The July “live” evaluation period tipped off with a bang over the past couple of weeks and the state of Wisconsin was home to a ton of exciting basketball day after day at the Next Level Invitational and the Summer Jam. While the games sizzled at times, a number of prospects like Tennessee bound Kevin Ware turned in some scintillating performances as well. Here’s a look at 10 of the top performances by 2011prospects in attendance during the early period…
(NOTE – LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
BRUCE BARRON – 6’4” – PG – ILLINOIS TITANS
An explosive athlete who can score at will, Barron was unstoppable off the bounce. Attacks the rim at will and can finish in traffic. Knocked down some mid range looks and trey balls at times but his calling card is his ability to attack the rim off the bounce. Big time performance at the Summer Jam.
BRANDEN DAWSON – 6’5” – G/F – SYF PLAYERS
Named 17U M.V.P. and M.O.P. at the 2010 Summer Jam after an electric performance that was filled with highlight reel dunks, mid range jumpers, and some trey balls as well. Was lethal on the glass on both ends and took his game to another level at key points of the tournament to help lead his team to the championship. Already considered a top 10 talent nationally, Dawson will grab strong consideration for the top 5 when the new rankings are released in August.
DEANGELO HARRISON – 6’3” – SG – FRANCHIZE ALL-STARZ
An explosive scoring machine who can fill it up from long range and off the dribble, Harrison was virtually unstoppable at times scoring the basketball and did so in a variety of ways as he was able to get to the free throw line, finished off the dribble, and knocked down a number of long range shots as well. Easily one of the top 2-3 scoring talents in the country game in and game out, Harrison makes his money by scoring the basketball in bunches.
NICK JACOBS – 6’7” – F/C – ATLANTA CELTICS
A powerful and deceptively athletic interior talent, Jacobs has been on the cusp of big things all spring and he put it together at the Summer Jam to help power the Celtics to the 17U championship game. A dominant left handed jump hook and ability to score on the blocks was on display throughout the tournament but Jacobs showed rebounding prowess and an ability to dominate the paint both physically and skill wise with some powerful dunks added for good measure.
PAUL JESPERSON – 6’6” – SG – WISCONSIN PLAYMAKERS
One of the top pure shooting talents in the country, many have doubted Jesperson at times but a 30 point 8 trey ball effort against the Atlanta Celtics at the Summer Jam may have finally put all those questions to rest. Excellent length, big time range, and an ability to take over the game from beyond the arc are part of his resume but he’s also shown an improved ability to handle the basketball, he scored off the bounce at times, and showed excellent instincts as well.
DAVID KRAVISH – 6’9” – PF – SPIECE MO-KAN
No single player may have improved his stock more with his performance at either event than this long athletic skilled interior talent. Showed excellent instincts, was active on the glass, hit the perimeter shot, and finished around the basket with solid bounce as well. Led his team to the final four of the Summer Jam before falling to the Atlanta Celtics and was strong during the process. Excellent showing.
EVAN ROCQAMORE – 6’3” – G – DREAM VISION
One of the breakout performances was turned in here as Rocqamore showed athleticism, skill, defensive instincts, and an ability to turn in dominant floor efforts with his performance at the Summer Jam. One of the best kept secrets on the West Coast, he came up big at the Summer Jam.
TRAVIS TRICE – 6’0” – PG – SYF PLAYERS
A solid performance at the Next Level Invitational was followed up with an even better one at the Summer Jam as Trice has seen his recruiting stock soar over the past couple of days after both efforts. A skilled instinctive floor leader with a lethal stroke, Trice handles the ball, makes solid decisions with the ball, and has the ability and willingness to take and make big shots when the game is one the line. Exceptional effort at both tournaments has translated to a number of mid and high major offers with more to come in the coming weeks.
JARROD UTHOFF – 6’7” – F – IOWA BARNSTORMERS
Named 17U M.V.P. at the Next Level Invitational after a big time effort than helped lead his team to the 17U championship. Upside is the key here but Uthoff showed more than that at the Next Level as he attacked the glass, finished in the paint, knocked down jump shots, and proved to be a dominant force on both ends of the court. His consistency throughout the tournament paired with his upside and long term potential make for a high major talent who continues to see his stock soar.
KEVIN WARE – 6’4” – PG – ATLANTA CELTICS
Nationally some have questioned this young man’s talent after he initially burst on the scene as a top 25 talent in the country. Anyone who does so need only witness his explosive effort at the Summer Jam where he was virtually unstoppable at times. Already committed to Tennessee, Ware was unstoppable off the bounce, showed excellent vision and playmaking ability, was active defensively, and knocked down the perimeter shot from long range as well. Equipped with length, athleticism, instincts, and skill, Ware is a high major impact talent who showed first hand why he’s been considered one of the best in the country in his class for years. Exceptional overall effort at the Summer Jam.
OTHERS OF NOTE – Jakarr Sampson (King James Shooting Stars), Darnell Harris (Milwaukee Hurricane Rebels), Matt Bohannon (Martin Brothers Select), Josh Oglesby (Iowa Barnstormers), Greg Mays (Illinois Wolverines), Norman Powell (Dream Vision), Chris Kading (Wisconsin Blizzard – Kellett), Avery Dingman (Spiece Mo-Kan), Terry Nash (Wisconsin Warhawks), Ben Stelzer (Randolph Boys Club), Elgin Cook (Milwaukee Hurricane Rebels), James Price (King James Shooting Stars), Trinson White (T.P. Elite), Austin Richie (CAPS All-Stars), Quevyn Winters (Milwaukee Spartans), Zach Miller (Illinois Defenders), Lee Skinner (Illinois Defenders), Wes Washpun (Iowa Barnstormers), Matt Tiby (Kingdom Hoops), Hayden Hoerdemann (Peoria Irish), Max Biefeldt (SYF Players), Javonn Griffin (Velocity Elite), Marquel Curtis (43 Hoops), Ross Travis (43 Hoops), Angelo Chol (Dream Vision), Alex Olson (Friends of Hoop), Darius Stevens (Full Package), Devon Hodges (Full Package), Seth Tuttle (Iowa Barnstormers), Grant Lang (Kingdom Hoops), Jordan Nelson (Peoria Irish), Derrick Marks (Old Gold), Calaham Skogman (Wisconsin Blizzard - Kellett), Nimrod Hilliard (Playground Elite), Mitch McGary (SYF Players), Simon Krych (Minnesota Comets), Zach Horstman (Dakota Schoolers), Matt Borowicz (ECI Select), Ryan Sawvell (Illinois Rising Stars Gold), etc.
Note: Antonio Curro is the National Recruiting Editor for NY2LASPORTS.COM and the Editor for GENERATIONNEXTBASKETBALL.COM and 414HOOPS.COM. He is also a member of the NBPA Top 100 Selection Committee as well as a consultant for ESPNU. Follow Antonio on Twitter @ACNY2LA.