Ja'Quan Newton, a 6-foot-2, 173-pound point guard from Philadelphia (PA) Neumann-Goretti, got Gopher…
AAU Super Showcase: Day Two
Tyus Jones, PG, Howard Pulley – Jones is the No. 2 player in the class, and he has more than justified that lofty ranking every step of the way. Saturday was no different. The athletic and craft Jones did it all for his team. He hit mid-range jumpers, scored off the bounce from three, and as always was impossible to stop in the pick and roll. Jones is one of the truly elite point guard prospects the past few years. College coaches continue to look on as Jones has asserted himself as the best playmaker in the class. Reid Travis, PF, Howard Pulley – A little bit undersized, it doesn't matter because Travis is an absolute beast. The 6-foot-7 forward was an absolute problem on the block. He used his strength and solid athleticism to bully opponents for rebounds, and then did an excellent job of finishing through contact. Travis isn't the most skilled guy around, but he does manage to produce, and continues to show why he is so heavily recruited. Devin Robinson, PF/SF, Richmond Squires – There is some debate as to which position Robinson plays at the next level, but that is a pointless argument. The bottom line is that Robinson is a big time player. At around 6-foot-8 he can dribble, pass, and shoot, and he did it all in a pair of games on Saturday. Now he can float around the perimeter too much and not take advantage of all of his natural gifts, but that is a work in progress. The bottom line is Robinson is a heck of a prospect and someone who has a ton of upside, yet is already dominant on the court. Robert Johnson, SG, Boo Williams – Boo Williams advanced to the elite eight simply because of a big time shot from Johnson. With the game tied and time running off the clock, Johnson hit a defender with a nasty step back jumper from three that was all net. The shot gave Boo Wiliams the win and got Johnson to another nearly 20 point effort. A smooth scorer, Johnson can put the ball in the basket at a near elite level, and has been cooking all tournament long. Quite simply he has been one of the most productive scorers all July long. Marcus Williams, PG/SG, Boo Williams – When it wasn't Johnson it was Williams. Williams got hot from deep in the second half and absolutely torched the nets. He had four threes and finished with 17 points overall. Also Johnson looked to have a solid idea of how to run a team and made others better after he had already made shots. Jakeenan Gant, PF, Southern Stampede – It has been an inconsistent summer for Gant, mostly due to injury, but on Saturday he looked like his old self. Gant was doing virtually whatever he wanted on the court. Mostly he did his work down low finishing through contact and using his athleticism, but he scored some off the dribble, and even knocked in a triple from deep. Also he was good on the glass, and again looked like someone who has big time potential going forward. D'Angelo Russell, SG, Each 1 Teach 1 – Russell continued his very strong July with another quality showing. Though he sat most of the fourth quarter because the game was already well in hand, Russell had his flashes early. He was getting to the rim and finishing, hitting his jumper, and using his solid athleticism on the defensive end. After a so-so spring, it has been a tremendous July for Russell. Boubacar Moungoro, SF, Each 1 Teach 1 – The lengthy wing really started to emerge in a big way at the Peach Jam, and it is definitely continuing here. Moungoro is a good looking athlete with size and versatility. On top of that he can get to the rim using the dribble and also shoots it pretty well. Overall he wasn't dominant, but he showed everything you would want from a versatile wing prospect. JaQuon Newton, SG, Team Final – Just a solid all-around performer, Newton did what he does best, he scored the basketball. Newton long has been someone who struggled to shoot the ball from deep, but that is starting to improve. He hit a couple of deep triples, and as usual was getting to the rim. Newton did have a few too many turnovers and looks more comfortable as someone who scores as opposed to facilitates offense, but overall he was good and helped his team to a solid win. Shep Garner, PG, Team Final – The Penn State commitment had a pretty good game. Most impressively Garner showed an ability to really see the floor and make plays. Garner made a few very nice passes to open shooters, and then did enough off the bounce to keep his defender honest. Not the biggest or the quickest, Garner was very solid and looked like someone who could be a contributor early in his career. Danjel Purifoy, SF/PF, Atlanta Xpress – It wasn't an easy game for Purifoy, but it was productive. Before having to leave the game in the second half after a blow to the head, Purifoy was nearly dominant. He scored at will going to the rim, and also was very good on the glass. Then for good measure he mixed in a triple. Now he does need to be more assertive, but the length, athleticism, and strength make him one of the more intriguing prospects in the class. Doral Moore, C, Atlanta Xpress – It doesn't take a basketball savant to figure out that Moore is one heck of a prospect. Even though he didn't have a great game, he had some flashes of brilliance. Moore is huge and really can run the floor. Also he is excellent protecting the rim and has good timing when blocking shots. Offensively he struggled and just never got into a flow, but the raw ability is there, and there is no questioning how good he can become. Justin Smith, PF, Atlanta Xpress – His two frontcourt teammates are more highly regarded and a bit more talented, but Smith has one heck of a motor. He is limited in terms of what he can do on the offensive end, but he rebounds and defends at a high level and is a big time athlete. Also Smith understands his role and plays it. He doesn't try to do anything outside of what he can, and that makes him a very valuable player. Luke Kennard, SG, King James Shooting Stars – Saturday morning won't go down as one of Kennrd's favorite games, but when his team needed him he did make some big plays. His shot from three wasn't going in all game long, and Kennard knew it. Because of that he attacked the rim, stepped up on defense, and overall just was solid all-around despite not shooting it well or efficiently. It was good to see him step up and do other things when his shot wasn't going down. Chance McSpadden, PG/SG, Nike Team Florida – While it was a low scoring game and both teams struggled mightily on the offensive end, McSpadden was the one guy who made plays. He is a very quick combo guard who can make shots from the mid-range, get to the rim, or create for others. His quickness and shot making at times dominated the game. Now he was a bit inconsistent late, but overall it was a good showing. Alex Owens, C, Each 1 Teach 1 – A big human, Owens takes up a lot of space on the low block, and knows how to use his size and strength. Owens is someone who can score with his back to the basket, but he is at his best as an offensive rebounder. He just has the extra sense to know where the ball is going to come off the rim, and then has excellent hands and long arms which allows him to corral rebounds. Now he does need to get into better shape, but Owens is very productive and knows how to make things happen on the block. Malachi Richardson, SG/SF, Team Final – There aren't many better shooters in the class than Richardson, and now he is becoming more and more of a threat off the bounce. His length and ability to get to the rim is impressive, and Richardson was doing that with ease. As always he hit shots, and now his motor is running as well as ever. Richardson has made great strides over the last year, and continues to show those improvements on a game by game basis. Troy Baxter, PF, Nike Team Florida – Upside is the key word to remember here. Baxter isn't the most productive kid at the moment, but man does he have potential. He has long arms, is a good athlete, and really can run the floor. Baxter had his share of rebounds and a few buckets, but it looks like he is someone who will make huge improvements in the very near future. Justin Smith has an offer from Mercer as well as interest from Mississippi, Troy, George Mason, and Murray State. Chance McSpadden noted offers from UCF, and USF. Also he has interest from Florida, South Carolina, Harvard, Alabama, Tennessee, and Rice. Devin Robinson noted offers from Connecticut, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Texas, Indiana, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, and Providence. Reid Travis says he hopes to set up visits to UCLA and Stanford in August. Devin Robinson was tracked by head coaches from Texas Tech, Georgetown, VCU, and Michigan all day. Also assistants from Notre Dame, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Memphis, Texas, Miami, Kentucky, and Indiana were consistent presences at his game. John Calipari and Scott Drew made sure to follow Tyus Jones as did an assistant from Duke. Reid Travis had John Thompson III, Mark Few, and Johnny Dawkins. Also assistants from UCLA, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Virginia were present. Doral Moore drew Thad Matta and Anthony Grant for an early morning game. Also Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Kansas dispatched assistants.
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