|Adams, Uyaelunmo, Marshall, Williams, Conner, Feinberg, Campbell & Barrett jr.|
Last weekend the state of Texas was at the center of
grassroots basketball, as Dallas played host to Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League,
and Houston attracted approximately 180 of the most elite 7th and 8th
graders in the country to the John Lucas International Middle School Combine.
When we walked into the gym Saturday morning it was very clear from the start
that the event was well organized and the coaching staff was serious about
developing skills and demanding effort from the players.
Early on day one of the event, skill development was the
emphasis, as players participated in 8 different team and individual skill
development stations, including combine testing. Later in the evening the first
round of basketball games tipped off. Individual match-ups are always a key in
big time camps, and right from the opening game the camp featured a matchup
between one of the nation’s top 8th
grade point guards (Chase Adams
) and one of the top 7th
grade point guards in the country (Tyger
). Although Campbell’s scoring output was superior, Adams was the
most impressive and the most productive player on the court. When you talk
about playmaking, no one does it better than Adams.
If you are a wing or a big, you want to play
with Adams, who threw numerous pin point passes that found cutting players.
Guys who ran the floor and kept moving were rewarded with a pass that usually
led to an easy layup. He’s small, but defensively, he does his job by getting
up under the opposing points guards and bothering them to the point they have
to turn their backs to the offense. People hate on the little fella because of
his diminutive size, but the Chicago native simply gets it done.
As is the case with most elite basketball camp,
especially when the cameras are rolling and scouts are in the house, an
impromptu dunk contest
broke out early on the opening day. There were no
judges, nor were trophies handed out, but Ladarius
grader from Jackson, MS) was the clear crowd
favorite, and star of the unofficial event.
Marshall is an athletic freak, is aggressive, and tries to dunk
everything in sight.
It wasn’t just the
dunk contest; Marshall was just as efficient and exciting dunking in games as
well. Stanley Cassius
grader from Encino, CA) was in the dunk contest as well, and probably would
have finished second if the contest counted. Cassius is another extreme athlete
|Watford, Jackson, Days, Mathis & Smith|
By most accounts, Canada’s Rowan Barrett
discovered while playing for the Brampton Warriors in the hot new National Youth Basketball League (NYBL).
Not only is he dominating the NYBL, Barrett was seen handling his business
against the older guys at the Lucas camp. He’s still athletic, he is still
skilled, and he proved he could score against bigger, more athletic players.
Also in the NYBL is Noble Days
6’8 C from Racine, WI. Days is not a big scorer, but defensively he is an asset
to his teams. Days logged in a solid camp in Houston, as did fellow NYBLers, Jonathan McGriff
(D.C. Assault) and Kyle Sturdivant
(Memphis War Eagles).
(7’1 C 2018 Little Rock, AR) may not have popped up in other post event
reports, probably because he is so thin and not yet strong enough to be a force
in the post, but he is skilled as hell, and he can step outside and knock down
the midrange or 3-pointer if left unguarded. I have to believe a 7’1 8th
grader who is skilled and can stretch the defense has to be drawing a lot of
attention from college coaches! Vanover has the length, but 6’9 EJ Williams
was easily the biggest
player in the camp. While Vanover is more productive further away from the
bucket, Williams gets it done close to cup. As his footwork and hands develops,
Williams’ upside is a great as any bigs in this class.
grader Miramar, FL) ran on the same camp squad as Adams,
and was the second best player on that team. Possessing good size, athleticism
and a solid motor, the Miramar product has a chance. Another kid who probably
flies under the radar and is absent from the national rankings is Michael Fineberg
grader Chatsworth, TX).
this kid can play.
He shoots it well, and
he’s just athletic and crafty enough to beat his defender and get to the cup.
Fineberg plays with a lot of swag and confidence.
Below is a list of other players that caught our eye.
The list is not meant to serve as rankings,
as we did not see all of the players in the camp. In addition, there were a
number of other standouts at the event, but either we did not see them play, or
they did not standout in the game(s) we saw. With that said, between all of the
scouting services in the gym, most of the standout performers should have been
accounted for between us.
Chase Adams-5’2 8th
grader Chicago, IL
Michael Barber-6’2 8th
grader Jackson, MS
Russell Barlow-6’8 8th
grader Plano, TX
Rowan Barrett Jr.-6’4 7th
Jomaru Brown-6’0 8th
grader Raleigh, NC
Jamal Edmonson-6’4 8th
grader Charleston, SC
Michael Feinberg-6’4 8th
grader Chatsworth, TX
Earnest “EJ” Jackson-5’7 7th
Cameron Johnson-6’0 8th
grader Springhill, TN
Jonathan Kabongo-6’3 8th
grader Toronto, CA
Jaedon LeDee-6’5 8th
grader Spring, TX
Jonathon McGriff-5’6 7th
grader Bowie, MD
Ladarius Marshall-6’6 8th
grader Jackson, MS
Montez Mathis-6’4 8th
grader Edgewood, MD
grader Newark, NJ
Payton Moore-6’3 8th
grader Los Angeles, CA
Qon Murphy-6’4 8th
grader Charlotte, NC
Jermaine Patterson-5’8 8th
grader Bluffton, SC
DJ Peevy-5’11 8th
grader Cibolo, MD
Reginald Perry-6’8 8th
grader Tallahassee, FL
Tommie Pope-5’11 8th
grader Portsmouth, VA
Kyle Slater- 6’4 8th grader Richmond, TX
L’Christian Smith-6’5 7th
grader Dayton, OH
Stanley Cassius-6’4 8th
grader Encino, CA)
Atiba Taylor-6’3 8th
grader Hackensack, NJ
Solomon Uyaelunmo-6’9 8th
grader Miramar, FL
Conner Vanover-7’1 8th
grader Little Rock, AR
Damon Wall-5’10 8th
grader Philadelphia, PA
Trendon Watford-6’6 7th
grader Hoover, AL
Zachary Watson-6’5 8th
grader Plano, TX
George Wilkerson III-6’5 8th
EJ Williams-6’9 8th
grader Middletown, OH