Flyin to the Hoop: Sunday Recap

KETTERING, Ohio - Flyin to the Hoop had a loaded slate of games on Sunday and sophomore V.J. King showed his elite potential. Also future Big Ten players Keita Bates-Diop and Javon Bess were excellent.

Javon Bess, SG, Gahanna Lincoln – The future Michigan State Spartan had one heck of an afternoon. Bess really came on as a player over the summer, but he wasn't someone who shot the ball very well. However on Sunday he was making shots from three and also from the mid-range That improved shooting stroke combined with his solid floor vision, good size, and excellent versatility makes him somebody who could surprise when he gets to college relative to the level of his recruitment.

Jalen Hudson, SG, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – Hudson is someone who always leaves an impression. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad, and on Sunday the good Jalen Hudson showed up. He started off absolutely on fire from three, and then mixed in a few highlight dunks. A strong guard with near elite athleticism, Hudson was assertive all game long and showed why Virginia Tech made him a priority recruit in this class.

Lourawls Nairn, PG, Sunrise Christian – There can't be a faster player in the country baseline-to-baseline than Nairn. He is an absolute blur in transition and came be impossible to pressure given his quickness. Also Nairn has that innate winning quality that coaches love in a point guard. That said Nairn did really struggle to shoot the ball and his form is very much a work in progress. That said Tom Izzo loves tough and competitive kids, and Nairn more than fits that description.

Ruben Guerreo, C, Sunrise Christian – It has been an up and down season for Guerrero overall, but Sunday was definitely a high moment. The 6-foot-9 interior prospect showed good athleticism and energy. Now he did struggle to finish at times, and he definitely needs to get stronger, but he is certainly someone who is intriguing and needs to be monitored as the season goes along.

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, U-High – The future Ohio State Buckeye showed fans in the Buckeye State why Thad Matta and his staff wanted the five-star prospect so much. Bates-Diop was absolutely on fire from three point land knocking in six triples. Now the problem was he didn't do a whole ton else besides catch and shoot. Bates-Diop relied too much on his jumper, though to be fair it was going in. He also need to rebound better, but Bates-Diop shows signs of being a potential elite defender with his athleticism and long arms.

Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Prime Prep – It was a tough travel day for Prime Prep, but Mudiay didn't look the least bit tired. The five-star prospect brought his top game to Dayton, and showed what he does best. Mudiay was getting to the rim at will, and while mostly he was scoring, he also set up teammates and made plays off the bounce. Mudiay is impossible to contain going to the bucket, and with the opponents not able to stop him he kept going to the well, and that led Prime Prep to an impressive win.

Justin Jackson, SF, HCYA – As usual Jackson was productive and efficient. The five-star small forward finished with 31 points and did so by getting to the foul line an impressive 14 times. If there was a downside it was that Jackson really struggled shooting the ball from three, but that has never been his game. Jackson again was scoring in the mid-range and was a matchup nightmare given his size and quickness with the bounce.

Esa Ahmad, PF, Shaker Heights – It is clear that Ahmad has taken physical conditioning to heart as he is in far better shape than he was over the summer. Ahmad looks quicker and a bit more athletic, and that has led to an increase in production as well. As usual Ahmad did a little bit of everything. He was making shots from the mid-range and out, and then he was solid around the rim and grabbing rebounds. He will never be a lockdown guy on the defensive end, but the new found quickness has helped him in that regard as well.

Xeyrius Williams, PF, Huber Heights Wayne – In a morning game Williams absolutely did not back down and he stepped up to help his team. Williams is around 6-foot-7 and just does a little bit of everything. He is a good athlete, can rebound, and also is very long and can hit a jumper. Williams needs to get a bit tougher and more consistent, but there is upside here and he did have a very solid showing.

Ahmad Wagner, SF, Huber Heights Wayne – A little bit shorter than Williams, Wagner is part of an impressive forward duo for Wayne. Like Williams, Wagner was impressive on Sunday morning. He did it mostly by getting to the rim off the dribble and using his athleticism. A very tough customer, Wagner impressed with his desire to win and his ability to finish through contact.

V.J. King, SG/SF, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – King is still working his way into shape coming off of an injury, but you would never know it. The highly touted sophomore absolutely exploded for 30 points on only 18 field goal attempts. King hit from deep, was impossible to keep out of the lane, and seemed to make all the right decisions with the basketball. Once he caught his rhythm there was absolutely nothing that could be done to stop him. There is no doubt he is the prototype wing for the next level, and King showed why every major college in the country has him on their radar.

Derrick Daniels, PF, Thurgood Marshall – Daniels and his teammates got a bit of a surprising win over Sunrise Christian, and it was his play down low that was key. Though Thurgood had a mostly balanced effort, Daniels did lead the team in points and rebounds. Daniels is an excellent athlete with length and quickness. He still needs to improve his skill level, though he did hit twice from the mid-range. Athleticism and energy is his game, but if Daniels can add that skill level he will then turn himself into a big time prospect.

Terrance Ferguson, SG, Prime Prep – At times this year Ferguson has been far too reliant on his outside jumper and has only settled for that. However on Sunday nearly half his shots came inside the arc, and he was really effective. Ferguson was 2-5 from three and 4-4 inside the arc along two free throws for 16 points. Also Ferguson showed effort on the defensive end, and proved he can do more than just chuck from deep. More efforts like this are needed from Ferguson, but it was definitely a positive step.

Esa Ahmad noted that West Virginia is the school recruiting him the hardest at the moment.

V.J. King said he isn't focused at all on recruiting right now, but admitted that interest is coming in from all over the country.

Derrick Daniels has a lone offer from the hometown Dayton Flyers.

Michigan State boss Tom Izzo was present for Javon Bess. Also Dayton head man Archie Miller as well as West Virginia boss Bob Huggins took a look at Esa Ahmad.

Assistants from Michigan, Butler, Ohio, Duquesne, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, St. Bonaventure, and Samford were spotted throughout the day.

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