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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT — CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Championship Sunday in North Augusta capped an amazing 2012 Peach Jam by crowning champions in both the 16U and 17U divisions. The Texas Titans defeated the Southern Stampede in double overtime to win at the 16U level. A few hours later the Oakland Soldiers were crowned EYBL champions after defeating CIA Bounce 51-50 to capture the 17U title. In those games and the 17U semifinals before them, some players separated themselves from the competition. Here’s who stood out to NBE.
Top Performer of the Day:
Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce 2014) – While his team came up a point short of an EYBL title this day, this tournament, and the entire EYBL circuit have belonged to Andrew Wiggins. In the morning semifinal Wiggins looked passive and a non factor for much of the game until his team needed him down the stretch. He turned a tight game into a double digit lead in a matter of minutes by scoring at will in the game’s biggest moments. In the title game Wiggins’ stat line wasn’t his best of the week (7-22 shooting, 23 points) but his dominance was as evident as ever. The Soldiers had two future pros to throw at Wiggins defensively in Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson and frankly neither one stood a chance. He was too quick, too strong, too explosive, and too good for every elite defender that was thrown at him all week. Stanley Johnson was the best defender in this tournament and even he couldn’t handle Wiggins. While I’ve been on record since last year’s Peach Jam that Wiggins was the top prospect regardless of class, the 2012 Peach Jam erased that debate in everyone’s mind. Everyone else in America is looking up at Wiggins and the gap is rather substantial.
Sleeper Performance of the Day:
Samir Sehic (Texas Titans 2015) – Sehic was crucial in his team’s championship victory serving as the main low post scoring option for the Titans. The 6’8” below the rim big man did a great job using his feet to establish great position before receiving an entry pass. Once he caught the ball Sehic was consistently able to seal and score because all his work had already been done before the pass arrived. He also flashed an ability to step out on the perimeter and knock in the 3-point shot, as well the ability to put the ball on the floor from the high post.
Stanley Johnson (Oakland Soldiers 2014) – Johnson was the most important player for the champion Soldiers all week and that didn’t change on Sunday. The powerful wing glides up and down the court seeming to not even be going top speed and yet he leaves defenders in his dust. Johnson was great on offense throughout the tournament but his defensive abilities separated him from everyone else in this tournament other than Andrew Wiggins. He is a lock down defender and frustrated 2014 stud wing Theo Pinson to no end in the semifinal. I had a high opinion of Stanley entering the week (#18 ranked player in 2014) but he unquestionably exceeded my expectations. He’s in line for a bump in those rankings when I take another look after the live period.
Ahmed Hill (Southern Stampede 2014) – Hill had college coaches buzzing down the stretch of the championship game as his aggression and desire for the ball in the biggest moments really stood out. He finished with a team high 18 points and it felt like all of them were either in the last 5 minutes of regulation or the overtime sessions. Hill has the mind set and the skill set to be a go to wing scorer at the next level and proved that on Sunday.
King McClure (Texas Titans 2015) – With top 2015 prospect Mickey Mitchell on the bench after fouling out to close regulation, McClure carried the Titans home and won them the championship. He had 26 points in the game including going 9-10 from the free throw line to ice the game in double overtime. McClure is a slashing scoring guard whose attack mentality never waivers. He puts pressure on the defense all the time by aggressively attacking the rim on almost every touch. McClure’s jump shot will need continued improvement so that defenses don’t play off him but he is an elite shooting guard, one of the best in the 2015 class.
Austin Ruder (Mokan Elite 2013) – Ruder will never be the #1 scoring option for his team but understands his role and fills it very well. Ruder is a knock down shooter who is a threat to pull the trigger out to 25 feet if he has his feet set. He won’t wow with athleticism or ability off the dribble but can flat out space the floor. College coaches tell me all the time they’re looking for outside shooting and Ruder can provide that in a big way.
Jabari Bird (Oakland Soldier 2013) – Bird capped a fantastic week by making two free throws with 2 seconds left on the clock to win the title game. The lanky wing scored the ball from all three levels and showed a much more demonstrative attitude than I’ve seen in the past. Knowing he can be great and demanding that his teammates feed him the ball and allow him to do that has taken Bird’s game to the next level.
Tyler Ennis (CIA Bounce 2013) – Of all the elite point guard prospects in the EYBL field (Tyus Jones, Anthony Barber, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Joel Berry, Jaquan Lyle, Duane Wilson Jr.) Ennis was the last one standing. He ran the show for CIA Bounce’s high powered offense all week making countless pull-up jump shots and getting the ball to the right teammates at the right times. Ennis belongs in any discussion of elite high school point guards and played to that level all week in North Augusta.
Tyler Ennis (CIA Bounce 2013) – Ennis plans to sit down with his family in August and start narrowing down his decision from the likes of Memphis, Syracuse, Louisville, Illinois, Villanova, and UCLA. He’s interested in a chance to play right away and also wants elite talent around him on the court. Ennis stressed that as a point guard his job is to get the ball to his teammates so he wants guys around him that can finish plays and help win become a winner. He does want to sign during November in the early signing period so that the stress of the recruiting process will be over and he can focus on having a successful senior season.
JaKeenan Gant (Southern Stampede 2014) – The rangy, athletic forward has high major schools like Georgia Tech, Miami, Colorado, NC State, Tennessee, and Memphis after his services but they are all looking up at Georgia. Gant was clear in stating the Bulldogs as his leader and they are certainly making a strong push. Georgia head man Mark Fox was a constant at Gant’s games all week and was one of the few remaining on championship Sunday.
Mario Dunn (Oakland Soldiers 2013) – One of the often forgotten names for the high powered Soldiers, Dunn’s contributions at the point guard spot were crucial to their success all week. College programs have taken notice as Dunn says west coast teams like Santa Clara, Arizona State, UC-Santa Barbara, California, and Stanford are the major players in his recruitment. Coaches from all of those schools were on hand for the Soldiers throughout the week making their cases for Dunn.