Bball Spotlight

Peach Jam: Wednesday

GI was in North Augusta, Georgia for the Peach Jam opener Wednesday night as was Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and assistant coach Ben Johnson. The name of the night was Jamir Harris.

GI was in North Augusta, Georgia for the Peach Jam opener Wednesday night as was Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and assistant coach Ben Johnson.  The name of the night was Jamir Harris.

Pitino watches New Jersey guard

Jamir Harris, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from The Patrick School in New Jersey, led the New Jersey Playaz with 19 points as they defeated CIA Bounce 74-68.  Harris knocked out five three pointers but what was more important was his late game defensive effort, the offensive rebound he pulled out of traffic in the final minute, a diving loose ball grab, and several clutch foul shot makes.

Harris is a strongly built shooter/scorer that hit three of his triples off the bounce and two off of coach directed sets.  The dribble separation of Jamir going right to left to his pull-up as well as left to right into his shot continues to look equally as affective.  His handles going in both directions using either hand are comfortable and sudden.  Late in the game Harris came hard off of a double screen to make a key late game trey at the top of the key and earlier he caught and hit off a pair of baseline screens. 

Jamir was offered by Minnesota last September, the Gophers followed him in April, and GI learned that last week Harris was on the Twin Cities campus for an unofficial visit.  Playing in front of Head Coach Richard Pitino Harris showed the potential to be a shooter off the bounce and with feet set plus he made late game effort plays that a coach would love.

Panthers Win Game One

The Howard Pulley Panthers continued their outstanding season with a 68-55 win over the Las Vegas Prospects. Gary Trent Jr had a double-double with 23 points and 13 boards, Daniel Oturo neared a double-double, Tre Jones and Isaac Johnson were defensive stoppers, and Brad Davison hit big shots once again.

Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino and assistant Ben Johnson were front and center watching the Pulley Panthers play LV Prospects and the top guy they are watching that they haven’t offered has to be 6-foot-9 2018 center Daniel Oturo. 

The Cretin-Derham Hall prospect has grown four inches in two years giving him an agile frame that is quick off the ground to the ball, gets up and down ahead of the pack, and moves laterally well enough to cut off attackers on screens.  Oturo had 10 points and nine boards in 14 minutes yesterday and this is with him still needing experience and core strength.  When those things are added we are talking about a nationally ranked recruit.

Top 25 prospect Tre Jones scored 13 points but his game changing moments were as a distributor and defender.  Playing against a 5-foot-8 guard who was perceived to be quicker the 6-foot-2 Jones beat the guard to spots laterally and then suffocated the player into seven turnovers with his size and quick hands. From there it was textbook fast break execution.  Jones had assistants from Arizona and Duke watching his every move as well as the two Gopher staff members.

Minnesota’s staff was watching Theo John very close as they have been since he played his first high school basketball game.  Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino was joined by assistants from Oklahoma, Marquette, and Illinois in watching John once again help over on attacking penetration and send their attempts into outlawed territory.  John not only blocked shots but changed the direction of several plus finished the few scoring chances he had.

The Peach Jam!

  • Brad Davison stayed hot hitting five more jump shots and he did it in front of head coaches from Michigan, Northern Iowa, and Stanford plus assistants from Wisconsin, Butler, and Dayton. 
  • Five star Brian Bowen gave the Peach Jam crowd a taste of what he can do leading Meanstreets over Spiece Indy Heat.  Bowen was face-guarded and he ignored the extra attention by using his size and effort to get to the ball and then make plays.  The 6-foot-7 Bowen is an open floor nightmare because he’s explosive and runs like an NFL deep threat plus has the comfortable skill to play anywhere on the floor.  Effort? Brings all of it meaning he’s a backside defensive problem too as defenders often lose track of him in defensive rotations and he scores in those active ways as well.
  • Liked Nojel Eastern from Meanstreets.  The 6-foot-7 forward was out wrestling everyone for boards after his aggressive box-out hits, came out of the scrum with the ball often looking like a warrior from 300, and his defensive talk was loud enough to be heard over the Peach Jam crowd.  Type of guy who went and made opportunity for himself considering his backcourt has so many options.
  • Justin Minaya of the NJ Playaz is a 6-foot-7 combo forward with range that has to bring away the defense and a face-up attack that most forwards can’t move laterally with.  So the skill is there to play at the arc but the quick bounce to the glass and active fight around the basket makes him a guy that can play the power four spot as well. 
  • Spiece Indy Heat 6-foot-10 big Jaren Jackson is a big target for Purdue inside and it didn’t take long for GI to figure out exactly why.  The 220 pound four man had two face-up attacks against Chicago size that were finished with the left hand on the left side resulting in us asking “is he a lefty?”  The answer to that was quickly “no” as Jaren stepped to the foul line and hit foul shots with a nice right hand release.  So here you have a four man who opposing bigs stagger against when he faces up to attack because he can finish with both hands plus he’s more agile than the bigs he faces.
  • Danilo Djuricic is a shooter that in today’s game will be coveted to take away active forwards to the arc.  He’s 6-foot-7, 190 pounds and has the length to release over the top of anybody.  Had a team high 14 points last night for CIA Bounce and never changed expression no matter how he was defended.
  • At 6-foot-10 and 200 pounds Simisola Shittu makes a ball fake from a big useless.  Fake all you want Shittu has some of the quickest springs in the 2018 class plus length that results in players having to get the ball to 11 plus feet to score on the ten foot rim.  His second bounce got him his 14 points and 14 rebounds for CIA Bounce and the length led to five blocks.  Touch must be worked on but his explosive paint ability is rare.  

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