Chicago Classic: Day One

DEERFIELD, Illinois - The Chicago Classic wound down pool play and started bracket play on Saturday. Some younger stars stepped up including Austin Conway and class of 2016 stud Braxton Blackwell.

J.P. Macura, SG/SF, Minnesota D1 – Known as a shooter, Macura does more than just that. Still what he does best is stroke it from deep, but the fast rising wing proved to be able to get into the lane off the dribble and then showed good savvy in knowing how to finish. Also Macura is a decent athlete who moves his feet well on defense and shows a good understanding of how to play.

Delshon Strickland, SG/PG, Minnesota D1 – A combo guard who is probably a bit better off the ball than on it, Strickland is someone who can flat out score. He gets into the lane, is a good athlete, and has good size for the position. When his team needed a play Strickland found a way to do it, and has a lot of upside given his size, athleticism, and ability to score.

Kevon Looney, PF, Milwaukee Running Rebels – There might not be a better rebounder in the entire nation than Looney. Though his guards often refuse to throw him the ball, Looney cleans the glass and knows how to make things happen. He is a good athlete who has a high motor, and just knows what to do when on the floor at all times.

Kelan Martin, SF/PF, Indiana Elite – This is a kid who just keeps having an impressive spring, and here in Chicago it has been no different. Martin just scores in so many ways. He can hit from deep, gets to the rim, and also scores in the mid-range. Defensively he has his struggles, but there are just so many ways he can hurt you on the offensive end.

Jeremie Tyler, SG, Indiana Elite – Tyler is having an excellent spring shooting the ball, and he was absolutely on fire on Saturday. He hit multiple threes in every half seen, and Tyler did a little bit more than just shoot. Tyler is a very good athlete who explodes to the rim and then also is capable of guarding either guard spot. Still it is his shooting that has been off the charts.

Bryant McIntosh, SG/PG, Eric Gordon All-Stars – A natural scorer, McIntosh did just that. Now he is usually a great shooter, but that was off a little bit. Still during an impressive rally McIntosh was key getting to the rim and making plays for others. Overall the Indiana State commitment played well and did a lot of good things to help his team win.

Sam Logwood, SF, Eric Gordon All-Stars – Logwood didn't have a great game offensively, but on the defensive end he was very good locking players down, rebounding, and altering shots. He also finished a little bit around the rim on offense. Right now he must improve his ability to dribble the ball with his left hand, but his offensive game is clearly a work in progress. Still there might not be too many better wing defenders in the class.

Makinde London, PF, Nashville Celtics – When it comes to being a run and jump athlete, not too many do it better than London. He is long, runs the floor well, and absolutely explodes off the floor. London did battle foul trouble, and is clearly still raw on offense, but the upside is huge here as he will rebound and has a great motor. He is one to clearly watch going forward.

Jaylen Branford, SG/PG, Nashville Celtics – A talented combo guard, Branford is very fast with the basketball and knows how to beat his man off the dribble. Branford is a gifted passer who sees the floor well, though he does take a few too many chances with the basketball. He is also a pretty good scorer, he just needs to value every possession and consistently put all his natural skills together.

Austin Conway, PG, Colorado Hawks – There can't be too many players in the country who are faster baseline-to-baseline than Conway. He is an absolute jet with the basketball and also is a very good passer. His jumper clearly needs work, but defenders struggle in a big way to keep him in front. Also Conway knows he is a point guard and looks to get others involved and is a solid decision maker.

Malek Harwell, SG, Utah Pump N Run – Not a ton is known about Harwell on a national scale, but the kid can play. He is around 6-foot-3 with long arms, good athleticism, and a great shooting stroke. Though he wasn't playing great competition, Harwell was aggressive and got into the lane as well. Right now he is someone with major upside and looked impressive.

Jariesse Blackmon, PF/SF, Utah Pump N Run – Blackmon is a bit undersized for the position, but that doesn't take away from his production. He scores it well around the rim, and no one plays harder than he does. Blackmon is also a good athlete and someone who showed a good touch from the mid-range and in.

Braxton Blackwell, SG/SF, Nashville Celtics – This is one impressive young player. Blackwell has the size to play multiple positions, and the skill to be a matchup nightmare. He scored going to the rim, got rebounds, defended, and even made some nice passes. There is just not much missing from his game, and playing up on the 17 and under level he more than holds his own.

Eron Gordon, SG, Eric Gordon All-Stars – Gordon is another freshman playing up on the 17 level, and he proved he can score in so many ways. Though his perimeter jumper isn't picture perfect, it is going in. Also he is finishing through contact going to the rim. Gordon has freedom to make plays, but he plays within the team concept and is proving to be one of the more natural scorers in his class.

De'Ron Davis, PF/C, Colorado Hawks – He didn't get a ton of post touches, but he did rebound like a mad man. Davis attacked the glass on both ends and was relentless. He has very good hands which allows him to corral virtually everything, and then has the instinct as well to know where the ball is coming off of the rim. Add in that he has a nice shooting stroke out to the mid-range, and he is just so tough to handle.

Malek Harwell has an offer from Utah State and interest from Utah, Colorado, Stanford, and BYU.

Jariesse Blackmon mentioned Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State, and Southern Utah.

Delshon Strickland has offers from Northern Colorado, Drake, and Iowa. Also interest is coming from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Florida State, and Arizona State.

Kelan Martin will make a visit to Butler for their elite camp next week.


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