|A. Henderson, M. Drone, G. Ott-Large, T. Butry, K. Sykes, M. Sullivan, D. Smith, K. Robinson & D. Stephens|
Many of the standout performers from day one of the Middle School Hoops TV Camp continued their outstanding play into Sunday, but we decided to concentrate our evaluations on the 6th grade division as well get a closer look at some players we only caught glimpses of on Saturday. Much like the older divisions, the 2022 division was stacked with young talent, particularly at the guard position. Some of the best guards we saw on Sunday included: Ashton Henderson (5’2’/PG/MI/2022); Mark Drone (5’6/PG/MS/2020); Dajour Stephens (5’2/PG/IL/2020); KJ Robinson (5’0/PG/FL/2022); Turner Butry (5’0/PG/KY/2022); Darion Smith (4’7/PG/IN/2022); Kennedy Chandler (5’4/PG/TN/2021); and Khary Sykes (4’7/PG/MS/2022). He wasn’t a guard, but Max Sullivan (6’2/C/IN/2022) caught our eye, as he dominated the boards and collected a boat load of rebounds and put back buckets. We also liked Brandon Perez (5’11/W/PF/CA/2021), Grant Ott-Large (5’8/PF/IN/2022); Raymelle Arnold (5’9/PG/OH/2021); Makhi White (6’0/SG/KY/2020); and Luke Brown (5’4/PG/IN/2020).
|C. Moore, L. Brown, R. Arnold, K. Chandler, B. Perez, A. Leal & O. Abuhamdeh|
Day two of the camp was all about the series of all-star games. We focused most of our attention on the 2021 and 2022 Top 20 All-Star games, and was very impressed with the level of talent and intensity of play. The 2021 Top 2020 game produced a surprising outcome, as a loaded West squad with Zion Harmon, Ryan Conway, Noah Peeples and Kahlil Brantley went down to an East team led by Meechie Johnson, Paris Dawson and Carter Whitt. Johnson should be credited as the spark plug of the team as he pushed to rock in transition, found open teammates and did what elite PGs are supposed to do, run his team. No official MVPs were crowned, but that honor should have gone to Paris Dawson, who went down low and not only got buckets, but rebounded the heck out of the ball. Unofficial scoring had Dawson with 30 plus points in the win. Other standouts on that team included North Carolina’s Carter Whitt, Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler and Ohio’s Ramelle Arnold (5’9/PG/2021). Although Arnold resides in Cleveland, we had not seen him before this event and could not have been more impressed with his athleticism and his ability to shoot from the perimeter. Arnold's performance on Sunday suggests he deserves more attention. Akron’s Noah Peoples continued his outstanding play and was virtually unstoppable in the paint. Right now Peeoples has the ability to play multiple position, is extremely strong and posses an elite motor.
|P. Dawson, M. Johnson, N. Peeples, C. Livingston, P. McMillian, B. Griggs & D. Smith|
The 2022 Top 20 game was another competitive affair and went right down to the wire. The East squad got the 64-63 win and was paced by the outstanding play of Chris Livingston (5’8’WF/OH/2022), who reportedly dropped a game high 32 points and 9 rebounds in the game. Livingston runs the floor like a deer, is very fluid and finishes at a high rate around the basket. He also defends well and consistently collects rebounds. Running the point was Darion Smith (4’7/PG/IN/2022), a dynamic PG who is quick, stays in attack mode, has the rock on a string, and possess the ability to deliver passes into tight spots. For the West team, Cincinnati’s Paul McMillian VI (5’7/G/OH/2022) had a big game, as unofficial scoring had him at a team high 25 points, including 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. We have been touting McMillian as a national talent deserving of a national ranking; however, his performance during the event warrants even more recognition. The floor general for that squad was Brice Griggs (5’6/PG/TX/2021), whom some have ranked as the #1 player in the nation. Griggs did nothing to hurt his reputation, and his play reflected why so many people like his game and consider him the top guy in his class. Griggs was credited with 17 points in the game. With that said, Chris Livingston has been garnering more national respect, and there were discussions over the weekend that he might soon ascend to the top after his impressive performance in Indianapolis. Other notables in the game included: Ashton Henderson (5’2’/PG/MI/2022); Grant Ott-Large (5’8/PF/IN/2022); and Jaleen Goodman (5’0/PG/TX/2021). Congratulations to Ty Kish and his staff for putting on a great event!