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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART B)
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Thursday afternoon I had the chance to watch elite 16U action at the Peach Jam while also skipping over to the Elite Youth Invitational to catch one game between the Jackson Tigers and the Carolina Hurricanes. Here’s who managed to impress.
Top Performer of the Afternoon:
Mickey Mitchell (Texas Titans 2015) – Mitchell solidified his status as the #1 ranked player in my 2015 top 15. At 6’7” the guard has a combination of skills rarely seen among players his age. He is an excellent athlete most noticeable today with an explosive first step in either direction. While Mitchell is a more than capable scorer once he beats his man, he truly loves to pass and has a unique talent for it. His vision and ability to whip the ball into tight windows are extraordinary and are what separates Mitchell from other wing players. While he does have a tendency to try for the outstanding play when a simple one will do, this is something that he should clean up as he gets older. I’d also like to see him be a little bit more selfish at times because Mitchell could be an elite scorer as well as an elite passer if he chose to be that. Learning to balance getting his own offense with getting offense for his teammates will fuel Mitchell’s development over the next few years.
Sleeper Performance of the Afternoon:
Dwight Coleby (Jackson Tigers 2013) – A physical force in the lane, Coleby finished on power dunks in the paint but also showed some finesse that is uncommon for a player his size. He showed a 16 foot jumper, a beautiful up and under move, and the ability to use a few dribbles to get to his desired spot. While power will always be his bread and butter, Coleby can advance further in the game of basketball if his skill set continues catching up with his physical advantages.
Shep Garner (Team Final 2014) – Garner was brilliant in a heartbreaking defeat to Mac Irvin Fire. Running the show for Team Final, the scoring point guard got into the paint at will finishing on finger rolls and kicking out to open shooters. He also made 3-pointers in catch and shoot situations forcing defenders to close out hard thus setting up his drives into the paint.
King McClure (Texas Titans 2015) – McClure struggled slightly to put the ball in the basket today but his confidence and aggression as a scorer are undeniable. He stacked almost every time he touched the ball and has a smooth air about him when driving towards the rim. I’ll need to see a more consistent jumper and a slightly less reckless style going forward but McClure has the talent and instincts to be one of 2015’s elite scorers.
Malik Newman (Jackson Tigers 2015) – Speaking of elite 2015 scorers, Newman just may be the best in the class. He made pull-up shots from well beyond the 3-point line, attacked hard towards his right hand, and showed a confidence well beyond his age. Newman’s shot selection needs some work but at 6’6” with 25 foot range and a quick first step, he’s a potentially unstoppable scoring force at the high school level.
Thon Maker (Jackson Tigers 2016) – Perhaps the hottest young name in the recruiting world, Maker is every bit of 7 feet tall and as skinny as a bean pole. He is far more project than player at this stage but his tools and upside cannot be ignored. Maker blocked 5 shots in limited first half minutes and altered countless others. Offensively, he has ball handling and shooting skills that defy logic for a player his size and age and make it obvious why he’s so highly regarded. Maker has a very long way to go to become the player he could one day be but arguably has the highest ceiling of anyone in the amateur ranks.
Miles Reynolds (Mac Irvin Fire 2014) – A long and wiry point guard, Reynolds showed deadly long range shooting, the ability to attack the paint, and vision to find others. He was best in pick and roll sets where he did a great job of reading the defense and making the best decision available to him whether it be his own shot or a shot for someone else.
Raymond Doby (Mac Irvin Fire 2014) – An athletic forward with some serious bounce around the rim, Doby brought the crowd to its feet on a particularly impressive alleyoop finish off a pass from Reynolds. He also brought a high level of energy living on the offensive glass and finishing a bunch of put backs. While only 6’6” Doby showed signs of being able to transition to the wing knocking in a 3-point shot and using a few dribbles to attack the paint.
King McClure (Texas Titans 2015) – Even though college programs aren’t allowed to contact McClure directly yet, he already holds scholarship offers from Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma with interest coming in from Texas and North Carolina. He’s a long way from any kind of decision but when the time is right will be looking for a program that can offer him immediate minutes and is also bringing in other top talents to play alongside him.
Mickey Mitchell (Texas Titans 2015) – When you’re the #1 ranked player in your class, the elite of college basketball are sure to come calling and that is clearly the case with Mitchell. He mentioned Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and just about every other blue blood program in the country as schools already involved in his recruitment. Mitchell will have his choice of any college in America once the time comes to make a decision.