It wasn’t a great high school season for Jaren Jackson, but the 6-foot-9 power forward has come out with a vengeance this spring, and that was again the case at the Spiece Run N Slam. Jackson did miss the final day with back spasms, but leading up to that point he was a stud.
Jackson is shooting the ball great in pick and pop situations from three, and then also is protecting the rim with his 7-foot plus wingspan. Beyond that he is playing tougher than he ever has in his career, and everything seems to be coming together for him, and this weekend was just more evidence that he is beginning to turn the corner.
Currently Jackson has offers from Michigan State, Maryland, Georgetown, Xavier, Butler, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois and others. He appears to be wide open in the recruiting process.
One player who is making a very strong case for a big bump in the 2018 rankings is point guard Ayo Dosunmu. He played in the shadow of Charlie Moore during this high school season, but now Dosunmu has the starring role with the Mac Irvin Fire, and he is showing off big time ability
At 6-foot-3 with long arms, elite quickness, and an improving outside shot, Dosunmu is proving to be nearly impossible to guard one-on-one. Dosunmu can at times be a one man fast break, and with his ability to finish around the rim good luck trying to stop him once he gets a head of steam going.
Colleges are just beginning to figure out about Dosunmu. Illinois and DePaul are involved in his recruitment and an offer from SMU recently came. Expect a lot more offers to come his way before the end of the summer if he keeps looking like a future star.
It was a bit of a surprise to see Markell Johnson at the event since his normal team was taking the weekend off, but he wanted to play so he showed up with OBC-Jackson. While he was in unfamiliar surroundings, Jackson thrived and showed why he is one of the best scorers and athletes in his class.
Johnson is nearly impossible to stop in a one-on-one situation with his combination of athleticism and an explosive first step. At times he can get a little loose with his decision making, but he flat out knows how to score and also can make good passes once in the lane. All weekend long he was an absolute one man wrecking crew.
On the recruiting trail Johnson will enroll in the class of 2016, and he has offers are on the table from Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Xavier, West Virginia, Washington, and others.
Probably the best passer at the entire event wasn’t a senior, and wasn’t a point guard, it was Nobal Days. Days is a 2019 power forward out of Racine, and out of the high post he might be one of the most difficult players in the country to deal with.
Days is 6-foot-9 with long arms, and he does have a solid touch out to 15 feet, but it is his passing ability that sets him apart. He makes not only good decisions with the basketball, but the right one. If a teammate is open Days will find him, and that leads to numerous easy buckets for his team.
It is still extremely early for Days in his recruitment, but schools such as Marquette, Wisconsin, Arizona, Purdue, Iowa, and Illinois are already involved his recruitment.
Very few prospects have more natural ability than four-star center/power forward Malik Williams. Wiliams has the unique combination of being skilled, athletic, and 6-foot-10. He put that unique ability on display all weekend long with numerous big time scoring games.
While Team Legit isn’t one of the household names on the AAU circuit, Williams has made them one of the better teams in Indiana. All weekend long he was putting up huge scoring numbers to go along with some solid rebounding and shot blocking. Williams has all the tools to be a superstar if he can continue to put things together.
Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan all appear to be heavily involved in Williams’ recruitment. It is possible that Williams will announce a commitment in the month of August.
There might not have been a more complete player the entire weekend than 2018 forward Joey Hauser. Hauser has always been someone with a lot of ability, but he has kind of been under the radar despite a top 30 national ranking.
Hauser more than justified that lofty spot in the rankings with his play over the weekend. At a legit 6-foot-8 Hauser can score inside with his post up game, drive players off the dribble, or make shots from the mid-range and perimeter. Add in that he is a solid athlete, and there is a lot to like about the long term future of Hauser who helped his team to a 16-and under title.
Wisconsin, Marquette, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Minnesota and others are in strong pursuit of Hauser. It is worth noting Hauser’s older brother is set to enroll at Marquette this fall.
The Spiece Indy Heat program came away with the 17 and under title this weekend and the play from their point guard position was a big reason why. Both Justin Roberts and Tyger Campbell played key roles on the roster, and Roberts especially had a big weekend.
The 5-foot-11 Roberts didn’t shoot the ball great, but he did what he does. He got into the lane and made nice passes for easy buckets, ran the team to perfection, and also scored going to the rim. With excellent quickness and floor vision Roberts paced his team well, and showed the impressive ability to stay on top of his game throughout what is one of the longest tournaments of the grassroots season.
On the recruiting trail DePaul has put in the most work with Roberts. He is also hearing from Bradley, Toledo, Michigan, and several other schools ranging from mid-major to the high-major level.
One of the revelations this spring on the circuit has been Jamal Cain. The combo forward from Detroit had a bit of an up and down April running with The Family, but at Run N Slam he definitely picked things up.
His shooting numbers in the EYBL haven’t been great, but he shot the ball very well over the weekend, and also attacked the glass. With his length and size, at near 6-foot-7, Cain can be versatile on the defensive end guarding wings as well as forwards, and then on offense he showed he can stretch the floor and then also rebound, especially offensively.
Recently Cain picked up an offer from Michigan which was big, and the Wolverines along with Xavier seem to be the schools most consistently linked to Cain. Also Washington State and Georgia are in the mix with several other Big Ten programs showing interest.
Playing both at the 16 and under and 17 and under levels, Steven Fitzgerald announced himself on a national stage. While he just looked to fit in at 17’s, where his team made it to the title game, Fitzgerald dominated at the 16 and under level.
The best thing Fitzgerald does is shoot the basketball. Fitzgerald has a pure stroke from the outside, and he can make it both off the dribble and off the catch. His big output was a 46 point showing in which he was absolutely dominant, and then he managed over 20 against a talented and well coached King James squad despite being face guarded.
So far Fitzgerald’s recruitment is mostly at the mid-major level with Samford, Tennessee Tech, and Southeast Missouri State offering, but expect Western Kentucky to get involved, and then local high-major schools are likely to monitor him during the month of July when they are allowed back on the road.
Playing at the 15 and under level is almost unfair for a kid like Romeo Weems. He already has a big frame at around 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, but he doesn’t just get by on strength. Weems is very skilled with the dribble and also is an excellent athlete.
All event long Weems was making a living getting to the offensive glass as well as facing his man up and using his handle to attack the rim. Weems needs to continue to develop his perimeter game. At the moment his shooting stroke doesn’t look bad, but it is clear that he isn’t yet confident in his ability to shoot it from deep. When that aspect of his game does come along, he will be a nightmare to guard.
So far on the recruiting trail Weems has heard from Michigan, Michigan State, and Xavier.null