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 Iowa talent Marcus Paige turned in some scintillating performances as well.  Here’s a look at 10 of the top performances by 2012prospects in attendance during the early period…

2012 PROSPECTS

(NOTE – LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

KALE ABRHAMSON – 6’5” – SF – MARTIN BROTHERS SELECT
A long athletic skilled wing, Abrahamson was easily one of the breakout performers during the two weeks as he showed athleticism, range, instincts, and an ability to make an impact on both ends of the court.  While Paige, Gesell, and Woodbury generate most of the burn, Abrhamson more than made his presence felt with a number of excellent performances that captured the attention of the droves of college coaches in attendance at both the Next Level and Summer Jam events.

GERRY BLAKES – 6’1” – G – I CAN ALL-STARS
Currently a 2011 prospect, Blakes will re-classify as he is extremely young for his age according to I Can All-Stars program director.  With another year under his belt you can expect Blakes to really soar nationally as he’s equipped with length, athleticism, and ability to score off the bounce and a stroke that can extend beyond the arc.  Really like his athleticism and upside and look for him to take off in a major way over the next 12 months.

SCOTT BRUXVOORT – 6’5” – F – KINGDOM HOOPS
Turned in an M.V.P. performance to help lead his 16U team to the Next Level Invitational championship with his trademark blue collar game.  Has solid athleticism, can hit the mid range jumper, attacks the glass, finishes in the paint, and plays physical and hard on both ends of the court.  Does all the little things to help teams win games and his performance to kick off the period was exceptional at times and dominant in the same fashion. 

PERRY ELLIS – 6’7” – F – KANSAS PRAY & PLAY PLAYERS
One of the premiere talents in the country regardless of class, Ellis was sensational at times during his performance at the Summer Jam and reinforced his status as a top 5 player in the 2012 class.  While he struggled at times earlier in the spring playing away from the basket, Ellis has made huge strides with his ability to play away from the basket and showed solid athleticism, instincts, skill, etc. during a strong individual effort at the Summer Jam.  He rebounds with dominance, finishes in a variety of ways, hits the jumper, can post up, and brings to the table an ability to dominate the game on the offensive end of the floor. 

GARRY HARRIS – 6’4” – SG – D3 HEAT
One of the most heralded breakout performers of this past spring, Harris is one of the most coveted talents in the 2012 class both regionally and nationally in increasing fashion of late.  Excellent size, length, a great frame, and an ability to score the basketball are his calling card.  He attacks well off the bounce, can finish with contact, has solid rebounding skills, and is able to hit the jumper with range that extends beyond the arc despite needing to improve his consistency in that regard.  In terms of upside, Harris has tons of it and his willingness to play physical and ability to score the basketball off the bounce with dominance makes him an excellent prize in the 2012 class.

R.J. HUNTER – 6’4” – SG – D3 HEAT
A long wiry skilled talent with a lethal stroke that extends beyond the arc.  Hunter has instincts, skill, and ability to score the basketball.  Physically he’s far from mature so there’s a nice ceiling and solid upside for him which should translate into some nice attention over the next couple of years.  Really has a solid overall feel for the game and is excellent spotting up on the wing for the outside shot.  As he improves his lower half explosion both laterally and vertically you can expect him to make enormous strides in the coming months.  Was exceptional at the Summer Jam and looks the part of a high major talent with continued hard work and physical development.

ATER MANYANG – 6’6” – F – NET GAIN SPORTS
A raw powerful athlete with ridiculous bounce, Manyang impressed during both events but really turned it up at the Summer Jam where he was lethal on the glass and attacking the rim with ferocity.  Explodes off the ground, has excellent length and power, etc.  Handles are raw but he can score off the bounce, finish in the paint, showed occasional range and drips with upside and potential when he takes the court.  Really impressed with his power, athleticism, and dominance at times and has a nice ceiling with continued hard work.

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD – 6’5” – G/F – DREAM VISION
May very well grab the top spot when we update our rankings in the 2012 class as Muhammad was absolutely spectacular every time he took the court.  Multiple 30+ point efforts were his calling card at the Summer Jam and he did so by scoring off the bounce, in transition, in the post, and squaring up from beyond the arc.  A smooth skilled floor game that has consistency and professionalism written all over it in terms of his approach, impact, and demeanor.  Is electric at times when he gets it going and would have been the easy choice for 17U M.V.P. at the Summer Jam had Dream Vision been able to capture the championship.  Excellent performance for one of the premiere talents in the country regardless of class.

MARCUS PAIGE – 6’1” – PG – MARTIN BROTHERS SELECT
Was solid at the Next Level Invitational and then struggled a bit during the Summer Jam before exploding on the final day to lead Martin Brothers to three wins and the 16U championship.  It’s never how you start but rather how you finish that people remember and Paige made a huge statement on the final day with a ridiculous performance that captured the attention of a plethora of coaches in attendance.  He handles the ball well, sees the floor, and has the ability to control the tempo of the game with the ball in his hands but he took it to another level scoring the basketball on the final day.  He knocked down the trey ball, hit the mid range shot, scored in traffic off the bounce, and was completely dominant at times on his way to capturing the 16U M.V.P. at the Summer Jam.  With added strength and a continued focus on scoring the basketball and distributing it, Paige should continue to garner the high major attention of coaches across the country.

MATT SHRIGLEY – 6’7” – F – DREAM VISION
A skilled forward with excellent court awareness and instincts, Shrigley was sensational at times an only a broken nose suffered during pool play was able to slow him but he showed his trademark toughness and grit by returning and turning in additional solid performances.  He has range that extends beyond the arc, is an excellent rebounding talent in terms of technique, positioning, and ability to collect rebounds on both ends.  He can hit the mid range jumper, scores around the basket and delivers a strong floor performance whenever he takes the court.  Excellent showing for one of the fastest rising young talents on the board in the 2012 class.

OTHERS OF NOTE – Willie Cauley (Spiece Mo-Kan), Matt Van Scyoc (Randolph Boys Club), Sam Mader (Randolph Boys Club), Elijah Ray (SYF Players), Brett Bisping (Peoria Irish), Darrell Bowie (Illinois Rising Stars/T.P. Elite), Anrio Adams (Seattle Rotary), Wannah Bail (Franchize All-Starz), Austin Arians (Wisconsin Swing), Cinmeon Bowers (Playground Elite), Dylan Heemstra (Wisconsin Blizzard – Berger), Zak Showalter (Wisconsin Swing), Phillip Nolan (D.T.A. Devin Harris Superstars), Cory Myers (Kingdom Hoops), Adam Woodbury (Martin Brothers Select), Mike Gesell (Martin Brothers Select), Tanner Williams (Martin Brothers Select), Nate Kratch (Net Gain Sports), Curtis Jones (Ferrari), Tim Williams (Ferrari), Thomas Sjoberg (Howard Pulley), Connor Boehm (Illinois Rising Stars Gold), Mading Thok (Martin Brothers Select), Arroyo Edwards (Playground Elite), Otis Pirtle (Playground Elite), Glenn Robinson Jr. (SYF Players), Aaron Simpson (Team NLP – DF), Keith Carter (Team NLP – DF), Jordan Fouse (Wisconsin Bobcats), Chase Luebker (Wisconsin Playmakers – Larson), Marcus Marshall (43 Hoops), Devin Yurk (Friends of Hoop), Marcus Tyus (43 Hoops), Itavian Belcher (D.T.A. Devin Harris Superstars), Bakari Triggs (D.T.A. Devin Harris Superstars), Ronnie Stanley (Dream Vision), Winston Shepard (Dream Vision), Derail Green (Franchize All-Starz), Kahlil Johnson (I Can All-Stars), Dwight Sistrunk (Kingdom Hoops), Zachary Banner (Seattle Rotary), Clint Mcullough (Spiece Mo-Kan), Seth Mortag (Playground Elite), Dan Studer (Wisconsin Swing), Jameel McKay (T.P. Elite), etc.