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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART B)
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Friday afternoon in North Augusta brought 16U pool play at the Peach Jam along with a quick stop at the Nike Invitational. Here’s who managed to standout while NBE was watching.
Top Performer of the Afternoon:
Obi Enechionyia (Team Takeover 2014) – At 6’8”, the athletic forward showed off both an inside and outside scoring package. He flashed major bounce around the rim with a few ferocious dunks along with swatting away countless attempts at his own basket. While his work in the paint alone would have made Enechionyia a very intriguing prospect, he was also able to step out and make jump shots past the college 3-point line. The combination of owning the paint and being able to draw big men away from the rim by spacing the floor make it easy to project Enechionyia at the high major level for his college future. He needs to continue refining his ball handling and overall skill package and frankly could end up playing on the wing if his skills improve quickly enough.
Sleeper Performance of the Afternoon:
Tony Upchurch (Houston Hoops 2014) – A major football prospect as a wide receiver, Upchurch could become one of the nation’s best walk-ons on the hardwood if he chooses to play both sports at the next level. He’s an elite long range shooter who exploded for at least six 3-pointers in a loss to Team Scan. Upchurch can also attack off the dribble, make crafty passes in traffic, and defends with the strength and physicality one would expect from a football player.
Chris McCullough (Team Scan 2014) – One of the most impressive physical talents in the 2014 class, McCullough tends to make a few plays every game that are reminiscent of a pro wing player. Today was no different as a rebound and coast to drive that ended with a beautiful bounce pass stood out as did a one handed dunk when he seemed to gallop towards the rim before hammering it home. McCullough covers an amazing amount of ground with his strides and tends to fly past defenders in transition without even appearing to be running full speed. He has a ceiling as high as just about anyone in the 2014 class outside of Andrew Wiggins.
Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – Smith did his thing on Friday putting his defender on skates and living in the paint throughout the day. He started by finishing himself on his forays into the paint and once the defense adjusted he kicked out to open teammates for easy looks. Smith also talks on both ends of the floor more than almost any player in the country always arranging his team properly and communicating through picks defensively. While he isn’t an elite athlete, the coach that can see past that and value all the things he does bring to the table will get a special player and person in Dayshon Smith.
Derrick Newton (Cal Supreme 2014) – An imposing physical specimen at 6’6”, the combo forward was in constant attack mode while I was watching. Newton was a terror on the offensive glass but also made strong drives from the wing and absorbed contact at the rim. He’ll need to continue working on his jump shot to keep defenders honest but will always be best when he’s spending most of his time in the lane.
Phil Booth (Team Takeover 2014) – Booth has a reputation as a shot maker and while he certainly lived up to that also showed a more complete game than I’ve seen from him before. He played at the point for long stretches and did a great job of running offense and finding shots for others. If Booth can fully transition to the point his ceiling becomes quite a bit higher as his size and shooting from the point separate him from most other floor generals.
Cheick Diallo (Team Scan 2015) – After watching Diallo back in June at the Rumble in the Bronx I was wowed by his athleticism and upside as a post player. Friday only strengthened my view of him as Diallo showed a high motor living on the offensive glass. His lateral movement is outstanding for a big man and allows him to stick with guards after switching on picks and swat their shots into the third row. An increased low post game will be the next stop for Diallo to compliment his already elite defense and rebounding ability.
Obi Enechionyia (Team Takeover 2014) – Enechionyia was somewhat vague stating that major programs from the Big East and ACC are those after him right now. He did specifically mention Maryland, Miami, and Georgetown but suggested that a bunch more from those two conferences are involved as well.
Derrick Newton (Cal Supreme 2014) – Newton has been hearing from Portland, USC, Utah, Minnesota, and UC-Davis and is looking for a program that will “let him play his game.” He wants to be recruited as a SF and needs a school that will allow him to make plays with the ball in his hands. In addition to the schools involved now, Newton has grown up a Kansas fan and would love to hear from Bill Self and the Jayhawks. He is targeting the beginning of his senior year in high school as decision time and is definitely open to more schools getting involved before that time.
Cheick Diallo (Team Scan 2015) – After just bursting onto the scene within the last few months Diallo has already received scholarship offers from high major programs Arizona and Rutgers. In addition to those other powers such as Syracuse, St. John’s, Connecticut, Louisville, Kentucky, and Iowa State have called Diallo’s coaches to express interest. The super talented big man will likely have his choice of every program in America before it’s all said and done.
Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – After coming into the spring with only a few low offers, Smith has seen his recruitment take a major upswing based on his terrific play on the circuit. He now holds offers from Wichita State, St Bonaventure, UMass, Duquesne, Dayton, Drexel, Siena, Manhattan, Iona, Towson, Robert Morris, Tulsa, Fordham, Richmond, Quinnipiac, and Rhode Island. In addition to the slew of mid major offers, Smith has been contacted by high majors to express interest such as Pittsburgh, Miami, Syracuse, Illinois, Alabama, Penn State, and Providence. He’s in no hurry to narrow things down and told me he’s “just enjoying the recruiting process.” His list will likely get longer before it gets shorter but Smith plans to narrow things down sometime in August after the summer season is over. NBE will be sure to stay in contact with him and find out where he stands once he’s solidified a shorter list.