Diamond Stone, C, Young Legends — Stone was the day's top performer. He didn't open his game in scintillating fashion and rose to the occasion as his squad blew a huge lead, prior to recapturing the lead at the end and ultimately salting away the contest. His 36 points and 16 rebounds tell the story: He was a physical force playing very hard against an extremely gifted opponent (Josh Jackson) and made an impact on both ends of the floor. He looks more mature physically and may have gained perhaps a touch of athleticism as well, even if he never becomes a Dwight Howard in terms of explosiveness. Regardless, he looked like a top-five national prospect and reaffirmed his status within the Class of 2015. - Rob Harrington at the Jayhawk Invitational
Malik Newman, SG, MWA Elite — There's an NCAA rule stating that, at a live event for college coaches, no game can tip off after 10:00. Because officials from the prior game called it extraordinarily tight — think November of this past college basketball season — Newman's squad didn't take the floor until 9:15 with another game to follow theirs. That forced event organizers to go to a running clock and abbreviated second half. Newman thus did not enjoy much opportunity to exert much impact, but he still made a few NBA-worthy scoring plays that suggest he'll remain a contender for No. 1 in the rising senior class. He isn't a pure shooter but is a game shooter, relying on rhythm and concentration more than form. He buries contested shots, is comfortable fading on 16-food corner fadeways and has the ability to drive and hang at the rim, drawing contact and and-ones. I'll get a more comprehensive look at him on Saturday. - Rob Harrington at the Jayhawk Invitational
Luke Kennard, SG, King James Shooting Stars - Kennard struggled early on, going scoreless for the first half before knocking down a pair of three pointers. On the night he connected on just two of eight of his field goal attempts and missed all five of his shots from inside the arc.
Brandon Ingram, Stackhouse Elite - Playing as the team's big forward, Ingram and Stackhouse Elite fell to Florida Elite by two. Ingram hit seven of his 18 shot attempts to finish with 17 points and five rebounds. On defense he bothered a number of shots, blocked three, and recorded a steal.
Note: Chase Jeter is not able to play this weekend as he recovers from injury.
Josh Jackson, WF, 1 Nation — He can play better than he did tonight, and we've certainly witnessed him do it. Jackson wasn't bad, mind you, just not a showstopper as he has been at times in the past. But he has grown to a legitimate 6-6 and remains a ferocious athlete with elite speed, handling and body control in the open floor. There may not be a player in the country who can defend him in transition. His issue tonight was his halfcourt game, which was lackluster due to his errant jump shot and general lack of identity in that context. To become a complete player, he must add that dimension to his game. That said, he already stars on defense, bursting through passing lanes to create one-man breaks and elevating for blocks from all angles. He stuffed one Diamond Stone shot attempt from a straight-up position that drew an audible reaction from the coaches sitting courtside. - Rob Harrington at the Jayhawk Invitational
Dennis Smith, Jr., Team Loaded - Smith showed off his scoring ability at the Adidas Gauntlet event in Duncanville, Texas. The 6-foot-2 guard's explosive athleticism and crafty ball handling allowed him to get to the rim as much as he wanted as Team Loaded won a close game. Smith finished with 24 points, six assists, and six steals. The one downside was his eight turnovers.
Josh Langford, Atlanta Celtics - The five star small forward prospect scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds, and shot 8-of-11 from the charity stripe to help the Atlanta Celtics to a 61-57 opening night win. Langford finished with 21 points for the Celtics.
With so many events for coaches to consider this weekend, the Jayhawk drew a terrific accumulation on day one. Many of those likely will ship out for the West Coast on Saturday to observe the EYBL action in Sacramento, but their presence was felt here and Under Armour has served notice that its attention have captured the attention of some very important people.
By no means is this list intended to be inclusive, but here are some of the head coaches I spotted: Bill Self, Kevin Ollie, Larry Brown, Mark Gottfried, Scott Drew, John Thompson III, Rick Ray, Gregg Marshall. Additionally, bluebloods such as Kentucky, Duke, Indiana and UCLA also sent representatives to observe the proceedings. - Rob Harrington at the Jayhawk Invitational
Duke sent Coach K to the Adidas event in Dallas, while Jon Scheyer was at the EYBL in Sacramento. Nate James attended the Jayhawk Invitational.