Bendel’s Best: Summer Havoc (Part Two)
As stated in our previous edition of Bendel’s Best: Summer Havoc, there were dozens of the most intriguing teams and prospects in the southeast on display in Spartanburg this past week. Scholarships were handed out and that is the goal, above all else. If you missed part one, click here…
6’3 ’20 Tyler McKinney (Team Vision-NC)
Productivity is an unmistakable quality that college coaches look for, and Tyler McKinney is one of the most productive players in the area, yet often gets overlooked in the scheme of things. He isn’t flashy and might not be a particularly “attractive” prospect, but he is incredible at quietly affecting all facets of the game. Offensively, McKinney looks to move the ball and keep the offense running smoothly. He can score in a vast variety of ways, from spotting-up around the arc, to finishing through contact at the rim, to creating pull-ups for himself off the dribble. His shot mechanics are somewhat quirky, but he shoots a pretty efficient percentage on jumpers. Furthermore, McKinney is an amazing competitor and it shows on the defensive end, where he has worked to become a quality defender and rebounder. He is a great all-around presence in transition and displays a high IQ on both ends of the floor. All D2 and D3 programs should be should be looking into the 6-foot-3 wing prospect.
6’9 ’19 Jonathan Lawrence (Q6 All-Stars)
There was a lot of intrigue surrounding the Q6 All-Stars and their roster full of quality prospects like Austin Allison, Johnny Brown, Joe French, and Kevin Beans Jr., but it’s clear that Jonathan Lawrence has a chance to be really special. The 6-foot-9 big man is very skilled and versatile on offense, but is quite unselfish and looks to score within the team concept. There’s no telling how much Lawrence would’ve averaged at this event if he looked to be more aggressive on offense, but he still shot the ball well and consistently got to the line throughout the week. He’s a pretty clever passer from the high post and in tight spaces around the basket. Lawrence displays a strong IQ and rarely turns the ball over. His length and abilities to face-up or score with his back to the basket (along with his smooth jumper) make him a very interesting offensive option. Few players were able to effectively defend Lawrence, and he did a solid job of blocking shots and snatching rebounds on the other end. He moves his feet well for his size and plays intelligent defense with a strong positional understanding of the game. It’ll be exciting to see how Lawrence’s recruitment unfolds going forward, especially after his strong showing at Summer Havoc.
6’1 ’20 Luke Stankavage (Hoop State Elite 2020)
The recently emerged Hoop State Elite 2020 team features a load of the most entertaining group of juniors in the North Carolina area and, in many ways, Luke Stankavage is their leader. If memory serves us correctly, we wrote about the guard extensively when we first saw he and Callin Randolph in the backcourt together at our CP3 Live. Since then, Stankavage sustained an injury and has come back even better than before, now showcasing all the makings of a next-level point guard. He built his game as a complete scorer and still has that ability in his back pocket, but often looks to initiate offense for others while and score as needed. That being said, when his team is in need of a bucket, Stankavage is a still a tough cover for opponents, able to consistently create shots off the bounce or find buckets through seams of the defense. He’s an excellent jump shooter, especially off the catch, and rarely takes a bad shot. Defensively, Stankavage is a solid all-around defender with quality instincts and a sharp IQ. He continues to look more comfortable with each passing game and has the potential to be even better. Division I programs should be keeping an eye on Stankavage, if they aren’t already.
6’1 ’20 Jack Kostel (Atlanta Timberwolves)
There seemed to be quite a few high IQ point guards on display at this year’s version of Summer Havoc, but one could honestly argue that Jack Kostel was quietly the best of them all. The Atlanta Timberwolves guard is simply an all-around headache for opponents. Offensively, he can spot-up from three-point territory and create off the bounce for himself or others with relative ease. He isn’t flashy, but he is efficient and certainly knows how to properly conduct an offense with his passing and scoring abilities. Kostel is quite chippy and that plays into his solid play on the defensive end of the floor, where he did a nice job of attacking opposing ball-handlers and moving his feet in the half-court. He has upside as a two-way complementary guard that could certainly contribute to a variety of programs at the next level. Look for Kostel over the next year, especially considering he was the youngest prospect on this squad and still made a memorable impact throughout the week.
6’2 ’19 Nasir Johnson (Carolina Knights)
The Carolina Knights have hung their hats on underrated prospects, from Tre Harvey and Tiquan Whitmore last year to their current star, Nasir Johnson. The point guard is long and wiry, with a body that can fill out, which is only part of the intrigue with Johnson. He’s a fantastic game manager and makes terrific decisions with the ball, especially when looking to create opportunities for others. Johnson simply knows how to navigate an offense, keeping his dribble alive, moving the ball, and leading the team in all facets on that end of the floor. His shot is a little unorthodox, but he has a strong understanding of his ability to get it off and typically takes smart shots anyway. The 6-foot-2 consistently displays a strong IQ and overall feel for the game, especially when you consider his creativity as a ball-handler and passer. Right now, Johnson is still just beginning to harness his potential as a player, but has a long list of tools to work with on both sides of the ball. He’s one of the most intriguing prospects in North Carolina because he could be very successful at a wide variety of programs, but only time will tell how special he can become.