J. Evans breaks down his top 5 during EYBL Session 1

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    ORLANDO, Fla. –– Five star prospect and Baltimore native Kwame Evans Jr. is known for his wide ranging offensive arsenal and deft left-handed stroke from beyond the arc.

    The 6-foot-9, 195-pound Evans is a unique threat as a floor spreader. He shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range on the EYBL circuit last season. He has simultaneously learned to embrace contact with his thorough surges to the rim and vertical explosiveness.

    Like Ben Simmons and R.J Barrett and Cade Cunningham before him, Evans has rapidly evolved into a veritable jack of all trades at nearby traditional national power Montverde Academy.

    On Friday, before a sea of onlookers and high major coaches at ESPN World Wide Of Sports Complex here, Evans’ blanketing on-ball pressure on guards and ability to defend nearly every position on the floor was noteworthy.

    “Coach (Kevin) Boyle really emphasizes defense in our system,” Evans said.

    “He wants you to do it all if you’ve got it all.”

    With Montverde national team’s previous roster being thoroughly cleansed and numerous new blood entering the program, the 17-year-old Evans said he might actually be the longest tenured and seasoned incoming senior.

    Thus, he’s cognizant the leadership role is there for the taking.

    “Coach Boyle, no question he wants me to be a leader out there,” Evans said. “He wants me to score the ball, play defense, and keep everyone in line.”

    Evans recently whittled a monstrous list of high major offers down to five: Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Auburn, and UCLA. He spoke with ZAGSBLOG Friday on the ongoing process with each program:

    Indiana: “The system that they run for Trayce Jackson up there, it’s an NBA system. A lot of scouts go through there. Coach (Mike) Woodson, he can help a lot of people get to the league.”

    Kentucky: “I’ve been there, on an official visit. Coach Cal and I toured it all. He wants me to come in there, do what I’ve got to do, get my work in and go to the league. Really, Coach Cal just wants me to be me.”

    Oregon: “My friend (2023 five star forward) Marquis Cook is going there. I like to play with him. We’ll see how that goes. We’ll see how it goes when I go up there to visit. Coach (Dana) Altman is calling me most of the time, it’s just a great relationship we have.”

    UCLA: “All schools on my list really, give me the freedom to play position-less. Coach (Mick) Cronin is the same way. I like the location as well, so I want to go out there and visit.

    “I want to see what it’s like out there in LA, I haven’t been out there. They want me to play 4-3, but like I said all schools want to play that way. So it’s position-less.”

    Auburn: “My relationship with the staff there is great. They text me every day. They want to know how I’m doing, on the court and off it. Coach BP (Bruce Pearl) wants to use me like Jabari (Smith). He wants me to do it all, really.”

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