MEQUON, Wisc. - Day three of the NY2LA Summer Jam brought the beginning of tournament play. That means a sense of urgency came in order to stay in the tournament. While many players played well, and there was no true breakout performance, Branden Dawson showed off his stuff.
SYF keeps on rolling
The SYF Players keep on advancing at the Summer Jam. Behind the strong play of Branden Dawson, the boys from Gary, Indiana made quite an impression.
Always known as a big time rebounder, Dawson is beginning to do more than just be a beast on the glass. The 6-foot-5 wing is now expanding his perimeter skills and that was on full display in a playoff game win over the I-Can All-Stars.
Dawson was hitting shots from the outside, showed a much improved handle, and also was making things happen in the mid-range via the pass or the pull-up jumper. Those improvements make Dawson one of the most impressive prospects in the gym. With a complete offensive game to go with his always steady rebounding, he is just a lot to deal with for opponents.
Beyond the improvements skill wise, Dawson also had two of the loudest moments of the day. He threw down a pair of absolutely ridiculous dunks that not only put unfortunate defenders on posters, but also brought a sense of energy to his team. When Dawson gets it going athletically his whole team seems to step it up, and that is what he was able to get done on Wednesday.
Along with Dawson, Travis Trice has also made a huge impact for SYF. The combo guard from Dayton is the son of a coach and it shows with his play. He knows how to run the show, but at the same time is also a very capable scorer.
Trice has continually gotten bigger and stronger over the past year, and he had it working in a big way during SYF's big win in the playoffs. Trice scored around the rim by using his craftiness to finish. Also he of course hit deep jumpers, and made some nice passes to get teammates easy buckets. Always a streak shooter, Trice has been more consistent than ever, and now it is showing in terms of his production game in and game out.
Other notable performances
Bruce Barron - His team lost, but Barron put on a show. The combo guard from Brehm Prep was an absolute high-motor terror for the Illinois Titans. He is super quick with the ball, wired to score, and is an incredible athlete. His shot wasn't falling, but still Barron found a way to be effective. Barron scored from the mid-range and going to the rim. In fact one dunk was so vicious that it cut his hand wide open in crunch time making him take a trip to the trainer. Still Barron returned in a close game, but basically was only playing with one hand, and wasn't quite the same down the stretch.
Hayden Hoerdemann - It was a tough day overall for Hoerdemann, but still he had his moments. While he has the reputation of being a catch and shoot guy, Hoerdemann showed an ability to take the ball off the dribble and create space for himself with a solid first step. Unfortunately for Hoerdemann his shot wasn't falling, but he did do some nice things, and showed some definite improvement in other areas of his game.
Anrio Adams - It wasn't a great day for Adams on Tuesday, but that changed on Wednesday. With his team needing him, the full skill set was on display, and Adams showed why he might be one of the most heavily recruited players in his class on the West Coast. Adams was on fire from three, had his dribble drive game working, and caused some problems for opponents on the defensive end of the floor as well. Overall he was a dominant force and willed Seattle Rotary to wins.
Tyree Robinson - Playing back with the Dream Vision 16-and under squad, Robinson was a big time problem for opponents. His combination of skill, strength, and athleticism is too much for younger defenders, and Robinson showed no mercy with his play. His three pointer was falling, he finished through contact with strength, and defensively didn't let people get anywhere near the rim. Also the kid is a flat out competitor, and treats every possession like gold which is a rare trait in a younger player.
Rashad Muhammad - The younger brother of Shabazz, Rashad put on a show that his brother would have been proud of on Wednesday. The long and lanky wing had it working from three point range, and then threw some nice passes to set up his other teammates for buckets. On top of that he got a few steals, and made big plays. Now Muhammad does need to shore up his handle against pressure, but it was an impressive performance for the 2013 prospect.
Mike Gesell - Gesell is a tough competitor who is always playing hard and always giving what he can to help his team win. On Wednesday that meant getting buckets and making shots. Gesell did just that at a high level, and then when teams closed out hard on him he was able to create some space off the dribble and find open teammates for looks. After early struggles, it was clearly Gesell's best performance.
Adam Woodbury - With Gesell doing it from the outside for Martin Bros., Woodbury did it from the inside. He was a dominant scorer with his left hand, and cleaned the glass against an undersized Net Gain Sports squad. While he could be more aggressive at times going through contact as opposed to turning, facing, and fading away, Woodbury still shows a unique skill set, and was extremely productive.
Devin Haines - An intriguing scoring point guard, Haines is capable of making some very loud plays with his ability to hit big shots and also score with athleticism. Haines did what he could against Martin Bros. He was good against Marcus Paige on the defensive end, and then on offense he was the lone player who seemed to be able to get things going. He needs to improve his decision making, but still Haines has good ability for a 2012 floor general in a class that needs point guards.
Deonte Burton - The ultra athletic physically imposing wing did what he does best on Wednesday, and that is make loud plays above the rim. Burton is a freak of an athlete, and is so strong that when he dunks the ball it makes a special sound that isn't often heard. Now he does need to be more than just a dunker, and that is up for debate on how good his skill set is, but his handle looked improved. His shot was clearly off, and sometimes way off, but the size and strength that Burton possesses is very rare for a 2013 prospect.
Darrell Bowie - Bowie is a good looking combo forward from Wisconsin in the 2012 class. He has long arms, solid athleticism, and a nice feel for how to score down low. Bowie does need to get a lot stronger, and will have to show more of an ability to score in the mid-range, but his potential is very high, and no doubt had a lot of coaches impressed.
Perry Ellis - He continued his strong play despite the fact that his team was eliminated. Ellis was making shots yet again, and also tried his hardest to get his teammates to score along with him. He was passing the ball very well, and while it didn't always work out, Ellis showed a great basketball IQ. At the end of the day Kansas Pray and Play didn't have enough to keep Ellis in the tournament, but he showed very well for himself during the entire event.
Darnell Harris - One player who absolutely tore it up was Harris. He is a high level pick and pop power forward who can absolutely stroke it from deep. Harris in the past hasn't rebounded or scored inside the arc, but in a win over the Franchize All-Stars, Harris did it all. He accumulated double-figure rebounds, scored around the rim, and of course made shots from deep. Because of Harris the Wisconsin Hurricane Rebels made it into the quarterfinals.
Tyree Robinson listed interest from Stanford, Washington, Washington State, USC, Texas, Kansas, Arizona, Harvard, UNLV, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and San Diego State.
Travis Trice has offers from Richmond, Northwestern, Ohio, Toledo, and Dayton. Also interest is coming in from Northern Iowa and Nebraska.
Mike Gesell has offers from Nebraska, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, and Iowa.
Perry Ellis has offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Memphis, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Stanford, and Wichita State.