Jon Scheyer, SG, Glenbrook North – Wow! Chalk up 36 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists as the future Devil bedeviled Ridgeway. To watch him in the high school setting reveals a college ready guard who has a few moves in the bag of tricks. An excellent cutter who doesn't receive enough credit for his toughness, winning defines him and on Saturday he made plenty of plays – big (free throws) and small (deflections) – that contributed to the win. This will be one of the more impressive guard performances we'll see all year and the kind of effort that puts you in post season all-star games!
Wayne Chism, PF, Bolivar – If you didn't learn something about Chism today then you weren't watching. Here's the deal: he couldn't score against Jason Bennett early – all 7-3 of the Floridian was giving him fits. Then, to his immense credit, Chism thought through his dilemma, shrugged off an injury and figured out some ways to get it done. He heated himself up by getting buckets when Bennett wasn't in there which gave him the confidence to go into attack mode, put a few fouls on the center and gradually make his stand. We were impressed before he hit the 3, but that was the clincher. He finished with 25 points and 8 boards.
Brandan Wright (pictured), PF, Brentwood – To get 26 points 11 boards and 9 blocks after a sluggish start is quite an accomplishment. The crafty and angular lefty led a route over South Laurel using a deft touch around the basket and springy game that has become his trademark. Now, he's going to need some muscle to play alongside Tyler Hansbrough in Chapel Hill but that'll come. Meanwhile, his stellar high school career was further enhanced with the near triple-double at the Hoop Fest.
Willie Kemp vs. Josue Soto – Kemp got off a shot to win it that didn't fall but his rally with under 2 minutes to go was pretty sweet. There wasn't a ton of drama early in this one between the two but as the game tightened late, each made a play or two to let you know about his toughness. Kemp slashed and shot his way to 22 points and Soto took home the game MVP hardware with 16.
Manual Cass, PF, Carbondale – He's a unique recruit because of his live body style, ability to run the floor and potential as a traffic rebounder. He's the kind of guy who fills a role at DePaul as the energy kid off the bench; perfect for inserting during the second TV timeout when the starters will have to match his energy. He went for 23 and 12 in a 28-point whipping of Tilghman.
Jason Bennett, C, ACD – The offense remains a work in progress but there's no mistaking the way guys somehow fumble the rock en route to the basket when he's in there. This guy is a defensive game changer who swallows up shots. Plus, we've written all along that he's Bob Huggins fan and the coach-in-waiting cornered him after the game further proving that where there's smoke there's fire. One point, 6 boards and at least a half dozen rejections before fouling out was his final stat line and offensively that's not going to get it done. However, first time observers surely will be disappointed with the offensive showing but consider this: he's made strides each year in high school and is now beginning to communicate better and be more vocal. These tend to be the signs of a maturing big man.
Raymar Morgan, PF, Canton McKinley – Tom Izzo preaches toughness and now he's got a new disciple to impart his wisdom upon. Morgan couldn't get a perimeter shot to fall en route to 15 points and 7 boards but he played strong inside amidst a Beasley attack and gave McKinley a shot at the upset before fouling out with seconds left in the game.
Thaddeus Young (pictured), SF, Mitchell – He's going to be quite the weapon on the college stage. At 6-foot-8 with his athleticism, length and body control … man he's got a chance to be a special talent. It was all that Richwoods could do to keep him in front of them and he rattled off a game-high 29 points.
Todd Brown, SF, Canton McKinley – Two weeks ago we named him the best incoming recruit in the Horizon League and against Oak Hill he looked the part. The 15 points were a bonus as he scored it from mid-range, made savvy hustle plays and proved on a big stage that he's a biggie for Wright State.
Jeremy Jones, PG, Trigg County – The state high jump champion has progressed each year in basketball to where he's a strong mid-major candidate. His game, predicated on speed, looked good Saturday. Jones dotted Union County for 22 points, 12 boards and 8 assists. He'll be close to qualifying academically but the point is this good athlete who can push it could become an attractive spring mid-major for the right program.
Randon Cavette, PF, Graves Co. – Lower level mid-major programs should be lining up to get their hands on him. Call him a beast, warrior, whatever, he attacks the basket with a vengeance and fears no one. The question is: at 6-5 (max), how will his power inside game translate on the next level. Answer: if he finds a place that values his intensity, he'll be fine. He had 28 points and 14 rebounds. His game is built for the OVC.
Mike Beasley, PF, Oak Hill – His free throw proved to be the game-winner as his final effort at the Hoop Fest yielded 15 and 9 to go along with a slam dunk championship. The game comes relatively easy to this ultra-talented forward with a smooth lefty touch and plenty of bounce inside. Overall, he's got so many ways to score that he's a big time weapon. We're talking a player of the year candidate in the A-10 early on for Charlotte. He's that good.
Nolan Smith, G, Oak Hill – One of the more versatile guards in the class continued his impressive play with 22 points. Defenders ducked out of his way on a drive that culminated in one of the more thunderous dunks of the event. The guy can play for anybody and he competes at such a high level each time out.
A.J. Stewart, PF, ACD – Something clicked with his game tonight and he had the kind of effort that is going to lead to good things with his development this season. He played confidently and was active. He's been given more offensive freedom and with his 13-point, 12-rebound effort the high-majors that have been watching him all along will be alerted.
Bill Cole, PF, Richwoods – Since he's basically a stick figure forward right now, his comfort zone rests on the perimeter and he had a tough night with his stroke. He'll play high-major basketball because of the overall perimeter package and adding weight is the major priority over the next year.
Florida, Alabama and Florida State are on A.J. Stewart hard thus far but his overall list is a bit lengthier. Illinois has really impressed him, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Miami and Clemson also gained mentions. …
Russell Mackins of Trigg Co. says Georgia, Western Kentucky, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State, Buffalo, Mississippi State and Alabama have showed interest. "Georgia's my top pick," Mackins said. "Coach Felton is the only one that came to see me even after my injury."
Heath junior Max McConnell, a 6-8 power forward is dangerously thin but he's been blessed with good hands and savvy around the cup. Should be a low-major prospect. … Manual Cass will need to reduce the motion in his upper body so he can begin steadying his shot and expanding his offense. …
Your 2005 slam dunk contest winner was none-other than Michael Beasley. He literally leapt over two kids en route to the win. … Brandon Powell has a quick trigger and doesn't need much time or space to get his shot off. He's got an air of streakiness to his perimeter game so don't be surprised when the future Gator rattles home 3 in a row every now and again. …
Richwoods junior point man Justin Dehm should be on the mid-major watch list. He can distribute it, knock down shots and he went for 21 points in the loss.
Jeremy Jones' AAU coach said that his guard was beginning to heat up. Austin Peay, Murray State, Tennessee Tech and UT-Martin are showing interest. …
Cell phones have changed the way we live our lives. They've also made watching Oak Hill warm ups a spectacle. Picture well over 100 kids lining both sides of the court and the baseline with camera phones taking pictures of the Warriors dunking: priceless. …
Junior A.J. Stewart on his maturing game and how important it was to have a good showing here.
Oak Hill 51, Canton McKinley 50 Memphis Mitchell 82, Peoria Richwoods 56 Brentwood Academy 80, South Laurel 60 Arlington Country Day 64, Bolivar Central 62 Glenbrook North 54, Ridgeway 47 Trigg County 70, Union City 58 Lexington (Tenn.) 62, Graves County 61 Heath 57, Carmi White County 56
Photos courtesy of TimePiecePhotography.com
Pictures from the event can be purchased at the site, including Michael Beasley's award winning dunk!