Super Showcase Wrapup

Well it's been a wonderful week of basketball here in sunny Orlando and today the 17U Super Showcase concluded with the SYF Players from Indiana claiming the title. The solid Indiana team survived despite an incredible individual performance by Jon Scheyer of the Illinois Warriors.

This game was a bit of a let down after yesterday's semi final matchup between Boo Williams and Illinois and I think the Warrior players might have felt that way too. One thing is certain--the Illinois Warriors didn't lose this one because of shooting guard Jon Scheyer. The Duke commit did everything possible to keep his team in it and put up 42 big ones. The Players simply didn't have an answer for Scheyer who scored in a multitude of ways. He hit shots from deep, took the ball to the hole and utilized his deadly mid-range pullup. In fact, with 6:18 left in the 4th, after a 4-point play I was for sure Scheyer would lead his team all the way back. But Illinois simply dug themselves a hole early and never could get all the way out of it. Don't know what Indiana shot in the first half but they didn't miss much – when they weren't draining outside J's, they were getting inside pretty easily for layups. In the 2nd half, when the Warriors needed defensive stops, they just couldn't get them.


SYF Players is a well-coached team and shockingly enough, the team from Indiana ran a motion offense! The guard tandem of E'Twaun Moore and Tyrone Appleton-Miller hit for 24 a piece and shot lights out in the 87-78 win.



I'll offer up some opinions of what I've seen this week here in Orlando.


After watching the games this week, I've determined it's tough to be a quality big man in this guard-oriented world we live in. With more touches players like Brandan Wright and Vernon Macklin could easily put up 20 a night. Wright has a world of potential, Macklin is going to be a star someday, but in my opinion the best player this week was Jon Scheyer. He does what it takes to win and is a tremendous competitor. I didn't see a player out there who could keep him from going to the basket. To be honest, the best way to describe him is that he plays like a kid Duke would recruit. He's smart, well-rounded and can hurt you in a countless number of ways. He's got such a pretty stroke on his jumper; it may not be as accurate as J.J. Redick's yet, but give him time. Scheyer is 6-5 and gets great elevation on his jumper making him almost impossible to defend. His skinny frame shouldn't be mistaken for weakness. Don't know where he gets the strength from but he takes the hit and draws the foul. He went to the line 16 times in the semis and went at least that many times in the finals. Duke has to be salivating over what this kid could do with 15-20 more pounds on his frame. He's going to have a great career at Duke and is fun to watch.


Final Notes:


The Junior Nationals are underway and I did get my first look at 6-9 PF Perry Stevenson of the Louisiana Stars today. Stevenson is a bit raw offensively but is another player who would certainly benefit from more touches. Right now Perry makes smart decisions with the ball and doesn't force the issue. I like how he plays within himself and with the right coaching he will definitely improve. According to some of the Louisiana folks, he's already come a long way. His offense is without a doubt a work in progress but his first priority will be to gain some weight-- he's simply too skinny to bang inside. College coaches are drooling over those long arms and his shot-blocking ability.


 I also watched Boo Williams Summer League play their first game in the Pool vs. the Rising Stars 16U squad. On paper, this one looked like it would be a blowout but it was anything but. Yesterday, I said the biggest upset of the tournament was the Illinois Warriors victory over Boo Williams in the semis – well this would've beaten that upset by leaps and bounds. The Rising Stars darn near pulled off the win and really controlled the entire game. If not for Stefan Welsh's clutch 3 with time running down in the 4th this would've been a game worth talking about for awhile. Maybe Jefferey Jordan's famous father's attendance and words of encouragement inspired the young Stars. Boo finally stepped up and dominated most of the overtime for the win. What a crowd for the first game of Pool action! People came to check out Michael and ended up seeing a terrific ballgame.

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