Kansas Jayhawk Conference Recap

Coffeyville, Kan. -- Eric Bossi spent some at the Kansas Jayhawk Conference JUCO event over the weekend. Tony Smith and Phillipe Martin were among the top standouts.

For a time, the state of Kansas' Jayhawk Conference was considered one of the premier, if not top, places to go find junior college talent. More recently, the proliferation of prep schools/re-classifying along with scholarship limitations for out-of-staters have both been issues the conference's member schools have had to deal with . Still, the annual Jayhawk Shoot-Out remains a must stop event for many division one programs and an event in which Coffeyville residents take a tremendous amount of pride in.

Leading the way over the weekend were Northeast Oklahoma's Phillipe Martin and Liberal (Kan.) Seward County's Tony Smith.

Tony Smith, SG/PG, Seward County- Based on what we saw during the Jayhawk Shootout, the 6-foot-4 combo guard from Greenville, N.C. gets our vote as best prospect at the event. A tall ball handler, he's an exceptional passer who can also give you some scoring punch. Plays both ends and gets to the free throw line

Phillipe Martin, SG, NEO A&M- You simply can't argue with the 6-foot-4 wing's production. He went for 35 in his first game and followed that up with 37 in a triple overtime thriller. He's strong and loves to attack the rim. Because he's so good going to the rim, some are missing that he's a pretty good shooter too. His length of the floor drive and towering one handed slam when his team had to have a bucket was easily the play of the weekend. Was already averaging just over 24 a game heading into the weekend.

Caleb Walker, SF, Butler County- Throw out position, he's just a guy who makes a lot of plays happen. He's long, athletic and plays tough on both ends of the floor. A very good finisher in transition, he's also good on the glass and has the quickness to defend a few positions.

Vincent Banks, SG, Garden City- Our readers who have been around for a while will remember Banks from back when he broke onto the scene as a high scoring guard from Atlanta in the summer of 2002! He committed to Miami, ended up at a prep school and then went to Cincinnati but never played. Now going by Vince a long road has landed him in Western Kansas. He's still a skinny scorer with exceptional quickness and leads his team in scoring. Playing for a division one program most likely isn't going to be an option, but we respect a guy who has been through a lot and is still trying to make something positive happen.

Karron McKenzie, SG, Independence CC- A native of Staten Island, N.Y. like Phillipe Martin, McKenzie is a fierce competitor. His game is all about getting to the rim and using his strength and clever shot creating to finish around the rim. He will take some jumpers, but he definitely prefers to get to the rim. Highly productive rebounder for a guy his size.

Jahmal Buroughs, PF/SF, Neosho County- Some readers will remember him from his days with the Houston Hoops. After signing with New Orleans, he's in junior college looking to make a move. A fine athlete with good 6-foot-7 size, he's versatile enough to give minutes at either the three or the four. Could be a bubble high major guy in the right situation.

Ty Modupe, PF, Cloud County- He initially started out at Illinois State but is a redshirt freshman who could have three years of eligibility at a division one program. At 6-foot-7, he's long, runs pretty well and can play some above the rim. Needs to add strength and become more of a battler in the post.

Jose Pena-Benjamin, SG/PG, Colby CC- He's not a high percentage shooter, but he's athletic and can attack the rim. Is a natural scorer with good tools at his disposal, he's just a bit rough around the edges. He shares the scoring load with sophomore point guard Aireus Stephenson and they'll both get looks from low to mid level programs.

Tyrus McGee, SG, Cowley- All he does is lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists as a freshman. A solid athlete who can create his own offense, shoot from distance and play unselfishly, he will get in a guy defensively too. He's probably performing as well as any player in the conference right now.

Ronnie Boggs, SG, Johnson County- Playing alongside high scoring Colorado freshman Alec Burks in high school, it looks like this 6-foot-3 lefty was overlooked coming out of high school. A fine athlete, he's an economical scorer and shot maker at the rim. His pull-up jumper is legit and he's a fine defender as well. Nice looking freshman who is leading the Jayhawk Conference in scoring.

Dennis Tinnon, PF, Kansas City Kansas CC- He averages right at around 15 and 10 per game and is a good looking interior prospect. A long and wiry strong 6-foot-7, he runs the floor, scores from 10 feet and in and takes care of his responsibilities on the glass. Footwork is a little raw, but he's got good touch and figures to be recruited pretty heavily.

As a freshman, 5-foot-9 point guard Karon Butler from Chester, PA comes off the bench for Barton County. His job is to put points on the board and he does so on drives and pull-up jumpers. He's a little out of control at times, but he has another year of juco to iron out the kinks. … Host Coffeyville has an intriguing freshman of their own. 6-foot-2 guard Stacy Wilson is a slender and quick South Carolina native who can handle a bit and generate some offense. Wilson's sophomore teammate, Richard Townsend-Gant, is an athletic 6-foot-5 combo forward who is a bit undersized, but strong and very athletic. … Cowley County wing Lance Russell suffered through a tough shooting day on Sunday. Still, the 6-foot-4 sophomore is a pretty good looking wing prospect. He's got length, is a fine athlete and will get to the free throw line when his jumper isn't dropping. … A few years ago, Charlie Coley left Dodge City CC and had a nice two year run at Charlotte. Now, his younger brother Chuck Coley is looking to make a name for himself at the same place as a sophomore. A string bean 6-foot-7 leaper, he's quick, can score it a little and is an exciting finisher in the open court. …

Hutchinson Community College freshman Joe Mitchell can put the ball in the hoop. A 6-foot-1 scorer, he gets to the rim, hits jumpers and is very productive on the offensive end. Next year, he'll get added help from a pair of guys red-shirting. 6-foot-4 wing Jawanza Poland is very highly regarded by the college coaches who have seen him and insider Robert Goff figures to be the most heavily recruited big man in the Jayhawk Conference in 2011. … Finally, Seward County's Jon Tassin is an interesting guy. At 6-foot-8, he's got power forward size but he's pencil thin and much prefers playing on the perimeter. He can shoot the three, handles it fairly well and has plenty of length. …

We likely missed some guys, but we saw assistants from places like UMKC, Gardner-Webb, UC Irvine, Murray State, St. Bonaventure, South Alabama, Bryant, SMU, Arkansas Little Rock, Stephen F. Austin, Loyola, Albany, Georgia State, Wichita State, Arkansas State, UT San Antonio and Idaho State.

"That's about par for the course."

Highland Community College coach Jerre Cole after his Scotties and opposing Cloud County couldn't remember which direction they were headed shortly after tip causing the refs to throw a second jump ball to start the game.


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