Karviar Shepherd - Center - Urban DFW - 6-foot-9, 210 pounds:
This was our first look at Shepherd, who picked up an offer from Kansas while on an unofficial visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus in late June. Earlier this month while competing in the Great American Shootout, Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow had positive things to say about this emerging 2013 big man.
Wednesday, Shepherd had a tough time getting things going offensively, scoring just five points in a blowout victory. He did show a nice little jump hook over his left shoulder, however, and flashed some quality passing instincts, dishing to fellow big - and top 100 talent - Jordan Mickey.
Things looked a little better for Shepherd on the defensive end. Though he rotated slowly off screens once or twice and was unable to recover in time to block a layup attempt, he's got very long arms and an excellent frame overall. In one-on-one scenarios, he moved his feet well and kept his arms up, often forcing his opponent into a kick-out, a bad pass or a frustrated shot at the basket.
Shepherd runs the floor while and looks to have solid athleticism, so he'll definitely be one to watch throughout the rest of the event.
Mitch McGary - Center - SYF Players - 6-foot-10, 245 pounds:
Because Shepherd and McGary were playing at the same time at Okun Fieldhouse, but on different courts, we didn't get to catch but a chunk of the second half of SYF's opening-round loss to Iowa's Kingdom Hoops (who are, interestingly enough, coached by former Iowa State standout Jake Sullivan).
It didn't appear to be vintage McGary, as he looked to be favoring one leg slightly and his teammates were having a tough time feeding the post. However, this guy has proven that he is the definition of "elite" time and time again this summer, and the quality of coaches in attendance reflected his status. John Calipari, Bob Huggins, Mike Krzyzewski and John Beilein were just a few of the head coaches in attendance, and assistants from several other schools - including North Carolina - were present.
Conner Frankamp - Point Guard - KC Pump N Run - 6-foot, 170-pounds:
Frankamp and his Pump N Run teammates are coming off an incredible run at the Adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas - one of the largest AAU events of the summer. Fueled largely by outstanding play from guards Frankamp and Travis Jorgenson (both 2013 prospects) and newcomer Dominique Collier (Class of 2014), the local boys returned triumphant, 16U division crown in tow.
Thursday night's match-up with Team Illinois wasn't particularly pretty, as the officials called a very tight game and kept the proceedings from developing much flow, but Frankamp and Co. got the job done once again.
Every time we watch the recent Kansas commit in person we come away more impressed. There's just no wasted motion to his game. He constantly makes smart passes and - more importantly - makes the right decision with the ball. He's a confident ball-handler and a great shooter. He poured in 17 points in the contest to lead Pump N Run - canning 4-of-8 three-point attempts - and scored the game-winning bucket with less than five seconds remaining; a pure jumper from just inside the three-point line.
Frankamp is an excellent defender as well, both individually and as part of the team concept. He doesn't typically get caught on screens, he communicates well on the floor, and his quick hands and feet make him difficult to take off the bounce. He's just a great pickup for Head Coach Bill Self and his staff.
Travis Jorgenson - Point Guard - KC Pump N Run - 5-foot-11, 165 pounds:
In virtually every game we've seen the Columbia (MO) Rock Bridge star, his impact on the game has far exceeded his stat line, and Thursday night was no exception.
Though not possessed of elite size, Jorgenson is a blur with the basketball both in the half court and on the break. He keeps the ball on a string, and is capable of executing a wickedly fast crossover with either hand, making him virtually impossible to guard when he's bound and determined to get to the hoop. Against an athletic Team Illinois backcourt, he also acted as a one-man pressure-breaker.
Jorgenson finished the game with six points and four assists by our count, but he was a key component in the grind-it-out victory nonetheless.
Tory Miller - Power Forward - KC Pump N Run - 6-foot-7, 215 pounds:
This Class of 2013 prospect from Lee's Summit (MO) North High School has a lot going for him. A solid frame that's clearly still developing, good hands, excellent strength and solid athleticism. When he plays with a mean streak, as he did in stretches Thursday night, he can really make a difference in a game - particularly on the glass and defensively.Outside of Frankamp's game-winning jumper, perhaps the play of the game belonged to Miller, who posterized a defender with a one-step power jam on the low block.