Jayhawk Invitational off to fast start

Friday evening the Jayhawk Invitational got off to a good start as action tipped off in all age brackets. As is the case with any club circuit event there were a few no shows but a few impressive performances more than made up for the no shows.


George Goode - Earlier this week we featured the 6-8 WF/BF from nearby Raytown (MO) South and the big man delivered for stretches. He stroked home a few effortless threes, blocked some shots and got up off the floor for some towering alley-oop and tip jams that delighted the crowd. He’s rail thin and needs to get stronger but his effort level is improving each time out and he also showed some ball handling and passing ability that he hasn’t shown in the past. His play was just one of many keys in Rocktown’s romp over Houston Select.

Davon Jefferson - After helping H-Squad win last year’s championship the livewire 6-8 WF is back for another run in Lawrence and put in work. As he usually does, Jefferson entertained the crowd with his skywalking dunks but he’s added some actual skills to his repertoire. He’s a much improved ball handler and looked good stopping and popping for some mid range jumpers. Any team that faces him is going to have to understand that a few of their guys are going to get put on posters before the game ends.

Craig Heiman - Craig who you ask? Don’t worry because nobody outside of his teammates knew who the guy was before he walked into the gym but by the time the 6-4 WG was done everybody was paying close attention. How’d he do it? It was simple actually, Heiman came out and stroked home the first eight (!) threes he took during a torrid first half shooting display. He hit them off balance, he hit them with people in his face and he hit them curling off screens during a mind boggling shooting display. He was so deep in the zone during the first half that only one of his bombs even glazed a portion of the rim. He cooled down a little in the second, but finished 11-16 from behind the stripe unofficially.

Kyle Kirk - While Heiman was blazing the nets from behind the arc, it was the attacking style of this 6-5 WF from Springfield (MO) Kickapoo that helped the KC Keys escape with a victory Friday night. Kirk is put together like an NFL linebacker and is extremely bouncy when attacking the rim. He uses his strength to clear out the lane and plays like a man on both ends.

Dexter Pitman - The biggest man in the gym was awfully tough to miss at 6-10 and 320 pounds. Is extremely agile and nimble for his size and has soft hands that catch anything within his vicinity. Surprisingly good passer who hit a few short jumpers and nearly tore down the goal on one vicious drop step that he finished with a one handed tomahawk jam. Keep an eye out on this guy because he’s just a little bit better shape away from landing at a high major program.


It wasn’t just George Goode putting on a clinic for Rocktown, 6-7 sophomore BF Jarryd Cole from Kansas City (MO) Winnetonka and 6-2 combo guard Isacc Miles from Bishop Miege were very good as well. Cole is a relentless workhorse around the glass with a big time body and a motor that doesn’t quit. Miles just hung out on the perimeter and buried a ton of threes that he complimented with some athletic drives to the basket….Houston Select’s DeWayne Reed has a reputation as a high flying combo guard who scores in bunches and the 6-0 PG/WG failed to disappoint. He hung in the air for extended periods of time for tough finishes in the lane and hit on a barrage of deep threes and made sure anybody courtside heard about it. For his troubles he got dropped to the floor courtesy of a nasty crossover from Goode….

The KC Pump ‘N Run 16 and under group got off to a very sluggish start and won on a buzzer beating layup in transition from 6-4 WG Travis Releford. The freshman star from KC (MO) Central got off to a slow start but took over late scoring 14 of his 20 points during the final 10 and a half minutes of the game. He’s got a big time frame, a nice feel and loads of athleticism….His backcourt partner 6-3 PG/WG Tyrel Reed from Burlington (KS) was sluggish all evening playing through a painful ankle sprain. Reed did manage to drain four three pointers and score 14 points before delivering the game winning assist on a bum wheel….For the Pump 17 U team it was Roderick Pearson and Brady Morningstar who set the tone. Pearson is a 6-2 PG from Raytown (MO) South who plays the game at two speeds, fast and faster and got into the lane at will to drop off passes to teammates for easy baskets or finish himself. Morningstar will head to either Winchendon (MA) Prep or New Hampton (NH) Prep next season and played his usual game. He hung in the air for finishes at the basket and swished home several pretty pull-up jumpers….Finally, the work that Matt Hill was putting in on court 2 didn’t go unnoticed. The 6-9 BF from Lincoln (NE) Southeast hit medium range jumpers and played tough around the hoop in a fine outing….

The University of Kansas was well represented on Friday evening as well. Among the players stopping by to catch some of the action were Darnell Jackson, C.J. Giles, Roderick Stewart and Jeff Hawkins. Departing Jayhawk Nick Bahe was also on hand to watch his former AAU team the Nebraska Bison as well. In the coaching ranks for Hawk Steve Woodberry patrols the sidelines for the KC Pump ‘N Run 16 year old team and another former Jayhawk Roger Morningstar assists former Wichita State Shocker LJ Goolsby with the 17 U Pumps.

AllWildcats Top Stories