Spring Showdown: Day Two

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Day two of the Nike Spring Showdown picked up significantly as the big guns rolled in and tournament play began. Steve Taylor scorched the nets in pool play while Gary Harris had it rolling during the playoffs.

Gary Harris, SG, D3 Dorian's Pride – A big-reason why Harris is a five-star player is because of the jaw-dropping displays of athleticism blended together with an intelligent basketball IQ. Harris got it done scoring in a litany of ways and situations in a playoff loss to the Mac Irvin Fire. Jumpers, drives, and put backs all led to Harris scoring an efficient 22 points.

Steve Taylor, SF, Mac Irvin Fire – He's been on the fence in terms of position as a 3/4, but no matter how you cut it, Taylor is shooting the ball off-the-catch with a tremendous amount of confidence. Taylor rattled in a quick 18 points in an eight-minute stretch in pool play and didn't slow down. He needs to hit the glass harder and improve as a help defender, but Steve has firmly established himself as Illinois' best player in 2012.

Kevin Farrell, PG, Indiana Elite – The guy known as Yogi had it going in a morning session as he had the jumper working to go along with some nifty dimes. His tremendous footwork allows him to break guys down off-the-dribble where he becomes lethal with the ball in his hands as a scorer or a passer.

Jeff White, PG, Illinois Wolves – White has played his butt off for two straight weekends. While many of his talented teammates will try to show off jumpers and flash an array of offensive moves, White is a north-south point guard that makes it his mission to get in the lane and get himself or a teammate a bucket.

Mike Ramey, SG, D3 Dorian's Pride – Ramey put on a shooting clinic in playoff action. There weren't many times the 6-5 guard hit the rim, let alone miss. He's going to have plenty of schools tracking him because his skill and ability to shoot it.

Jalen James, PG, Illinois Wolves – There's a lot to like with James, an under-the-radar player nationally that is starting to establish his game. Steady and reliable running a team, James has good size for a point guard around 6-2 and makes his teammates better. Already adept at running off of screens, James gets good leverage and positioning to fire off a pass or knock down a jumper. He's also comfortable off-the-bounce to the point where he'll attack the basket when need be.

Andrew Zelis, C, Illinois Wolves – The stock for Zelis is about to go through the roof. Already standing a legit 6-10 and 230 pounds, the Wheaton North product gets up and down the floor well, has good hands and plays with a solid sense of urgency. Mike Mullins has done a nice job developing big guys like Frank Kaminsky and Nnanna Egwu before, and Zelis will be the next in a line of skilled big men that came through the Illinois Wolves program.

Kendall Pollard, PF, D-Rose 16's – Pollard has always put together some solid bench efforts, but now he is logging extended minutes as a productive player. His long arms allow the undersized 4 to defend on the perimeter or inside. A solid help defender and passer, Pollard also was comfortable, but not great, off the dribble and knocked in a 16-foot baseline jumper for good measure. It was a solid two-day stretch for the Simeon product.

Eddie Alcantara and Aaric Armstead provide such energy for the Mac Irvin Fire 17's. The duo from state champion Hales are an absolute terror in an open-court affair.

Jermaine Morgan is far more comfortable playing on the circuit with the Fire than he is with Whitney Young. The forward is rebounding hard and making post moves with confidence.

If you see an unfamiliar program known as PrymeTyme deep in a tournament, don't be surprised. Fred Van Vleet and Marcus Posley can really play and their supporting cast contributes in many ways.

2013 shooting guard Alvin Ellis was saddled with foul trouble, but showed some flashes on offense for Meanstreets.

Ray Lee had a solid day for Dorian's Pride. Smooth with the ball, Lee had it going off the bounce and found teammates with some solid looks.

Reggie Johnson will get love from low-majors for his ability to score. The St. Joseph junior can fill it up.

The wing duo of Kory Brown and Devin Foster for the Illinois Warriors has improved a lot over the last few months.

Andrew Zelis is hearing from Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Dartmouth and Brown.

Alvin Ellis claims an offer from Northwestern to go along with interest from Illinois, Providence, DePaul and Detroit. Fred Van Vleet says that Drake, Northern Illinois and Kent State are on him the hardest. He claims offers from all three.

Jeff White has an offer from Southern Illinois while also hearing from Kent State and Nevada.

Gary Harris rattled off Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame. Purdue, Illinois and Michigan as offers he holds, while he says he is hearing from Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue the most.

Mike Ramey claims offers from Wyoming, St. Joseph, Ball State, Fordham, Eastern Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Gardner-Webb, Miami (Oh.), IPFW, and Morehead State. The sharpshooter has also recently heard from Minnesota, Nebraska, Clemson and New Mexico.


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