With the talented high school class of 2016 enrolling in college and preparing for their freshman season, the attention now circulates to the players of 2017. Compared to the prior two seasons where athletic wings have dominated the high school basketball landscape, the class of 2017 looks to be dominated by either power forwards or centers. Among 247sports top-10 players, seven of them are 6'8 or taller with 7-footer DeAndre Ayton standing as the best player.
6'3 point guard Trevon Duval is one of the lone exceptions to that role. Playing at one of the biggest powerhouses in high school hoops, which featured McDonald's All-American Terrance Ferguson and five-star 2017 prospect Billy Preston, Duval was still able to stand out as one of the elite guards in the entire country.
A lot of that success was due to the unbelievable poise that he shows on both ends of the court. Duval looks more like an NBA veteran than a 17-year-old prospect with the confidence that he regularly exhibits. That's especially apparent on the offensive end, as Duval has the combination of great athleticism with high basketball IQ, which is rare for a player so young.
He's extremely comfortable working inside the pick-and-roll, where he was working next to Preston and incoming Baylor freshman Mark Vital. After working around this screens, Duval's able to use his solid 6'3 frame to overlook the court and make the necessary decisions. He's proficient at the drive and kick or just staying by the perimeter and kicking it to the cutting screener. That knack in the dribble-drive is evident in the clip below, as Duval uses a quick first step to drive towards the paint where he quickly kicks it out to open player.
With the ball in his hands, Duval might be the most lethal players that are not in the NBA. Growing up dribbling around in the living room and watching the And 1 Mixtape Tour, Duval's able to cross dudes up while still keeping control of the ball. Those skills as a ball-handler have been most evident when he's working through transition, as he's able to confidently work to the rim whether he's wide open or is driving into traffic. That second example is shown below, as Duval confidently slaloms through defenders before he puts in a smooth layup.
Another area where Duval's handles help him out is as a shooter. He's shown a continued ability to use his handles to either break down the opposition or just go with the classic step-back move. Those skills are evident in both mid-range and perimeter looks, where he definitely doesn't seem scared to shoot from any range. While he needs to work on his efficiency (shooting 21% from 3 in the Under Armour Association), Duval does have solid fundamentals that's quick with a high release.
An area where Duval might have the most potential as he tries to build his stock as a college prospect is his defense. Standing 6'3 with a 6'8 wingspan, Duval already has the frame that NBA teams look for in a point guard. More important than that is how aggressive he is on the defensive end. That's especially evident with his skill as a ball-hawk as he's effective in the passing lanes or just pressuring the defender. In the Under Armour Association, Duval's currently averaging 2 steals per game, which places him 3rd in the league.
As Duval prepares to enter his senior season, he'll be placed in a unique role. With Ferguson and Vital graduating alongside Billy Preston transferring to Oak Hill, Duval will become the leader of the Advanced Prep squad. There will be a lot of attention focused on Duval as there are 15 teams currently recruiting Duval. While he does have plans to trim that list in the near future, it's impressive that there are over a dozen teams, that include Villanova, Arizona, Maryland, Syracuse, Oregon, etc that are competing for him. There's a great reason for that as Duval's facilitating, handles and fantastic frame has allowed him to be the best guard in a 2017 class that's dominated by big men.