2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART B)
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Saturday night at the Peach Jam brought quarterfinal action in the 17U field along with both consolation games and the semifinals in the 16U field. Here’s who was a cut above the rest in the games NBE was on hand for.
Top Performer of the Night:
Theo Pinson (CP3 All Stars 2014) – An explosive athlete, Pinson made a few plays on Saturday night that very few high school players can make. His length and bounce off the floor make him a threat to put defenders on a poster every time he’s around the rim. While his elite physical skills alone would make Pinson a highly coveted prospect, his feel for the game and basketball IQ are what separates him from other athletes. Pinson makes outstanding decisions both with the basketball and in how he moves without the ball. He understands spacing and how to create something when operating off the ball. It is a real transformation for Pinson over the last year as he has gone from a super talented athletic wing to a super talented athletic wing who knows how to maximize his physical advantages. Plenty of young athletes don’t ever turn into basketball players but Pinson proved Saturday night his skills more than stand up to his athleticism.
Sleeper Performance of the Night:
Douglas Brooks (Each 1 Teach 1 2013) – Brooks is the 6th man for this E1T1 squad and told me after the game that he loves that specific role. He provides instant energy and scoring punch once he enters play scoring 18 points in only 18 minutes of court time. Brooks’ defense stands out more than anything as he’s a threat to get a steal at every moment and constantly puts pressure on opposing guards. He was E1T1’s main spark and when he fouled out in the overtime session of their playoff loss was when things turned against them.
Kevin Zabo (CIA Bounce 2014) – Zabo excels in an open court game and got the opportunity to show that in a run and gun affair against the CP3 All Stars. He weaved through defenders in the open floor on a beeline towards the rim and was able to finish with either hand once there. In the half court, Zabo ran the offense efficiently and made long range shots in catch and shoot situations.
Marial Shayak (CIA Bounce 2014) – An elite wing athlete, Shayak was most impressive grabbing defensive rebounds and starting the fast break himself by taking off with the dribble. He flies up and down the floor and has excellent length to finish over defenders at the rim. In the half court, Shayak didn’t see many touches but was a consistent force on the offensive glass tipping in second chance opportunities.
Quincy McKnight (Team Scan 2014) – McKnight played the best game I’ve ever seen from him acting as Scan’s go to guy in the half court. He got into the paint at will using both high ball screens and a series of herky-jerky moves that kept his defender off balance. McKnight plays extremely hard and makes good decisions with the basketball. Mostly fielding low major offers coming in, McKnight is likely to see an upturn in his recruitment after his stellar performance on Saturday night.
Jakeenan Gant (Southern Stampede 2014) – A 6’7” jumping jack, Gant’s bounce around the rim makes him very difficult to deal with. He did work from the high post using 1-2 dribbles to attack the rim and also made a living on the offensive glass. I’d like to see an improved jump shot and more of an ability to create for others but Gant’s motor and physical skills will translate at the next level regardless.
Elijah Staley (Southern Stampede 2014) –While Staley’s physical frame would make you think he’s an interior power player, the 6’7” forward prefers to do his damage on the perimeter. An excellent long range shooter, the lefty is deadly in pick and pop sets setting wide screens and then flashing to the 3-point line. He also has explosion near the rim throwing down one 2 handed jam on the break that brought the capacity crowd to its feet.
Joel Berry (Each 1 Teach 1 2014) – Berry’s leadership and ability to run a team at the point are far beyond his years. He understands how to change speeds and keep defenders on their heels while also being able to punish them by burying deep jumpers. Berry’s instincts are to pass first but with his team playing without injured big man Dakari Johnson throughout the week he was forced to take on a more prominent scoring role. His ability to change his role to whatever the team needs to win is exactly what you want from a point guard and is a major part of why tons of high major programs are after him.