Tamron Manning, PG/SG, KYA – It’s tough to pinpoint a position for Manning, who led KYA to the 17’s championship. Manning seems to be at his best when the ball is in his hands, as he’s a tremendous passer that knows how to make plays. With time and space, he can knock down outside shots and he’s developed an impressive floater. Manning, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Georgetown (Ky.) Scott County, is also a terrific defender that can check three different positions.
Jay Johnson, PF, KYA – Over the past year Johnson, a 6-foot-5 forward, has built quite a reputation in the state of Kentucky. This weekend playing alongside Manning, Johnson managed to show off his ability. Johnson tends to roam on the perimeter at times, but he’s more effective when he’s using his athleticism in the paint. He’s a talented rebounder and has good touch around the basket. He’s one of the best seniors in the state.
Nate Dieudonne, PF, KYA – As good as his teammates were, Dieudonne managed to play as well as anyone in the 17’s group this past weekend. A 6-foot-6 forward, Dieudonne was active on both ends, rebounded the ball well and finished shot attempts in the paint. An undersized power forward, Dieudonne took ownership in his role and played with a motor all weekend.
Jaylen Beckham, PG, Hoop Dreams – After taking majority of last year off due to transfers Beckham, a 6-foot lead guard was up to his usual tricks on the court. Using his speed and athleticism, Beckham caused damage this weekend in the open court. He pushes the tempo at every opportunity and is at his best when he’s trying to get to the basket or creating for others.
Darryl Hicks, SG, The Ville – After sitting out this past season because of a transfer from Shelbyville (Ky.) Shelby County to Louisville (Ky.) Trinity, Hicks is back on the court. This weekend Hicks, a 6-foot-3 guard, put together a solid effort and managed to lead his squad to the 16’s title. He was as aggressive as we’ve seen him on the offensive end and looked confident shooting from both long and mid-range. He was the ring leader and go-to scorer for the 16’s champs.
Derek Willis, PF, BA Hoyas – Purdue dipped into the state of Kentucky and pulled out a big time prospect. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound skilled forward has made drastic strides in his game over the past year. Blessed with great hands and touch around the basket, Willis can score in a variety of ways. His range extends to 22-feet and he’s developed an impressive middle game with a terrific pull-up floater.
Larry Morton, SG, Hoop Dreams – A powerfully built guard, Morton is tough to handle at the shooting guard spot. He’s effective when he’s able to attack the basket and get out in transition. He still needs to gain consistency with his jump shot, but the 6-foot-3 guard is certainly a talent.
Jordan Swopshire, SF, Louisville Magic 16’s – The brother of Louisville forward Jared Swopshire is now hitting the circuit and is an impressive looking prospect. At 6-foot-5, Swopshire has a terrific basketball frame with long arms and a strong body. Majority of his work was done attacking the basket and he showed he could finish inside with both hands. He’ll need to continue to develop his jump shot, but he’s certainly loaded with talent.
Quentin Snider, PG, Louisville Magic – As the weekend progressed Snider, a 6-foot-1 lead guard, got better. Playing with a loaded squad, Snider molded his game to fit his new team. Known for his quickness, shooting and ball handling, Snider turned to his ability to create and was extremely effective dishing out the rock to the weapons on the wing. He’s also added some weight to his frame and appears to be getting stronger.
D'Angelo Russell SG/PG, Louisville Magic – One of the best prospects the state of Kentucky has seen in recent memory, Russell, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, did a little of everything. A southpaw out of Louisville (Ky.) Central, Russell has terrific vision, a quick trigger on his long-range shot and an impressive overall feel for the game.
At this stage we aren’t going to pin him down to a specific position, as he can play both guard spots and has the look of a combo guard. We saw him twice during the high school season and the improvements since December have been drastic. He’s getting better and improving his overall game.
Trey Grundy, SF, Louisville Magic – Even since the beginning of the spring, Grundy, a 6-foot-6 wing, has shown improvements and appears to be playing with more confidence. He’s becoming more aggressive with the ball in his hands and his attempts to dunk on the competition when attacking from the baseline is exactly what we’ve been looking for out of him. Grundy is an active presence on the defensive end and looks comfortable knocking down mid-range jump shots.
Grundy has big weekend
Jordan Green, SG, Louisville Magic – Joining Grundy on the wing for the Magic is Green, a 6-foot-4 guard. Much like his teammates his game is progressing, especially on the offensive end, where he seems more assertive and comfortable attacking the basket and looking to score. A solid athlete, Green still needs to gain strength, but his mid-range was impressive and he showed good touch in the lane.
Christian Cunningham, PG, Louisville Magic – A true lead guard, Cunningham makes very good decisions with the ball, has an impressive all around skill set and is a talented passer. While he doesn’t look for his shot a ton, he’s a more than capable three-point shooter and has a nice floater in the lane. He had a solid weekend for the Magic.
*Brandon Hatton, a 6-foot-2 guard, is a fun one to watch. A scorer with a good-looking jump shot, Hatton, a 2014 prospect, takes it right at the competition and isn’t afraid to talk a little mess along the way.
*James Quick is known for his ability on the football field, but if he focused primarily on basketball he could be a high major lead guard because of his speed, athleticism and instincts.
*Craig Owens, a 2014 power wing out of Louisville (Ky.) Trinitiy, was the enforcer for the Louisville Magic at times. He rebounds the ball at a high level and mixes it up inside for buckets. He also showed a mid-range pull-up.
*Gabrielle Williams had his moments for the Louisville Magic 16’s this weekend. He’s a 2013 prospect out of Huntington (W.V.) Prep. He blocked shots and was an effective rebounder.
*2012 big man Christian Mwepu spent the weekend with Hoop Dreams. At 6-foot-8, 225-pound he’s a chiseled post prospect with a big frame. At this point he doesn’t have much offense, but was able to swat shots.
*Although we never got to watch a full game, McKale McKay is an impressive athlete. At 6-foot-4 he’s a wing prospect that has high-level athleticism and an improved long range shot.
*Others than impressed us at times this weekend were Jalen Wesson, William Gary, Jamal Adepea and Lamontre Harris.
*Tamron Manning has offers from Marshall, Ohio, Akron, EKU, James Madison, Coastal Carolina and George Washington. He also said Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida State has shown some interest.
*Jay Johnson has scholarship offers from Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State and Coastal Carolina. He also fielded a phone from Indiana.
*Darryl Hicks has interest from Xavier, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Cincinnati, Indiana, Dayton, Florida International and Arizona.
*Quentin Snider said Louisville, Ohio State and Marquette are involved with his recruitment. He said Louisville was at three of his game this year.
*Jordan Green said Purdue, Xavier and Indiana are the schools he’s heard from at this stage.