NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - The Peach Jam rolled on Tuesday at the Riverview Park Activities Center as the best youth programs Nike has to offer continued their battle for the Elite Youth Basketball League title. The event was bolstered by the addition of guys like Michael Gilchrist, Brad Beal, Marquis Teague, Tony Parker, Justin Anderson and James McAdoo. However, guys like Anthony Davis, Kyle Wiltjer and youngsters Brandon Ashley and Justin Jackson were making noise as well.
Day two standouts
Anthony Davis, PF, Mean Streets- A thin and mobile four man, Davis changes the game in so many ways. A confident and skilled scorer with a well-developed array of post moves inside the lane, he can also face up defenders and bury soft jumpers. It's true that he can be pushed around a bit, but he makes up for it by challenging shots and deflecting tons of passes and loose balls. His "final" three is Ohio State, Kentucky and Syracuse but North Carolina coach Roy Williams has been present for all of his games and is trying to make one last push.
Ricardo Gathers, PF, Louisiana Select- A pretty good argument could be made that the 6-foot-7 rising junior is actually a bit more of an undersized but powerful center rather than a power forward. He's most comfortable on the low block with his back to the basket and the St. Louis Eagles had no answer for him Tuesday morning. He continually spun and powered his way to 26 points (22 of them in the second half) and 11 rebounds.
Joe Coleman, SG, Howard Pulley- For the second day in a row, Coleman was getting buckets and doing it with efficiency. A strong, 6-foot-4 athlete who can get to the rim, he was also knocking down jumpers and getting to the line regularly. He was good for 32 points against the Drew Gooden Soldiers on an impressive 13-16 from the field and he's pushing for four star status.
Michael Gbinije, SF, Team Takeover- With his future head coach watching each step of the way, the future Duke Blue Devil has been one of the event's most consistent performers. A wing with good size, he gets to the rim, has a nice mid-range game and plays with a steady demeanor.
Roosevelt Jones, SF, St. Louis Eagles- An early pledge to Butler, Jones is a bruising and physically imposing 6-foot-4 wing. A very good ball handler, he plays the point for stretches and really likes to bull his way to the rim. He defends, plays physical and is not one to back down from a challenge. Several coaches were disappointed to find out that they wouldn't be able to recruit him.
Omar Calhoun, SG, New York Gauchos- Highly regarded in his native NYC, the 6-foot-4 junior to be is a wing scorer with good range and the confidence that each shot he takes is going to go down. He forced some things at times against the Oakland Soldiers but also did a nice job of getting to the line during his 31 point outing.
Brandon Ashley, PF, Drew Gooden Soldiers- The class of 2012 standout came to life on Tuesday and was unstoppable against the New York Gauchos. He runs the floor like a guard and makes a habit of beating his man down the floor to cash in on easy opportunities at the rim. His super hands and quick leaping allow him to be dominant on the glass and he's never lacking for activity. He put up 25 points and 11 rebounds in just 16 minutes of acton.
Kyle Wiltjer, PF, Drew Gordon Soldiers- Monday night, Wiltjer was suffering from migraine headaches and needed the aid of an i.v. because of dehydration. Tuesday, the super skilled 6-foot-9 forward was making things happen on the offensive end. We really liked that he concentrated on posting up and using his vast assortment of scoring moves to get work done. He went for 29 and 12 in just 20 minutes of action as he and Brandon Ashley destroyed the Gauchos on the interior.
Malcolm Brogdon, SG, Georgia Stars- A wing with a solid base and wiry strong build, Brogdon has been good at the Peach Jam. When his shot is dropping, he oozes confidence and becomes a bit more aggressive in taking the ball to the rim. When he does that, he's a load to guard and that was the case as he went for 23 against the Albany City Rocks.
Justin Jackson, SG, Houston Hoops 16's- He's very thin, but his skill level is more than impressive. A 6-foot-4 wing with a picture perfect stroke, great feel for the game and pretty advanced skill level, Jackson is easy to identify as a high major prospect in the class of 2013. Here's the twist, the home-schooled Jackson will repeat his freshman year and will now be considered as a member of the class of 2014.
Jarnell Stokes, PF, Memphis YOMCA 16's- Playing on the 16 and under level, Stokes is too physically strong and active for many teams to deal with. He ran roughshod over the Gauchos 16 and under crew and was a man in the paint. He understands how to use angles, dominates on the glass and even stepped out for some 12 foot jumpers. As usual, he did a great job of getting to the free throw line. We may have missed somebody, but Tennessee's Bruce Pearl was the only high major head coach we spotted watching him.
More day two notes and observations
It's really been feast or famine for Michael Carter-Williams of BABC. A rail thin combo guard, the 6-foot-4 Syracuse commitment has either hit for big numbers or struggled mightily to find the bottom of the hoop. Long term, he's easy to like as most of his issues are strength related. We didn't see the game, but word was that Marquis Teague got loose during a win over California Supreme. Checking the stat-sheet, Teague was good for 25 points, five rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes. Point guard Shaquille Boga had a really solid outing for the Saint Louis Eagles. Sometimes a little sketchy with the ball, he made pretty good decisions on Tuesday and provided the Eagles with some scoring punch. The 5-foot-10 point guard had Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State watching closely. Point guard Kedren Johnson flirted with a triple double during a big win over Each One Teach One. The burly point guard has done a good job of getting himself into shape and was good for 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists during the Georgia Stars morning win and survival of an Austin Rivers 35 point scoring barrage. Keep an eye out for Troy Williams of Boo Williams. Only a rising sophomore, he's a lean and quick 6-foot-5 wing with outstanding length and deep range on his jumper. He's playing up for Boo's 17 and under squad and looked pretty impressive.
The BABC 16 and under group is a lot of fun to watch because of their dedication to physical, in your face play and talent across the board. Maybe the best of the bunch is freshman to be Wayne Selden who will be prepping at the Tilton School. A physically impressive 6-foot-4 wing who likes to attack off of the dribble, he's got game to match his frame. He scores at the rim, is an excellent passer and shows signs as a shooter. With guys that look so physically developed there's always the concern that they've maxed out a little early, but assuming he improves at a normal rate he's a lock to get recruited at the high major level. Also impressive for the BABC 16 and under group is Goodluck Okonoboh who like Selden is at Tilton. At 6-foot-7 he's a wiry strong kid with good athleticism who hits the glass and runs the floor. Chris Bolden of the Georgia Stars 16 and under squad is a muscular 6-foot-2 shooting guard who is terrific as a catch and shoot guy. Liked seeing him use that strong frame to attack the rim and keep defenders on their toes.