USA 16u Notebook: Howard showing out

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA Basketball 16u trials continued on Friday morning, with a couple of 2017 prospects - Markus Howard and Kaleb Wesson - giving the latest in their recruitments.

Howard game, recruitment expanding

One of the top performers through two sessions of the USA Basketball 16u trials has been Markus Howard.

The 6-foot, 165-pound 2017 point guard from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep has been a steady force on both ends on the court.

Offensively, he’s draining pull-up jumpers left and right while also hitting floaters, getting to the basket and creating for others. On defense he’s playing tough, on the ball defense.

Howard has performed like a kid determined to make the team and so far it’s paying off.

“I feel like I’ve played really well,” Howard said. “I’m trying to prove myself that I can play the point guard position, facilitate and lead a team. I feel like I’m doing well at that.”

When Howard participated in the USA Basketball Developmental Camp in the spring, he really improved as the event went on and was playing much better basketball by the end of the camp than the beginning.

He’s taken that experience and learned from it.

“It really benefited me to be here the first time, getting a feel for what we’re doing,” he said. “That really helped me out.”

Up until the last week, Howard held offers from Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Texas Tech, UCLA and UNLV, but he’s added Indiana and Memphis to that list.

“I was really excited about Indiana,” Howard said. “My dad played football at Indiana so he’s a real big fan. I have a good feeling about coach (Tom) Crean and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the rest of the staff. They said my game would fit in perfectly in Indiana.

“With Memphis, I really like coach (Josh) Pastner and coach (Damon) Stoudamire. They told me that they would give me a lot of freedom and that I would fit into their system perfectly.”

Howard is welcoming all newcomers to his recruitment and isn’t close to a decision.

“I’m very open in my recruiting,” Howard said. “Any school that wants to recruit me, I’m open to. I’m just trying to find the best option for me to help my career in the long run.”

Wesson holds Xavier offer

One of the newcomers to USA Basketball comes from Westerville (Ohio) South in 6-foot-9, 265-pound center Kaleb Wesson.

The 2017 center’s best quality on the court is his passing ability, and much of his game will remind fans of North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks.

Wesson has improved as the event has gone on and is pleased with how he played on Friday morning.

“I think yesterday I was a little sluggish but today I picked it up a bit,” Wesson said. “I’m rebounding better and getting more buckets.”

The rising junior holds one scholarship offer, as Xavier has extended offers to Kaleb and his brother, 2016 forward Andre Wesson.

“I really like Xavier; it’s close to home and they offered my brother too,” Wesson said. “It would always be good to play with your brother in college.”

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