Most objective observers would likely consider the basketball played by J-Mychal Reese last weekend to be fairly spectacular.
Though smaller events have been taking place across the country for weeks, the first Nike Elite Youth Basketball League qualifier signals the start of big-time basketball on the AAU circuit. From April 9-11, 40 of the top 17 & Under travel programs converged on Hampton, Va. to test themselves against many of the elite prospects in the Class of 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Despite all that talent, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound point guard managed to stand out during the course of the three-day tournament. In leading his team to a perfect 5-0 record, Reese averaged 12 points, 5.2 assists and 2 steals per game.
Long known as someone who could fill up a scoresheet, his new and improved abilities as a point guard were on full display - as evidenced by his 2.2:1 assist/turnover ratio.
Of Reese's play, Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels had this to say:
"You won't find many guards that can shoot it off the dribble like this southpaw out of Bryan (TX) High. A quick and elusive guard, Reese is a terrific all-around shooter, but can especially rip the nets when pulling up off the dribble from 15 to 18-feet. Reese put together a pretty impressive weekend for (Houston) Hoops."
Sounds great, right? But ask the athlete himself if he thought he played well, and he is characteristically non-chalant.
"I did," the soft-spoken Reese said. "I did pretty good."
The recipient of a great deal of hype early in his basketball career, his name has been a fixture in recruiting circles for years. Now that he is entering his final season of AAU play, Reese's recruitment is - at the risk of sounding cliched - really heating up.
With a list that currently comprised of nine schools – Baylor, Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Louisville, Memphis, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma – one in particular is rising a little above the crowd at this time:
The Kansas Jayhawks.
"That's probably the school that's sticking out the most to me right now," he said.
With a full slate of spring and summer basketball ahead of him, Reese still hopes to find a way to visit each of the schools on his list - though no timetable yet exists for settling on a school.
"I want to visit some schools soon, but as to making a decision I'm not sure yet," he explained. "When I feel the time is right."