When the 10th annual Jayhawk Invitational came to a close on Sunday afternoon, something that hadn't happened in quite some time happened. A team other than KC Pump ‘N Run was crowned the champion. Led by Scout.com's number one player in the class of 2010, Harrison Barnes, the All-Iowa Attack Red knocked off the four time defending champions in an exciting five point win capping off another exciting weekend of hoops in Lawrence.
There from beginning to end, Phog.Net takes a look back at the Kansas recruiting interests and some of the weekend's other top performers.
Kansas Targets From Saturday And Sunday
Royce Woolridge, SG, Arizona Magic- Heading into the event, the future Jayhawk was billed more as a shooter than a guy who would create off the bounce. While he struggled some with his shot, his ability to attack off the dribble was continually impressive. He loves to use hesitations, crossovers and step back moves and is also an alert passer off the bounce. Doesn't over dribble too much and does a very nice job of taking care of the ball. A fine athlete, he finished some slams. Very crafty, his ability to finish off the glass from different angles is very beneficial. He enjoyed a very good weekend while being named to the All-Tourney team in the 17U division. He'll get stronger, become more consistent as a jump shooter and looks to be a pretty good prospect.
Harrison Barnes, SF, All Iowa Attack Red- By the time he finished up on Sunday, the 17U division's MVP was justifiably gassed. In order to walk away with the hardware, Barnes had to help his team knock off loaded Compton Magic and Atlanta Celtics squads in the quarters and semis before taking down the four time defending champ KC team. Pretty much anything somebody could want to see out of him he did it on Saturday and Sunday. Shot the ball at a tremendous clip, rebounded at a high level, scored from mid range, treated fans to jams and made an absolute living at the free throw line. He's a tremendous kid with an incredible work ethic and a nasty streak on the floor that suits him quite well.
Brad Beal, SG, St. Louis Eagles 16's- A long and lanky scorer who makes the game look easy, Beal erupted for 38 late Saturday night. With his gas tank running pretty much on E, he left it all on the floor during a heartbreaking 16U division championship game loss to Minnesota Pump ‘N Run. His burgeoning athleticism is allowing him to drive to the rim and cram on defenders and that element added to his already lethal mid range game and deep range shooting simply makes him more dangerous. He'll be representing USA Basketball this June when he heads to Argentina to play in the 16 and under world championships.
Isaiah Austin, PF/C, Team Texas Elite 2012- The Jayhawks have already been in to see Austin and it's easy to see why. Clearly lacking in strength, the upside for this long and skinny big man is absolutely off the charts. Quite skilled on the offensive end, he has a pretty shot, great hands and is a very impressive ball handler and passer given his size and age. Even when he wasn't directly involved with a play, he changed everything that happened on the floor when he was in the game. It's going to be very interesting to see what heights he can take his game to as he matures physically and learns to play with more consistent effort and a sense of urgency.
More Weekend Notables
Trevor Releford, PG, KC Pump ‘N Run- After getting off to a little bit of a slow start on Friday night, the Bishop Miege star brought it the rest of the weekend. As fine a ball handler as there is in the country, what he can do with the ball at breakneck speed is fun to watch. If a defender reaches on him, they'll be taught a lesson. A crowd pleaser who has greatly improved his outside shooting, Releford spent most of the weekend getting to the rim at will.
Carlos Emory, PF, Minnesota Pump ‘N Run- Pound for pound one of the best athletes in the event, the 6-foot-6 insider lacks ideal height but plays like a beast. He ran the floor and elevated in traffic for violent slams and is a ferocious rebounder. A member of the class of 2009, he's likely headed off to a prep school next year.
Zach McCabe, PF/SF, All Iowa Attack Red- A strong kid with an excellent feel for the game, McCabe came up with big plays all weekend long. He smoked deep threes, converted on toughness and hustle plays around the basket and was a big help on the glass. According to sources, he took an unofficial visit to Iowa last week and scored himself a scholarship offer.
Ryan Harrow, PG/SG, Atlanta Celtics- The scoring tear he started on Friday night kept on right through the weekend. A slender scorer, he has a jumper that's wet to 22 feet and is as impressive an athlete as there is at his position. He's got a nice little in between game and played under much more control over the weekend than he had at the Real Deal in the Rock just a few weeks ago.
Kevin Ware, SG/PG, Atlanta Celtics- A class of 2011 standout, Ware showed glimpses of why he'll likely be the man next year for the Celtics. A long and athletic combo guard, he can really get out on the perimeter and make things happen. Prolific scoring the basketball on driving runs to the hoop, he's got an improving jumper and shows great promise as a defender.
Gavin Thurman, PF, KC Pump ‘N Run 15's- Nearing the end of his freshman year at Wichita Southeast, Thurman was quite impressive. A long -- and growing still growing -- 6-6 four man with great skill level, he shoots as pretty a jumper as you will ever see from such a young big man. He looked great running the floor, has developing athleticism and is very comfortable facing up even bigger defenders. Although he didn't play a ton as a freshman, he proved over the weekend that he'll be one to watch down the road.
Nick Banyard, PF, Team Texas Elite 2012- Yet another young guy who established himself as one to watch over the weekend. He runs the floor, has a nose for the ball and worked his way to MVP honors in the 15U division of the tourney. A fine athlete who already elevates for effortless slams in the post, he led his team by example and his teammates seemed to feed off his energy. How much he grows will determine much of what level he ends up on, but he's on track to be a pretty high level guy thanks to his combination of size, athleticism and hustle.
Richard Solomon, PF, Compton Magic Black- Off the West Coast for a weekend, Solomon looked like one of the more promising big guys in the class of 2010. On the skinny side, he ran the floor, scored with skill around the basket and showed off an impressive set of hands. Pretty competitive on both ends of the floor, it won't be a surprise to see him end up on national top 100 lists before it's all said and done.