Memorial Day Invit. - Day 2 Recap
17u: CBC 70 New Heights 57
After steamrolling its way through the Memorial Day Invitational’s top bracket behind the dominant, inside-out tandem of fellow ESPNU Top 100 talents Andre Drummond (1) and Kris Dunn (48), CBC would engage in a highly-competitive contest in the final of the 17u bracket with a New Heights NYC team loaded with blue-chip athletes. With a series emphatic dunks off low-post moves and lobs in transition, Drummond would set the tone in the opening 20 minutes with 14 first-half points. Tyquan Goodlet set the standard for New Heights, creating with his dribble and getting into the lane at will. Ultimately though, the second half belong to Dunn, who made plays on both ends of the floor and showed his superiority in the open floor to spark CBC’s second half run that would ultimately lead to the title.
16u: CBC 70 Expressions 63
With Expressions jumping out to an early, double-digit lead in the first half of Sunday’s 16u final, it appeared as if the high-octane, high-scoring style that had gotten CBC to the final game might ultimately cause it to lose steam when it counted the most. However, led by the brilliant play of Kahlil Dukes (16 points) and Levy Gillespie Jr. (game-high 30 points, six threes), CBC would storm back to within striking distance by halftime. Gillespie would absolutely light it up in the second half, connecting on a series of deep, contested threes from spots all over the floor, almost single-handedly refusing to let his team lose and ultimately carrying them to a hard-earned, seven-point victory. Jared Terrell did all he could in defeat, turning in a sensational 25-point performance with an array of athletic finishes and mid-range pull-ups.
15u: Basketbull 80 Riverside 64
BasketBull wasted no time taking control of the 15U Championship. Led by the sharpshooting of guard Nelson Zayas (Sabis) and the playmaking of Kevawn Lord (Amherst HS), BasketBull ran away from the Riverside Hawks. Zayas connected on seven three-pointers to spearhead the scoring, but it was Lord who stole the show. With his impressive skill-set and lanky frame, Lord’s potential is seemingly limitless. With solid floor general Tyler Ancrum hobbled by injury in the final, Riverside played valiantly in defeat after an impressive weekend running through the 15u bracket, led by the dynamic playmaking of Koree Hargraves and the outside shooting of Aaren Edmead.
Will Rassman (Mid-Atlantic Select 17u)- Showcasing the under-valued, often-absent skill of playing with his hands up and active, the six-foot-seven forward was highly effective in the high-post area in Select’s Sunday morning win, utilizing a soft jump hook to score over length around the rim and even stepping out to hit a pair of smooth looking jumpers from 16 feet that ultimately allowed him to draw his defender out and create space for the interior offense of his teammates.
Andre Walker (Mid-Atlantic Select 17u)- A long, lean, developing young big with solid ball skills and a soft touch out to 15 feet, the six-foot-ten, freshly-turned 15 year-old impressed again on Sunday with his mobility on the interior, pursuing the ball off the glass for second-chance points rebounding in high volume in and out of his area to gain possession, make a quick outlet, and ignite his team’s open floor offense.
Garland Owens (Mid-Atlantic Select 17u)- A high-flying, highlight reel-type athlete with the unique ability to catch and adjust in mid-air to execute sensational plays in transition, Owens’ game doesn’t lack the substance to go with its obvious flare, as he can put up numbers in a hurry with a pure stroke from three and a strong handle he uses to carve out space and elevate in traffic over defeners unable to match his supreme athleticism.
Zach Askew (Drive4Stardom 17u)- Continuing with what has been an impressive spring for the Vinal Tech-product, the six-foot-eight, super-long, super-lean forward was a handful to deal with on the interior on Sunday morning, showcasing a soft jump-hook to score over smaller defenders over either shoulder and punishing less-physical players unable to match his quick bounce and motor around the rim.
Kris Dunn (CBC 17u)- With his stock in full soar-mode, the six-foot-three, silky-smooth lead guard was terrific in CBC’s victory over Hoop Heaven on Sunday, knocking down open threes off reversal and devastating defenders with a dazzling combination of athleticism and skill off the bounce to create fluid offense in the lane. A long, lanky defender with potential lock-down ability, Dunn is just beginning to realize the impact he could have on the defensive-end, disrupting the flow of opposing offense with impressive lateral quickness and natural ball-hawking instincts that allow him to force turnovers and showcase his flare in the open floor.
Andre Drummond (CBC 17u)- It’s a testament to the consistency of a player’s physical dominance when, at six-foot-ten, two-hundred seventy-five pounds, you can jump a passing lane with the quick instincts of a guard to steal a pass, take two dribbles from arc to arc and take off for a thunderous, one-hand dunk from out past the first marker, and the majority of the viewing crowd can turn their heads matter-of-factly to action on the adjacent court. Add that type of freakish athleticism to developing face-up skills and a consistent will to battle on the offensive glass and get his hands on balls that other players simply don’t attempt to pursue, and Drummond showcased the talent that makes him a rapidly-evolving, generational talent just scratching the surface of his natural physical gifts.
Cavon Baker (Raising Champions 17u)- Dawning the number zero as a self-proclaimed Russell Westbrook-clone, the six-foot-one lead guard certainly has the speed and explosive bounce mirroring that of the current OKC star, athleticism he had on full display on Sunday with a variety of emphatic dunks in transition that highlighted a performance full of steady decision-making and consistent shot-making from the perimeter.
Terry Brutus (NE England Playaz 17u)- A physical specimen as a chiseled, six-foot-five hybrid forward, Brutus is flat-out mean defensively, using his strength and athleticism to guard a variety of positions and be a consistent factor on the backboards on both ends of the floor. A slasher offensively who carves out space and finishes through contact, Brutus is at his best scoring the ball in transition, where he will catch stand-still defenders sleeping with a powerful variety of flushes above the rim.
Victor Aytche (Metro Boston 17u)- When’s he’s hitting shots from range from spots all over the floor with his quick, compact release, Aytche is an absolute nightmare to deal with offensively, as the six-foot-three wing features an extensive scoring package complete with a strong, creative handle and the burst to attack the rim and elevate over size to score through contact with either hand.
Kamall Richards (Jersey Elite 17u)- A long, lanky athlete at six-foot five with a pure lefty stroke from three, Richards is at his best scoring above the rim in the open floor, while also showing the ability to knock down shots off reversal and attack close-outs in the half-court set for scores in the lane or creatively executed dump-downs.
Dana Raysor (Jersey Elite 17u)- Combining with Richards to form an explosively potent backcourt for his Jersey Elite squad, the St. Patrick’s-product is as savvy as he is skilled off the dribble, using a variety of quick crossover combinations to create space for his knock-down mid-range jumper and leave a lasting impression with defenders who must choose whether to respect his drive or take the chance with his lethal stroke from the perimeter.
Jaren Sina (Hoop Heaven Elite 17u)- While he may not possess the prototypical size or athleticism consistent with a blue-chip guard in the talent-laden SEC, the Alabama commit more than makes up for his solid, but not sensational, physical attributes with an elite playmaking feel, understanding of how to get space for his pure perimeter jumper off on-ball action in the half-court, and an overall presence of a flat-out winner willing to do whatever it takes to get it done.
Dominic Hoffman (Hoop Heaven Elite 17u): This six-foot-seven, two-hundred thirty pound bruiser is headed to play for Dave Paulsen at Bucknell and his efforts all weekend showed he’s ready to take the Patriot League by storm. Hoffman is a true old-fashioned post, eschewing a generational fascination with the three-point line to hunker down and rule the paint with his physicality and ability to bull his way through traffic for tough scores at the rim.
Alex Furness (MB Nation 17u)- The ultra-long, smooth-scoring Wells-native continued to show his rapidly developing offensive skill-set throughout the day on Sunday, hitting shots from the perimeter with his trademark, lefty stroke from three and taking the ball off the bounce with a deceptive first burst to convert with either hand at the rim.
Chris Braley (MB Nation 17u)- While struggling to find consistency with his typical knock-down stroke from three, Braley exudes all of the qualities indicative of a tough-minded, winning player at the scholarship level, mixing it up on the interior for persistent scores in traffic and showing his versatility in doing work against smaller players on the low block and driving the ball against slower forwards from the wing.
Levi Barnes (MB Nation 17u): Barnes made the most of a cameo in the 17u division as he shook off a rusty Saturday to explode for a game-high 22 points in MB Nation’s narrow loss to Drive4Stardum. With the basketball seemingly on a string, Barnes terrorized the opposing guards with hard takes to the rim. What makes Young special, however, is what he does at the end of those drives where he has the ability to finish through contact.
Tyquan Goodlet (New Height 17u): Like Brooklyn point guards always do, Goodlet plays with a chip on his shoulder. On Sunday morning against New York Metro area rival Riverside Church, Goodlet’s talents were on full display. A powerful lead guard with tons of athleticism, Goodlet poured in 15 points to lead New Heights to a win. Goodlet’s preferred mode of getting to the paint is a crossover that was as devastating as any we saw all weekend.
Kris Hargreaves (Riverside Hawks 17u) - Riverside continued to exceed expectations on Sunday and their backcourt continued to be a major key. Sal Vitello continued to impress but Hargreaves also stepped up to assert himself, running the show to perfection, using his crafty feel for the game to draw fouls, and finding guys like Terry Tarpey for open shots throughout the day.
Skyler White (Riverside Hawks 17u): At 6-6 with a deft shooting touch, White is a near impossible matchup for opposing big men. Notorious for roaming the perimeter, White showed a surprising amount of athleticism and a dizzying array of low post moves in the morning matchup with New Heights.
Tanner Hyland (Maine Mac 17u): With his brother in attendance for the Sunday game set, the younger Hyland put on a shooting display to make Keegan proud. Going 4-for-5 from deep in Maine Mac’s loss to NE Playaz, Hyland showed that a smooth shooting stroke usually runs in the family. While Hyland’s game is much different than his older brother’s (Tanner is a true point), if he can continue shooting the ball like he did this weekend, who knows what is in store for him in his remaining two years of scholastic play.
Garet Beal (Maine Mac 17u): Playing up with the seventeen-and-under squad, this rising junior saved his best for last, starring in Maine Mac's final game of the weekend and showing off his complete offensive repetoire - going hard to the basket to finish through contact, shooting over smaller defenders from the mid and low posts, and stretching defenses with his shooting range.
Jarred Reuter (New England Playaz 16u)- Still making his way back from an injury that cost him the near entirety of his prep season this past year at St. Mark’s, the six-foot-eight, wide-body post features a physical, throw-back type game in which he abuses smaller defenders with polished footwork, a stiff arm to the chest and the interior skill-set to score from a variety of angles around the rim.
Kahlil Dukes (CBC 16u)- For the second straight day, Dukes was up to his usual attacking self, scoring the ball in high volume in transition with a variety of crafty moves to the bucket and feathery pull-ups in front of a retreating defender at the free-throw line extended. The slightly-framed, largely fearless guard was sensational in the first half of his team’s championship contest with Expressions, taking the ball at bigger players in transition and scoring with array of floaters and mid-air switches from every angle possible.
Levi Gillespie Jr. (CBC 16u)- The zig to his running-mate Dukes’ zag, Gillespie Jr. is one of the elite young playmakers the region has to offer, featuring a unique combination of feel and creativity passing the basketball that allows him to make difficult plays look routine and cause scouts to label him with the special quality indicative of all elite point guards, he flat-out makes his teammates better. In the 16u championship game on Sunday, Gillespie caught fire from behind the arc for a series of deep, contested threes that touched nothing but bottom, single handedly extending CBC’s second-half lead after a furious first-half comeback and ultimately leading the Connecticut kids to the title in a highly-entertaining contest.
Jared Terrell (Expressions 16u)- If Jay Wright or Rick Pitino could fashion a proto-type for a young Big East guard prospect, the six-foot-three Weymouth-native would fulfill several of the physical qualities associated with such a player. Strong, physical, explosive, Terrell is nothing short of athletically imposing for opponents in his age bracket, and, as he showed in a hard-fought contest with CBC in Sunday’s 16u championship, his offensive skill-set is rapidly developing at a pace to soon feature a strong, creative handle and devastating mid-range pull-up that could take the scouting report for guarding him back to square one.
Abdul-Malik Abu (Expressions 16u)- While still extremely raw offensively, Malik-Abu is an absolute beast on the interior with a unique blend of size, strength, lateral mobility, and the motor to rim-to-rim in transition and chase the ball consistently through traffic off the glass. With continued maturity and quality game experience, the future Kimball Union Academy Wildcat has the potential to be a major impact player defensively as a volume shot-blocker and rebounder capable of dominating his massive area on the interior.
Jarred Reuter (New England Playaz 16u) - The St. Mark's big man made his long awaited debut this weekend after missing all of the high school season and the first half of the grassroots season with an injury. While working the rust off, Reuter got progressively better as the weekend went along and showed glimpses of the tool set that made him one of the top prospects in New England's class of 2014 last summer.