THE WOODLANDS, Tex. -- The first day of action at Under Armour Invitational got underway on Friday. Mustapha Heron, Troy Baxter, Dewan Huell and emerging sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones were among the standouts on day one.
Brandon Sampson, SG, Louisiana Elite -- A lanky shooting guard with good size, Sampson is a talented scorer who can get his own shot off whenever he wants. He uses his ball skills, length and stroke to make some shots that there's not much defenders at this level can do about. He'll need to play harder and compete more defensively, but he's no doubt a talent.
Jimmy Whitt, SG/PG, KC Run GMC -- Whitt is a combo guard with decent size and length and he was very comfortable on Friday night playing with and without the ball. He made some impressive passes to teammates when he ran the show, but also moved well without the ball and did a nice job scoring when his team needed a bucket. He played hard and competed on defense.
Tres Tinkle, PF/SF, Earl Watson Elite -- Tinkle is still somewhere in-between the three and four – offensively he can play either and defensively he may be better guarding a four – but putting a position on this kid doesn't do his game and talent justice. The lefty has good length, can really shoot it, rebounds, defends and plays very hard. It's hard to nitpick Tinkle; he's a really talented player that is a flat out winner.
Jesse Wade, PG, Utah Prospects -- Gonzaga is getting a point guard that can absolutely shoot it but also possesses a strong basketball IQ. He's shoot-first, but can knock down shots at a very high rate and was definitely doing that on Friday night. While Wade can fill it up from three, he also showed his floater game, got to the basket and created for others. The Zags got a good one.
Dewan Huell, PF, Team Breakdown – Since my last viewing in December, Huell's game has developed. Offensively, Huell, a 6-foot-9 power forward, plays with much more confidence. He scored the ball over both shoulders and even hit a short-range jump shot. Huell is mobile, a solid athlete and uses his length to get his hands on shots. When rankings are updated, Huell will certainly be included.
Troy Baxter, PF/SF, Team Breakdown – There aren't many players in high school basketball that can compete with Baxter, a 6-foot-7 forward, from an athleticism standpoint. He runs the floor with purpose and effortlessly sprints end-to-end. Baxter pursued dunk opportunities in transition and had a couple of the highlight reel variety. He's quick off his feet, active on the glass and is assertive when he has opportunities in the paint.
Sacha Killeya-Jones, PF, Team Felton – An intriguing and promising prospect post prospect, Killeya-Jones is a new name to track. At 6-foot-8, maybe 6-9, Killeya-Jones runs end-to-end well and is a solid athlete. He favored facing up and attacking, but didn't shy away from contact in the paint and looked to throw down dunks when he had a chance. Expect high major schools to jump in on this one and quickly.
Mustapha Heron, SF, New Heights -- Heron is a tough wing that doesn't take a play off. He's physical, isn't afraid to compete inside, rebounds, defends multiple positions and finishes with contact. His perimeter skills have improved and he's capable of scoring off the dribble and creating his own shot. He's strong, competitive and there's no doubt how much winning means to him when he steps on the court.
Aaron Miller, SG, NE Playaz – Miller, who is just 15-years old, checks in at 6-foot-4 and has a long, but thin frame. A wing scorer, Miller shot the ball well off the catch, as he hit four three-pointers, plus another long-range shot with his foot on the three-point line. He's fine athletically and has a good feel for the game. Miller was in the 2016 class, but will reclassify to 2017 and likely attend St. Andrew's next year.
Jalek Felton, SG, Team Felton – It clearly wasn't Felton's best outing, but the talent was evident. A 6-foot-3 guard with wide shoulders and long arms, Felton is a slick ball handler with good speed and vision. He whipped cross court passes with his off hand and consistently found open teammates in the first half. He looked comfortable shooting off the catch and worked in a catch and shoot three.
Tomas Murphy, PF, NE Playaz – The brother of Erik and Alex is just a freshman, but he already has a strong reputation around high school basketball circles. A 6-foot-7 power forward, Murphy is a hard-playing prospect. He's competitive and active on both ends. Murphy has good awareness in the paint and is able to score with his back to the rim and facing it. He has sure hands, good touch and is also a talented passer.