Posted On: 04/9/18 4:00 PM
Prep Hoops Missouri spent the weekend at the Adidas Invitational at the Center of St. Louis Sports. Here is a look at some of the top standouts from Sunday’s final day:
Atavian Butler 6’2″ St. Louis Majestics 17U: The jumping jack wing player scored a game-high 20 points in the Majestics victory over Gateway for the 17U championship. An explosive athlete, Butler is one of the best rebounding guards in the state. He is at his best when he is attacking the basket, whether it is in the halfcourt or in transition. He is able to finish over bigger defenders on a regular basis. He is a tough high school matchup because he plays multiple positions.
Ray’ Sean Taylor 6’0″ Gateway (IL) 16U: The slick point guard led his team to the 16U championship. He had early foul trouble in the championship game and sat most of the first half, but he returned to have a big impact in the victory. He has good handles and he goes wherever he wants to go on the dribble while under control. He has the ability to get in the lane and finish at the rim or display his float game or short jumper. He’s very good at controlling the pace.
EJ Bellinger 6’4″ Gateway 17U: One of the top scoring threats in the tournament, Bellinger displayed the ability to score at all three levels. He has a smooth-looking jumper where he gets good elevation and lets go of the shot at the peak of his jump. He can knock them down from the mid-range or from beyond the 3-point line. His size and athleticism also enable him to finish at the rim, plus he is very good in transition.
Carter Hoog 6’2″ Bullets 15U: A versatile young wing player who led the Bullets to a surprising championship in the 15U division. He has good handles and a strong skill set, plus a strong body which made him difficult to matchup with throughout the weekend. He could knock down 3-pointers, plus power his way to the basket and get traditional three-point plays. I was impressed with his poise and savvy in high pressure situations.
Isaac Spears 6’4″ Gateway 16U: It was my first time seeing this young combo guard in action and he was one of the most impressive guards I watched during the weekend. He has good size and length and the skill set to match. He has the ability to get to the basket, especially with his strong hesitation move. He also displayed a nice stroke from 3-point range, including a game in which he hit five triples in bracket play. He also has the ability to be a strong defender.
Dareon Graham 6’4″ St. Louis Majestics 17: The talented swingman had a fine day for the Majestics, who won the 17U championship. He brings excellent size and some nice skills to the perimeter, which were on display on Sunday. He has a nice pull up jumper off the dribble and he also knocked down some 3-pointers against zone defenses. He is a good athlete who is tough to handle when he brings his A-Game to the gym.
Cameron Teson 5’11” STL Knights 17U: The talented point guard enjoyed an excellent Sunday, including a game in which he erupted for 38 points. His team had only five players available, so he stepped up to the challenge and carried the offensive load throughout the day. He was constantly pushing the pace and looking to score in the transition game. In the halfcourt game, Cam knocked down several 3-pointers, plus he was able to drop some nice dimes.
Sharrod Alexander 5’10” Midwest Jets 15U: A tough and aggressive point guard who led his team to the championship game of the 15U division. He went off for 23 points in a victory over Gateway in the semifinals, most of which were on attacking drives to the basket. He was excellent at creating pace and tempo on both ends of the court
Dominique Hardimon 6’3″ SEMO Bulls 17U: The physical combo forward powered the Bulls to the Silver Division championship in the 17U division. He brings full effort and intensity at all times and is the master scoring tough baskets in the paint through lots of contact. He is usually too strong for the person he plays against. He has also developed the ability to get out on the perimeter and take opposing bigs off the dribble.
GT Nicholson 6’7″ Fury 17U: A nice combo forward who quietly had a very productive weekend. I was impressed with his skills and ability to make shots, whether it was in the low post or from the 15-17 feet range. He is a pretty agile big kid who can get up and down the court in transition.