NEW YORK -- Under Armour's Elite 24 provided impressive performances from Jaylen Brown, Chase Jeter, Antonio Blakeney, Josh Jackson and Harry Giles, as well as a breathtaking view from Pier 2 under the Brooklyn Bridge.
ANOTHER EVENT, ANOTHER STRONG SHOWING FOR BROWN
Few players in high school basketball can put their resumes up against Jaylen Brown’s. This summer especially, Brown has garnered his fair share of attention and even moved his way to No. 1 in Scout.com’s post-July rankings.
On Saturday, under the Brooklyn Bridge, Brown, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, added an Elite 24 MVP to the list of his accomplishments.
“It was great,” Brown said after the game. “It was the last event of the year and I’m glad I went out like this. Got co-MVP with my adidas brother (Chase Jeter
). It’s a bittersweet feeling.”
|Brown goes for 23 points
Brown was nothing short of spectacular during Under Armour’s signature all-star event, as he scored a game high 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field. He also added four rebounds and four assists, while helping Team Liberty to a win.
In the game, Brown worked in a catch and shoot three, slashed to the basket, finished through contact and showed off a strong ball handling ability.
Brown is known for his work ethic and it is paying off, but he said there’s still plenty left to accomplish.
“It doesn’t stop here,” Brown said. “I still have a lot of things to work on and I promise you guys that I’ll be working on them. I’m not going to get lazy or complacent.”
After a busy summer that included playing in all three evaluation periods, adidas Nations and now Elite 24, Brown is looking forward to getting some rest prior to his final high school season.
“I’m exhausted,” Brown said. “My knees are going. I see guys high flying and I don’t know how they do it. Every time I jump I feel it in my knees.”
JETER GRABS CO-MVP
|Jeter grabs 15 boards
Chase Jeter capped off a strong spring and a productive summer with a MVP showing at the Elite 24 on Saturday.
Jeter, a 6-foot-10 post player out of Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, showed off his rebounding prowess and post game on a big stage, as he scored 17 points and reeled in 15 rebounds in an 11-point victory.
“I feel like I played well,” he added. “Going into the game I knew games like these are typically guard games, therefore I put an emphasis on playing hard, running the floor and rebounding. The rest always takes care of itself.
As Jeter mentioned, he played with energy and spent a considerable amount of his effort going to the backboard. He was active, aggressive and played tough around the rim. Five of his 15 rebounds came on the offensive end.
Jeter finished 6-for-11 from the field. He is known for his jump hook and he dropped in one, but he also showed nice touch inside and dunked drop off passes.
“The game was definitely a fun environment and great venue,” Jeter said. “It was an honor to be apart of it and I’m glad I came.”
BLAKENEY SHOWS SCORING ABILITY
Antonio Blakeney is known for his scoring arsenal and anyone that watched the Elite 24 game saw it in full swing.
|Blakeney connects on 10 field goals
Blakeney, a 6-foot-4 guard out of Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge, scored more field goals than any other player in the event and finished with 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting. He was 1-for-2 from three.
One of the storylines of the event was the one-on-one battle that developed between Blakeney and Mississippi native Malik Newman
. For eight or so possessions the two went back and forth, each getting the best of the other at times.
Perhaps what stood out from the one-on-one battle, was Blakeney’s ability to get by Newman and score at the rim. He used to rely more on his perimeter shot, but here he attacked, connected on short-range opportunities and scored through contact at the basket.
GILES, JACKSON IMPRESS FOR TEAM FREEDOM
The two players that stood out the most for Team Freedom were 2016 standouts Harry Giles and Josh Jackson.
Giles, who was nicknamed the Body Snatcher by the on court announcer, scored 16 points and grabbed a team high 11 rebounds. Giles was active inside and put a lot of effort towards going after rebounds.
It’s been a long road for Giles, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL last year. After an up and down summer, Giles won a Gold Medal with USA Basketball’s U18 team and now has a MVP trophy from Elite 24.
|Jackson, Giles get MVP awards
Giles is starting to return to the Giles of old. He visibly moves better than in the late spring and he’s playing with confidence. His effort on the glass was impressive, but he was also looking to dunk on the opposition and attack off the dribble.
Jackson, who was on the same U18 team with Giles, scored 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field. He also added six boards and three assists.
A high-level scorer, Jackson can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. He knocked in a three-pointer, but scored most of his points off drives to the rim and in transition.
Jackson is gifted athletically and physically. He’s tough to contain in transition and when he’s looking to attack the basket. Jackson is one of the premier scorers in the country, regardless of class.
Louisville commit Donovan Mitchell scored eight points and tossed out a pair of dimes in the Elite 24. Mitchell had the highlight of the event as he caught an alley-oop from half court and tossed down a ridiculous one-handed slam.
2016 wing Jayson Tatum had a strong showing scoring 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field. He also added a trio of assists and rebounds. A skilled scorer, Tatum scored all of his points at the rim or from short range.
Jawun Evans, who is arguably the fastest player in the 2015 class, had a very strong showing at the Elite 24. Evans tossed out a game high 10 assists and turned the ball over just once. Evans pushed the tempo, threw a number of on point oops and looked to create for his teammates. He also added nine points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Malik Newman, a 6-foot-3 guard, scored 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Majority of Newman’s points came off drives to the rim, including a handful in a row during the back and forth exchange with Blakeney. Newman also connected on one three-pointer.
After Evans, Bryant Crawford had the highest assist total in the game. The 6-foot-2 guard tossed out seven assists and turned the ball over just twice. Crawford has good vision and especially looked to create for others in transition.
Thon Maker scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in the loss. Maker was particularly impressive during the competitive practices on Thursday and Friday. His ability to change ends and overall activity level particularly stood out this week.
Stephen Zimmerman did a good job of grabbing rebounds, especially in the second half. There weren’t many post entry passes, so Zimmerman found another way to be effective. He reeled in the third highest rebounding total with nine.
Photos provided by Under Armour/Kelly Kline
|View from Elite 24 court