SNOW: NY2LA Summer Jam

MEQUON, Wisc - Kobi Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr highlighted a big time Saturday at the NY2LA Summer Jam.

Class of 2015

Matt Heldt, C/PF, Milwaukee Spartans – The Marquette commitment is much improved from this time a year ago. He is a legit 6-foot-10, runs the floor, can score with either hand around the rim, and is a solid rebounder. Heldt was very solid despite his team losing. If there is one critique it is that he can float a bit too much on the perimeter and shoot threes, but overall he is a heck of a prospect and someone who is sure to push for four-star status.

Brevin Pritzl, SG, Wisconsin Playground Warriors – The Wisconsin pledge did what he does, and absolutely torched the nets against Team Loaded. Pritzl was absolutely unconscious from three point range knocking in triple after triple keeping his team in the game. Pritzl is best when he can be a bit of a volume shooter, and that is when he is at his best. When he gets it rolling he can be nearly impossible to stop, and he definitely was in that mode on Saturday afternoon.

Seth Dugan, C, ACB Hoops – Every bit of 6-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Dugan is a big human who can really run the floor, has good hands, and showed a good ability to pass the basketball. Dugan didn’t show a great ability to score the ball, but he gives effort and can move his feet pretty well. He is definitely raw and needs some time, but there are some definite tools to work with here.

Kaiser Gates, SF/PF, Atlanta Celtics – Gates had some good moments during the day for the Celtics. He is a skilled forward who can probably play either spot at a respectable level and in an evening win he hit a few big threes to seal the game. Gates also rebounded the ball fairly well and showed solid versatility. He can disappear at times and float too much on the perimeter, but there is some good talent to work with.

Michael Benkert, SG, Eric Gordon Central Stars – Belmont got themselves a good one in Benkert. He is one of the better mid-range shooters you will see, and he had it working early on. As the game went on Benkert continued to hit, and extended things out to three point range. He isn’t a great athlete or super explosive, but Benkert is just an extremely efficient scorer and put his game on display.

A.J. Harris, PG, King James Shooting Stars – Headed to Ohio State, Harris was very strong in an afternoon win. He is as quick as they come getting to the rim, and then Harris has some surprising explosion as well. He is a good passer who likes to get others involved, and now he is becoming a reliable three point shooter. Overall Harris brings a lot to the table and brings the heat on defense to help make up for his lack of size.

Kyle Ahrens, SG, King James Shooting Stars – It is good to see Ahrens back to getting healthy. After clearly struggling to recover from a broken leg in the spring, Ahrens looks healthy and explosive again. He threw down a big time dunk on Heldt, and he spring boarded that to a very solid day. The Michigan State pledge struggled shooting the ball, but he was showing his pre-injury athleticism to go along with getting to the rim.

Kipper Nichols, SF/PF, King James Shooting Stars – Nichols is the main uncommitted player for King James, and he looked the part of a very solid combo forward all day long. He is a good athlete who got to the rim fairly well and then also made several jump shots. Nichols does nothing especially standout, but he does everything pretty well and is one of the better prospects left at his position in the Midwest.

Dererk Pardon, PF/C, King James Shooting Stars – Northwestern got a very solid pledge in Pardon. He is a legit 6-foot-8 with very long arms and a high motor. Not much of a scorer, Pardon is an excellent rebounder and seems to always find a way to get his hands on the basketball. As he gets stronger he will likely be very tough to deal with and will be an instant contributor on the glass and defensively.

Class of 2016

Kobi Simmons, PG/SG, Atlanta Celtics – This kid is just absolutely tremendous and showed it all day long. At around 6-foot-4 with athleticism, scoring ability, and court vision, Simmons did it all. He was scoring at an elite clip, and used his dynamic first step to get into the lane and make plays for himself or others. There is no doubt he is one of the elite prospects in the class and was one of the truly impact guys all day long.

Dennis Smith Jr, PG, Team Loaded (NC) – While Smith and Simmons didn’t guard each other, both put on a show with their play. Smith was making shots from three, and then using his big time first step and elite athleticism to finish through contact and in traffic. Add in a few nice passes, and Smith made a huge impression and continued his incredible spring and summer.

Jaylen Fornes, SG, Team Loaded (NC) – A massively under-recruited prospect, Fornes looked the part of a high-major on Saturday. Fornes is a good athlete, very strong, and excellent in the mid-range. He was also hitting from deep, and played with a high motor. At roughly 6-foot-3 he has versatility on the perimeter and is definitely someone who should see his interest pick up as July turns into August.

Thon Maker, C, Team Loaded (Va) – There is very little that Maker doesn’t do well. He was tremendous all day on Saturday leading his team to wins. Maker made shots from the outside, attacked off the glass, and then also rebounded fairly well. He needs some added strength, but Maker makes plays and continues to show improvement with his all-around game.

Solomon Young, PF, Dream Vision – A slightly undersized power forward, Young is an absolute beast and he showed it despite his team’s loss. Young rebounded like a monster, showed his high level athleticism, and then also is very strong around the rim. He continues to show some more skill out to 10 feet, though scoring isn’t his forte. Still Young gets a lot done and showed why he is one of the more difficult people to deal with given his motor and athleticism.

Faces in the crowd

Kobi Simmons was tracked by Ohio State boss Thad Matta and assistants from Georgia Tech and Auburn.

Kansas boss Bill Self was tracking Thon Maker

North Carolina State Head Coach Mark Gottfried was all over Dennis Smith Jr.

Kipper Nichols attracted assistants from Northwestern, Xavier, and Minnesota.

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