Posted On: 05/2/17 1:02 PM
One of the biggest live period events in the country took place in Pittsburgh, PA this weekend with the Hoop Group Pitt JamFest. With over 450 teams and 200 college coaches in attendance, some of Virginia’s best were in attendance and it was an eye opening weekend for many. Check out our VA notebook on the event, and stay tuned for coverage from around the country coming soon!
Cam Thomas Shows the World
Playing up in 16U as just a freshman, Thomas is absolutely lighting it up on any and everyone that steps on the court with him. After a breakout high school season, Thomas has begun to take his scoring ability across the country by putting up big numbers such as a 24 point game in a win over Hilltopper Heat (NJ) on day one, a 31 point outing against Mid-Atlantic Select (MD) on Saturday, and he followed that up with a 38 point outing in a loss to York Ballers Sunday morning.
What was most impressive is the toughness this kid plays with. He’s always locked in, and even after rolling his ankle badly in their win over Mid-Atlantic, he turned around at 9:15 in the morning the next day and was the best player on the floor. A dead eye shooter with a killer mindset, he was one of the best true scorers in the entire event, regardless of age.
Both BWSL 15U Teams Show Promise
For the second straight year, Boo Williams sent their talented 15U teams to Pitt JamFest since EYBL only did 17U this weekend, and despite both losing in the quarterfinals, they showed a lot of promise throughout the event. Here’s a couple of standout players from the two teams.
Freshman Ikechi Chantilou made a big mark on the high school season as the sixth man with a George Wythe team that reached the 3A State Semifinals. He’s continued that level of play so far this summer with BWSL Dip, and he’s only starting to scratch the surface as a player. In his 21 point outing in an overtime win over Cecil Kirk, Chantilou showed that he can play on or off the basketball and get easy baskets either way. He has a deadly right to left crossover, good size that allows him to finish in the paint and a solid pull up game. At 6’2”, he already has a good frame and will only get better moving forward.
The 5’10” Banks has played well enough so far in the live periods to pick up his first offer from Hampton, and if he develops the right way there’s a good chance he’ll have bigger offers than that. He doesn’t have the size of Chantilou, but he has the scoring ability and mindset of Thomas. He has deep range and a quick release, and he’s not afraid to let it fly early to let the defense know. He’s also able to attack closeouts and get to the line, attacking the body of bigs in the paint to negate his size. It’s too early to tell just how good he’ll be when it’s all said and done, but he is definitely opening eyes early in his AAU career.
He picked up five offers the other week after EYBL Hampton, and he showed how much promise he has if he continues to to work on his game. At 6’5”, he projects as a perimeter wing that’s athletic and can shoot it from deep off the catch. He still has some polishing to do on both ends of the floor as he continues to develop, but the flashes of promise he showed as he made highlight reel plays in their blowout win over VA All Stars.
Nesbitt stepped up in a big way when Rasir Bolton left Bishop Sullivan, and the freshman is showing that he’s one of the best young shooters in the 757 area. The 5’11” point guard has in the gym range, can shoot it off the catch or the bounce and has the confidence to let it fly in transition or even against tough closeouts. He creates space well off the bounce to get his shot off, and he also has an array of floaters and midrange pull ups to keep defenders at bay.
Loaded 757 Backcourt Continues to Boost Stock
Two of the biggest stock risers of the summer so far have come from the Team Loaded 757 backcourt, and they both showed out in different ways this past weekend in Pittsburgh. Here’s a breakdown of the two guards.
Greene had a monster performance at Spring JamFest with 31 second half points, and he took over again down the stretch when they needed him to. The 6’2” guard scored 12 of his game high 18 points in the second half as he helped his 757 group claw back from a double digit deficit against D1SA Spartans on Saturday. Greene was 4-for-6 from deep in the second half, an area of his game he has worked hard at improving. As he continues to improve in other aspects of his game, expect teams to love the motor and athleticism that the combo guard plays with.
Seabron has been a big name for division one coaches, and while being part of a backcourt with four possible division one players means he may not put up huge numbers every game, but his improvement is the direction coaches want. The 6’5” Seabron can pat it like a point guard and create his own shot at all three levels, and when he’s locked in he’s a tough mismatch that can breakdown anyone on the court. He’s shown more consistency in his jump shot from deep, and since he’s not the only scoring option on this team he’s picked it up on the glass and on the defensive end. He picked up a CAA offer from Towson this weekend, his second in the CAA and sixth overall.
Jordan Miller Opens Eyes in Big Games
The biggest stock riser without a division one offer in the state may be Miller, who led D1SA to a 4-1 record in Pittsburgh with their only loss coming to the aforementioned Team Loaded 757. The 6’6” forward finished with 24 points in a big win over Bridge City, and despite being face guarded in their loss against Loaded 757 he finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.
He’s a tweener as a 4-3 hybrid, which is probably why coaches are hesitant to pull the trigger, but his production speaks for itself. He’s an efficient scorer (remember his 11-for-12 shooting game in the state championship), and he’s a mismatch problem that can take bigs to the perimeter or guards to the post and get easy shots. He had a number of mid major schools following him this weekend, so his name is out there and if he continues to play at a high level he should begin to see division one offers roll in here soon.
Chapman, Butts Catalysts for Loaded 757 16U
Team Loaded 757 16U was rolling until they ran into a buzzsaw of a Team Melo squad Saturday night. A deep team full of underrated talent, the two hybrid forwards stood out this weekend with their high motor and athleticism. Sophomore Zaiyen Chapman (Hampton) showed great intensity and athleticism on both ends of the floor as he guarded multiple positions, hit the glass on both ends and finished in transition.
Fellow sophomore Caleb Butts (Deep Creek) was equally impressive in his own ways. A strong 6’4” forward, Butts is one of those guys that simply gets the job done against whoever it is. He banged in the post with bigger opponents all weekend, showed a soft touch out to 18 feet and finished above the rim in transition.
Other standouts for the Loaded 757 group included point guard Tim Montgomery (Atlantic Shores), off guard Matt Mensia (Maury) and off guard Caleb Dawkins (Grassfield).
Urbach and Latimer Carry TTO Orange
Another group that opened eyes this weekend was Team Takeover Orange 17U, specifically the backcourt combination of Miles Latimer (Paul VI) and Matthew Urbach (WT Woodson.) Latimer, who holds a handful of offers from mid major programs, showed that he’s much more than just a shooter this weekend. The 6’2” guard handled the basketball and got them into their sets, showed good vision on the pick-and-roll and attacked the basket and finished in the lane.
As for Ubach, he’s also more than a shooter but he didn’t hesitate to show what his biggest strength is. In a convention center that isn’t kind to many shooters, Urbach lit it up all weekend, hitting more than three triples in all but one game. At 6’4” he has good size as a shooter, and he can get his shot off easily with a quick release and good footwork, making him capable of knocking down contested shots from deep with ease.