Ishmail Wainright – 6-4 Guard/Forward – Kansas City Cowboys (2013)
I opted to kick off the day with another peek at KC Cowboy Ishmail
Wainright. The first thing I noticed was that Wainright was playing
with 2 fingers taped together on his shooting hand. Still don't have a
great gauge on how adept his jumper actually is. He missed a floater
from the foul line extended and up until the second quarter when he
nailed a three, I wasn't sure if his range extended past the foul line.
He still shoots it a tad bit flat especially at the foul line but this
kid makes up for it in a lot of other areas.
Wainright has a terrific feel for the game and makes very few mistakes
I watched him bait the opposing guard into a steal which he promptly
finished with a dunk on the other end. He also made a nice catch in
traffic for a layup and had nine points at the half of this one with KC
The real highlight came in the third quarter where he came from the
foul line to make a steal at half court and finished with a thunderous
one hand slam at the other end. In two days of watching him the only
mistake I saw was a cross court pass Wainright threw away for a
turnover. The best players in these AAU games always seem to have such
a feel for the game that stands out above the rest and Ishmail has
that. Wainright led the Cowboys to a comfortable 57-42 win and perfect
record in pool play.
In the night session KC took the floor in the Gold bracket and bowed
out with a tough 66-62 loss.
Marcus Paige – 6-0 Point Guard – Martin Bros. Select (2012)
The class of 2012 has a budding star on its hands. I simply can't get
enough of Marcus Paige's game. KU assistant coach Joe Dooley was in
house watching Paige lead Martin Bros to a spotless pool play record
(3-0) without really being challenged.
In the night session bracket play began vs. Team Pride Wooley. Paige
again ran the show flawlessly. He just doesn't turn it over, rarely
makes a bad decision, and understands that the simple pass is sometimes
the best one. He is amazingly adept at a young at age at having his
head up at all times. He understands how to use his eyes, head, and
body to distract a defender, and he does it all with the greatest of
On the defensive end with Martin Bros. playing some man in this one,
you can see how he can be a defensive presence. Paige can ball hawk and
gets his hands on a lot of passes.
On the offensive end, he made a couple of no look passes, and a behind
the back pass – never to be flashy though – those were the right plays
at the time. There is no showing off, he simply makes the right play
when it has to be made. I'm extremely impressed with how he handles
himself, and runs the team. From catching a napping defender with a
terrific inbounds pass, to firing a pass hard to the middle against a
press, he just knows and understands how to play the game. If I could
nit pick one thing it would be that I'd like to see him able to finish
some plays with his right hand, but that is really splitting hairs.
- Joe Dooley was also in house watching the Arkansas Wings, DC Assault,
Metro Hawks, and Alabama Challenge.
- The Wings sat Hunter Mickelson and Kye Madden for most of the day.
Mickelson did play in the night session. Watched for a bit during my
gym-hopping and noticed he's obviously very tall and slender and if you
take something weak in the lane it is coming back at you. Even saw him
block a couple with the left hand, but on the offensive end he wasn't
really a factor. The real show for the Wings was in the afternoon game
when Derek Daniels simply could NOT miss from three and hit six of them
notching 23 points.
- The Alabama Challenge features a couple of athletes in Roquez Johnson
and Roderick Stinson. Johnson is a quick powerful leaper and made the
highlight real with a couple of athletic jams. Stinson is probably the
more polished of the two with post moves but they are both outstanding
athletes in the 6-5 to 6-7 height range.
- DC Assault – has a big-time finisher from the class of 2011 in Tion
Barnes. Wow…at 6-4 he was on the receiving end of an oop in traffic and
threw it down for a HUGE one-hand flush. Kesse Kouassi Bernard at 6-8
appears to be slightly raw but you can really see there might be some
potential there. He's tall and slender but doesn't quite have the
polished finishing moves on the interior. What he lacks in strength he
makes up for with some nifty footwork and pivoting. Pierre Koffi from
the class of 2010 likes to mix it up inside and at 6-7 he is also a
stellar athlete. Didn't see much of his skills but he likes to finish
at the rim and get out in the open court, he's not afraid to mix it up
down low either. He had a Jordanesque reverse today that turned heads
in the Jostens Center. There are some serious athletes on this team
that like to play above the rim for sure.
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