Future150 Midwest Analyst. Covering Midwest high school basketball.
Orlando, FL (Future150) -- The second day of the final live period saw the intensity level ramp up to another level as super-pool play kicked off the day. While some teams were without their top guys, all the teams competed at a high level during the final live period. The players know that this is there last chance to impress in front of coaches for some of them, while some younger players looked to prove themselves on the national stage:
Shannon Hale, 2013 PF, St. Louis Eagles: The future member of the Crimson Tide was a major factor in his team’s game against Bluff City Legends in the morning session. He used his athleticism to hit the glass hard and score the ball on the block. He even stepped out and showed the ability to hit the three pointer.
Keelon Lawson Jr., 2015 SF, Bluff City Legends: Lawson was a focal point of BCL’s attack due to the guys they are missing and he looked comfortable in that role. A long and smooth athlete , Lawson attacked the rim off the dribble and had great success with his mid-range jumper. He is going to be one to watch coming out of the Memphis area.
Jabari McGhee, 2013 SF, ATL Xpress: McGhee was big on the offensive end as he scored 18 of his team’s 53 points in a close matchup against Corn Elder and Team Nashville. While he does most of his damage close to the basket, McGhee showed an improving jump shot, something that will make him more enticing to college coaches around the nation.
KeJuan Johnson, 2015 SF, E1T1: Johnson is a big time athlete and his athleticism was on full display against The Ville on Thursday. He had a couple of highlight reel dunks and pushed the ball in transition well, when he was going to the rim he was unstoppable and a main reason why E1T1 pulled out the win.
Darryl Hicks, 2013 SG, The ‘Ville: Hicks is a big time scorer who can light it up from beyond the arc in a hurry. He put on a shooting clinic in the second half, bringing the Ville from down 18 to tie the game. In the end Hicks didn’t have enough left in the tank to pull off the upset but he reminded us that he is one of the more dangerous scorers in the country.
Deonte Burton, 2013 SG, TP Elite: Burton is another player who can score points in bunches. He already has a college ready body and used that to his advantage while getting to the rim against Texas Pro. Burton did whatever he wanted against the Pro guards in what ended up being a rout.
Jalen Lindsey, 2014 SF, Georgia Stars: Lindsey is one of the top prospects in his class and today he showed why. He scored the ball at all three levels and made plays for his teammates. He was also active defensively and used his length to create turnovers.
Tadric Jackson, 2014 PG, Georgia Stars: Jackson had a solid outing against the Albany City Rocks as well. He got into the lane on numerous occasions and kicked out to open shooters on the wing. He is a lockdown defender at his position and the City Rocks guards had problems finishing plays against him.
Reggie Oliver, 2014 PG, EYSF Panthers: Oliver has been playing with Division 2 AAU squads up to this point so he was a relative unknown coming into AAU Nationals. Now that is no longer the case, the 5-foot-10 point guard proved he belongs on the division 1 level. He was a blur in the open floor and caused all sorts of trouble for the opposing defense. He got past his defenders and used a little floater to score over them when he couldn’t get directly to the rim. While his shot needs work he maintains that he works on improving it every day. The fact that he has yet to hear from a D1 program is surprising, expect that to change.
Devin Booker, 2014 SG, Alabama Challenge: Yet another elite player in the class of 2014, Booker had the most impressive half of basketball in the tournament so far by scoring 18 points. He balanced his high scoring first half by making plays for his teammates and crashing the boards in the second. Booker is a big time player and could see his stock rise even more with a solid week in Orlando.
Sam Singer, 2013 SG, Gold Coast: Singer did a bit of everything on Thursday night. While he is known as a shooter, it was his ability to force turnovers and create for his teammates that stood out in their game against TP Elite. Singer had 5 steals in the first half alone, including a couple on Burton. He also played more of a facilitating role and got to the rim, showing he could play the point at the next level. Perhaps the most telling statistic is that he finished with 15 points on an off shooting night.