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July 15, 2011

From the road: NY2LA Summer Jam

MEQUON, Wis. - Playoff rounds at NY2LA's Under Armour Summer Jam got rolling on Thursday after a few days of pool play. With high-level games on just about every one of the six floors at Homestead High School, it wasn't hard to find standout players, as Andrew White, Winston Shepard and many others were putting in work.

Thursday Summer Jam standouts

Andrew White, SF, Team Loaded- Not many in the class of 2012 are seeing an explosion of stock quite like that of the 6-foot-6 White. Coming off a terrific performance at the NBPA Camp, White was electric as a scorer on Thursday. Physically gifted with size and athleticism, White was smoking hot from the three-point line and put points on the board in a flurry.

Winston Shepard, SF, Dream Vision- When the four-star prospect plays like he did on Thursday night, he is one of the more intriguing players in the country. Built to perform in transition, he can be a high flying finisher or play the role of distributor when he grabs rebounds and leads the team into transition. His energy is high almost every time out and when he's making some shots on top of everything else, it's bad news for the opposition.

Chris Thomas, SG, Colorado Hawks- The rangy shooting guard isn't a pure shooter from deep, but he is a combustible one. Combustible is really a great one-word description of his game because you never know when he'll explode for points or emotionally. A gifted offensive talent who is at his best scoring off the dribble, he dropped in a ho-hum 30 during an afternoon win. What was surprising was the almost total lack of coaches watching him play.

Rysheed Jordan, PG, PTP- It's not a question of if the 6-foot-4 point guard from Philadelphia will enter the rankings for 2013 after the summer. It's just a matter of how high he debuts. PTP bowed out in its first playoff round game but it wasn't for lack of effort from Jordan. The kid is big, athletic and always trying to make things happen on each end of the floor.

More Summer Jam notables

Keith Frazier, SG, Dream Vision- The 2013 five-star hasn't played a lot with Dream Vision but he blends in nicely. An effortless scorer with great size, he's best known as a jump-shooter. But, defenders can't sleep on his first step and he's more than happy to finish alley-oops with big dunks. He listed Houston, Kentucky, Georgia, Baylor, Texas, Arizona, Marquette, Tennessee and North Carolina. All but the Tar Heels and Wildcats saw him on Thursday.

Phillip Nolan, PF/C, DTA Devin Harris- His team went down in defeat to MoKan Elite, but Nolan was very good in stretches. A long and lean 6-foot-9 forward, Nolan moves with the agility of a much smaller player and wields a smooth jumper that is true to 20 feet. He can chase down blocks on the break and has a body to grow into.

Marcus Marshall, PG, 43 Hoops- A quick point guard who can score the ball, Marshall has turned himself into a mid-major priority. He runs the show without an ounce of fear and gets into the lane on a regular basis. Marshall now has offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Murray State, Indiana State, Albany, UMKC, Northern Illinois, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Buffalo. Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri State are others keeping tabs.

Ishmail Wainright, SF, KC 76ers- The well-built wing has always had plenty of physical tools and ability. But, he's been a reluctant star at times. The 76ers are rolling right now and much of it has to do with his aggressive play. Head coaches Ben Howland, Frank Martin, Doc Sadler, Buzz Williams and Anthony Grant checked him out on Thursday while Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Tennessee and many others had assistants on hand to watch.

Kevon Looney, SF, Milwaukee Running Rebels- It wasn't a huge day from a production standpoint, but it's impossible to not see the vast potential in the long, athletic 6-foot-6 wing from the class of 2014. Looney plays hard on both ends, has great shoulders to grow into and is already developing into a pretty good defender despite a lack of strength. His recruitment will be a high-major affair.

Laimonas Chatkevicius, C, MoKan Elite- He's still adjusting to the American game, but the 6-foot-10 center is making an impression on college coaches. He's already big and has a body that will easily carry more weight when he hits a college weight room. Not a high flyer, but he is long, blocks shots and shows some soft touch on short jumpers. Missouri was the first to offer while Arkansas, Kansas State, Xavier, Ole Miss, Ohio and Wichita State are all starting to poke around.

Brandon Randolph, PG, Team Jennings- The 2013 point guard is likely listed a bit generously at 6-foot-1, but that doesn't change the fact that he can play. Quick off the bounce, he's an aggressive driver of the basketball with great physical strength. Rebounds very well for a guard and plays with good effort.

Final Thursday notes

Ronnie Johnson and the Eric Gordon Central Stars bowed out a bit earlier than they would have liked to, but the Purdue-bound point guard had himself another fine showing. He's not the biggest floor general, but the four-star plays with speed and has become more and more dangerous as a jump shooter. ... Taj Adams looks to be emerging as a legitimate high-major prospect and potentially ranked prospect. A long and rangy 6-foot-7 combo forward from Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax, Adams glides around the court, has some fight to him on the interior and looks like he can shoot the ball a bit. He's quite thin, but not easily pushed around. ... One of the hotter names of the July circuit has been Kansas Pray and Play guard Buddy Hield. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard's jumper is unconventional to say the least, but it goes in and more importantly he can create space for it or other offense off the bounce. Quick and long, he has the tools to be a well above average defender. ... Hield's much more celebrated teammate on Pray and Play, five-star Perry Ellis, was relatively quiet on Thursday. Looking a bit gassed from playing a lot over the past nine days, Ellis still showed off his speed in transition and made some plays on the interior. Kansas boss Bill Self caught an earlier game while Kansas State's Martin was the only head coach for his tournament ending playoff loss. Assistants from Kentucky, Memphis and Duke also checked in on him. ...

According to the Milwaukee Running Rebels coaching staff, former Iowa State commitment Elgin Cook is making a move to the class of 2012 and will attend Humble (Texas) Christian Life. The 6-foot-6 wing is an electric athlete who has some skill to go along with his elite level running and jumping ability. ... Another 2011 player on the Running Rebels, Darnell Harris is nearing a decision. The 6-foot-7 forward is qualified and is expected to choose among Wichita State, Cleveland State, Saint Louis, Florida International and Utah at summer's end. ... One more Running Rebel to keep an eye on is rising sophomore wing David Burrell. The 6-foot-5 small forward is not only a high level athlete, but he looks to be a pretty good shooter as well. ... MoKan Elite wing Shavon Shields is a smart defender and can knock down open jumper to the three-point stripe. He listed offers from Jacksonville, Weber State and San Francisco to go along with interest from UMKC, Long Beach State and others. ... We had to doublecheck to make sure that Rashad Vaughn of Net Gain Sports is indeed a class of 2014 prospect. A long and athletic 6-foot-5 wing, he's one that deserves a much closer look down the road but appears to have all the tools to end up a high-major prospect. ...

We wanted another look at Quenton DeCosey after catching him at last week's Hoop Group Elite camp and we got one. A long 6-foot-5 wing with some athleticism, he's become a priority for A-10 types and also has high-majors sniffing around. He lacks strength, but is adept at slashing to the hoop. ... The youngest of the Hamilton brothers, Daniel Hamilton is coming along nicely. A class of 2014 prospect, he's gone from goofy kid and grown to be a 6-foot-5 wing with rapidly developing skill, great quickness and plenty of room to grow. At this point, he looks to be on track to be a high major prospect in his own right.


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