Sunday, October 25, 2015

Middle School Hoops Camp Day I Standouts

J. Toles, H. Jackson, AJ Hoggard, J. Springer, R. Conway, C. Whitt, C. Byers, J. Baker & A. Miller
With the middle school basketball season right around the corner, Ty Kish’s inaugural Middle School Hoops Camp provided a final opportunity for the county’s elite middle and high school players to get elite level bump. The first-year event tipped off at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, IN. and attracted approximately 230 players from around the country.  Of course we concentrated on evaluating the middle school kids, but the 2019 division was loaded with talent.  We were most impressed with Marcedus Leech (6’4/SG/Poplar Bluff, MO/2019). Leach is thin and long, but his claim to fame was his ability to drain deep treys. With a solid handle and the ability to create separation, Leech can really score the ball. As evidence, in one game we saw, Leech dropped 24 points in one half of play, A definite D-I prospect. Chicago’s Marqusie Walker (5’11/PG/2019) was up to his old tricks in terms of beating guys of the dibble and getting to the rack. Walker continues to stake his claim as one of the top PGs in the nation. Dexter Shouse Jr. (6’2/SG/IN/2019) logged in a sold performance as well.  Still strong, still aggressive, and still one of the elite players in the class.  EJ Jackson (5’7/PG/Englewood, CA/2019) shared the backcourt with Leech, and between the 2 of them, their team dominated.  Jackson’s handle is elite, as is his vision and ability to find open teammates. A pleasure to watch.

Z. Harmon, R. Conway, P. Dawson, N. Peeopls, C. Livingston, K. Brantley, M. Johnson, P. McMillian, B. Griggs
As you would expect from a Middle School Hoops event, the class of 2020 was absolutely loaded with talent. Among that talent was Jordan Toles (6’0/SG/MD/2020), who continued to add to his already impressive reputation.  Toles is an exceptional athlete who is relentless to the basket. With a developing jump shout, Toles is difficult to guard. Jaiden Springer (6’3/SG/NC/2020) was putting in work on Saturday, as he was clearly in a different class than most of his opponents. Athletic, skilled, and smart best describes Springer’s game on day one. He lit it up at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase last month, and AJ Hoggard’s (6’1/PG/PA/2020) performance in Indy was just as impressive.  A big guard with a solid handle, Hoggard can scorer the ball from either the perimeter or at the rim.  But that’s not all; Hoggard also has great vision and the ability to deliver the rock on time and on target. Continuing our discussion about elite PG, add Hunter Jackson (5’9/PG/IN/2020) to that list. When he gets a head of steam, Jackson is almost unstoppable to the cup. Although he can get you buckets, Jackson always plays hard, can really defend, and possess a high basketball IQ.  Carter Whitt (5’8/PG/NC/2020) followed up a solid performance at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase a few weeks ago with a solid effort on Saturday.  Crafty, skilled and exciting to watch describe Whitt’s game.  Cameron Byers (6’6/PF/MD/2020) was a beast on day one and did pretty much anything he wanted to on Saturday. Byers uses his powerful frame to reek havoc in the paint, as he rebounds well, finishes at a high rate around the cup, and is now dunking on a consistent basis.  Keep an eye out for Emmanuel Okpomo, a 6’9 big (2020) from Jackson, MS. Great size, athleticism, and the ability to block shots at a high rate. Okpomo displayed his athleticism by winning the slam-dunk contest before an excited crowd. Like most bigs his age, Okpomo is still developing his footwork and an offensive game, but his ability to protect the rim is already game ready!

The 2021 division had its fair share of talent with guys like Zion Harmon, Ryan Conway, Paris Dawson, Meechie Johnson, Kahlil Brantly and Noah Peeoples, al of whom had outstanding performance on day one. Harmon and Conway renewed their battle in Indy, with each player auditioning for the #1 spot. A contrast in styles, Harmon is craftier with his game, while Conway uses his superior size and strength to score the rock.  Both players had big days on day one. Paris Dawson was dominating on Saturday as he took full advantage of his size.  Also playing well on day one were: Paul McMillian (IV), Chris Livingston, Brice Griggs (PG/TX), Jaden Bradley (5’10/PG/NC/2022), Josiah Mobley (5’3/PG/OH/2021), Jalen Whiteside (5’9/WF//MI/2021), Devin Carter (5’0/SG/MS/2022), Jalean Goodman (5’0/PG/TX), Ray Taylor (5’9/SG/TN/2020), Adam Miller (6’0/WF/IL/2020), Joe Bamisile (5’10/PG/VA/2020), Robert Martin (5’0/PG/MO/2020), Jeremy Baker (6’0/WF/IN/2020), John Mobley Jr. (PG/OH/2023), Amari Bailey (WF/IL/2022), Jaemyn Brakefield (6’8/PF/MS/2020) and Jalen Drane (5’7/SG/IL/2022).  All in all, Saturday featured a great day of basketball by an elite level of talent.  Can’t wait to see what day two has in store!

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