Pitt Jam Fest: Day Two Rundown

Ryan Kelly

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite a slow start the second day of the Pitt Jam Fest turned out pretty solid as the last few games were played at a high level. Among the top performers were both from North Carolina -- Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee.

D.J. Byrd, SG, Indiana Elite – Playing on a team loaded with talent, Byrd managed to standout. The 6-foot-5 wing has a strong, bulky frame and is an underrated athlete. In a pair of games we saw he showed a good-looking stroke with range.

Isaiah Philmore, PF, Delaware Sharpshooter – The big question is if Philmore is a three or four. Despite him spending majority of his time on the perimeter we think he's more of a face up four man than a wing. Either way the 6-foot-7 forward is pretty good. In an afternoon game he showed his skill level by working the paint for buckets. He's also capable of adjusting his shots and had some strong finishes in traffic.

Erik Murphy, PF, NE Playaz – The Florida coaching staff has to have liked what they saw out of their 2009 commit on Saturday. The 6-foot-9 big man showed off an impressive skill set that included hooks with both hands. To go with his moves inside he also showed his face up game when he buried an 18-footer from the corner.

Darryl McCoy, PF, Connecticut Basketball Club – While roaming one of the gyms on Pittsburgh campus we ran into this 6-foot-7, possibly 6-8, big man. He's got an impressive frame, runs the floor with ease and even showed some touch from the outside. Mid-majors need to take a glance as he's got the tools to play at that level.

Thomas Robinson, PF, Squash All Beef – We don't like writing about the same guy on consecutive days, but Robinson's play demanded it. After viewing him yesterday we were thinking he was probably a high mid-major, but today he looked like he could play for a high major school. His aggression, strength and motor are tough for defenders to handle and he knows how to score around the rim.

Donnavan Kirk, PF, The Family – Kirk's terrific play continued on day two of the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. More and more college coaches have been migrating to his games and he's certainly been impressing them. With DaShonte Riley and James Still taking the weekend off he's getting more touches and that's been to his advantage as he's been extremely efficient in the paint.


Plumlee Had A Huge Day
Mason Plumlee, PF, Indiana Elite – Plumlee recently received a jump in Scout.com's rankings and he's certainly playing up to it at the Pitt Jam Fest. Through two days he's been terrific on both ends of the floor. He's skilled, mobile and active. The best move of the day came from him when he drove baseline and threw down a backwards dunk on a defender.

Mike Marra, SG, Expressions – During our first look we were certainly impressed with the Louisville commit. He stands 6-foot-5 and although he's known as a dead eye shooter, he's a pretty good athlete as well. His bread is buttered from deep though. His range is deep and he gets his shot off quicker than anyone we've seen in recent years. He finished with at least six three-pointers in the game watched.

Billy Edwards, SF, All-Ohio Force – In a competitive affair against Team Melo, Edwards rose to the occasion and had a solid game. Despite losing, the 6-foot-6 wing did plenty of damage, especially on the offensive end. He attacked the rim and used his body well to shield off defenders and finish at the cup.

Ryan Kelly, PF, D-One Sports – Wow. What a past a few weeks this kid has had. The 6-foot-9 big man caused a stir among the college coaches as he completely took over D-One Sports' game against Upstate. The talented big man went for 21 points, including three three-pointers, one of which came off of a step back. He's skilled, can go off the bounce and is competing at a high level.

Brandon Triche, SG, Upstate Basketball – In our first viewing of Triche we liked what we saw. He's an above average athlete that finishes very well at the rim. He's capable of adjusting his shot and he uses his body well to hold off defenders. He scored a game high 27 points against D-One Sports.

Tony Chenault, PG, Team Philly – After struggling in the first half of his morning game, Chenault exploded in the second half for 18 of his 20 points. In the flurry he knocked down a trio of three-pointers and hit a few floaters. He's not overly quick off the dribble, but certainly crafty with the ball in his hands.

Markel Starks, PG, DC Blue Devils – One of our favorites guards of the day was Starks as he's super quick and able to break down defenders. Although he didn't score many points in the game we watched, he changed the game by creating for teammates and tossing out assists. In the game against the Baltimore Stars he had at least six assists.

Josh Selby, PG, Team Melo – Despite having a little wild side, Selby is a guy that caught our eye. The 6-foot-2 guard is super athletic and showed it on a number of face breaks. To go with his high level athleticism, he attacked the basket well and even hit a deep three-pointer off a screen. Going forward he'll need to tighten up his handle, but the potential is certainly there.


Thornton Leads Assault
Tyler Thornton, PG, DC Assault 16's – Early on Assault had a close game against Albany City Rocks, but Thorton's big game was part of the reason they ended it in blow out fashion. He went to the rack with a mission and showed he can finish with contact and adjust his shot against long, athletic defenders. He's a crafty lead guy that can really play and will have his pick of the litter as far as high major schools go.

Eric Atkins, PG, DC Assault 16's – To go with Thornton, Assault also has Atkins to handle the point guard duties. Atkins, a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, is quick and managed to get in the lane and create for his teammates. He's also crafty in traffic, has a great feel for the game and is capable of pulling up from mid-range and knocking down jumpers.

Max Esho, PF, DC Assault 16's – We didn't know anything about Esho until he stepped on the floor in the nightcap. The 6-foot-7 slender power forward quickly made himself known by snagging rebounds on both ends and finishing around the basket. In the second half he had a bunch of put backs, including a trio of And 1's.

Indy Elite and D-One Sports will go head-to-head at 11:30 am and that should be a heck of a match up, as a Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly will go at each other. Both prospects are playing their best ball and it should be a can't miss match up.

Darryl McCoy said he's heard a lot from Atlantic 10 schools. He specifically mentioned UMass, Rhode Island and Fordham.

Tony Chenault said that Wake Forest was his favorite school at this point. He also mentioned Villanova, Texas, Pittsburgh, St. Joseph, LaSalle, USC and Virginia.

Josh Hairston said that Ohio State and Georgetown were probably his top two schools at this point, but that he was still open. He also mentioned Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Brandon Triche named five schools. He said Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Georgetown and St. John's.

Tyler Thornton said that he has scholarship offers from Georgetown and Virginia. He said Wake Forest, N.C. State and Texas are also involved.

Stephan Van Treese said Indiana, Louisville, UCLA, OSU, Kansas, Notre Dame and Florida were involved with his recruitment. He said he hopes to take a trip out to UCLA sometime in the future.

Jordan Prosser mentioned a handful of schools – Baylor, Purdue, Wisconsin, Notre Dame Indiana and Iowa.

"We can't lose tonight. Coach K is coming tomorrow and I'll be in trouble if we lose." – Mason Plumlee prior to one of his play off games.

We spotted a bunch of head coaches in the gym today. Among the ones we saw were John Thompson III, Dino Gaudio, Gene Cross, Billy Donovan, Donnie Jones, Fred Hill, Louis Orr, Matt Painter, Brad Stevens, Kevin Willard, Jay Wright, Marvin Menzies and Jamie Dixon.

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