AIKEN, S.C. -- The Peach State Summer Showcase was a hot spot on Friday for college coaches. Those that were on hand saw a number of competitive games, a high-major high-riser and plenty of depth for the mid-majors in action.
The first week of the July evaluation period has been a good one for Garner Roads wing Garrius Adams. The buzz he created with his play in Myrtle Beach earlier in the week carried over to the Peach State.
The 6-foot-4 guard was about as efficient as any guard in the tournament field on Friday. He took the shots he knew he could make, he passed to cutters at the right time and was constantly in control.
Adams scored 17 points in an important win over the Lou Will Elite team and his performance was played out in front of a number of coaches. Adams said he has heard from Virginia, Miami, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Providence, South Florida, Winthrop, Central Florida, East Carolina and Georgia Tech in the last 72 hours.
Ari Stewart loves July. Last year, he started his strong summer run at Rbk U. This year, the 6-foot-7 athlete from the Worldwide Renegades tipped off his July period with the United States U18 national try-outs. On Friday, he was the best player in the gym.
Stewart absolutely assaulted the rims at USC Aiken on Friday. The four-star prospect used his trademark athleticism to set the tone early in the game and dominated inside the paint with his rim-rattling effort.
The Georgian seemed to have his confidence meter cranked up to high and he played like a man that is comfortable in his own skin when the brightest lights are on. Stewart said Xavier, Wake Forest, Oregon, Miami, Virginia, South Florida, Alabama and Georgia Tech are on his short list.
Not surprising, Richard Howell also played well for the Worldwide Renegades. All the 6-foot-8 forward does these days is produce, produce, produce. The rising senior from Wheeler High School in Marietta scored 14 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds.
He's one of the most consistent post presences in the Southeast and hasn't changed that tune all year long. Oregon, Marquette, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn, Memphis, Georgetown, NC State and James Madison are in contention for his services, Howell says.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Class of 2010 guard Ian Miller had it rolling against the Georgia Tornadoes in a big way. The 6-foot-1 guard scored 25 points and made it look all too easy.
His game continues to evaluate to new heights this summer and over the span of two games, the Charlotte native was one of the top guards in attendance on Friday.
Miller said Kentucky, Virginia, Georgetown, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida State, Oregon State and Hampton are on his list.
Miller's teammate Jarrell Eddie is looking more and more comfortable on the wing. The 6-foot-6 forward from the United Celtics was one of the most watched underclassmen in action and he certainly gave the coaches in the stands something to talk about.
The 2010 Blessed IJN duo of Justin Martin and Russell Byrd will be tough to stop this weekend. The two both boast good size as both are 6-foot-6. Both know how to score and both know how to keep defenses on their toes with the dribble drive.
Martin said he has heard from Wake Forest, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan State, Xavier and Tennessee. Byrd said Louisville, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Baylor and Notre Dame have tendered scholarships while Ohio State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh are also interested.
HI, MY NAME ISï¿½
Perhaps the best part of Friday's action was the discovery (at least from our perspective) of several good-looking mid-level prospects.
When it comes to shooting the three ball, there wasn't anyone better in Aiken, S.C. for 16 minutes of play than Troy Daniels of the Carolina Raptors. The 6-foot-3 guard from Virginia hit five three-pointers in the second half and helped his Raptors team climb out of a 16-point deficit. In an era where teams are trying to find specialists, there is no reason why Daniels can't find a place at the mid-major (plus) level because of his stroke from deep.
Daniels said he's heard from Virginia, Marquette, NC State, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Charlotte and Radford (offer).
Dee Giger said he has grown a couple of inches over a year's time and his new frame has made him into a good-looking prospect. Now at 6-foot-6, Giger was a difficult player to match-up with.
Giger said Harvard, William & Mary and Stanford are the three schools standing out to him the most at the moment.
The Mid State Ballers South may not have a blue-chipper on the roster like last year (see Scotty Hopson) but team is full of kids that play hard on both ends of the floor and will defend their opponent into submission.
After being down by a dozen in the first half, the defensive efforts of the Ballers kicked in and helped the team claim a hard earned 68-64 win over the Carolina Celtics.
Chance Jones scored a team-high 22 points in the victory. The 6-foot-1 guard has interest from East Tennessee State, Murray State, College of Charleston and Gardner-Webb.
Skyler McBee, a 6-foot point guard, showed his shooter's touch in the second half en route to an important 13 points. The class of 2009 guard from Rutledge (Tenn.) has an offer from Tulane and has visited UAB while the majority of the Atlantic Sun, Sun Belt and Southern Conference have shown various amounts of interest.
Nathan Parker, a 6-foot-5 rising senior, is holding offers from Lipscomb, East Tennessee State, Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee State.
Deonte Alexander, an athletic defender at the point guard position, is hearing from Murray State, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State, Radford and Winthrop.
SCHOOL LIST CENTRAL
Stan Okoye played well for Garner Road Elite, scoring in the post and being an overall physical presence both inside and out. The 6-foot-4 rising senior said he is hearing from Cornell, Charleston Southern, Furman and Columbia.
Jahmad Saleem, a 6-foot point guard from Team Power, is being courted by Miami-OH, Savannah State, Georgia State and Jacksonville.
Worldwide Renegades guard Russell Powell offered up a list Harvard (offer), Toledo (offer), Davidson, James Madison, Virginia Commonwealth, Bucknell, Cornell, Columbia, Auburn, Furman, Murray State and Gardner-Webb are also interested.
NOTES FROM THE NOTEPAD
Carolina Raptors Select guard Bishop Daniels, a talented 2010 guard, went down to a nasty ankle injury and was carted out of the gym and straight to emergency room. Word is, the injury is a severe ankle sprain.
Khris Middleton put his Carolina Celtics team on his back in a competitive game to the Mid State Ballers South. He scored 18 points in the second half and did great work going to the basket and playing at the rim.
One of the things that separates Carolina Celtics prospect Kenny Manigault from the a number of other point guards in the 2009 class is his length and his ability to use wingspan on the defensive end of the floor. He blocks a number of shots for a guard and can defend the wing well. Manigault is a fine rebounder at this level and does a nice job of knifing his way into the paint with little trouble.
Team Truth forward Jerome Hamilton continues to have a strong summer showing. The 6-foot-7 forward is starting to show small glimmers of improvement on the offensive end of the floor. Rebounding, blocking shots and playing with athleticism continues to be the strong suit for the 2009 prospect.