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May 13, 2012
Saturday standouts in Dallas
FRISCO, Texas- Saturday's action at the Next Level Ballers and EYBL was full of action. Here's a look at some of the day's other standouts.
The St. Louis Eagles 16-and-under group is another that specializes in team play. However, you don't have to watch them long to recognize 6-foot-6 wing Jordan Barnett as their alpha dog. A four-star prospect in the class of 2014, Barnett is doing all he can to continue what has been a long line of talented wing prospects in the Eagles organization. Fundamentally sound with length and above-average athleticism, Barnett finishes on the break and steps out to drill contested jumpers making him a tough cover. Surprisingly, Barnett reported that he's yet to draw any scholarship offers but mentioned hometown Saint Louis, Southern Illinois, Missouri, Michigan State, Purdue and Butler among those keeping close tabs.
With a roster made up of all class of 2015 prospects, Team Texas is playing up in the 16-and-under division. Their star player is 6-foot-4 combo guard Austin Grandstaff and he's a cagey dribble-drive guy who knocks down shots and shows a feel for setting up open teammates. Perimeter gunner Matthew McQuaid drills the long jumpers while wings Dennis Hogg Jr. and Tyler Williams show plenty of promise.
At the 16-and-under level, you would be hard pressed to find a better coached team than MoKan Elite. While they have plenty of players, it's a group effort for the Kansas City based squad. During a morning pool play game, 6-foot-5 wing Chris Kendrix from Willard (Mo.) High managed to stand out during a fine team effort. A high level athlete who specializes in slashing to the rim, the 2014 wing is a developing prospect who shows plenty of talent and a knack for finishing in traffic. A kid who plies his trade in close proximity to Missouri State, Kendrix has been on the Bears campus before and mentioned Northern Colorado and DePaul as a pair of schools that have also made early contact. As word gets out, expect many more to join in.
The Houston Hoops 16's didn't face much competition during the game we watched them, but they showcased plenty of guys to keep an eye on. 6-foot-7 jumping jack power forward Melvin Swift is among the top pound for pound athletes in his class and was doing his thing swatting his shots and converting on several huge dunks. Houston (Texas) Kinkaid wing Jeff Roberson is a young wing with length and a developing all-around game to keep an eye on.
There aren't many wings in the country with a better build than 6-foot-6 four-star Semi Ojeleye and he's got tenacity to match his well developed frame. The Ottawa (Kan.) High standout is the main offensive weapon for MoKan's 17 and under team and he's programmed to score. His jumper wasn't falling from deep so he got in the lane and powered his way to the rim for tough conversions. Also emerging for MoKan is class of 2014 point guard Lourawls Nairn. "Tum Tum" is as fast a player as there is in the country and the 5-foot-10 point guard has strength to match.
Subscribers to Rivals.com already know that Athlete's First point guard Stevie Clark is one of the nation's most combustible and explosive scorers. While the 5-foot-10 point guard from Oklahoma City (Okla.) Douglass never got it rolling with his usually dangerous deep jumpers, he used his quickness and creative ball handling to make things happen attacking the rim. He will force things at time, but the sub six-footer plays with the heart of a lion and is going to put points on the board each time out.
Four-star wing Ishmail Wainright's missed most of the first half in Team Takeover's one-point win over MoKan with foul trouble, the Kansas City native who attends Rockville (Md.) Montrose hit a key three and came up with a huge dunk in heavy traffic to help secure his team's win. Wainright now claims offers from Duke, Syracuse, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Tulsa, Texas A&M, UCLA and St. John's. Formerly committed to Missouri, Wainright confirmed that he and the Tigers are headed in different directions.
A matchup between California Supreme and Each 1 Teach 1 featured two of the top floor generals in the class of 2014 in Supreme's Parker Jackson-Cartwright and E1T1's Joel Berry. Score one for the bigger and more physical Berry as he scored 22 to lead his squad to a win during a very entertaining and hard fought battle. The four-star is major target of all the Florida high major programs and also mentioned a recent offer from Kansas. On the interior, Supreme's 2013 power forward Torren Jones who usually takes care of all the dirty work provided a scoring lift getting 22 hard earned points while E1T1's mammoth 2014 five-star center Dakari Johnson was beastly. A double-double machine, Johnson continues to use his strength and hands to his advantage and was good for 22 and 12.
His name probably hasn't been brought up as much as it should this spring, but Duke bound sharp-shooter Matt Jones is one the EYBL's premier jump shooters. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard simply doesn't miss from deep when he gets a clean look at the bucket and he doesn't need much time or space to get that clean look and he's now 40-77 from three during 12 games of EYBL play. While he drained the long jumpers, 2013's No. 3 player Julius Randle was doing his power thing again racking up 27 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the New York Lightning. For the Lightning, high majors are keeping tabs on 6-foot-3 scorer Jon Severe who mixes a nice blend of power and jump shooting to get things done.
While Matt Jones has been efficient from deep, the honor of most dangerous jump shooter in the EYBL has to go to Playaz Basketball Club combo forward Reggie Cameron. The 6-foot-7 stretch forward is a flat out lethal shooter from deep and has been shooting the cover off the ball from distance all spring long. He came into the Dallas session of the EYBL making a smoking hot 54.5% (30-55) of his three-pointers and has made 10-14 from distance during his three games in Texas. That makes him a ridiculous 40-69 from deep through 12 league games while leading the Playaz to a 7-5 record and a tie for first place in Group B.
Playground Elite's Duane Wilson continued his outstanding EYBL play on Saturday. The Marquette bound point guard is a high level athlete and has been knocking down lots of open looks from deep. Because of his attacking style, he also gets to the free throw line a ton. During a win over the Georgia Stars, Wilson got some help, though. 6-foot-4 wing Jamaar McKay used activity, hustle and athleticism to scrap his way 16 points and nine rebounds while shooting guard Keith Landston made every shot he took to pour in 18 of his own. A 6-foot-4 junior, Landston was also stout on the defensive end of the floor.