Posted On: 07/14/18 12:04 PM
It’s the July live period, and while much of the attention is focused on the shoe company tournaments there’s good basketball to be found in a lot of places. One of my personal favorite events is Big Shots Myrtle Beach Live, which has two sessions with teams from all over the country. The first session was Thursday and Friday, and there was some great basketball. We saw some kids we know, and found some that we didn’t know! Here’s a look at 12 guys in the 17U division that stood out from Session One.
Robbie Beran | 6’9” WF | Team Richmond Garner Road 17U
The single most sought after prospect at Myrtle Beach Live Session One was easily Beran. The 6’9” wing played in front of a bevy of division one coaches every game, including Boston College, Charlotte, Richmond, Rice, Duquesne, UNC Asheville and more. Beran showed his versatility throughout the two games, as he showed his ability to play inside and out as a hybrid forward. He can put it on the deck and create in isolation or screen & roll situations, he can shoot the ball and showed the ability to post his man and finish through contact in the paint.
Timon Jones | 5’11” PG | Team Richmond Garner Road 17U
After recently announcing that he’s going to do a post grad season at Fork Union, Jones is playing some of the best basketball I’ve seen him play in the four years I’ve watched him. He’s so crafty off the bounce, and his ability to quickly get into his shot makes him tough to guard because he also has blow by ability off the bounce. He’s shooting at a high clip right now from deep, he’s attacking and finishing in the midrange and in the paint, and he’s making good decisions with the basketball in his hands. He continues to fill out and get more athletic as well, which is going to make him tough to defend at FUMA next year.
Chris Rogers | 5’10” PG | Team Richmond Garner Road 17U
The scrappy 5’10” point guard has been so much fun to watch this weekend, and coaches agree as he picked up his first offer from D2 Salem University in West Virginia. He has a super tight handle, and he stays low on the bounce and out of the triple threat where he has a great rip through and that allows him to get by guys and get in the lane where he can make plays for others. He’s shown good vision and passing ability, he has a great middle game that includes the pull-up and floaters with both hands and he’s a scrapper and work horse that will fight for every loose ball to help his team win.
Kasey Draper | 6’4” WG | Virginia Blaze 17U
Draper was a big contributor for Blaze who beat two very good teams in WV Mpact and Big Shots Elite NC before falling to Olympus Elite in the semifinals. His ability to score the basketball from all over the court was on full display as he filled it up to the tune of 15 and 19 points in the first two games. He shot it well from deep and attacked closeouts after making a few, but it’s his ability at 6’4” to rebound on the offensive end and finish in the paint that allows him to score in situations other guys can’t. He isn’t the best athlete, but he’s always in attack mode and he’s a crafty finisher that knows how to use his body in traffic.
Zach Hatter | 6’0” WG | Virginia Blaze 17U
Another guy that was on a roll for Blaze, Hatter is a big time shooter that’s way under the radar and needs to be on small college coaches list for July. He isn’t the biggest guy, but Hatter not only can shoot from the volleyball line with ease, he also has great feel and an understanding of the game that makes him a playmaker. He’s the type of guy who will turn down a good shot from a great one, he can handle and make decisions in transition and if he misses a few threes he still thinks the next one is always going in. He doesn’t stay cold for long, and he will light you up from deep on the regular.
Dylan Catron | 6’7” F | Spectrum Elite 17U
Catron may be the biggest sleeper in the 2019 class in SWVA, and I was kicking myself because he absolutely deserves to be ranked and even I forgot about him, that’s how big a sleeper he is! At 6’7” he has terrific length that allows him to contest shots and rebound, and he’s a mismatch guy offensively with a budding perimeter skill set. He hit three three-pointers in their first game, something he’s added as he’s extended his range. He can attack off the bounce from the perimeter, and he’s always a threat on the offensive glass. He’s an above average defender who can switch pick-and-rolls, making him an impact in more ways the just as a scorer.
Kendrick Blankenship | 6’0” G | Spectrum Elite 17U
I’ll admit I had never seen Blankenship before this event, and I was impressed with his ability to play under control and fill it up. The guard out of Hidden Valley is the classic combo guard who can play on and off the basketball, and he managed to make shots from all over the floor when I watched them play. He’s a smooth athlete that can get in the paint off the bounce and shoot it from deep off the catch. He finished with 10 points in their first game of the tournament.
Jared LaTreill | 6’2” WG | Spectrum Elite 17U
A rising junior who’s playing up with the 17U group, LaTreill is one of the most underrated guys in the Roanoke area. At 6’2” he has a good frame on the wing, he can make shots from deep but he also likes to attack closeouts and finish at the bucket. He may not look like it but he’s a pretty athletic finisher in transition, and the fact that he has both explosion and strength makes him a threat in the paint. He’s a three level scorer that, when given the opportunity, can fill it up consistently.
Jordan Crump | 6’2” WG | Team Richmond Choice 17U
Crump played extremely well the first day for Richmond Choice, and with this group he’s able to demonstrate his abilities as a primary ball handler, something you didn’t see much of during the high school season. Crump’s mostly a shooter, and when he gets hot he can really fill it up from deep. However, he showed his ability to put it on the deck and get to the midrange for pull-ups, something he’s worked on, and he was an above average decision maker throughout the event.
Jalen Jordan | 6’4” PF | Team Richmond Choice 17U
It’s almost impossible not to love this kid when you watch him play, because he’s a great energy guy and he’s so productive when he’s on the floor. He’s undersized at 6’4”, but he bangs in the post with the big guys, can take them out and shoot the midrange and he’s a good finisher in traffic against those bigger guys. He finishes with both hands, plays his tail off on both ends of the floor and he’s always fighting to keep a play alive or win a 50-50 ball. He’s a guy who’s simply a ballplayer and he makes every team he’s on that much better.
Jordan Hernandez | 6’7” PF | Team Richmond Choice 17U
Hernandez picked up some interest during Session One, and he’s a super intriguing prospect moving forward. At 6’7”, he’s a forward that you don’t need to post, and he can run the floor, face you up and take you off the bounce and he attacks the offensive glass. He’s an athletic freak who had some big time finishes above the rim, and he also protects the rim on the defensive end. What’s also impressive about him is his feel, he’s a good passer who makes the right decision whether he’s in the post or being trapped in the press.
Marcus Holman | 6’2” G | River City Reign 17U
One of the best available players in July, Holman continued what he did during high school season which is straight score the basketball! He finished as one of the top three leading scorers in Session One, and the way that he’s improved over the last three years is remarkable. He can score from all over the floor with the ball in his hands, and his ability to finish in traffic and through contact is impressive, because half the shots he makes you can’t believe he makes them. If there’s still a school in need of a guard in their 2018 class, Holman is the guy to look at.