The standout in Las Vegas on Friday was New Jersey Playaz guard Jamir Harris. Harris led the Playaz to a couple wins on the day and the explosive jumper of Harris led the way on the main floor of the Fab 48.
The NJ Playaz have the make-up of a different team because they have four guards 6-foot-2 and under who have high major talent. Harris is one of those four guards and with his physical strength and scoring touch he plays mostly on the wing. Against Wisconsin United it didn’t matter where Jamir was, the jumper was going down.
Jamir hit a trey with feet set on a reversal early and it was the standard make. Jamir caught, showed off great lift, and snapped the wrist at the top of his jump to complete a score. No big deal right? Wrong. It put Harris in a rhythm. Twenty minutes later his team was up 43-17 at the half and Harris had seemingly made a triple over everybody in a United uniform.
The first contesting player stood 6-foot-7 and he was hip to hip with Harris. No matter, Jamir still hit in rhythm and the crowd sounded in excitement. Next came a 5-foot-8 guard from five feet behind the arc, nothing but net of course. That was followed by a 6-foot-3 football physique defender who tried to knock Jamir off balance. Another three. Later a harassing guard was all over Harris but he pulled up from NBA range and hit that too. Five treys in the first half, six for the game, 24 points overall in a blowout win.
The game of Marcus Carr
A guard that Minnesota has watched and spoke with some is Marcus Carr of Showtime Elite North, a team from Canada. Carr has offers from Pitt, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and Baylor among others and all of those schools were in the crowd to see the 6-foot-2 talent from Toronto who competes at Montverde Academy in Florida.
Carr is a threat and teams know that going in so they pay extra attention to his every attack move. Carr, being an aware leader who reads the defense close, often saw the over helping defenders and used a quick attack dribble to bring his man to a spot and the help defender, and then Carr would rocket a chest pass to the wing for open jumpers. This is where most of the assists came from.
Defenders had a terrible time figuring out what direction Carr would attack and when he would attack. Marcus dribble separated with crossovers left to right in Tim Hardaway style, he froze guys with rapid behind the back crossovers in to a jumper, and he used the between the legs crossover to freeze players using his lefty attack. Attacked equally as well left and right and the opposing coach had his on ball defenders take an extra step back as Carr’s attack was destroying their defensive positioning.
The Top Scoring Threat in France
Six-foot-8 Lamine Diane out of France competes with a French team called Giving Back. It’s a team that has about three really big time prospects but they have struggled to find a cohesive structure this week so far. Diane, who plays at Findlay Prep, has not struggled to get off his shot. Last weekend his team was in the Vegas Live event and Diane put up 44 points in late bracket play. Last night he had 38 in a running time loss to the Minnesota Fury.
The physical gifts of Diane are nearly too ridiculous to describe. At his size Diane has the ability to attack several defenders from above the arc and use dribble separation moves while at top speed. He scored his 38 last night often beating the first man off the dribble and then getting to the front of the rim after physically going by the second and third defenders. He shot 15 free throws and had five And1 attempts as he used his length and explosive physical gifts to ignore contact time and time again.
The biggest play of the game? It became obvious to the Fury that just about every French possession was going to be Diane attacking. So in an isolation attempt Diane had his man to beat, a second defender standing five feet behind the other, and the 6-foot-8 rim protector cheating over to help. Diane beat the first defender with a rapid first step off a crossover left to right, shrugged off the second defender like a running back going through the line, and then dunked over the top of the third defender as physically as anybody has in Vegas since Larry Johnson was running through the Thomas & Mack.
The talent of Diane is undeniable and when he learns how to play this game there is no telling what he can accomplish.
- McKinley Wright scored 20 points last night in front of Richard Pitino as his D1 Minnesota team moved on to Saturday bracket play.
- Gary Trent Jr led Pulley to their 47th win over the year scoring 27 points. They won their pool with the Thursday night win.
- Theo John had Minnesota assistant Ben Johnson, multiple coaches from Cal including Cuonzo Martin, two coaches from Oklahoma including Lon Kruger, and an Illinois assistant watching last night from his final six schools.
- Trae Berhow scored 24 points with 13 boards with American U, Boston U, UWGB, Northern Illinois, Drake and others following close.
- Jordan Horn scored 24 for the Minnesota Fury last night and picked up an offer from Western Carolina shortly after the game.
- Race Thompson had 13 points and seven rebounds in his last game on Friday and then picked up an offer from Kansas State late Friday night. Minnesota had three coaches watching Thompson yesterday.