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2013 Pittsburgh Jam Fest: Saturday Standouts
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (5:36 PM CT, Mon April 22, 2013)
M.J. Walker, Terrence Phillips, Danjel Purifoy stood out.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Pittsburgh, PA (Future150) -- Day two of the 2013 Pittsburgh Jam Fest started bright and early on Saturday, and while the day was dreary, that didn't stop several prospects from shining on the basketball court.

The longest day of the hoops filled weekend brought us prospects we had not seen before, as well as kids who have been on our radar for quite some time.

Here are some names who impressed Future150 the most...

Terrence Phillips - 2015 PG, Atlanta Xpress: 

While Phillips plays point for the Xpress, he is very much a major scoring threat. It is obvious that he has learned from his older brother, Brandon Jennings. On Saturday he got to the rim whenever he wanted. Most of those drives ended up as layups for Phillips, but he showed the ability to find the open man as well. At this point he is more of a scorer than a distributor. In addition, he is amazingly shifty and nearly impossible to stop in the open floor; a team that likes to run will fit him well.

Julius Barnes 2015 PG, Garner Road:

The 5'8" lead guard is another shifty floor general who has no problem getting to the basket whenever he wants. He has solid ball skills and rarely turns it over. He is very good at finding teammates in good spots on the floor, and he is fearless when attacking the rim.

Juwan Durham - 2016 PF, Team Breakdown:

Durham might only be a freshman, but at 6-foot-9, he already looks like he's going to be a force down the road. While he didn't get many touches on a talented Team Breakdown squad, he already reminds us of his teammate Malik Price-Martin. As a freshman, he already is just as big as Malik and plays similarly to him as well. Look out for Durham down the road. Right now, he has the looks of a can't miss high major player.

Wolfgang Novogratz 2016 PG, The City:

 When talking about Novogratz, the first word to come to mind is solid. He is a point guard in the truest sense of the word.  He routinely passed up contested shot opportunities to find his open teammates to make the right play. In addition he showed a nice handle and did not turn the ball over or get sped up by opposing defenders. He also hit a couple of jumpers and was able to get into the lane. While he’s only a freshman, Novogratz plays much more like a seasoned veteran. It’s no wonder why he already claims an offer from Villanova. More teams will certainly come calling over the next three years.

M.J. Walker - 2017 SG, Atlanta Xpress: 

M.J. proved that he belonged playing up with the 16U squad, despite being only in the 8th grade. Already wired to score, Walker caused defenders fits with his ability to put the ball on the floor and score at the rim. His jumper wasn't falling consistently, but with four years to develop ahead of him, we're excited about his future.

William Crandell 2015 SF, Garner Road:

The 6'6" bruising wing made an impression on the Future150 staff with his blue collar mentality on the floor. He imposed his will by relentlessly attacking the basket and finishing in traffic, rebounding the ball, and using his athleticism to play above the rim. Passes the eye test.

Donovan Mitchell - 2015 SG, The City: 

The third member of The City’s backcourt, Mitchell has the looks of a special player. At 6-foot-4, he already has great size for his position and he used that to his advantage when scoring over defenders.  Mitchell also has incredible bounce, throwing down a couple of highlight dunks that still stick out to us two days later. He claims interest from UNC and Kansas already, and holds offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, Maryland, Boston College, Providence, and  UConn. 

Ronique Robinson - 2015 CF, Team Miami: 

The 6'7" Miami native is another prospect with a phenomenal body for such a young player. He is a powerful 220 pounds and makes his mark by deflecting shots, rebounding the ball, and finishing around the rim. He has soft touch on his jumper, and if he develops some perimeter skills, he will be a tough draw for any defender.

Javis Howard - 2014 PF, Upward Stars:

Howard was at his best on Saturday, scoring around the basket with an array of post moves. In a time where so many big men lack a true go-to post move, it was refreshing to see Howard break out a couple of them. He also rebounded the ball at a high rate and defended well.  Only Marshall, Charleston Southern, and Winthrop have offered, but he has interest from VCU, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and St. Joe’s as well. Expect Howard’s list to expand even more this week and beyond.

Tariq Owens - 2014 PF, BMore’s Finest:

Tariq was quite possibly the premier shot blocker of the entire tournament on day two. Tallying eight blocks against a talented Upward Stars program, Owens showed great timing when leaving the floor. Even more impressive was his ability to stay out of foul trouble while challenging so many shots at the rim. His offensive game is behind his defense right now but he is looking like a solid mid-to-high-major prospect.

Dantez Bennamon - 2014 PG, Upward Stars:

On a day where P.J. Dozier wasn’t at his best, it was Bennamon who picked up  and provided the scoring punch for the Stars. While he is still searching for his first offer, Bennamon is a division one point guard who can both score and distribute. If Dantez can continue to turn in these types of performances, he will land offers in no time.

Isaiah Whitehead - 2014 SG, Juice All-Stars:

Isaiah was at it again on the second day of the Jamfest. His ability to score is almost unrivaled and he proved that again Saturday; dropping another 30+ point performance. He also showed a will to win that few in this class could rival, and he has the killer instinct you look for in a player as well. Simply put, when Whitehead is engaged there isn’t a better pure scorer in this class.

Mike Williams - 2014 SG, The City:

Mike put on a scoring clinic Saturday morning, scoring 17 in the first half alone. He scored it from all three levels and couldn’t be stopped. His jumper is smooth and he is quick off of the dribble as well. While he didn’t showcase elite athleticism like his backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell, he is incredibly skilled. Creighton, Temple, and half the Atlantic-10 have already offered.

Allen Costley 2014 SF, BMore’'s Finest:

Costley was the main scorer for BMores Finest on Saturday. He got to the rim and had a number of athletic finishes. Physically he’s ready for college now, and used his size to bully smaller defenders. He has all of the tools to be a lock down defender at this and the next level. Look for Costley to turn in a solid spring and summer.

Justin Bibbs - 2014 SG, Ohio Basketball Club:

The Montverde product showed what he can do as the focal point of an offense, scoring over 20 points in a variety of ways. His jumper was the most impressive part of his game though, as Bibbs was on fire from deep. He also finished at the rim over bigger defenders and was super aggressive throughout the game. Although OBC lost the game, it was Bibbs that kept them competitive throughout.

Kenneth Burnette - 2015 SF, Garner Road:

The 6'6" wing forward has his best basketball days well ahead of him. He is a a multi-skilled player who does several things well, but nothing great. Right now, he is most effective when shooting from mid-range, making good decisions, and rebounding the basketball. High upside kid.

Danjel Purifoy - 2015 SG, Atlanta Xpress:

The 6'6" shooting guard is another prospect whose best days are well ahead of him. He is the type of prospect who is extremely fluid and the game comes effortlessly to him. He already holds an offer from UAB, as well as interest from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State,  and Missouri. 


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Basketball Fan / Guest

Naba Echols Team Thad 2015, is on the rise as an elite guard. His big time performances caught my eye over the past weekend.

Posted: 12:47 PM UTC, Tue April 23, 2013

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