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AAU Super Showcase and Nationals: Sunday
by Brian Flinn, Future150 (1:38 PM CT, Tue July 30, 2013)
Tyus Jones proved he is the best player in the nation.
Tyus Jones proved he is the best player in the nation.
Brian Flinn
Brian Flinn:

Future150 National Recruiting Analyst. Covering high school basketball nationally.

Orlando, FL (Future150) -- On the final day of the live period players brought their A-games. Teams knew that this was the last chance to let their guys perform in front of coaches and potentially earn scholarships before the high school season starts in the fall, and many players stepped up during the final day. Here are some of the players who took their game to the next level:

Gavin Skelly, 2014 PF, Team Work: The newest member of the Northwestern Wildcats had a great week throughout the duration of AAU Nationals. A skilled power forward who is equally comfortable scoring with his back to the basket or facing up, Skelly is a complete offensive player. He stands at just 6-foot-8 and will need to bulk up in order to become a more effective defender in the rugged B1G, but it’s not a stretch to say Collins may use him in a stretch-4 role similar to Kyle Singler.

Leron Black, 2014 PF, Team Thad: Black is a bruising forward that is absolutely dominating from ten feet and in on the offensive end. He is built like a linebacker and uses his strength to bully defenders down on the block. His size also allows him to carve out space and be an effective rebounder as well. On the defensive end, Black holds his own and uses his athleticism to play bigger than he actually is.

Justin Smith, 2015 PF, Atlanta Xpress: The athletic big man did what he does best on Sunday, grabbing rebounds and scoring on putbacks. He is an athletic combo-forward that is still raw offensively but plays with a high motor. Justin has a great nose for the ball and understands where he needs to be on the floor in order to be effective. His athleticism and length make him an effective defender and it is clear that he is far from a finished product.

Lamonte Turner, 2015 PG, Atlanta Xpress: Turner is a quick point guard that excels on getting out on the break and attacking in the open floor. He has good court presence and seems to be a natural leader among his peers. His basketball IQ is also very impressive and he directs his teammates on both ends of the floor. Simply put, Turner is a consummate point guard who does what it takes to win games and is an extension of the coaching staff on the floor.

Tyus Jones, 2014 PG, Howard Pulley: There’s not much more to say about Jones that we haven’t already said this week. The top player in the nation proved that once again, scoring at will and distributing against the likes of D’Angelo Russell and Joel Berry. In the end it was Jones’ ability to balance scoring and finding teammates like Wright and Travis that led Howard Pulley to a national championship.

Esa Ahmad, 2015 PF, All-Ohio Red: Ahmad is another power forward that despite being a bit undersized, makes his presence in the paint known. He is an excellent rebounder and can score it around the basket or step out and hit a jumper. He needs to work on his perimeter game in order to fully reach his potential but he already has an effective game. He reminds us a bit of Ohio native Devin Williams.

Chance McSpadden, 2015 SG, Nike Team Florida: The class of 2015 in Florida is looking like it will be a strong one, and McSpadden is one of the best in his state. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard got to the basket nearly any time he wanted to in the 16U national title game vs the Arkansas Wings. McSpadden also showed that he can be a lock down defender when he’s engaged on that side of the ball. The in-state programs have jumped on him early, as he claims offers from UCF, South Florida, and Florida.

Malik Monk, 2016 SG, Arkansas Wings: Monk is an ultra-smooth scoring guard who can take defenders off of the dribble or bomb shots from beyond the three-point line. He has great size for his position already and could become a matchup nightmare if he continues to grow. Monk is also a freak athlete that few players in his class can match; he finished a number of plays above the rim this week while putting up big time numbers.

John Jean, 2015 PG, Nike Team Florida: Jean also turned in a big week, ending in a good performace against the Wings in the national championship game. With so many offensive weapons on the Nike Team Florida squad, it is up to Jean to get all of his teammates involved. He did just that, finding McSpadden and Kevarrius Hayes for easy baskets throughout the contest. Jean is another floor general that will demand our attention over the next couple of years.

Kevaughn Allen, 2015 SG, Arkansas Wings: Allen is an elite slasher who has the opportunity to become a truly special scorer. He is athletic and quicker than most players his size. He plays with a high motor that allows him to bring his best when other players on the floor are fatigued. He is relentless at attacking the basket as well on the defensive end and has yet to reach his considerable potential.

Reid Travis, 2014 PF, Howard Pulley: Travis is a bull of a forward who can step out and hit shots from deep as well. While it took him a few possessions to figure out how to score against Trayvon Reed, Travis scored at will after. He uses his size to finish through defenders and his speed to blow past ones that he can’t. Travis seemingly improved each day and he should be a priority recruit for a number of high-major programs.

Joel Berry, 2014 PG, E1T1: Berry is another floor leader that will have an instant impact at the next level. He is a decent shooter, great defender and ultimate competitor. He brings a toughness that UNC will sorely need when he steps foot on campus. Look for him to push the other point guards for the starting position from day one.

Jake Wright, 2014 SG, Howard Pulley: Wright is an elite shooter that needs very little time and space in order to get his shot off. At 6-foot-2 he is a tad undersized, but he could be a deadly scorer at the low-major level. Wright needs to expand his game more, but will be highly sought after due to the fact that he’s one of the top shooters in the class of 2014.

D’Angelo Russell, 2014 CG, E1T1: Russell was on fire from deep during the first half of the national championship game, hitting four threes. Russell is incredibly crafty off of the dribble and can take his defender to the lane. The Ohio State bound guard is a perfect fit for their system and should help the Buckeyes continue their strong play.


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