Monday, July 27, 2009

NIKE Peach Jam, July 12

This article was originally written on July 12.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – The premier AAU tournament during the season kicked off today in North Augusta, South Carolina, where 24 of the best Nike travel teams were invited to participate in a four-day tournament, better known as the Peach Jam. There is also a U-16 division, where 16 teams will battle in a “Sweet Sixteen” tournament.

As usual, the Peach Jam brought together every big-time coach in the country, as well as the top talent in the classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012. If one uses’s rankings, the top three players in the class of 2010 are in attendance, as well as five of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20. In the class of 2011, six of the top 10 players will participate, while several of the more highly-touted members of the class of 2012 are also here.

Here’s a look at some of the top performers on day one that NBE checked out:

Doron Lamb, 6-4, New York Gauchos, 2010: Lamb is such a smooth offensive player who can glide to the basket when driving through the lane. He is a very good finisher who can score with contact. Lamb’s length enables him to be a solid defender, gathering deflections and steals. He is also a decent passer who can handle. He is definitely one of the better offensive players in the class.

Jason Morris, 6-6, New York Gauchos, 2010: Morris seemed a little frustrated at times with the zone that Team Florida was playing, but his fearlessness going to the basket was noteworthy. He was not afraid at all to take on bigger defenders and got fouled several times. He was very aggressive and finished well. Morris also moves around very well without the ball.

Wilfried Yaguete, 6-7, Nike Team Florida, 2010: Yaguete was very impressive at June’s Rumble in the Bronx, but he was not as effective today. However, he was far better than teammate Anthony Lee, who could not do much against the Gauchos today. Yaguete was active on the backboards and showed a decent mid-range jumper. He is athletic and got good position for rebounds against opponents. He had some strong finishes around the basket too.

Adreian Payne, 6-9, All-Ohio Red, 2010: Payne was not impressive at all in the match-up we saw him in. He is extremely long and lanky, but rarely was involved offensively and was not aggressive when he got touches. Payne has the ability to face-up and shoot from the foul line, but his length helps him in the post when backing down defenders.

Anthony Wroten Jr., 6-5, Seattle Rotary Select, 2011: Wroten had a slow start against All Ohio Red, but he really picked it up in the second half, finishing with 13 points – 11 coming in the latter period. He was hampered by a sprained ankle, so he had difficulty driving to the basket, but he was effective on pull-up three-pointers. He is acrobatic when going to the rim, and has the ability to kick it out to an open teammate.

Josh Smith, 6-9, Seattle Rotary Select, 2010: Smith is another player who started slowly – I barely noticed him in the first half. However, in the second half, he matched Jared Sullinger fairly well. Smith had multiple blocks, and also had some solid put-backs and finishes offensively. This was his first game in weeks as he was out getting his tonsils removed, so he was still getting his legs back; he also lost 20 pounds while sitting out. As a result, his energy level seemed a little low and he struggled to keep Sullinger off the glass.

Phil Pressey, 5-10, Team Texas Elite, 2010: Pressey is a very quick point guard with excellent handle who can get to the rim whenever he wants. However, he is somewhat out of control once he beats his defenders and was caught under the rim on more than one occasion. Pressey also has decent range and can knock down threes. Once he contains his quickness, he is going to be tough to guard.

Cameron Clark, 6-6, Team Texas Elite, 2010: Clark was impressive from the opening tap. He is very athletic and can score in a variety of ways. He constantly looks to attack the basket whenever he gets the ball and is able to get into the lane against defenders. Furthermore, his explosiveness enables him to finish. He has a nice mid-range game and can also finish on the baseline. Clark is also a solid passer.

Myles Mack, 5-9, Playaz U-16, 2011: Despite a loss to Mac Irvin Fire, Mack had one of his better performances. He finished with 31 points, most coming in the second half when the Playaz needed points in a hurry. He was unstoppable, scoring in the lane against bigger defenders and with contact. He hit a three from the corner while getting fouled, pulled up and knocked down a three from about 23 feet, and also hit a fadeaway jumper off the glass. His quickness and passing ability were also on display.

Harrison Barnes, 6-8, Howard Pulley, 2010: One of the top-ranked players in the class of 2010, Barnes is hindered by the fact that his supporting cast is mediocre. They try to force him the ball, which in turn leads to double-teams and difficulty getting scoring opportunities. As is, Barnes is a phenomenal scorer who can get points in a variety of ways. He is excellent at posting up and turning to the hoop, and he can take defenders off the dribble. Barnes is also athletic and had an impressive follow dunk.

Marquis Teague, 6-0, Spiece Indy Heat, 2011: The younger brother of former Wake Forest star Jeff, Marquis is ultra quick and can get into the lane against any defender. He is very fast with the ball and can get baskets in transition on his own. Teague is quick to the rim and knows how to finish with both hands. He also had a couple of nice passes off penetration. Teague is also very good at changing directions, shifty with the ball.

DeJuan Marrero, 6-6, Spiece Indy Heat, 2012: A rising prospect, Marrero was involved in numerous plays throughout the game. He can drive to the basket, but struggled to finish at times. He can also shoot jumpers, but needs more lift and rotation on his release. Marrero is very active and can get rebounds at both ends. He picked up several offensive rebounds, and also had a very nice roll to the basket after setting a pick.

Keala King, 6-5, California Supreme, 2010: As usual, King was extremely smooth who showed the ability to get to the basket and finish with both hands. Also, King posted up on multiple occasions, either turning and scoring or kicking it out to an open teammate with his excellent vision and passing ability. King can handle the ball effectively and also is solid on the boards.

Gary Franklin, 6-2, California Supreme, 2010: The former USC commit was not as aggressive as he should have been, and he acknowledged that after the game, saying that he was trying to get his teammates more involved and passed up shots in order to accomplish that. Still, he showed his quickness and strength when going to the basket, as well as his three-point shooting ability.

Michael Gbinije, 6-6, Team Takeover, 2011: He immediately stood out as soon as I started watching Team Takeover play. He is an outstanding offensive player who can score in so many ways. His jump shots were rimming out, but he was still able to get to the basket at ease. Gbinije was very tough to stay in front of, as he is very shifty with the ball and in the lane, with jump-stops and ball fakes. He had a very impressive move under the basket for a basket.

Victor Oladipo, 6-5, Team Takeover, 2010: Oladipo is an absolute defensive menace. He is very active in the passing lanes and forces deflections and steals with his pressure and athleticism. He can also block shots and is excellent on the glass. Offensively, Oladipo is deceptively quick and can get to the rim and finish. He had multiple dunks after beating his man.

J-Mychal Reese, 6-0, Houston Hoops, 2012: A player that has been covered already for a couple of years, Reese is a dynamic lefty who can play both guard spots. He played off the ball with Houston Hoops, and showed his offensive repertoire. On one play, he double-crossed two defenders and got into the lane before failing to finish. Reese finished in transition well, and also knocked down perimeter jumpers. He also picked up a few assists.

Recruiting Notes:

Jason Morris:
Clemson, Georgia Tech and Stanford are the ones showing him the most interest, but he wants to wait and see which other schools offer.

Brandon Knight, 6-3, Team STAT (Each One Teach One), 2010: Said that he was completely wide-open, but when asked, said that Duke, Florida and Kentucky are recruiting him as hard as everyone else.

Anthony Wroten Jr.: Favorites are Villanova, Louisville, Seton Hall, St. John’s
- Said that he wants to come to the east to play college basketball

Josh Smith: Offers from every Pac-10 school, Louisville, Texas, Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke

Keala King:
Stanford, Arizona, California, Oregon State, Kentucky, Connecticut, Washington
- Has visited Stanford Elite Camp and also visited USC
- Top four are Stanford, Arizona, Oregon State, Kentucky

Gary Franklin: Washington, California, Stanford, USC, Connecticut, Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma

Adriean Payne
: Offers from Dayton, Xavier, Arizona, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Ohio State and Michigan State, with interest from Florida and Connecticut.

Phil Pressey: Connecticut, Florida, Baylor, LSU, Arizona, UCLA, Missouri

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