15Us Impress at Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest

The 15U players might be young, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any less talent on the courts at the Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest. Here’s some notes on a few players who impressed on Saturday:

–There’s a new breed of basketball players emerging that really don’t have a true position. The “tweener” wing isn’t quite a three, but isn’t quite a four either. Case Bouldin (2016/Team Nashville/Ravenwood) is certainly one such player, a 6-foot-4 wing who’s got some handles and can shoot but also clearly isn’t afraid to bang down low and go after the boards.

“He’s a shooter,” Team Nashville coach Brendan Powell said. “Can put it on the floor, get into the middle of the defense and break the defenses down. He’ll be a good mid-major shooter.”

Bouldin said he didn’t have any college interest at this point, but that’s likely to change–especially if he grows another inch or two. If he can make it to 6-7, he plays very similar to Peyton Aldridge (2014/Team Work/LaBrae), who has all sorts of mid-major offers.

–The most impressive player on the court in Ohio Basketball’s game against the DC Blue Demons was OBC’s Jarron Cumberland, a 6-5 shooting guard from Wilmington High School. Cumberland dropped 27 points on the Blue Demons in a come-from behind victory. That included two 3-pointers and a 11-of-12 performance from the free-throw line.

Watching him, it’s hard to believe that Trevon Duval (2017/Sports U/Sanford School) is still in 8th grade. A 6-foot-2 wing, Duval is a true slasher with an offensive game and body that belie the fact he’s still only in middle school. Capable of both attacking the basket and doing damage from the per

“(Trevon) is one of the most experienced kids we have, he understand the game and he’s athletic,” Sports U coach Ed Jennings said. “So when you put all three of those things together, you’re going to get a pretty good player and he’s showing that today.

“Right now, for his age, he’s a heck of a player right now.”

–Physically, Devon Goodman (2016/Team Philly/Germantown Academy) looks the least like a Division I player of all seven mentioned here. He’s only about 5-foot-8 and not very muscular–but when he steps out on the court, he certainly plays like he belongs. He barely played his freshman season at Germantown Academy, as the Patriots had seven seniors on its Pennsylvania Independent Schools’ state title run. Goodman knocked down three treys en route to a game-high 23 points in Team Philly’s win over the Ohio Hoopsters that sent them into the Sweet 16.

–At 6-foot-6 and well north of 200 pounds, Joseph Hampton (2016/DC Assault/DeMatha Catholic) is a big man with some definite skill. Not content to be a true post player, he’s got ball skills somewhat similar to Iona’s David Laury, though clearly not anywhere near as polished.

“Joe’s a versatile and talented kid–inside, outside, can go inside and post up, can shoot the 3 very well and can defend as well,” said DC Assault coach Reginald Gardner, who added that Hampton was hearing from Maryland and Xavier.

–Canadian AAU basketball has made a big mark on the AAU scene over the last few years. Top prospects like Andrew Wiggins and Tyler Ennis, both from the Great White North, have people searching for the next top Canuck. It might just be Koby McEwen (2016/UPlay Toronto/Wasatch Academy). A 6-foot-3 combo guard, McEwen scored at will

“I’m sort of a combo guard, one and two,” he said. ” I can do everything, I can rebound, pass, score.”

McEwan goes to school in the United States, at Utah’s Wasatch Academy. There, serving as the starting point guard, he was named all-state in the 2A classification after averaging 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game in leading his team to the state title.

–If he can match his dad in height, Nick Ward (2016/NOVA Village/Gahanna) has a very good chance to end up playing among the highest levels of collegiate basketball. Ward’s father, a D-II All-American, was 6-foot-9, but if the younger Ward gets there he’s almost assuredly going to play mid-high major. He said he’s gotten a few letters from Detroit and Lafayette, but like many kids his age his recruitment is still in its infant stages.

Josh Verlin is the founder/editor at CityofBasketballLove.com, covering Philadelphia-area high school + collegiate basketball.

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