Also on tap this weekend were the Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kansas, the Hoop Group Providence Jam Fest and the Double Pump Best Buy Challenge Spring Classic in Las Vegas. There was also the Tucson Spring Exposure Showcase, an event that featured some solid young talent especially in the 2013-15 classes. Below are some notes on players observed in the Spring Exposure Showcase in addition to links to recaps on other action around the country. (Note: some of the links may require a subscription)
Nike EYBL Session #2 (Dallas)
- Friday recap from Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com
- Friday recap from Five Star Basketball (Team Takover's 22-point win over Mac Irvin Fire)
- Day one and day two recaps from Evan Daniels for Scout.com
Jayhawk Invitational (Lawrence, KS)
- Notes from Eric Bossi of Rivals.com (most notably a good Friday for Mitch McGary)
- Day two notes from Tim Dwyer for Five Star Basketball (including Dream Vision's loss to Minnesota Southside)
Hoop Group Providence Jam Fest
- Friday night notes from Dave Krupinski of the Hoop Group
Double Pump Best Buy Challenge (Las Vegas)
- Day one notes from Anthony Ray of ArizonaPreps.com
Tucson Spring Exposure Showcase notes
- 2011 guard Frank Mgbolu played well in a pair of games in the early afternoon portion of the event, displaying the ability to get to the basket with speed and finish with contact. Also in the 2011 class, forward John Makkar played well on both ends of the floor for the Fastbreakers. Makkar is still a bit raw, as evidenced by the need to further improve finishing around the rim with two hands, but his wingspan allows him to get to shots as a help-side defender. Makkar was productive on the boards as well, especially on the offensive end where he did a good job of keeping the ball up high.
- 2012 guard Michael Barry also played well for the Fastbreakers and he's got the ability to get hot from the perimeter. At one point in their second game of the day he scored seven unanswered points, combining the three-point shot with the ability to pull up off the dribble for mid-range shots. Barry also showed solid composure with the ball in his hands in other situations. 2011 wing Daniel Cobb has a good build (can finish in traffic) and shoots well from the perimeter, although there were instances where he settled for the three instead of attacking the basket.
- Two other 2012 players on display were teammates Anthony Charles and Julien Phifer. Charles is a good perimeter shooter who got open in the second half of their final game of the day, helping spark the decisive run in their victory. Phifer is an interior presence on both ends of the floor, but he needs to improve at keeping the ball up high on rebounds (an issue that some pros have these days to be honest). Look for these two to get even better as the spring/summer wears on.
- The Tucson Heat 2014 squad has some talented players as well. Guard Cameron Denson, who remarked after the game that he's looking to improve his left hand and outside shot, is an athletic player who proved tough to keep from getting to the rim. He's got very good jumping ability as well, a characteristic that should get even better as his career wears on.
- Also playing well on the perimeter was Austin Nehls, who proved tough to handle in their final game of the day. Nehls is looking to work on the quickness of his release in addition to getting to the basket. When the Heat pulled away in the second half his offense proved to be the catalyst. Austin Miller wasn't too thrilled with his shooting in the win but the guard displayed very good vision with the basketball. That makes perfect sense given the fact that his father is Arizona head coach Sean Miller. Austin will look to improve upon his shot this summer, which should pay dividends as he matures physically.
- Inside for the Heat were Chaz Mack and Thomas McEvoy, and if both can improve upon their games away from the basket (both noted this area as what they'd like to improve upon this summer) they'll be guys to keep an eye on. They both rebounded well in addition to defending in the paint, and they were a solid supplement to what the aforementioned guards provided offensively.
- 2013 big man Jeremiah April will be a player to remember as the circuit progresses this year. Already standing at 6'10", April has good shooting form in addition to being a shot-blocking presence on the defensive end. As he fills out and becomes even more comfortable in what he can do, look out. And 2015 forward Dakota Kordsiemon should only get better as well. In a brief conversation with him following a game, Kordsiemon noted that he's looking to work on his left hand and perimeter shooting this summer. He did a good job of getting to the basket and finishing, and that should only improve as he matures.
- More on the event from Chad Groth of the West Coast Hoops Report