The 2016 NY2LA Next Level Invitational came to a close on Sunday. In what was a fantastic day of basketball, the 16U championship finished with some fireworks. Winning the title at the buzzer, Wisconsin United took home hardware thanks to a clutch play from Keontae White…

TOP PERFORMERS
Carlos Curtis – 2018 – G – Wisconsin United

Curtis scored 21 points in the 16U title game. The 6-foot-2 combo guard came up big throughout. Curtis literally got to the rim whenever he wanted. Every time the Wisconsin Swing made a run, Curtis usually got the ball and delivered. One of the best attacking guards in the Midwest, Curtis is a terrific finisher around the rim and plays through contact like it’s not even there. A number of high and mid-major schools are showing interest at this time. 

Marcus Domask – 2019 – SF – Ray Allen Select
Even though Ray Allen Select fell to the Young Legends in the 15U quarterfinals, Domask had a strong effort. Domask isn’t the biggest, strongest, fastest, or most athletic, but he’s successful because he plays to his strengths and has a very-IQ. You won’t see Domask playing out of his element. Even though he was constantly harassed and double teamed on Sunday, he didn’t take on bad shot and has the presence to only pull the trigger when he’s in rhythm. Scoring a team-high 19 points, Domask definitely surprised against some really good athletes. He scored from all three levels, working the post and knocking down triples as usual, but has now come into July with a good looking mid-range pull-up game that he didn’t show as a freshman. 

Tyrese Haliburton – 2018 – PG – Wisconsin United
Right now, IUPUI is ahead of the game with Haliburton. A true floor general that runs the show and leads a team as good as anybody, Haliburton has the tools to win a lot of games at the next level. Oh, and he can flat out shoot the basketball as well. Haliburton drained seven three-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points in a win over Wisconsin United in the 16U quarterfinals on Sunday. Defensively, Haliburton was also a standout. He took on the challenge of stopping some of the better players in the tournament and was a big reason why Wisconsin United eventually went on to win the 16U championship over the Wisconsin Swing. 

Deontay Long – 2019 – SF – Young Legends
Long is the most offensively explosive sophomore in the state of Wisconsin and he showed why on Sunday. In a quarterfinal win over Ray Allen Select, Long scored a game-high 23 points, including 17 in the first half alone. When Long has the ball, there’s little he can’t do. He’s much quicker than expected at 6-foot-4 and finishes with a very soft touch around the rim. He can be deadly from beyond the arc and was hitting some tough shots off the dribble. Long also owns the glass and was very unselfish. A kid that’s come up dominating the younger divisions, Long is capable of scoring 30 a game without breaking a sweat right now, but displayed fantastic vision and unselfishness that led to a blowout victory Sunday morning.

Steffon Mitchell – 2017 – SF – Grassroots Sizzle
In the 17U quarterfinals, Mitchell was a stud on both ends of the floor. A long, strong 6-foot-8 small forward is a difficult matchup because of his versatility. Mitchell can step out and shoot the basketball, he’s got the athleticism and the ball handling skills to drive, and he’s also quite skilled down in the post. Defensively, Mitchell was outstanding and played on the perimeter very well. Even against quicker players, he didn’t allow seemingly any straight-line drives and forced the offense into difficult shots, which was big in their run to the 17U title game. 

STOCK BOOSTERS
Tanner Baird – 2019 – G – Colorado Titans

Baird and the Colorado Titans pulled off a somewhat surprising upset over Butler Elite in the 15U quarterfinals on Sunday. Baird put on a show, scoring a game-high 24 points in what turned out to be a rather comfortable victory. Baird was tough with the basketball against pressure and seemed to halt every run that was made. He took advantage of an over-aggressive defense and made them pay time and time again. 

Larry Canady – 2019 – SG – Butler Elite
A player to watch in the coming years, Canady has a lot of game and is a high-IQ player. At 6-foot-2, 150-pounds, Canady has a lot of filling out to do, but even now he was impressive at attacking the cup and finishing against contact. Canady also has an advanced mid-range game for his age. He loves to take a couple hard dribbles, get the defense off-balance, and pull-up from around 15 feet. Canady has the size, tools, and feel for the game that should make an excellent prospect down the road. 

Nick Klug – 2018 – G – Wisconsin Swing
Klug had a tremendous week and certainly boosted his stock. Helping lead the Wisconsin Swing to the 16U title game, Klug stayed hot from beyond the arc. Trailing most of the way, the Swing got some key triples consecutively by Klug to make it a one-point game. Finishing with 15 points, Klug found ways to free himself off the ball and on it as well. Klug can be a sniper who works through screens, but he’s also a primary ball handler at times as well. A player that’s gaining more and more confidence, Klug is turning some heads early in July. 

Bryce Miller – 2018 – G – Wisconsin Shooters
Miller continues to show up and carry the load offensively in these early games. He scored 21 points in a loss to Wisconsin United and got hot from beyond the arc to make it a three-point game in the second half after United looked as if they’d run away with the game. Miller has impressed this week with his ability to score off the bounce. He doesn’t have the look of an isolation scorer, but he’s perhaps been able to play outside his comfort zone when his team needed him. Miller has some underrated athleticism and has gotten to the cup against fast, athletic teams. This is a player that definitely turned some heads and boosted his stock early in July. 

Alex Rasmussen – 2018 – G/F – Minnesota Select
Rasmussen nearly led Minnesota Select to an upset win over the Wisconsin Swing in the 16U semifinals. The 6-foot-3 wing brought instant energy on defense, but had a nice scoring outburst as well, finishing with 12 points. Rasmussen can fill a variety of roles for his team. Not only did he provide a shooting presence, but Rasmussen has the strength and toughness to be an enforcer in the paint as well. 

Keontae White – 2018 – G – Wisconsin United
White had a big Sunday and it only got better as the day wore on. He had two nice scoring efforts to help Wisconsin United get to the 16U championship game then went off for 25 points and the game-winner as time expired to claim the title. White was virtually unstoppable on Sunday. A 6-foot-0, 150-pound junior, White can shake and bake in the open floor and score off-balance with ease. The lefty is a smooth operator that loves to mix it up between mid-range jumpers and close range finishes. When teams zoned United, White was a zone buster, knocking down triples and finding gaps in the defense.