Bass Pro TOC: Day One

Springfield, Mo. –'s Eric Bossi took in the first day of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Joe Jackson, Ian Miller and Brad Beal were just a few of the days standouts.

The Bass Pro Tournament of Champions is as strongly supported an event as there is in the country. During Thursday night's opening round, the roughly 6,500 basketball crazy locals on hand were treated to lots of high level players. But, they were performing in blowouts. That was, until hometown heroes Springfield Kickapoo pulled off a shocker taking out Ian Miller and United Faith Christian in the nightcap.

Joe Jackson, PG, White Station- Exactly how good is the future Memphis Tiger? Consider that he had a ho-hum game – by his lofty standards – and still came up just two rebounds short of a triple double in a 27 point, 10 assist and eight rebound outing. The city of Springfield has really adopted White Station and Jackson is an all-time fan favorite in Southwest Missouri for good reason. Throw the stats out the window because at the end of the day this kid cares about winning and that doesn't get talked about enough.

Maurice Barrow, SF/PF, Christ the King- Listed as a small forward, he has nice athleticism, excellent length and gets to the rim. However, we like him as a slightly undersized, matchup problem combo because of the way he fights in the lane and gets stuff done in the painted area. Doesn't take a ton of jumpers or make mistakes.

Fab Melo, C, Sagemont- It's hard not to like the Syracuse bound big man. He's got an easy going spirit and is just goofy enough to remind you that inside his massive seven foot, 260 pound frame is a teenager. He's got great feet, scores with either hand around the rim and is getting into better shape. He's got to be one of a handful of big men that high school team's run screens for to get a look from three in the corner off of an inbounds play.

Ian Miller, PG, United Faith- The Florida State bound point guard is in the midst of a torrid senior season. Thursday night, though, he struggled with his jumper and hit just 1-10 three point shots during a 9-22 outing from the field. Luckily for him, though, he's got a long and athletic frame, a great first step and can get to the rim when the jumper isn't falling. He finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds and three assists but would much rather have gotten the win.

Brad Beal, SG, Chaminade- About halfway through the first quarter, Beal picked up his second foul on a charge. Then, early in the second he picked up his third foul. Despite the foul trouble, an off night from the field and his team getting it handed to him, Beal still found a way to put a 30 spot on the board. He's getting stronger and has added a level of explosiveness that has made it almost impossible to keep him from getting to the rim. A normal shooting night from the free throw and three point lines – and give big credit to Dai-Jon Parker for harassing him – and he goes for 45.

Shannon Scott, PG, Milton- Headed to Ohio State, Scott's game can be properly described with a single word, effective. He gets into the lane, shares the ball, defends the perimeter and is starting to knock down shots. We love his little runners in the lane and the pace he plays the game at. He's evolving rapidly into one of the top floor generals in his class. 14 points, seven assists and eight rebounds paint a pretty accurate picture of his night.

Julian Royal, PF, Milton- A skilled faceup guy who may end up playing some three or at least combo'ing it up down the road, he needed only 19 minutes to ring up a team high 20 points. He had the mid range jumper working and mixed in some jump hooks and quick conversions at the rim. He'll need to get stronger, but he's in a good place right now.

Andre Hollins, SG, White Station- Playing with Joe Jackson, Hollins gets himself a lot of good looks at the hoop. Even better, he doesn't miss many of them. He mixed in deep jumpers, pull-ups off the bounce and a few transition jams in a very effective and impressive 23 point night where he went 10-13 from the field.

Brodie Wingert, SF, Springfield Kickapoo- The building was juiced and Wingert gave the locals what they wanted while leading the ‘Poo to an upset win over United Faith. A dangerous shooter with deep range, he's got some surprising strength given his lean frame. He actually plays the center at for his team at 6-foot-4 and battled his way to an impressive 21 points and 12 rebounds against a towering front line.

Omar Calhoun, SG/SF, Christ the King- He had some shots crawl off the lip of the rim, but that doesn't change what we saw. A smooth athlete with length and a frame to build on, he likes to catch and let it fly from three point land. Runs the floor well and can slash to the bucket. It figures that he'll add to his off the bounce game and get stronger with maturity. Easy to project him as a potential high major guy.

Dorial Green SF/PF, Springfield Hillcrest- By any measurable way, Green had a rough night. However, all you have to do is watch him run up and down the floor a few times to be taken with his ridiculous athleticism and strength. Handles, gets to the rim and has to work on his shot. More than likely, though, he'll end up going the football route where experts are already hailing him as a can't miss wide receiver prospect.

Evan Nolte, PF, Milton- Don't look now, but the sophomore is starting to steal some of stud junior trio at Milton's thunder. He's lean, runs the floor and has one of the prettiest jumpers in his class. If he continues to add to his game and strength level, he's got a chance to end up getting recruited at a very high level. Went for 18 and 11.

Milton's Dai-Jon Parker used his offensive ability to put himself on the map at an early age. The 6-foot-3 wing can still score it, but we were taken by his defense on Thursday. Yes Brad Beal got 30, but he had to work ridiculously hard to get there and Parker proved he can go toe to toe with one of his class's truly elite prospects and hold his own. … White Station's junior big man Nino Johnson looks the part of a high level big man. Standing in the vicinity of 6-foot-8, he's got a long and wiry strong frame and runs the floor. He scores at the rim but has to avoid silly fouls that send him to the bench. … Another White Station big man worthy of some praise is Marvin Williams. A space eater, he did the dirty work racking up 14 rebounds and 12 points. … Small forward with length, or power forward with quickness and some ball skills? That's what college coaches are trying to decide with Sagemont junior Rod Days. A convincing argument could be made that either spot is in his future so we'll call him a combo forward for now. Days got cooking late from deep and added a few dunks to finish with 18 points. …

Julian Royal says that he's planning on waiting until the spring of his senior year to make a decision. For now, he's got a big list of schools including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Oregon, Northwestern, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Florida and Illinois among others. … Royal's Milton teammate Evan Nolte is already hearing from the likes of Stanford, Duke, Oklahoma, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida State and Georgia Tech during his sophomore year. …

Missouri State's head man Cuonzo Martin made sure he was front and center to evaluate the talent and show off the Sparkling JQH Arena. He was flanked by a pair of assistants. Also in attendance were assistants from Illinois, Northwestern and Drake.

Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King 77
Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest 39
Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton 78 Saint Louis (Mo.) Chaminade 57
Memphis (Tenn.) White Station 87 Weston (Fla.) Sagemont 66
Springfield (Mo.) Kickapoo 71 Charlotte (N.C.) United Faith- 67

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