Wootten 150 Camp standout prep basketball prospects: Ian Jackson, Tahaad Pettiford

LAS VEGAS — This was my fourth straight year attending the Wootten 150 Camp, and for the first time, NBA personnel and Overtime Elite college-eligible prospects were allowed to attend. In previous years the event was held in Mansfield, Texas, but by moving to Las Vegas and partnering with the Border League, the camp was able to secure commitments from even more top prospects across the 2024, 2025 and 2026 classes. Eighteen of the top 50 prospects in the 2024 class showed up while several others in the respective classes made the trip to the entertainment capital of the world.

There was such an abundance of talent last week that you could witness matchups that might typically only occur during summer ball or once these athletes reach college. Here were my favorite prospects who attended the camp:

The MVPs

Ian Jackson

  • 6-foot-5, guard, Hudson Catholic (N.J.)
  • Class of 2024
  • Ranked No. 10 in 247Sports Composite
  • Committed to North Carolina

Jackson was the best player in the gym by a long shot on Day 1 of the camp. You won’t find many players in the country, regardless of class, who play with his level of feel for the game, speed with the ball in his hands and IQ. Jackson is a maestro in the pick-and-roll as you will see in the clips below. He makes his teammates better and puts them in a situation to succeed. He presents a lot of challenges to opposing defenders as he keeps you guessing. Make no mistake, the five-star prospect can score. During the first day of the one-on-one portion, he dominated. He scored five or six times in a row in a variety of ways and made it look easy. I sat in the stands next to a few McDonald’s All-American voters and NBA scouts, and every time Jackson touched the ball he made something happen. He turned heads and received approval from numerous NBA scouts. There are no absolutes in this business, but he has a good chance to be an All-American in April and one day hear his name called by the NBA commissioner.

Tahaad Pettiford

  • 6-foot-1, guard, Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.)
  • Class of 2024
  • Ranked No. 24 in 247Sports Composite
  • Committed to Auburn

Like Jackson, Pettiford is electrifying with the ball in his hands and was a top-2 player in the gym. Auburn has done great things with guards like Pettiford over the years and advanced to the 2019 Final Four with Jared Harper, who is a similar player. In the halfcourt, Pettiford was a blur at the Wootten 150, no one could stay in front of him as he got into the paint with ease. We know he can score, but he’s not a selfish guard. He played alongside North Carolina point guard Elliot Cadeau before Cadeau reclassified, and they gave teams fits. I think playing alongside Cadeau made Pettiford better with or without the ball in his hands. During both days of the camp, he displayed he could be a lead guard at the next level not only as a scorer but as a facilitator. He’s New Jersey tough and takes pride in defending. He fights over ball screens and cuts off defenders without fouling.  You never know what you will get in a camp setting as far as competitiveness, but both Pettiford and Jackson came to play and stood out.

Super Sophomores

Chris Washington Jr

  • 6-foot-7, wing, Villages Charter School (Fla.)
  • Class of 2026
  • Ranked No. 25 in 247Sports Composite
  • Uncommitted

This was my first time watching Washington Jr. play in person, and he immediately jumped out to me as a defender. If he’s off the ball, watch your back — he’s coming to block your shot violently. You would think after a few blocks in a camp setting he would just let the other prospects have it; well, that wasn’t the case. He plays with a high motor that always runs hot and he loves to compete. He would be upset if someone scored on him. Offensively, he is solid. Nice form, makes shots and plays above the rim. He reminds me of Houston wing Terrance Arceneaux, but he’s better offensively at the same age. As he develops and gains weight he could be the next great prospect to come out of Florida. He currently has five Division 1 offers, from Bethune-Cookman, Florida State, Jacksonville, Ole Miss and West Virginia. He’s also hearing from Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Jacob Lanier

  • 6-foot-5, wing, Maumelle (Ark.)
  • Class of 2026
  • Unranked but will be soon
  • Uncommitted

So far this fall, Lanier has played his best basketball. He dominated the Pangos camp a few weeks ago and continued to play well in Las Vegas. He’s very poised to be so young. He doesn’t get sped up, picks his spots well and makes the right reads consistently. He’s impactful both on and off the ball and will be seen as one of the best in the country soon. Please don’t overlook Arkansas grassroots basketball, as they have a ton of high-level talent with upside, Lanier is the next. He currently holds eight offers, from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cal, Kansas State, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU and Texas Tech.

Trent Perry

  • 6-foot-4, wing, Frisco Lone Star (Texas)
  • Class of 2026
  • Ranked No. 32 in 247Sports Composite
  • Uncommitted

The 2026 class has a chance to be historic with so much potential NBA talent, and Perry fits the bill. Skill and feel are the name of the game, and the 6-foot-4, 195-pound wing can do all that and then some. I sat next to a McDonald’s All-American voter who was very impressed by Perry. He’s cleaned up his shooting mechanics and looked comfortable shooting the ball from deep. He uses his long arms to overwhelm defenders and disrupt passing lanes. A lot of the upperclassmen trusted him with the ball in his hands and often let him run the show on offense. He’s an intriguing prospect who should be monitored for years to come.

The pride of the West Coast

Brayden Burries

  • 6-foot-5, guard, Eleanor Roosevelt (CA)
  • Class of 2025
  • Ranked No. 22 in 247Sports Composite
  • Uncommitted

Burries was one of the fastest stock risers this summer, as he went from unranked in early June to the No. 22 prospect in October. Burries is a naturally gifted shooter who can score in a variety of ways. So much so, he won the one-on-one portion at the camp. He also propelled his three-on-three team to a top-4 finish in Vegas. I love his efficiency and effectiveness. We he steps on the floor you can pencil in at least 12 to 15 points on nearly 50 percent shooting. He’s ranked in the top 25 but isn’t talked about enough nationally. I expect that to change shortly. So far, he has taken four unofficial visits to Arizona, Duke, Houston and UCLA but doesn’t have any officials set up yet.


Nikolas Khamenia

  • 6-foot-7, forward, Harvard Westlake (Calif.)
  • Class of 2025
  • Ranked No. 67 in 247Sports Composite
  • Uncommitted

Khamenia is as good a shooter as you will find in the 2025 class. He can shoot it from anywhere, any which way: via catch-and-sh00t, pin-downs, curls or pull-up jumpers. He also dominated the one-on-one portion and made it to the final eight. I can imagine it’s annoying having to guard him; if you don’t fight over the screen or contest his shot, it’s going in. However, he’s not just a shooter. He can put the ball on the floor and make plays for others. As a standstill passer, he’s excellent. At 6-foot-7 he can see over defenders and move the ball accurately and on time. Khamenia took an official visit to Gonzaga in early October as he nears a decision.

OTE’s best prospect

Bryson Tiller

  • 6-foot-8, forward, Overtime Elite (Ga.)
  • Class of 2025
  • No. 7 in 247Sports Composite
  • Uncommitted

If you like productivity, look no further than Bryson Tiller. He’s active, physical and skilled. The ball just always seems to find his hands. Another McDonald’s voter thought he was one the most productive and consistent prospects in the gym. His jump shot continues to improve as hit 3s and mid-range jumpers from all over the floor. My biggest takeaway from his play over the weekend was his defensive intensity. When engaged, he can be a plus defender. He challenged other prospects at the rim without fouling and has the intangibles to be a feared shot-blocker.


Border League notes

I also spent a day at the Border League, and it’s by far one of the best grassroots basketball events in the country. There was a ton of talent from other over the country. Several schools or programs were in attendance including Kansas, Houston, Texas, UCLA, USC, Gonzaga, LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Providence, Washington, Cal, G League Ignite and Overtime Elite.

One of the best matchups I saw was OTE’s Mikel Brown Jr. vs. St. John Bosco’s Brandon McCoy. Both point guards put on a show and should be seen as two of the best guards in the 2025 and 2026 classes. With AJ Dybanta reclassifying to 2025, McCoy has a chance to be the best player in California and in the country. He is currently the No. 2 prospect in 2026 behind California native Tyran Stokes.

Recruiting notes

  • Hoosiers, Trojans and Spartans … oh, my. The Big Ten received a major boost over the weekend as Indiana landed five-star forward Liam McNeeley, USC landed four-star point guard Trent Perry and Michigan State added four-star point guard Jase Richardson.
  • Indiana will look to add five-star guard Boogie Fland as he makes his decision on Friday. It’s down to Indiana, Kentucky and Alabama.
  • A few other Wootten 150 standouts in 2025: four-star Hudson Greer will take an official visit to Creighton December 8-10, and 2024 Jinup Doboul will officially visit West Virginia on Saturday
  • Four-star David Punch will announce his commitment decision on Saturday and will choose between NC State, Penn State and TCU.
  • Four-star Mikey Lewis will announce his commitment decision on October 27th and will choose between Illinois, Ole Miss and St. Mary’s.
  • Three-star Jon Mani cut his list to four: Arizona State, Cal, Cal-Poly and Denver.
  • Five-star 2025 Joson Sanon has scheduled four official visits: Oklahoma State: Oct. 27-29, Arizona; Nov. 18-20, LSU; Nov. 24-26; and Kansas: Dec. 21-23.
  • No. 2 prospect Dylan Harper visited Rutgers over the weekend.

(Photo of Ian Jackson: Courtesy of heyitsbritt)

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