In today’s issue, we will take a look at the “Best of the Rest” part 3 from the Inaugural Reebok Showdown Tournament that was held the May 11-13th at the Gateway YWCA in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This will also be our final issue for the month of May and as you can easily see the talent for this tournament was exceptional.
5’10 2014 PG John Davis- Beachwood, Ohio- Beachwood High School- West Virginia Wildcats 16U AAU: Playing for a strong West Virginia Wildcats AAU team, Davis is one of the better PG’s in the 2014 class. While somewhat undersized, he does have good strength and athleticism, but combines it will a solid skill set that will make him a “can’t miss” D1 prospect. He has advanced ball handling and passing skills, but also possesses the ability to score in various ways. He has excellent shooting fundamentals and his perimeter game is “spot on.” He has good elevation, lift and follow-through extension with a high release point, which is extremely important for his size. In addition, he is crafty with the ball and his basketball IQ and athleticism will make him a player to follow. He scored 20, 9, and 17 points and three games of pool play action.
6’1 2014 Caleb Tanner-Floyd, Virginia- Floyd Country High School- West Virginia Wildcats 16U AAU: The combo guard strongest attribute is his ability to score and score he can. Without question, he was one of the tournament’s best pure shooter. He scored 22, 18, and 17 points in the three games of pool play before losing to a talented Upward Stars team. Tanner is excellent in coming off screens in a catch and shoot situation. He has a quick release and elevates well on his jumper. More importantly, he is as effective shooting off the dribble in transition as he knocked down threes several times in the game we watched. In addition, he has a quick first step and utilizes the jab step effectively to create spacing. His ball handling and shooting ability with his outstanding understanding and basketball IQ should be enough to garnish lower tier D1 interest. The young man simply knows how to play and compete.
6’1 PG 2013 Luke Eddy- Charleston, West Virginia- George Washington- West Virginia Wildcats 17U: Eddy is an outstanding player that simply knows how to play. Unfortunately, Eddy had to return to Charleston, WV Saturday night to attend prom and missed the big showdown game between his Wildcats and the SEBL on Sunday morning. You can always count the value of a player when they are absent and without Eddy in the lineup, the WV Wildcats went from a strong AAU team to just average and average would not be good enough against the SEBL team from North Carolina. Eddy is a heady PG that can create for others, but can manufacture his own shot. While he is not overly quick, he does change speeds rather well and does have some sneaky athleticism. Without question, Eddy is a solid D1 prospect.
6’7 2014 Christian Hairston- Greensboro, North Carolina- Greensboro Day School- Team Cobras 17U: We first reported about Hairston two years ago when he attended the NC Phenom 150 as an unknown. Since then, he has elevated his play and status to be one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2013 class for North Carolina. At 6’7, Hairston has an uncanny “feel” for the game and has a multiple skill set. He has advanced ball handling and passing skills for his size and position and has the ability to play the “Point Forward” position at the next level. He is extremely long which enables him to guard multiple positions on the court. Currently, he is getting HM interest with MM offers, but if he is able to fine tune his perimeter shooting the HM interest will turn into HM offers.
6’5 2013 Deion Robinson- Winston-Salem, North Carolina- Mt. Tabor High School- Team Charlotte 17U: Robinson is a strong and powerful undersized PF, but plays the game with passion and purpose. He does play for Coach Andy Muse of Mt. Tabor and you quickly know he will be fundamentally sound and possess outstanding basketball IQ. While his strength and power enable him to be effective in the post area, he can step out and be efficient to the 10-12 foot range. Robinson is a workhorse and a true competitor and could be a D1 prospect with the lower tier conferences.
6’2 2012/13 Kadeem Allen- Wilmington, North Carolina- New Hanover High School- NC Xpress 17U: Allen always possess MM offers and it looks like Allen will be attending a year of Prep School to shore up his academics. Without question, Allen has “jet like” speed in the open court and has the long and wiry frame to make him a HM target with another year under his belt. He is dangerous in the open court and very few players have the lateral quickness to stay in front of the speedy guard. He loved attacking the rim and didn’t take a lot of outside jumpers, but if he develops a consistent perimeter game, watch out! The next step for Allen to cut down on his unforced turnovers. That being said, he is a tremendous athlete that will hover around the MM+/HM- during his prep year. His development will determine is appropriate level.
6’5 2013 Josh Cuthbertson- New Bern, North Carolina- West Craven- NC Xpress 17U: Sporting a college ready frame, Cuthbertson should see his recruitment take off this summer and become a solid prospect at the MM level. He has a physically mature body with long arms. He also has a “mature” game and has a nice arsenal of offensive moves. He is a solid perimeter shooter, but has an outstanding mid-range game. He has good bounce and shooting off the dribble is one of his strongest attributes. He does compete and play hard and learning to make better decisions on the court will enhance his recruitment further.
6’2 2013 Jonathan Milligan- Raleigh, North Carolina- Christian Faith Academy- D One Sports 17U: Since he is playing in the backcourt with Josh Newkirk and Torian Graham, he may not get the same amount of press, but Milligan was equally impressive in two of the three games we watched. He scored 18, 2, and 15 points and showcased his speed and quickness in the open court. He had the Bobby Hurley “one handed cross over/inside out move” down pat and had blow up speed. Like Newkirk, he has the throttle on full speed and loves to attack the rim. While he did knock down a few jumpers, his DNA was to aggressively attack the rim at every opportunity. He does sport the body and athleticism for D1 schools to monitor this summer.
6’3 2012/13 Larry Richardson, Garner, North Carolina- Garner High School- D One Sports 17U: We’ve watched Richardson over the past few years and he may be one of the more athletic players in the state for his class. His explosiveness and leaping ability are his greatest attributes, but he has shown the ability to score from the perimeter. He scored 18, 8, and 18 in the three pool play games and if he continues to refine his perimeter skills during his prep year, he should have D1 schools knocking on his door. He has good length and plays more taller than his 6’3 frame.
6’6 2015 Juwan Bland- Wallace, North Carolina- Wallace Rose High School- D One Sports 17U: The 2015 class in North Carolina has yet to produce the sure fire prospects as previous classes and the strong and powerful youngster from Wallace Rose should definitely be a player D1 schools should monitor over the next few years. Bland is somewhat raw offensively, but he is a beast on the glass. He played up two three age groups and competed as if he belonged. He only averaged about 5 PPG, but his presence on the boards were immediately felt.