After our foray up yo Spooky Nook we were back at Jefferson U in Philly for the final day at the Summer Showdown by Elevate Hoops. These are some of the standouts on the day:
Mikeal Jones 6’8” SF 2020 Team Final – (PA) – (Girard College HS – Phila., PA) – In the past few months we’ve noticed a change of sorts in Jones game and we must admit it’s not a good change. The motor and energy he seemed to bring on an everyday basis was missing except in short bursts and he didn’t pursue offensive rebound put backs with any regularity often times pulling up short before taking a lazy stab at the ball if his opponent exposed the ball too long before heading back up the floor. After getting a board he didn’t always follow the play instead hanging back at the half court line until the offense set up. On this day however the Jones we first observed was back running the floor grabbing boards and taking no prisoners in an 82-48 thrashing of Va. Elite. He compiled 20pts 12reb and played solid defense as Team Final dominated the glass and kept the Virginia lads from getting any offensive rhythm going. For Jones it was a complete turnaround from my last four viewings of him and we believe that his lackluster play was more a slump than anything tangible like a lack of desire or lazy play considering the effort he was giving. Sometimes players go through these lulls where they can’t seem to figure it out but with the sheer talent this young man possesses we are guessing that by the start of the HS season we’ll see more of what we observed on this Sunday morning.
Ryan Young 6’10” PF 2018 Jersey Shore Warriors – (PA) – (Bethlehem, PA Catholic HS) – Young has slowly built up a nice reputation with his solid interior play which compliments his very effective outside shooting touch that has earned him looks from the likes of Temple (offer), St. Joseph’s (offer), Notre Dame, Michigan, Northwestern (offer) and Dayton (offer) to name a few. In three games on this day which culminated in a 17u championship Young put up 9pts 9reb 4blks (Gm. 1), 14pts 13reb 2blks (Gm. 2) and 12pts 20reb in the chip game vs. Jersey Force – Stein. He took what the opposition gave him on offense and took what he wanted when rebounding the ball to help set up his teammates first before hunting his own shots. He may not be terribly athletic by today’s standards but he clearly is a system player who no doubt could help a D-1 program with his hustle and nose for the ball.
Dahmir Bishop 6’4” SG 2019 K-Low Elite 16u – PA (Imhotep Charter) – In a very spirited 16u semifinal contest it was Bishop that shined brightest in the end. In a 58-44 dismantling of a very talented Sports U conglomerate Bishop became the immovable object in the path of the Jersey kids knocking down 3 second half treys in route to 26pts 6reb 3asts and a spot in the championship game. Bishop has really stepped up his game and in the process has seen his stock soar among college programs netting offers from Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. Joe’s, VCU and Penn State to name a few. His offensive skills were already well-known despite the fact he was a little unsteady with his shot selection. He still tends to launch a few that seem rushed and wild but as he matures and earns more PT at Imhotep we suspect those wild shots will be a distant memory that he can laugh off. What impressed me most in this outing was his defensive intensity as he caused Sports U fits all game long. In the championship game win vs. Canada Elite 16u he struggled shooting the ball scoring just 9pts and missing all of his FT attempts but he never stopped grinding in his team’s 60-53 win. He ended up with 4reb 3asts and 4stls and two of those pilfers came in the games last few moments when ths game was up for grabs. Now we are expecting big things from Bishop and fully expect his recruitment to expand along with it.
Drew Friberg 6’6” SF 2018 JS Warriors (State College HS – PA) – Continuing with his fine play from Friday evening Friberg was a model of consistency on Sunday putting together three solid outings to help guide the Warriors to the 17u championship. In a quarterfinal win over Team Final Black he led all scorers with 19pts but also contributed 4asts to the cause. He followed that up with 16pts and 3asts along with 5reb in a 62-43 semifinal win over K-Low Elite. In the 56-39 championship game win over Jersey Force- Stein Friberg led again with 17pts 3asts and 4reb. What was different about these performances was the fact that he didn’t rely on hitting the three ball totaling only 5 treys on the day. If this appears to just be an off shooting day we would counter with the fact that he simply didn’t take that many instead finding driving lanes and taking it to the basket for tough layups. He was perfect on the day from the FT line as well going 9 for 9 and he probably should have gone to the line several more times but the officiating was a little loose in two of the games. Friberg is starting to expand his game to a more diversified skillset that includes putting the ball on the deck and creating off the dribble while still keeping defenders honest with his knockdown perimeter game.
Jevonnie Scott 6’6” SF 2019 Canada Elite 16u (Athlete Institute) – This young man was a whirling dervish of activity in the championship game loss to K-Low Elite scoring 13pts and grabbing 9reb. His motor was set to high and he battled relentlessly for buckets and rebounds down low and playing tough in your face defense as well. What really surprised me was his ability to shoot FT’s based on his awkward looking jumper from the midrange area he attempted early in the game. However, once on the line the release was smooth and he hit 7-8 in the game. Scott got help from 6’3” PG 2019 Callum Baker (St. James – MD School) who knocked down a couple threes and ended with 13pts 3stls in the loss. Baker had some tough luck in this contest with missed shots and perfect passes for seemingly easy scores that somehow wound up turnovers or missed bunnies. Such is your luck sometimes in hoops but for both Scott and Baker better days are surely coming.
Christian Ray 6’5” SF 2019 K-Low Elite 16u (Haverford PA School) – The definition of hard work can be summed up by watching this young man play full speed ahead batten down the hatches and any other clichés you can think of when trying to assess his game. We view him more as an undersized SF as opposed to a natural SG but mostly that’s because of his tireless work on the boards on both ends of the court. His evolution as a player may well lead him to the SG position but for now, we like him inside because he plays so hard and uses his physicality to grab more rebounds than he should by simply outworking the opposition. In the semifinal win over Sports U he struggled mightily with his shooting going 3-14 from the field but still kept working hard defensively and corralling 9reb too. The shots he missed in the semi however were the shots he was dropping in the final racking up 23pts 10reb while also helping with 3asts and 3stls in a fine all around effort in leading the team to the championship. Ray is the epitome of the plugger who won’t give up or quit no matter the score or situation and for that reason alone schools such as Drexel, Stony Brook, Central Connecticut, St. Francis (PA) and NJIT are in the mix for his services.
That wraps up not only the Elevate Hoops Summer Showdown but also the second live recruiting period.
Tag(s): Event/Tourney Coverage