The 2016 annual spring extravaganza came to a close on Sunday. The open division featured a number of under the radar prospects who earned some more attention after their play in Minneapolis. One such player was DeMarco Smith of Team Kansas City, who played exceptionally well on both ends of the floor. Equally stellar was Alec Loehr who powered the Minnesota Warriors to the 17U Platinum Division championship.

Here are 10 players who caught our eye in the open division last weekend…

TOP PERFORMERS
Fred Cottrell – 2017 – SF – Ray Allen Select

Cottrell was one of the bigger surprises in the open division. The 6-foot-4 junior was pretty consistent throughout the weekend and gave Ray Allen Select a nice added scoring punch. A solid slasher, Cottrell brought a lot of energy to the floor with his aggressive play. Cottrell constantly attacked the middle of the defense and finished over the top with a soft touch. 

Zachary Couper – 2017 – F – Team RWA
A stretch forward who can shoot the basketball from mid and three-point range, Cooper led Team RWA to the 17U Gold Championship on Sunday. Cooper shot the ball well en route to a game-high 16 points in that contest. Able to face up and then rise and fire, Cooper used his size and length to shoot over the top of the defense. Also a willing passer from the high post, Cooper helped jump start the offense with a number of nice passes. 

Jamison Jackson – 2018 – F – Team Kansas City
Jackson was quite intriguing in Minneapolis and looks to be a budding prospect whose best days are ahead of him. A versatile, athletic sophomore, Jackson flashed some impressive skills with the basketball in Sunday’s 16U title game. A bouncy forward who can put the ball on the deck and attack from the high post effectively, Jackson was solid in finishing around the rim. Jackson also showed a lot of promise defensively, coming over from the weak-side to block and alter shots. He led his team in scoring in the 16U title game defeat to Minnesota Heat.

Storm Murphy – 2017 – PG – NESYB
Murphy had a big weekend as he led NESYB to the quarterfinals where they were .5 seconds away from advancing to Sunday. Regardless, Murphy put up big scoring and assists numbers throughout the weekend. He can be a little loose with the ball, but Murphy accounts for a majority of the offense with his ability to penetrate and dish or knock down mid-range and perimeter jumpers. 

Ryan Larson – 2018 – G – Howard Pulley
Playing up a division, Larson continues to impress every time we see him. A crafty scorer, Larson is very skilled and can do a lot when the ball is in his hands. His team relies on his playmaking ability and Larson rarely fails to produce. While he has his hands on the ball a ton, Larson can also play off the ball and run off screens for catch and shoot opportunities. 

Alec Loehr – 2017 – F – Minnesota Warriors
Loehr is so versatile and was a mismatch problem all weekend. A 6-foot-7 forward with length and decent mobility, Loehr presents a big issue to defenses when he steps out on the perimeter. In the 17U title game victory over DTA, Loehr knocked down seven triples en route to a game-high 27 points. Also a skilled back to the basket player, Loehr did some nice things in the post and showcased the ability to finish with either hand. 

San’Trell Payton – 2017 – G – NESYB
Payton has always been a terrific three-point shooter and hit a high number of his three-point attempts last weekend. Also an improved attacker, Payton has a strong frame that allows him to finish against contact. Just 5-foot-10, Payton is fearless when he attacks the rim. Also a standout defender, Payton has exceptional lateral quickness that allows him to stay in front of and fluster the opposition. 

DeMarco Smith – 2017 – SG – Team Kansas City
Smith impressed plenty on defense. Willing to take on the challenge of slowing the opposition’s best play, Smith takes people out of their games with his face-guarding and shadowing ability. A long, bouncy 6-foot-3 guard, Smith has the tools to be a tremendous defender at the next level. Offensively, he’s a little limited to scoring around the rim, particularly in transition, but does that very well. An improving shooter, Smith did show the ability to hit from downtown occasionally. 

David Thompson – 2017 – G – DTA
Thompson led DTA to the 17U title game. A strong mid-range scorer and attacker, Thompson was relentless for 30 minutes, putting the ball on the deck and going straight at the defense. A 6-foot-2 combo guard, Thompson has a good frame and relishes contact on the ball. He’ll also get after it defensively, looking to jump start the fast break with a physical, in-your-face mentality. 

Odell Wilson – 2018 – PF – Minnesota Heat
A 6-foot-6, 240-pound sophomore, Wilson used his size to his advantage throughout the weekend. Able to seal and pin his man deep under the basket, defenders often had no chance when Wilson caught down low, leading to stretches of dominant play. With a soft touch, Wilson looked promising when using an array of different finishes in the paint. He finished with a game-high 16 points in the 16U title game victory against Team Kansas City.