Future150 Midwest Analyst. Covering Midwest high school basketball.
Orlando, FL (Future150) -- Wednesday kicked off the final live period of the summer and both players and coaches alike where excited for the first day of AAU Nationals in Orlando. While super pool play didn’t begin until 5 PM there were plenty of games that caught people’s attention leading up to then. Here are some of the players who stood out on Day 1:
Tyler Roberson, 2013 SF, NJ Roadrunners: While the Roadrunners eventually fell short against a talented Georgia Elite program, it was by no fault of Roberson. The wing was active and attacked the defense, often scoring over his defender. Roberson also showed the ability to put the ball on the floor as well as a solid jumper. His athleticism has always been strength but now he has rounded out into a complete player.
Pascal Chukwu, 2014 C, CBC: The 7-foot-1 Chukwu is seemingly always getting better and Wednesday morning was no different. He sealed and scored in the post on numerous occasions and finished through contact. On defense he blocked at least 6 shots while altering countless others and controlled the glass. Chukwu has the looks of a high major center and is proving he should be recruited as one.
Rodney Williams, 2013 PF, Richmond Squires: A stretch-4 man who can put it on the floor, Williams caused matchup problems in his team’s opening matchup. While the Squires won convincingly using a balanced attack, it was obvious Williams was the leader. He rebounded the ball at a high rate and got his points when they needed him to.
Dwayne Bacon, 2015 SG, Showtime Ballas: Bacon showed the ability to stroke it from deep early on, hitting two threes to start the game and give Showtime a lead they would never relinquish. He attacked the rim in the second half as well as facilitated for his teammates as well. His versatility might be his biggest asset at this point and it is clear the sky is the limit for this youngster.
Julius Randle, 2013 PF, Texas Titans: Randle has begun to transform his game and is looking to play more on the perimeter. On Wednesday night he looked much more comfortable on the wing than he did against Andrew Wiggins last week. He set the offense up and took his man off the dribble. He still rebounded the ball well all game and was locked in on defense. At 6-foot-8, 240 pounds he is a matchup nightmare.
Tony Bagtas, 2013 PG, Atlanta Xpress: While the Xpress had a disappointing game as whole, it is hard not to like the talented lead guards game. He handled the ball well even under pressure and didn’t turn it over. He has good vision and speed for the position and could be a potential steal for someone.
Damien Jones, 2013 C, Texas Titans: Normally overshadowed by frontcourt mate Julius Randle, Jones had a strong showing on Wednesday night. The big man ran the floor extremely well and finished everything around the rim. He also was in control of the glass the entire game and gave Trayvon Reed problems on the defensive end of the ball. While he might not be a major name to casual fans yet, colleges know all about him, as he holds offers from the likes of Duke, Texas, and N.C. State among others.
Aaron Harrison, 2013 SG, Houston Defenders: Anyone who watched the game on TV already knows how Harrison can absolutely take over a game. While it is hard to choose one Harrison over the other, Aaron’s deep threes and lobs to Derrick Griffin give him the edge over his equally impressive brother.
Derrick Griffin, 2013 PF, Houston Defenders: Griffin put on an absolute show worthy of his last name on Wednesday night. In the first half he was 8-for-8 from the field, mostly on massive dunks that brought the crowd to their feet. Griffin also had a series of nice passes and put the ball on the floor as well. He might be the best walk-on in the country next year, as he has already accepted a football scholarship to Texas A&M.
Daxter Miles, 2013 PG, Baltimore Elite: Miles has been one of the bigger names to make a jump this summer, as he has gone from mid-major prospect to high-major prospect. He showed exactly why on Wednesday night as he started off 5-6 from three point land. He was also a nightmare in the open floor, where he got to the rim and finished through contact.