Over the past week I have been covering the AAU Super Showcase in Louisville Kentucky. The event was loaded, featuring some of the top high school players in the country. Here are the top performers for the week:
Antonio Blakeney: SG 6’4 170: Class: 2015 Sarasota, FL
Blakeney was far and away the top prospect at this loaded event. A pure scorer with unlimited range, Blakeney showed the ability to knock down tough contested shots all week and also showed an ability to create his own shot and shoot off screens. Rarely do we see high school players excel at moving without the ball but Blakeney showed the ability to get open even when teams knew the ball was coming his way. An improved ball handler who is extremely fast with ball in his hand, the Florida native showed off a Latrell Sprewell like pull up jumper when going full speed in transition.
Offensively, Blakeney needs to be a more willing passer and show an ability to get his teammates involved. He must get stronger and put on some weight in order to reach his full potential. At time he seems disinterested on defense and he should use his length to garner steals and deflections. With Rick Pitino and many other head coaches in attendance at every game, Blakeney is among the best shooters in the class of 2015 and a future NBA prospect.
Edrice Adebayo PF 6’8 225: Class: 2016 Washington, NC
Far and away the most impressive post player in the tournament, Adebayo is a nightmare to defend in the post. When allowed to catch the ball within 6 to 8 feet from the basket Adebayo is almost an automatic two points often times finishing with thundering dunks. Adebayo showed the ability to finish with both hands and displayed improved footwork in the post. A relentless offensive rebounder, Adebayo gets a ton of put backs and often times creates second shot opportunities for his Boo Williams team which is loaded with perimeter shooters. If Adebayo develops more of a face up game and begins to shoot the ball consistently from 15 ft. he will be an outstanding offensive player.
Defensively Adebayo is a good shot blocker who gets most of his blocks coming from the weak side. I would like to see him play with more of a motor on the defensive end and show the same desire to rebound that he does offensively. With Roy Williams looking on, Adebayo made big plays down the stretch to lead his Boo Williams team to the 17 and Under Championship.
Matt Coleman PG 6’2 165 Class: 2017 Norfolk, VA
Every now and then you stumble across a young player who already strikes you as potential pro. Entering his sophomore season, Coleman brings to mind comparisons of a young Rajon Rondo. Long and athletic with extremely quick hands, Coleman causes havoc with his defensive pressure. While he needs to get stronger, Coleman projects as a lockdown defender who will rack up deflections and steals. Offensively, Coleman has a tremendous feel for the game and shows the leadership ability to guide his older teammates to the right spots. Very unselfish, Coleman makes players around him better and showed a willingness to get his Boo Williams teammate Adebayo involved. He has a very quick first step and an explosive vertical which allowed him to throw down a nasty baseline jam early in the week. While the lefty knocked down some mid-range jumpers, his outside shot will need improvement for the next level. It is apparent that Coleman has more upside than any other player in the event and will continue to collect offers from the top schools in the country to go along with Virginia, VCU and Virginia Tech’s current offers.
Luke Kennard SG 6’5 180 Class: 2015 Duke Commit
Kennard is a scorer who lit up the state of Ohio’s high school ranks last season. Kennard is a very good shooter both from three and mid-range. He has a quick first step and showed a consistent pull up jumper that kept defenders on their heels. Deceptively athletic, Kennard threw down plenty of dunks throughout the week including a couple of nasty ones in traffic. His ball handling must improve as he had his pocket picked a few times during his battle with Florida guard Haanif Cheatham, but Kennard is an outstanding offensive player. Like most freshman at Duke Kennard will have to show an improvement defensively in order to play early minutes for the Blue Devils.
Bruce Brown SG 6’3 180 Class: 2016 Wakefield, MA
Brown is a rarity in AAU basketball, he is a player who is not only a great defender but someone who can dominate a game without scoring. Brown is the type of player who will always gain the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s top scorer and he will relish the opportunity. With quick hands and great lateral quickness Brown wreaks havoc on BABC’s famed full court pressure. Offensively, Brown is an explosive leaper often times finishing hard at the rim with contact. Brown must improve his outside shot and not disappear for long stretches on the offensive end.
Chris Clarke SF 6’6 195 Class: 2015 Virginia Beach, VA
You would be hard pressed to find a player in the country who plays harder than Boo Williams Chris Clarke. This kid is instant energy and has a nonstop motor, he is a fearless player who believes that every loose ball should be his. A very quick leaper, Clarke is a great rebounder for a perimeter player and takes pride in both rebounding and defense. Can be a little reckless on offense and his ball handling needs improvement, shows good form on his jump shot but his shot was off throughout the tournament. Clarke who recently acquired a coveted UCONN offer is a winner who makes big plays and is a coach’s dream with his hustle, enthusiasm and ability to make his teammates better.
Terance Mann SG/PG 6’5 180 Class: 2015 Lowell, MA
Mann runs the show for BABC and his play his unselfish play fits well with legendary coach Leo Papile’s offensive philosophy. Mann does a good job of penetrating and kicking to open shooters and also shows the ability to see over the defense throwing some amazing passes in transition. What Mann lacks in quickness he makes up for with craftiness and an array of one on one moves that includes an explosive hesitation dribble. When the game got to crunch time Mann wanted the ball in his hands and he made play after play in leading BABC to the final 4 of Super Showcase. While his shot must improve Mann should progress into a point guard who will cause matchup nightmares with his size and ability to get to the free throw line.
Jimmy Whitt: SG 6’3 170 Class: 2015 Columbia, MO
Whitt is one of the best shooters in the class of 2015 and showed an improved ability to get to the rim. He must get stronger but Larry Brown and Mike Anderson were at nearly every game trying to secure this scoring machine.
Malik Beasley: SG 6’4 185 Class: 2015 Alpharetta, GA
Despite being one of the higher ranked players at Super Showcase Beasley struggled at times during the event, pressing too hard on offense while trying to take over. Beasley has great size and athleticism but his body language and willingness to share the ball need improvement.
Raymond Spalding PF 6’9 Class: 2015 6’9 210 Louisville, KY
Spalding dominated lesser competition in the AAU Nationals portion of the tournament, but shows great upside as a stretch 4. A recent Louisville commit Spalding has very good perimeter skills and with improved ball handling could become a small forward with NBA size.
Haanif Cheatham SG/PG: 6’5 180 Class: 2015 Pembroke Pines, FL
Cheatham is learning to play point guard and must improve his ball handling, but showed an impressive ability to get his teammates open looks. Cheatham also took over late in games using his size to attack smaller defenders and finish at the rim.
Eli Wright SG 6’4 185 Class: 2016 Owensboro, KY
Wright plays above the rim, showing an impressive vertical and often times finishing with thunderous dunks. While he disappears too much on offense, Wright’s athleticism and size had a who’s who of college coaches at his games.