Day 1 of the 2012 Next Level Invitational kicked off to a gym packed with college coaches as talented prospects took to the hardwood at Homestead High School in Wisconsin hoping to catch the attention of the plethora of college coaches in attendance. 2014 G Jerrelle Deberry was one of many who delivered on opening night. We look at that and more in our recap from day 1 today…
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Matt Thomas 6-5 - 2013 - Wisconsin Playmakers- Thomas continues to improve in all facets of his game. The Iowa State commit torched SYF Wednesday night, often putting the Playmakers on his back. Thomas used his sweet pull-up jumper all evening and dished out a few nice assists. Thomas finished with 27 points to lead the Playmakers past SYF.
Robert Knar 6-1 - 2013 - Illinois Rising Stars - Knar isn't the most athletic or physically imposing player, but he gets the job done. The sharpshooter and Northern Iowa commit poured in 32 points against Playground Elite hit tough, contested three's all night and was big down the stretch for the Rising Stars.
Jerrelle DeBerry 6-4 - 2014 - Playground Elite - DeBerry had an absolutely huge night for Playground Elite, willing his team to a victory over the Minnesota Warriors with 32 points. DeBerry went on a few scoring surges in the second half, often beating the Warriors down the floor, and finishing through contact. Berry also hit the game winning basket with 1.8 seconds left, with a tough, hanging shot in the lane.
Michael Ford 6-4 - 2013 - SYF - Ford quickly jumped onto the radar as one of the top players in attendance Wednesday night. The sleek, slashing guard, had 18 points for SYF in a loss to the Wisconsin Playmakers. Ford is very quick with the ball in his hands, and has very strong moves when exploding to the basket.
Kevon Looney 6-8 - 2014 - Milwaukee Rebels - Looney had 21 points and did just about, leading the Rebels to an easy victory over the Iowa Mavericks. Looney's length and athleticism caused problems for the opposition throughout the game. Looney also has the unique sense to defer to his teammates, when one gets hot.
Damontrae Jefferson 5-7 - 2014 Milwaukee Rebels - Although he's listed at just 5-7, there's few better than Jefferson at using his size to his advantage. Jefferson gets up and down the floor as quick as anyone, and isn't afraid of attacking the rim despite his size. Jefferson knows exactly how to shield himself and get shots off in the paint.
T.J. Schlundt 6-4 – 2014 – Wisconsin Swing – The talented off guard poured in 14 on opening night while showing range, an improved ability to attack the rim, and a solid feel for the game. A quality day 1 performance for Schlundt.
Deonte Burton 6-5- TP Elite- 2013 - Burton is too strong inside for most guards, and too quick on the outside for most big men. Burton's versatility and strength inside made him very tough to stop. The Marquette commit also did a lot of work on the boards, out muscling his opponents.
Luke Fischer 6-11 - Wisconsin Swing - 2013 - The Indiana commit continues to improve as he was too much for Inland Empire on the interior. Fischer moves very well for his size and posses' plenty of solid post moves down low. Once Fischer caught the ball inside, he didn't take long to score, operating with high efficiency.
Bronson Koenig 6-3 - 2013 - Wisconsin Swing - Koenig got up and down the floor quickly, scoring and distributing in transition. The Wisconsin commit makes very good decisions in the open floor and has deceptive athleticism. Once Koenig gets out on the break, he's nearly impossible to stop.
Over 125 college coaches were in attendance on day 1. Some of the notable head coaches that were courtside include Buzz Williams of Marquette, Bo Ryan of Wisconsin, John Thompson III of Georgetown, Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Greg McDermott of Creighton, Ben Jacobsen of Northern Iowa, Rob Jeter of UW-Milwaukee, and Brian Wardle of UW-Green Bay.
Milwaukee (Wis.) Destiny 21014 SF Jerelle DeBerry is hearing from Iowa and Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Grafton (Wis.) 2013 SF Scotty Tyler has offers from Idaho State and Penn State. Iowa, St. Bonaventure, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi are also interested.
2013 F Kenneth Lowe impressed again for the Wisconsin Blizzard Hawley 17U team. The talented and versatile forward poured in 27 points in a solid versatile inside-outside scoring display.
2013 PG Austin Malone-Mitchell jumped out the box with a quality effort. The talented lead guard finished with 18 points in an opening night win for the Playground Elite squad.
The 2015 trio of Trevor Entwisle, Kyle Monroe, and Cody Schwartz continued their stellar play for the Wisconsin Blizzard 15U on day 1. Entwisle poured in 14, Monroe dropped 19, and Schwartz finished with 15 in a solid opening effort.
2015 talents Jake McNallan, Anthony Carver, and Antonio Thomas delivered on day 1 for their respective teams. McNallan dropped 18 for the Minnesota Fury 15U, Carver scored 19 for the Wisconsin Shooters 15U, and Thomas finished with 20 for the Chicago Select 15U squad.
2014 PG Andre Wallace continued his stellar play. The Net Gain Sports 17U standout dropped 20 in a solid opening night performance for the talented Minnesota lead guard.
2012 G Chris Golden and 2013 PG Jarvis Garrett delivered strong opening day performances. Golden ripped the nets for 21 while Garrett added 13 and 10 assists in a win for the TP Elite 17U Squad.
Sharpshooting 2014 talent Riley Lachance and gritty 2014 PG Reed Timmer made their presence felt. Lachance dropped 19 in a win while Timmer added 16 with a number of assists for the Ray Allen Select 16U squad.