John Lucas Camp – Recap

29 Sep

For the last few years the John Lucas Midwest Invitational has been hosted in Louisville, bringing in the top 9th, 10th and 11th grade players from around the nation for two days of spirited competition and drill work. This year was no different as Lucas and his staff put players through rigorous station work, followed by five-on-five team games. With over one hundred campers in attendance, Triple Double Prospects noticed several familiar Ohio and Kentucky faces in the crowd.

Derek Funderburk

Derek Funderburk

Here’s a look at the Buckeye and Bluegrass State prospects who stood out against the highest level of competition at John Lucas Camp.

  • Derek Funderburk – ’16 PF Cleveland St. Edward’s: After showing improvement from the spring in the Buckeye Prep showcase last weekend, Funderburke took his game to new heights this weekend in Louisville. Playing against some of the nation’s best, the sophomore showed a level of toughness and energy that we did know he had, while also mixing in basketball skill. At 6’9 the Cleveland native can put the ball on the floor in transition, is a fluid mid-range shooter and is an efficient scorer around the rim with soft hands and a nice touch. With true size (and he might still grow), a motor and the versatility to play multiple positions, it is becoming tough to argue that Funderburke isn’t the second best prospect in the entire 2016 class in Ohio, after V.J. King.
  • Dikembe Dixson – ’15 SF Bardstown Thomas Nelson (KY): We first saw Dixson in July at the Adidas Invitational and circled his name as an intriguing prospect with a lot of talent. Since that time the junior has moved from the Ashland area to Bardstown and has become one of the premiere prospects in the entire state regardless of class. The athletic 6’7 wing is a terror in transition, plays with non-stop energy, has an aggressive scorer’s mentality and does little things like defensive rebound. Dixson still needs to develop his left hand and his jumpshot, but he’s a natural scorer with the athleticism and size that you look for in a high major kid. If his game is able to translate to the high school stage and its slower pace then we could be looking at a rising star not just in Kentucky, but even nationally.
  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 PF Cleveland VASJ: We went into the event focused on other guys we haven’t seen as much before, and as he’s done in the past, Bragg just played so well that it would be disgraceful to leave him out of our recap. The top-ten nationally ranked junior toyed with opponents on the offensive end, using his size, perimeter shooting and handle to get whatever shot he wanted from different spots on the floor. As he has for the past few months, Bragg continues to separate himself from the competition by not only having more talent, but by playing with more energy and passion. That effort not only makes him an entertaining talent to watch on the court, but someone that you can’t help but root for.

    Xavier Simpson

    Xavier Simpson

  • Braxton Beverly – ’16 PG Perry Central (KY): Since we saw Beverly last in April at the Boo Williams Invitational on the EYBL circuit, the sophomore point guard out of Southwestern Kentucky has added a little size and muscle to his game. He’s still on the smaller end, but there aren’t many kids in the country who have the toughness and basketball savvy of Beverly. In fact, it could be argued that, other than Quentin Snider, Beverly is the best pure point guard in either Ohio or Kentucky in high school basketball right now. He makes great decisions with the ball, knows how to drive with the intent of passing and is deceptive with his changes in speed, allowing him to finish surprisingly well in traffic.
  • Xavier Simpson – ’16 PG Lima Central Catholic: Simpson is a far better team player than a showcase guy because there’s less emphasis on getting guys into the right spots, running a system, defense and winning. However, this past weekend he played very well in the fast-paced, showcase, tempo; which is something we really wanted to see him do. Simpson is the complete point guard package as a decision maker, defender and is starting to look more comfortable shooting the ball from the perimeter. Right now he has Iowa, Cleveland State, Xavier and Dayton recruiting him, but as he grows and continues to show that he can shoot the ball his overall package will intrigue schools to the point that they won’t be able to resist offering.
  • Deven Stover – ’16 SG/SF Cleveland St. Ignatius: Stover is a prospect who we first saw last weekend at Buckeye Prep, but impressed us much more this past weekend in Louisville. He’s got good size at around 6’3, is an open floor athlete with fluidity and has a strong frame to absorb contact. So far in our evaluation we like Stover best as a rim attacker off of the bounce, particularly in transition settings. He’s someone that we’ve put into our 2016 rankings, and it looks like he’ll have a chance to rise some spots as he continues to develop at one of Ohio’s top high school programs.
  • Raekwon Long – ’16 C Scott County (KY): The South Carolina native moved to Georgetown, Kentucky, this summer and there has been a lot of buzz around him. Long is a legit 7’0 tall, as advertised, and has a wide frame that makes him one of the stronger big men in the 2016 class as well. He runs the floor decently, and with very good effort, and looks like a player who should make considerable strides from year to year. Long’s offensive game is still in the developmental stage, but with his size and the effort that he showed he is definitely going to be one of the top prospects to keep an eye out for in Kentucky’s class of 2016.

 

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