St. Louis Summer Classic: Day 2

SAINT LOUIS – Day two of the Saint Louis Summer Classic on Saturday featured the finale of pool play, as Semaj Christon once again turned in a few stellar performances, while Indiana-commit Trey Lyles continued to play extremely well playing up on the 17U level.

Marcus Marshall, PG, 43 Hoops – Mid-majors have been hot on his trail in July and it's easy to see why. Marcus shot the ball well off the catch from behind the arc and also operates well off of screens. He's constantly keeping the ball moving on the offensive end and lets the offense flow naturally. He had a solid outing in a close loss to Spiece Indy Heat.

Semaj Christon, PG, Cincinnati Knights – After getting his teammates involved in the first half, Christon exploded in the second half to help lead a blowout win. Christon finished above the rim, hit a mid-range jumper off glass and did an excellent job of moving without the ball. Another solid day.

Kendall Stephens, SF, Illinois Wolves – Silky smooth perimeter shooting is Kendall's forte and the Purdue commit shot the ball well to the tune of 17 points in a win over Team Texas. He's at his best off-the-catch, but there are other facets of his game he's improving, including his handles and his floor vision. The next step in Stephens' game is to diversify his offense a bit more with some moves off-the-dribble.

Nathan Taphorn, SF, Illinois Wolves – It's been a steady spring and summer of production and gradual improvement from the Pekin, Illinois native. Taphorn made a name for himself as a shooter, but has started to show more of an ability to find space on the floor to get baskets in other ways. He's more willing to play near the basket now and has also improved his handle where he's comfortable with the ball in his hands. Adding strength is the next step.

Trey Lyles, PF, Spiece Indy Heat – Playing up on 17's and playing with a massive front line of A.J. Hammonds and Vitto Brown provided an interesting opportunity to see Lyles get some touches near the perimeter. The Indiana commit didn't disappoint, displaying an improved handle and an ability to do some things off the bounce. His jumper is still a work-in-progress, but it's getting better, and although Lyles is younger and doesn't have the strength of older post players, he still battles and goes up strong. With the game on the line in pool play against 43 Hoops, Lyles was given possession and dished off the game-winning assist to Brown.

* Belmont did their homework and got a nice pickup from MBA Select 2012 guard Jeff Laidig. Laidig has a great feel for the game and did some nice things off-the-catch with some dribble pull-ups.

* Purdue-commit Bryson Scott does a lot of good things off-the-dribble but at times gets caught in traffic and makes mistakes that lead to turnovers.

* A.J. Hammonds still drifts in and out of games at times, but did some damage on the defensive glass to go along with running the floor and finishing a few times on the break. I'd be nice to see him play with more physicality when he has such a size mismatch inside.

* Wisconsin-native Matt Van Syoc had a nice effort against the Cincinnati Knights. Although his team was overmatched, Van Syoc knocked down perimeter jumpers with a sky-high arc and also scrapped and clawed on the interior for his undersized Playground Elite team.

* Team Texas big man Omar Sherman will be one to track in the 2014 class. Already 6-9 with long arms and a wide body, the lefty big played hard on both ends and finished around the hoop.

* Jared Brownridge and A.J. Riley are two guards from the Illinois Wolves 16's that can really go. Brownridge is a shotmaker extraordinaire while Riley excels at playing a hard and physical brand of ball.

* Tyus Jones and Siyani Chambers were at it again, running the floor, knocking down shots and finding teammates for Howard Pulley. Kyle Washington, a 2013 big, was solid again defensively and on the boards but needs to remain patient on both ends of the floor to avoid foul trouble and bad possessions.

* Demetrius Jackson had trouble against the box-and-one thrown at him to finish out pool play. Still, it's easy to see why high-major programs are interested in the smooth and athletic guard.

Marcus Marshall claims offers from Missouri State, Florida Gulf Coast, Buffalo, Indiana State, UMKC, Albany, Northern Illinois, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Towson, Kent State, and Wisconsin-Green Bay. He also has interest from Minnesota, Iowa, and Penn State.

A.J. Hammonds claims offers from Texas, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, Butler and Xavier. A.J. would like to visit Florida and Texas and says that Minnesota is on him the hardest.

Nathan Taphorn recently received a new offer courtesy of Washington State and also sports offers from Drake, Colorado State, Southern Illinois, and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. DePaul, Marquette, and Arizona State have also shown interest.

Tyus Jones claims offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Baylor and Providence. The 2014 guard also says that he speaks to Duke regularly and recently spoke with Coach K.

Jared Brownridge has been hearing from Drake, DePaul, Santa Clara, Loyola, and Wright State.

Purdue head coach Matt Painter took in the Spiece Indy Heat and 43 Hoops contest while assistants from Minnesota, Ohio State and Indiana looked on.

Semaj Christon and the Cincinnati Knights drew Xavier head man Chris Mack and Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton while also getting assistants from Georgetown, Cincinnati, Illinois, and Alabama.

Tom Izzo, Chris Mack, and assistants from Illinois and Indiana took a glance at Demetrius Jackson.


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