Makur Puou – Power Forward, Mooseheart Academy (Indiana Elite)
Just two days after arriving in the United States from Juba, Sudan, Puou played his first game on the other side of the globe Friday evening and showed his promise and potential right away. The communication barrier proved to be a bit of a challenge throughout the weekend, but Puou was one of the most athletic players on the floor at any position.
Puou isn't really an offensive producer yet, but his game is still young. Defensively, he flashed most of his potential through his post defense and shot blocking ability. Even at 6'-9", he outran the guards on his team back down the floor multiple times.
He'll need to add strength and build chemistry with teammates, but over the course of the first two days at the AMC, he improved quite a bit in his court awareness and offensive presence.
Hakim Nyang – Center, Mooseheart Academy (Indiana Elite)
At 6'-11.5", Nyang was the tallest of the three Sudanese players at the event. Nyang's skills are a little less developed than Puou's. However, Nyang was much more productive blocking shots and rebounding than Puou throughout the weekend.
Both Nyang and Puou played multiple age groups with the Elite to gain valuable playing experience and adjust to the pace of basketball in the United States.
One of the highlight moments for Nyang on the weekend was a big-time swat while playing with the Indiana Elite 17U team with three Indiana commits. Nyang rejected the shot nearly out of bounds but ran the floor hard to catch up on the offensive end of the floor.
Mangisto Deng – Power Forward, Mooseheart Academy (Indiana Elite)
Deng didn't play on the weekend, but he comprises the third part of the Sudanese contingent. He is rumored to the be the best of the three and was a slam dunk champion back in Sudan. The 6'-8" Deng still has some work to do physically, but if his athleticism is as good as advertised, he should be fun to watch down the road.What's the significance of the three Sudanese players? Puou, Nyang, and Deng will all three be attending Mooseheart Prep just outside of Aurora, Illinois.
Illinois has recently added two players of African heritage to its roster in center Nnanna Egwu and forward Ibrahima Djimde. Playing in the state of Illinois, it will be interesting to see if the Illini get involved. Even if they don't, it will be fun to watch these three guys as their games progress here in America.
Austin wasn't the team's full time point guard, but he showed the ability to handle the ball near mid-court when faced with defensive pressure. Also, he was often able to penetrate the defense and get to the basket.
One of the things about Austin that stood out the most was his movement without the basketball. He was able to sneak in behind the defense on a couple of occasions and get the easy basket near the hoop. His jump shot shows good form, and he will take the shot if open. But he seems more natural when driving to the basket.
On the defensive end, Austin used his length to frustrate opposing guards and showed off his leaping ability by skying for a few high rebounds. He even had a definitive block late in the game on a critical possession.
Jaquan Lyle – Shooting Guard, Evansville Bosse (Eric Gordon All Stars)
Lyle is a quick and athletic freshman wing who can take charge with the ball. He's long and has a good feel for everything going on around him on the court. Offensively, he has the ability to put together long scoring runs, and in one of his games this past weekend he was able to really showcase his talent.
Defensively, he moves exceptionally laterally, allowing him to guard just about anybody on the perimeter. He used his length to disrupt shots as well as pull down some big rebounds for his team.
Quentin Snider – Point Guard, Louisville Ballard (Indiana Elite)
The Louisville native won't impress you right away physically, but once you see him play, that all changes. Snider is lightning quick and always keeps a tight handle on the ball. He gets past defenders with an array of spin moves and quick crossovers and has no reservations about taking it to the hoop.
When he drives, Snider protects the ball well, allowing him to not only draw contact on layups, but also finish with a shot for potential three point plays. He splits defenders well, and for a young guy, he has great ball handling ability.
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