Sabes: Day One Rundown

Bloomington, Minn. For years, the Sabes Invitational has operated in relative anonymity in the Minneapolis area. Now in it's ninth year, Rene Pulley and the good folks at Howard Pulley have put together one of the best fields in the event's history.

Friday night's action was came to a dramatic end as pint sized -- but tough as nails -- point guard Ahmad Starks led his Illinois Warriors to a thrilling 82-80 overtime win over Harrison Barnes and the All Iowa Attack Red.

Ahmad Starks, PG, Illinois Warriors- He might have been the smallest guy we saw take the floor in the 17 and under division on Friday night, but we can also guarantee that he had the biggest heart. Exuding toughness, the Oregon State pledge used his quickness and a nasty little step back move to consistently free himself for and drain deep jumpers. After setting the tone with his scoring early, he turned into a playmaker late and led Larry Butler's squad to an impressive overtime win.

Troy Huff, SG, Playground Elite- Scout.com's first look at this crafty and productive off guard was a good one. A slender winger who can attack off the dribble, shoot from deep or make plays in transition, Huff was all over the floor. While he isn't particularly great in any one area, he's strong in all of them and finds ways to make winning plays on both ends of the floor. He shoots the ball, plays hard and is a willing defender so there's lots to like.

Jesse Berry, PG/SG, SYF Players- With a few of SYF's regulars missing from the lineup, Berry put his team on his shoulders and almost willed them to a victory over KC Pump ‘N Run. Fast, athletically explosive and more than capable of scoring off of deep jumpers, he's comfortable distributing or scoring. According to his coach, Berry went over 45 points six times during his junior season. He's already attracting high level mid major offers and just may be a high major sleeper.

Ricky Kreklow, SF, KC Pump ‘N Run- He's not a kid who wows you with his athleticism, in fact he's a little bit stiff and plays very upright. However, the rangy winger has deep range on his high arching jumper, a pretty release and a quick trigger. His outside shooting draws attention, but his skill as a passer and a guy who can free himself for looks away from the ball are big reasons why he's emerging on high major radars.

Harrison Barnes, SF, All Iowa Attack Red- Scout.com's top ranked player in the class of 2010 lived up to the hype on Friday night. Playing in a rough and tumble game where the refs were letting just about anything go, he set aside any thoughts of crying for calls and attacked the rim relentlessly. A skilled scorer with his back to the basket, he also avoided silly turnovers off the bounce while draining a handful of deep jumpers and delighting the crowd with highlight jams. If somebody else in 2010 wants the number one spot, they may have to literally have to fight him for it.

Cinmeon Bowers, SF, Playground Elite- Strong enough to play the four if he needed to, we'll go ahead and list Bowers at the three for now. He shoots pretty well out to around the three point line, finishes above the rim in transition and uses his powerful shoulders to shield off defenders and finish at the bucket. He's at his best in attack mode, but at times he floats around the perimeter and settles for a few too many jumpers.

It was just our first look, but we're intrigued by Team Nebraska PF Kyle Schlake. A slender kid who can run, he hit on a bevy of mid range jumpers, wheeled for finishes in the paint and ran the court very well. He's willing to fight a little despite his slim frame and looks like a potential mid level prospect as a face up four man. … It's easy to like Jesse Berry's burst off the dribble, but we really love the way he explodes into his jumper making it virtually impossible for defenders to get even a partial hand in his face. …

We will get a much more extended look at sophomore wing Brandon Dawson on Saturday, but we're glad that SYF coach Wayne Brumm told us to take a peak at him playing on the 16U level. Long and athletic, the 6-foot-5 wing has the look of a high level wing prospect. … KC Pump ‘N Run point guard Trevor Releford is more than comfortable in an up and down setting where he can use his speed to his advantage. Friday night, the 5-foot-11 floor general showed that he could also lead his team in a grind it out game while still picking his spots to get to the rim and delight the crowd with his ball handling and passing antics. …

Each week, Trayvon Wright of the All Iowa Attack Red looks a little more comfortable. The skinny power forward's go to move is, and will likely always be, the dunk. But, he's working harder on the glass, running the floor just a little harder and swatting a few more shots. He'll be a priority recruit in the Missouri Valley before summer's end at the rate he's going. … Illinois Warriors insider Antonio Jones is one absolutely ferocious athlete and an intense competitor. A senior who is likely headed off to a juco next season, he's a 6-foot-2 (maybe 6-3 if you are feeling generous) leaper who explodes off the floor for insane jams. As if his two tip dunks over opponents (one drawing an and one) weren't enough, Jones brought the house down by hanging in the air forever and looking down on the rim to finish a two handed alley-oop in overtime. …

Playing up on the 17 and under level, Playground Elite's 2011 PG Darrell Longstreet showed some potential. A long 6-foot-1 playmaker, Longstreet has outstanding quickness, a solid feel and just needs to be a little more assertive with his leadership. …

Playground Elite's Troy Huff gave a list of Arizona State, Stanford and Northern Illinois as schools that have showed early interest. … 2011 forward Cimeon Bowers has already popped up on the radar of programs like Texas, Michigan, Marquette, Illinois, Iowa and others. …

Thursday afternoon, KC Pump ‘N Run's Ricky Kreklow took an unofficial visit to Minnesota. The Gophers join hometown Missouri (offer) and pretty much the entire Missouri Valley on Kreklow's list. Stanford and Virginia have also made recent calls to inquire about the rangy shooter. … Jesse Berry already holds offers from Dayton, Butler and Ball State while Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Providence and others are starting to sniff around. …


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