Day 2 of the annual NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational saw more top performances across the board as the championships of the NY2LA Basketball Association became more meaningful and the pool play action in the open division did much of the same in front of another packed gym of college coaches.  Here’s a quick look as some who stood out the second day in Wisconsin…

THURSDAY’S TOP PERFORMERS
ROMAN BEHRENS – 2018 – PG – OMAHA ELITE

You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a craftier point guard than Behrens in the NY2LA Sports Association 16U division. Utilizing a slick handle, good quickness and advanced footwork the slight 6’ Omaha Central point guard was impressive in a close loss to the Wisconsin Blizzard and in a win over MBA Select Thursday. He is tough to guard because if his defender gives him a little cushion, he’s capable of sticking a jumper extending out to the three-point line and if he gets run off the three-point line he can finish in the lane or kick out to an open shooter after the defense collapses as he showed on Thursday. 

QUINN BLAIR – 2018 – F – REACH LEGENDS
Thursday was my first viewing of Blair, and in games against All In Y&R and the Wisconsin Swing, he did plenty to solidify himself as a mid-major plus DI prospect in my eyes. With a strong build to go with his 6’6 height, Blair showed off plenty of versatility on both ends of the court. He was able to get buckets at all three levels on the court, rebounded effectively and made good decisions passing the ball. With a couple more years left in high school, Blair’s progress is definitely one to track. 

CHRISTIAN DICKSON – 2018 – G – MN SELECT
Thanks to a quick and compact release on his stroke, and evidently many repetitions in the gym, Dickson can be deadly off the catch if the defense gives him an inch. The 6’2 DeLaSalle combo guard isn’t just a spot shooter, and against Quad City Elite he also showed off his ability to initiate an offense as well as guard the ball effectively.  

JUSTIN ENGG – 2017 – G/F – ECI PROSPECTS
Engg is a 6’5 wing (Minot, ND) who showed off the ability to score in a variety of ways, including a smooth looking jumper and soft touch, against WOTN Nicols Thursday night at the Next Level Invitational. He also showed a willingness to crash the glass and guard multiple positions. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if DII’s and DIII’s are tracking him the remainder of the ECI Prospects’ stay in Mequon. 

CAMERON GROSS – 2017 – F – IL STARS IBA
Gross helped spark a major comeback win over Grassroots Hoops in NY2LA Sports Association play. While teammate PJ Pipes poured in 26 points, Gross came up with the game-tying bucket and a few possessions later his layup extend his squad’s lead to three-points with under 30 seconds left – which proved to ice the game. The 6’6 Oak Park-River Forest wing brings the noise on both ends of the court, and finished with 11 points and five boards. He also made his presence felt in the IL Stars’ second win of the day over Playground Elite Wilson.  

JT PETRIE – 2018 – G – WI BLIZZARD PRONSCHINSKE
Petrie turned in one of the best individual games I saw Thursday in the Blizzard’s morning win over Omaha Elite. The 6’3 Sheboygan Falls guard was all over the court thanks to a non-stop motor and natural feel for the game. Petrie scored at all three levels offensively, and was active guarding the ball and with help-side defense as well. Low DI’s and DII’s should definitely give Petrie a look. 

ZACH LATTIMER – 2018 – G – MBA SELECT
Though MBA Select dropped a tough one to Omaha Elite, Lattimer shined as one of the best shooters in the 16U Division in the NY2LA Sports Association. He’s got a picturesque release, ideal rotation and a quick release – and drilled five three-pointers against Omaha Elite. The 6’3 shooting guard from Mishawaka Marian should be on all DIII schools who covet a sniper. If he continues to expand his game than an increase in recruitment should follow. 

ADAM SMITH – 2017 – G – WISCONSIN PLAYGROUND WARRIORS
The Playground Warriors are loaded, but the 6’2 Kaukauna guard shouldn’t be overlooked. Against Camp Darryl Thursday night, Smith was effective from three-point land, driving the ball as well as on defense. One aspect of his game that should not be overlooked is his willingness to rebound the ball, which is always an added bonus with a guard prospect.  

SEAN SUCHOMEL – 2017 – G – WISCONSIN SWING
The Swing got off to a sluggish start against Chicago Lockdown in the nightcap of their NY2LA Association Platinum Bracket quarterfinals, but the 6’1 point guard form Sun Prairie gave them the spark they needed to pull out a 55-50 win. What makes it even more impressive is that Suchomel didn’t need to score the ball to do so and I’d be me remiss to leave him out of Thursday’s top performers. He did have a nice drive and finish, but he really made his mark driving and setting up teammates as well as on the defensive end. He’s got long arms and quick feet which make him a pesky on-the-ball defender, and he also took a couple charges as well. 

JALEN SUGGS – 2020 – G – GRASSROOTS HOOPS
Suggs (Minnehaha Academy) continued to show the makings of a big time prospect Thursday against the IL Stars IBA in one specific area. Currently, Suggs stands a 6’3 point guard but only time will tell how much he will continue to grow and what type of offensive player he can turn into relative to that growth. As it stands now, one thing no one needs to wait on is his instinct on defense. Not only is he a ball-hawk on the ball, capable of picking a ball-handlers pocket at any moment he’s also lethal in the passing lanes as he makes the opposition pay for lazy passes.

DEVYN WAKEFIELD – 2018 – G – QUAD CITY ELITE
Though he’s an inch shorter than his teammate Lacey Watson, Wakefield provides a similar two-way presence on the court. Against MN Select, Wakefield (East Moline United) played solid defense on and off the ball as well as cashed in on his open opportunities from three-point land. He’s also capable of making plays for his teammates off the bounce. 

LACEY WATSON – 2018 – G – QUAD CITY ELITE    
Watson continued to display all the tools necessary to be an athletic playmaker as a 6’4 wing. Against MN Select, the Rock Island native did it all whether it be slashing drives to the hoop, or knocking in three-pointers with his high arching shot. He highlighted his performance with a steal and dunk late. As he continues to tighten his handle, Watson’s Division I recruitment should continue to pick up steam as he is already capable of guarding either guard spot on the floor.