The 2016 NY2LA Sports Invitational carried on from Mequon Homestead High School on Saturday. With pool play beginning on day two, an exciting day of basketball set up what should be an even more thrilling championship Sunday. Setting the tone was Carlos Curtis in the 16U Division, helping lead Wisconsin United to two victories on Saturday…

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TOP PERFORMERS
Note – Listed in Alphabetical Order – This is not an exclusive list

Carlos Curtis – 2018 – G – Wisconsin United
Curtis had a game-high 17 points in an easy win over the Badger State Warriors. The 6-foot-2 combo guard killed the opposition in transition. Curtis is quite long and exceptionally strong and uses that to go coast-to-coast and finish through or over the defense. He’s also a savage who plays the game with a vengeance and doesn’t care whose feelings he’s hurting along the way. Curtis is a worker on both ends of the floor. He gets after it defensively will defend for all 90-feet. An improving jump shooter, Curtis also continues to prove he can be a reliable scoring option from beyond the arc. In United’s second game of the game, he also had a game-high 23 points, helping lead his team to the 16U quarterfinals. 

Jaeden King – 2019 – SG – Howard Pulley
King looks like he has the makings of a big time shooter in the coming years. King has good size at 6-foot-2 and has a very quick, smooth trigger. He was absolutely unconscious at times in a win on Saturday. It didn’t matter if the defense was right in his shorts or closing high and fast, King was hitting nothing but net. King releases high and fast and doesn’t need a lot of room to snap off his shot. 

Terrence Lewis – 2017 – SF – Playground Elite
Lewis made it look easy in Saturday’s win over Illinois Old School. Scoring a game-high 22 points, Lewis got about any look he wanted and made the defense pay by burying a number of open triples. A strong, athletic wing that’s only getting more skilled with time, Lewis is becoming a consistent scorer at all three levels. Lewis might be a wing, but he often plays like a big. A tenacious rebounder and aggressive driver, Lewis is rarely, if ever, outworked on the floor and not only puts up star-like numbers, but does the dirty work for his team as well. 

Mitch Listau – 2018 – G – Wisconsin Swing
A tremendous leader and competitor, Listau nearly led the Wisconsin Swing to a come from behind win over the Milwaukee Rebels on Saturday. The lefty is a strong shooter from the outside, capable of rattling off triples in a hurry. Listau also showcased some improved quickness and athleticism. Against a fast, athletic Rebels squad, Listau was going coast-to-coast and often blowing by defenders in transition. Listau is much stronger than he looks and always seems to play with a chip on his shoulder, muscling his way inside and finishing strong against contact. He had a team-high 18 points in Saturday’s loss. 

Luke Loewe – 2017 – G – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
Loewe had another strong outing Friday morning. The 6-foot-3 combo guard came out aggressively on offense, scoring seven quick points, and 10 of his game-high 14 in the first half. Loewe also made a couple huge plays down the stretch, both offensively and defensively, to help the Playground Warriors survive a scare against Mac Irvin Fire Orange. Loewe shot the ball well from the outside and was tough around the rim. He finished a couple of difficult shots through contact and also fought hard for offensive rebounds. Once again, it was Loewe’s defense that took over, however. He had a handful of steals that led to transition buckets, including two in the final minutes of the game to help preserve the win. 

Jordan Poole – 2017 – G – Playground Elite Green
Poole brought out a whole new bag of tricks in Saturday’s win over Wisconsin Swing Bredesen. Primarily known as a perimeter shooter, Poole took his game into the post and knocked down some difficult fade away jumpers. With his team down by seven late, the Michigan commit took over down the stretch. He scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half alone. Playground Elite simply put the ball in Poole’s hands and he returned the favor by putting it in the hole. 

Adam Trapp – 2018 – C – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
Trapp has greatly improved since last summer and shows so much promise. The seven-footer isn’t overly skilled on the block, but knows his strengths. Trapp gets to his strong hand with a nice drop step and doesn’t let the defense alter his shot. Trapp isn’t all that versatile, but he can be deadly in the high-low game, whipping passes into the post for easy buckets. Getting comfortable in his body, Trapp moves surprisingly well for his 7-foot-2, 200-pound frame. He’s an excellent shot blocker and doesn’t leave his feet or commit fouls. Trapp won’t be leading the fast break, but he does get up and down the floor unlike a lot of players his size. 

SLEEPERS
Quinlan Bennett – 2018 – SG – Kessel Heat Black

A skilled and plus length wing, Bennett can score off the bounce, he has a jumper that extends beyond the arc, and he can finish in transition with his athleticism and feel.  His frame, athleticism, and length give him solid potential defensively and offensively he’s comfortable in half court sets and transition.  He has nice upside and potential and his best basketball lies ahead.

Brian Hernandez – 2018 – PG – Milwaukee Rebels
Hernandez came up with 19 points in a big win over the Wisconsin Swing on Saturday. Hernandez has a very strong build and is a very solid on-ball defender. He did most of his damage in transition, calling for the ball off a rebound then racing ahead of the defense and using his frame to shield off defenders. Hernandez bring a lot to the table and many things you want in a point guard. He’s a pass-first floor general that puts his team into a position to succeed, which won’t show up in the stat book, but was critical to the victory. 

Cole Navigato – 2017 – SG – Basketball Paradise
A skilled talent with size and upside, Navigato was impressive during a morning victory.  He showed an excellent perimeter stroke, solid feel, and ability to attack the rim off the bounce and finish through traffic, etc.  A sleeper in the truest since, Navigato makes the right decision with the basketball with a high level of consistency and he pairs that with skill to make up a solid shooting guard prospect whose best basketball lies ahead.

Bilam Shabazz – 2018 – F – DTA
Shabazz is a really intriguing prospect. He’s very raw, but was surprisingly consistent from mid and even three-point range. Shabazz can bring people out of the paint and either attack off the dribble or pull up and shoot off the bounce. A long, 6-foot-6 forward, Shabazz is also an exceptional shot blocker and rim protector. Shabazz had a game-high 20 points in Saturday’s loss to the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in 16U play. 

STOCK BOOSTERS
Will Chevalier – 2017 – F – Wisconsin Playground Warriors

Chevalier has a sweet stroke for a 6-foot-7 forward. You can do a lot of things with a player his size that moves well without the ball. Chevalier can pick n’ pop and look for three-point opportunities or even just work away from the ball and be an outlet for an open look. Chevalier shot the ball very well in Saturday’s win over Wisconsin Rap, scoring in double figures. 

Tyronn Mosely – 2017 – F – Milwaukee Rebels
A plus length athletic forward with a raw skill set, Mosely has the ability to score off the bounce, soar in transition, or posterize you if needed as well.  There is a lot of clay to mold into a quality prospect and his upside and potential impact was on display in flashes on Saturday night as they defeated a tough Wisconsin Swing team to advance to Sunday.

Xzavier Jones – 2019 – G/F – Playground Elite
Jones has a very high ceiling and is about as athletic of a freshman as you can find. A 6-foot-5 wing, Jones has tremendous leaping ability. His skillset is very raw, but Jones flashes the ability to do some special things with the basketball. Jones can score from all over the floor. Jones needs to improve his ball handling and shooting ability, but he showed the ability to make plays offensively when he had an opening. One thing working for Jones at this time is his motor. A kid that never stops moving, Jones is willing to do the dirty work under the glass, run the floor in transition, and chase the ball on defense. 

Victor Nwagbareoche – 2017 – G – Wisconsin Rap
Talk about under the radar. Nwagbareoche went toe-to-toe with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors and not only held his own, but took it to the Adidas powerhouse. Nwagbareoche was defended quite well, but he found ways to get the ball in the hole. Nwagbareoche has an array of moves with the ball in his hands and even better footwork when he picks up his dribble to bail him out of trouble. Nwagbareoche hit some tough shots from the perimeter, but was more effective going to the basket, especially in transition where he also showed the ability to play above the rim. He had a team-high 16 points in Saturday’s loss. 

Shane O’Mara – 2019 – PF – Illinois Stars
O’Mara has a good blend of power and finesse. On the interior, he has the ability to pound the ball inside and power through contact on the way to the hoop. O’Mara can also step outside and shoot the basketball and put home a handful of three-pointers in Saturday’s loss to Mercury Elite. O’Mara should develop into an excellent pick n’ roll big man. Able to pop out and shoot or slide down the paint and make a move from 10-12 feet out, O’Mara is an intriguing post to watch over the coming years. 

Malik Parker – 2017 – PG – Martin Bros.
Parker had a game-high 15 points in a loss to Ray Allen Select. A speedy, make-you-miss point guard, Parker is a strong scorer in the open floor and when he goes 1-on-1 from the top of the key. Parker loves to stop and pop off the bounce and has range that extends well beyond the three-point arc. Parker makes things happen on both ends of the floor. He uses his quickness to pester ball handlers and uses his size to his advantage by playing low to the ground where he can pick the pocket of his opponent. A top performer in the NY2LA Association, Parker is putting together a fine spring.

Lacey Watson – 2018 – G – Quad City Elite
If Watson has his outside shot going, he can be pretty difficult to stop. He wasn’t knocking down jumpers at a high rate on Saturday, and even then he was still a handful. Watson is showing the ability to be a three-level scorer, slashing to the hoop as well as creating shots off the dribble from outside the paint. A very strong 6-foot-4, 190-pound wing, Watson has the ability to bully people into the paint and fight for second chance opportunities on the glass. He finished in double figures against the Wisconsin Swish on Saturday.

Kahlil Whitney – 2019 – SF – Mac Irvin Orange
A skilled and talented wing, Whitney makes the game look easy at times and he’s skilled beyond his age at this stage.  He has explosive hops, plus length, and he pairs that with an ability to score from all three levels.  He has a smooth stroke from beyond the arc, he can hit the mid-range jumper, and he can score off the bounce in traffic while being able to post up and score if needed.  

Keontae White – 2018 – G – Wisconsin United
White is a high level finisher and has some nasty moves when the ball is in his possession. White had two solid games on Saturday, both wins for Wisconsin United. An ultra-quick guard, White is nearly impossible to stay in front of. The 6-foot-1 guard can play on or off the ball. White is also a terrific shooter off the dribble. Stopping at full speed or shooting off-balance is no issue for him. Putting together a strong tournament, White is proving to be one of the more dangerous players in the field when the ball is in his hands. 

RECRUITING NOTES
Carlos Curtis is receiving interest from Purdue, Memphis, Wisconsin, Maryland, UW-Milwaukee, and IUPUI. 

Adam Trapp holds offers from DePaul, Iowa, and Purdue. He listed Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina, as schools currently interested. 

Terrence Lewis has high major offers from Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa State, UNLV, Memphis, DePaul, and Auburn. He’s also currently fielding interest from Miami (FL).