Guards that Impressed, Southern Jam Fest Day 1

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Hampton, VA– Get familiar with hearing the phrase “The Southern Jam Fest is loaded,” all weekend long. After just 4 game sets Friday, we quickly saw that there is more talent here than anticipated. Here a few guards who stood out on day one.

Dennis Smith, Team Loaded NC 17U

Dennis Smith, being regarded as one of the best players in the country, came into the Southern Jam Fest and he didn’t disappoint Friday night. He set the tone early with multiple dunks. Smith isn’t just an athlete, but can also shoot well from the perimeter. Smith finished with 17 points in game one. He and the rest of his Team Loaded (NC) showed that they are one of the favorites to come away with a championship this weekend.

Trystan Pratapas, The District 17U

Cries of “shooter” from the opposing bench and the occasional double team didn’t faze Pratapas on Friday night, as he connected on six three-pointers en route to a game high 24 points in The District’s tough opening round win over Team Pro Look. Aside from his jumper, Pratapas showed the ability to make smart decisions distributing in the half-court and knocked down two clutch free throws to seal the win.

Zach Jacobs, River City Reign 16U

He made our top performers on the first day of the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, and he continues his first round onslaughts last night with a big 22 point, 8 rebound effort in their win. Jacobs won’t be competing for the rest of the week because of personal reasons, however the 6’7 high motor big has shown over his last two Hoop Group events that he can compete and produce with the best of them on the block.

Asem Johnson, Northeast Basketball 17U

Asem Johnson had a big game, and Northeast Basketball needed it. In a tight contest versus Spectrum Sports Academy, Johnson scored 29 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Johnson was able to produce in multiple ways, scoring off offensive put backs, drilling threes from deep, and taking it strong to the hoop. The guard from NJ already holds offers from St. Peter’s and Robert Morris and is looking to make a late push this spring.

Michael Speight, Bump N Run 16U

Speight showcased his entire scoring repertoire in an opening round victory over the Juice All-Stars. Blessed with a strong frame, he was tough to keep out of the paint and did a great job getting out in the open court and flashing athleticism. Also a very good shooter from deep, defenders have to pick their poison when defending the talented combo guard. He scored 21 points on Friday.

Maliek White, River City Reign 17U

Clutch. That’s the best way to describe Maliek White on Day 1. After injuring himself at the Pitt Jam Fest, we finally saw what a healthy Maliek is capable of. With River City Reign and USA United tied at 52, White sunk a game winning three, sending River City into the next round. White is a high volume and athletic scorer. He’s really helped his stock this spring, picking up offers from Boston College and Cincinnati, among others, over the course of the season.

Jordan Johnson, Richmond Squires 16U

Talk about a breakout performance, Johnson lit it up to the tune of 29 points for the Squires in their first round win over USA United. Johnson, a 6’1 shooter, showed a knack for scoring in their win, as he scored 19 of his 29 in the first half. He showed the ability to shoot it from deep, create for himself in the half court, and drew contact well shooting 13 free throws on the night.

Andrew Langston, BWSL James 17U

Playing in the first game set of the day, Langston came out of the gates red hot. Putting up 19 first-half points, Langston showed off a smooth jumper and stretched the defense on every trip down the floor. His big first half allowed BWSL to develop a nice halftime cushion, and cruise to a win in the second half.

Jake Betlow, Hoop Heaven Elite 16U

The scouting report on Jake is that he is a shooter, and he continues to remind us time and time again why that is. He is a class of 2019 player, playing up in the 16U Division, and lead Hoop Heaven Elite Friday with 30 points on 8 three pointers. Teams need to take note quickly, Jake will hurt you if he’s left alone.

Chris Freeman, Team Winston 17U

Freeman was one of several standouts for Team Winston in a truly impressive team victory over VA Elite. A versatile 6-foot-5 combo with nice ball handling ability, Freeman played an integral part in getting Team Winston’s offense going in the half-court and making plays off the dribble. He also impressed as a long, active perimeter defender and did a nice job preventing dribble penetration.

Jamaal David, Team Takeover Orange 17U

David led Takeover Orange to a close first round victory over Brand X (NC). He showed off his ability to get into the lane and create for others. He was a threat anytime he touched the ball, which was clear early. He is also very long and created problems for the opposing team when he was on defense. If he continues to play the way he did Friday night Takeover Orange will have a good amount of success the rest of the weekend.

Johquin Wiley, River City Reign 16U

If you like old school, “floor general” point guards, look no further than Wiley. The undisputed leader of the River City Reign Team Iverson 16s, Wiley plays with maturity well beyond his age and sees the floor like a pro. He sees plays develop before they happen, and can thread the tightest needle with solid passes both in transition and the half court. He’s also a hard-nosed defender that will harass the best of ball handlers full court. Wiley finished with a stellar 6 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals, while only turning the ball over once for Reign in their first round win.

Lavarr Batts, Team CP3 16U

Batts served as the closer for Team CP3 in their 16 point win over the Arlington Titans. Despite the final score, the game was fairly close throughout until Batts — using his outstanding length and athleticism — made a couple of key defensive plays and turned them into easy transition buckets. At 6’1, he’s able to play above the rim and also knows how to run the show at point guard. He finished with 15 points.

Terry Nolan, Baltimore Supreme 16U

Nolan was the high-point man with 18 points in Baltimore Supreme’s come-from-behind victory over the Cary Rimrockers. The lanky, 6-foot-3 wing helped bring his team from down double-digits by pressuring the ball on defense and coming up with a handful of deflections. He stayed in attack mode on offense and got to the line to score a chunk of his points. His combination of length and athleticism make him one to watch the rest of this weekend.

Myles Cale, South Jersey Jazz 16U

Cale had one of the best scoring performances in the 16U division on Friday night, going off for 29 points in a win over the Durham Hurricanes. A prototypical shooting guard who plays for former NBA guard Tim Legler, Cale does an excellent job slashing into the lane and creating scoring opportunities for himself at the rim. He’s a good ball handler and possesses a dangerous crossover move that allows him to get into the lane almost at will.

 

 

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