Elite 2, Day 1 Top Performers

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Reading, PA– The hype leading up to Elite Session 2 was unlike any other. We promised a lot of talent this week and based on what we saw on day one, we delivered. High major players were all over the place, let alone mid, low and fantastic Division 2 and 3 guys. Here are a few to keep an eye on.

Kimani Lawrence | 2017 | Cushing Academy

Even as the biggest player on the floor in 6-foot-7, Lawrence could often be seen taking the ball up the floor for his tryout team, getting out in transition and running the break to perfection. He has the size and strength to finish through contact at the rim, but also possesses great court vision for a wing, as he’s able to spot the open man and whip pinpoint passes to set up his teammates.

Wabissa Bede | 2017 | Cushing Academy 

Bede was a prototypical floor general for his team, dictating the tempo of the game and picking his spots impeccably of when to get others involved and when to get buckets on his own. He’s a capable jump shooter, but he’s at his best attacking the basket and either finishing at the rim or opening up the floor for teammates.

Jordan Hardwick | 2017 | Commonwealth Academy

If there’s one word to describe Hardwick, it’s “athlete.” In his first couple minutes of action, he had already thrown down two thunderous dunks, and followed that up with a 360 slam later in the day. He didn’t show much of a refined perimeter game, but his 6-foot-5 frame and athleticism alone make him an intriguing prospect.

Samuel Japhet-Mathias | 2017 | Vermont Academy

There might not be anybody at camp capable of handling this 6-foot-10, 270 pound manchild down low. Japhet-Mathias was able to get whatever he wanted down low, backing down defenders and setting them up for any one of the array of drop steps or spin moves in his arsenal. It’ll be interesting to see whether anyone throughout the week can match up with his combination of brute strength and touch around the rim.

Travis Bianco | 2016| St. Pete

The Nike Team Florida and St. Pete off guard was in the zone yesterday, knocking down triples off the catch and attacking closeouts well. However, he raised some eyebrows in transition with a two handed flush off of one foot that almost seemed too easy. He’s a smart player, and a big time shooter, who showed he can get up with the best of them yesterday.

Greg Kuakumensah 2017 | St. Peter Marian Catholic

An intimidating 6’7 post player with a big frame, Kuakumensah swatted everything that came down the lane. He protected the paint, and when he did so he tried to make sure the ball wasn’t useable by trying to deflate it. He showed some catch and finish ability in the paint, and threw down some mean dunks off of two feet in the paint. He should be one of the best post defenders in the camp.

Isaiah Goodwin | 2017 | Lansing

His presence and understanding of where everyone was on the floor at all times was impeccable. Goodwin made passes that only he saw, and he did it with flash going no look on the break. While they were flashy, they were practical, as he hit the trail man or threw the skip when the defense forgot about him. This 5’7 point guard out of Kansas should be fun to watch as camp moves along.

William Tran | 2017 | Newmarket

His versatility is what stood out most on the offensive end. Tran is a big wing who can handle the ball and hit mid-range shots off of the pull up. He showed three level scoring ability, and consistently made smart scoring plays. The 6’5 wing out of New Hampshire won’t wow you with his athleticism or flashy style, but he’ll quietly get it done in a multitude of ways.

Jacob Young | 2016 | Frankford

This kid can stroke it! The West Virginia based Young hit three catch and shoot triples in a row during one of his tryout games, all which came from about NBA range. He set his feet quick, and had a high release, allowing him to shoot over defenders who were closing out. He’s a guy who will light you up if you don’t deny him the basketball.

Mansfield Warren | 2016 | St. Mary’s Elizabeth

A 5-foot-8 lead guard, Warren had his hand in seemingly every point his team scored during tryout competition. He demonstrated a slick handle which he uses to create space for his pull-up jumper, but even more impressive was his play running of the pick-and-roll, where he was able to consistently probe the defense to open up passing lanes or opportunities to score it himself.

Justin Powell | 2016 | Pine Bush 

Powell, a 6-foot-4 combo forward, put his entire scoring arsenal on display today. He started off showing his slashing ability, getting to the rim for a number of easy buckets, before beginning to step out and knock down three-pointers. Later in the day, he flashed his versatility by playing more at the power forward spot, operating from the high post and getting quick points on dives to the rim.


Jack Herron ( @JWHerron10) and Ari Rosenfeld (@realA-Rosenfeld)contributed to this article

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