Peach Jam: Saturday Observations

SOUTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - It was another exciting day at the Peach Jam with N.C. State coaches all over it. The coaches were bouncing from gym to gym trying to evaluate current targets and even evaluate some new gems.

Here's five guys that stood out to me (for good and bad reasons) that State was evaluating, including a new name that could pop in 2013 forward Mike Young.

2013 F Mike Young -- He's very skilled for his size and moves like a wing at 6-8. He also possessed great mobility. I view him as a combo forward, depending on the system, but he's built like a power forward.

In the Playaz lone game of the day against Boo Williams, Young was 8 for 12 from the floor for a team-high 19 points, while grabbing a team-high five rebounds. Young scored in a variety of ways around the basket and gave Boo a gang of trouble.

He mentioned a laundry list of schools that span the Northeast, so if State were to make a push, it'd have to be soon and thorough. Young seemed opened to new schools getting in the mix though.

2013 PG Anthony Barber -- He's a point guard that is listing four schools now (N.C. State, Louisville, Kansas and Alabama). He wants to visit all four schools, but the 6-foot point guard has no true plan right now.

"Big Cat" is a scoring point guard, that doesn't always think pass-first, but he possesses the ability to pass. He's really quick and gets to any spot he wants on the floor.

He didn't do a good job this weekend of running the team like he has, but he still finished in Boo's lone win of the tourney with 13 points (4 of 9 from the field, 0 of 3 from 3) and six assists.

When Barber is in the zone, he's tough to stop as a scorer, but he's one of the best point guards in the 2013 class hands down.

2013 G Sindarius Thornwell -- After having a monster summer and spring, Thornwell hit a bit of a snag in his final week of the EYBL circuit. But as he told me, "I'm tired," so his play (or lack there of) could've been from being worn down.

In the morning game, Thornwell went for seven and six on 2 of 8 shooting against one of the best AAU teams in the country in the Oakland Soldiers. Thornwell has an elite athleticism with a solid skillset, but at about 6-foot-5, he didn't really have the jumpshot going, something he's really improved on, and though he got to the rim at will, he just couldn't finish.

The same thing happened in their bracket game against CIA Bounce, but CIA Bounce is the best AAU team in the country with the best player in the country in Andrew Wiggins.

Though Thornwell struggled mightily on offense against Wiggins, his defense was impressive. He was able to cut Wiggins off from getting out in the open in transition repeatedly, and he was also able to cut off lanes in the halfcourt, making Wiggins pass the ball or settle for bad shots.

It was rather impressive given that Wiggins take defenders apart daily.

2013 C Kennedy Meeks -- He isn't going to wow you with numbers, but the 6-foot-8, wide-bodied big definitely is someone you can win with. He showed flashes in the post with some nifty moves that led to him scoring over bigger defenders including Top 5 prospect Aaron Gordon.

He scored with ease over Gordon several times, and Gordon might be longer than Meeks with his massive wingspan, plus, Gordon might have the most elite athletic tools of any big man in the country. If Meeks can consistently do that, I'm not sure too many people will be able to stop him.

Meeks finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Soldiers, and 15 points and four rebounds against CIA Bounce. The Soldiers and CIA Bounce will most likely meet in today's championship game to give you an idea of how loaded they are.

2013 G Xavier Rathan-Mayes -- He scores in spurts, and those spurts can be DEADLY. He's a guard with explosive scoring ability from deep, and he can create his own shot if he needs too, but he's abusive in pick and roll scenarios.

Matt Howard of Team United was able to stifle Rathan-Mayes most of the game, but a substitution and defensive switch led to a quick eight points for Rathan-Mayes before Howard came back in the game to a kid on fire still dropping bombs from deep.

Rathan-Mayes finished with 17 points on 5 of 14 shooting (3 of 4 from 3).


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