NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - The 2010 Peach Jam got off to a good start on Monday. While it was a relatively quiet day overall, rising senior Jabari Brown took his game to a high level while youngsters such as Archie Goodwin and rising freshman Tyus Jones served notice that they'll be forces to reckon with down the road.
Day one standouts
Jabari Brown, SG, Drew Gooden Soldiers- A physical wing who doesn't get enough credit for his overall skill level, he proved to be scorer and facilitator on Monday night. As usual, he burned up the nets from deep but it was what he did off the dribble, as a passer and as a defender. There's no fluff to his game and he's a kid who is about his business and nothing else when he hits the floor. Cal's Mike Montgomery and and Maryland's Gary Williams watched his move. Word is Kansas may be looking to make a move so it wasn't a surprise to see Bill Self tailing him closely. Washington's Raphael Chillious, among others, was on the trail as well.
Archie Goodwin, SG, Arkansas Wings 16's- As impressive as any wing who took the floor on Monday, the 6-foot-4 standout from 2012 was a one man wrecking crew. An excellent ball handler who can put pressure on defenders in transition or a halfcourt setting, he's got a polished all-around game. He drew the entire Arkansas staff, Tennessee boss Bruce Pearl and assistant Steve Forbes, three assistants from Missouri and a slew of other high level coaches.
Tyus Jones, PG, Howard Pulley 16's- Only a member of the class of 2014, it's important to remember that this kid has yet to walk the hallways of a high school as a student. That said, the six foot floor general put on as impressive a display as we saw all day while going for 27 points and 11 assists to only one turnover as he led his team to a win over the Southern Kings. If he makes a pass, odds are the recipient is in scoring position, he can shoot from deep, plays with an unbelievable feel and poise. It's a safe bet he'll see a lot more coaches courtside the next time he hits the floor.
Joe Coleman, SG, Howard Pulley- Quietly, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard had an impressive day. A well built wing scorer, he has an excellent mid-post game, scores in transition and can call upon his athleticism to help him out of tight spots. His game is efficient and you don't have to worry about a ton of mistakes out of him.
Ben McLemore, SG, St. Louis Eagles- Coming off of the bench, McLemore was very impressive during a Monday morning game against All-Ohio. Playing with more confidence than he has at other stops this summer, McLemore was proactive in looking for his offense. He's been to reactive in the past and it's good to see him allowing his instincts to take over. If he gets hot from deep -- as he did Monday -- he's a load to handle. After first saying that he wasn't in a rush to make a decision, McLemore also hinted that he might actually be pretty close to making a decision. After checking around, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him pick a school before heading to Oak Hill.
Sam Thompson, SF, Mac Irvin Fire- There have been times when Thompson's production hasn't always matched his reputation. Monday, the fluid and athletic 6-foot-6 wing was outstanding during a win over Athlete's First. After playing the role of set-up man during the first half, he got aggressive offensively in the second. He hit on several mid-range jumpers and made a mockery of a would be defender on a fastbreak slam. Ohio State, Florida and Oregon State look to be the top tier while Georgetown and Kansas round out his top five.
Wayne Blackshear, SG, Mac Irvin Fire- Another guy who doesn't have much wasted effort or fluff in his game, he's a blue collar shooting guard who gets the job done. He makes some deep jumpers, hits the glass, defends and can finish above the rim when the situation calls for it.
Josiah Turner, PG, Drew Gooden Soldiers- Go ahead and chalk up a very successful day for the 6-foot-3 point guard from Sacramento (Calif.) High. His blend of size, skill and crafty scoring off the dribble is tough to deal with for any defender. He's playing with tremendous effort and dazzled with his passing on Monday. In the past some have questioned whether or not he's a true point guard, hard to see him as anything else at this point.
More news and notes from Augusta
His game wasn't one that we focused on exclusively, but we couldn't help but notice how well Tyrone Johnson was playing every time we looked over this evening. Turns out he drew attention for a good reason. The recent Villanova commitment was good for 40, three assists and zero turnovers while playing 40 minutes in Team Final's double overtime win over the New Jersey Playaz. Speaking of the Playaz, 6-foot-8 rising junior Kyle Anderson and 2011 mighty might point guard Myles Mack were both impressive from what we saw on Monday night. Really liked the energy of Team Takeover's Darion Atkins this evening. An energetic four man, he uses his athleticism, has a great motor and really crashes the glass. He looks like an ideal four man in a conference like the Atlantic-10. We noticed Bruce Weber and assistant Jerrance Howard making sure to be up front for the Mac Irvin Fire's 16 and under group. There are still times when Mike Shaw drifts a bit too much to the perimeter, but he rebounded at a high level on Monday. Anybody who has seen him play can tell you that the 6-foot-8 forward has a good skill level but his motor has been called into question at times. His commitment to the glass shows that he's addressing those concerns.
Athlete's First forward Ryan Spangler has a fine reputation as a football player. But, the 6-foot-7 power forward is a pretty good basketball player as well. A fine athlete who plays with toughness, you can pretty much pencil him in for double digit rebounds whenever he hits the floor. He struggled some while we were watching him, but we've got a sneaking suspicion that 2013 wing Jabari Bird is going to be a player. Love the 6-foot-5 wing from Oakland's length, athleticism, instincts and willingness to compete.