Boo Williams Recap

19 May
Willie Jackson

Willie Jackson

Friday night, Triple Double Prospects posted live from the Boo Williams Invitational about the production of ’16 Cleveland North Royalton PF Omari Spellman in the 16u division. Heading into Saturday and Sunday, we decided to focus solely on 17u play, watching games from the Nike EYBL, the shoe company’s famous traveling AAU league. As the forty best Nike traveling teams took the court in Virginia, the Ohio teams were able to show that they belong.

All-Ohio Red finished the weekend 3-1, including posting impressive wins over Nike Team Florida and Houston Hoops; while the King James Shooting Stars finished 2-2 on the weekend with wins over Baltimore Elite and New York Lightning. Heading into the final weekend of the Nike EYBL regular season, All-Ohio Red is in great position to qualify for the post-season tournament (The Peach Jam), with an overall record of 8-3, while King James still has their work cut out for them (but are still in contention), with a record of 5-7.

Here’s a look at some of the standout prospects from the event, as well as some top performers from Kentucky’s EYBL team, the Kentucky Travelers…..

Jalen Coleman – ’15 SG La Lumiere Academy (IN): Although he isn’t actually from Ohio, the Indianapolis native is the top scoring perimeter player, and second overall offensive threat behind Esa Ahmad, on his All-Ohio Red team. Coleman was impressive all weekend long for AOR, knocking down long jumpers with his quick release, and using the dribble or a screen to create separation from defenders. One of the speediest players in the Midwest, Coleman’s athleticism, scoring ability and shooting range lead to him being a consensus top-50 prospect nationally, who is weighing offers from schools like Indiana, Illinois, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona and several other high major programs.

Luke Kennard – ’15 SG Franklin: The offensive numbers for the Duke commit, who plays for King James, have been somewhat up and down throughout the Nike EYBL so far; however, Kennard was very impressive at times over the weekend. TDP watched the 6’5 wing score 15 straight points in the second half of a win over Baltimore Elite, scorching the nets from deep. As a player who can do more than just score from deep, Kennard was also effective around the rim and as a passer, including making several key plays down the stretch for King James in an overtime loss to The Family out of Detroit, where he finished with 17 points. Heading into the final session of the EYBL regular season, look for King James to rely more heavily than ever before on the scoring ability of Kennard to lead them to a berth in the Peach Jam/EYBL Playoffs.

AJ Harris – ’15 PG Dayton Dunbar: Sometimes a lack of size can be a good thing; such was the case this weekend for King James starting point guard, the Ohio State commit, Harris. The Dayton native his speed and low center of gravity to blow by defenders in the half-court, showing his usual competitive fire and playmaking ability. Harris was excellent for King James in their opening game, a loss to the Jackson Tigers out of Mississippi, as he scored 27 points on an array of floaters and baby jumpers. The 5’9 point guard also used that quickness to be a difference maker on the defensive end, despite drawing some tough assignments against some of the nation’s top guards. Some question whether the speedy style of the small point guard will translate well to the Big Ten when Harris gets to Ohio State; however, TDP believes that his change of pace ability and leadership instincts makes him one of the elite guards in the Midwest in the class of 2015.

MaCio Teague – ’15 SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills: While opposing defenses focused on locking down Coleman, the 6’3 Teague was able to have his way in Hampton, knocking down shot after shot for All-Ohio Red. A pure shot-maker and scoring minded wing off the bench, Teague played with a lot of confidence once his deep-ball started finding net. While he doesn’t have the picturesque shooting touch that many pure-shooters do, Teague makes way more open threes than he misses, and is also a threat to make a creative play off of the dribble. Currently, Teague has four Division I offers in Yale, Alcorn State, Akron and Seton Hall; but more could be on their way this summer.

VJ King – ’16 SG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: Without question the most gifted amateur basketball player in the state of Ohio, the King James wing had a couple of stretches in Hampton that simply made scouts say, “Wow.” The 6’7 sophomore, playing up at the 17u division, played more aggressively than he has in the past, getting involved on defensive rebounds, pushing the tempo with the ball and making plays around the rim. Gifted as a scorer with length, athleticism and ball-skills, King is a threat to score in a variety of ways with his feet in the paint, but it is his passing ability on the transition drive that often impresses the most. Combine that with a fluid jump-shot, and the Akron SVSM product has a world of potential that he is trying to harness into consistency. Overall, TDP was pleased with the mind-set that King displayed in Hampton, and would love to continue to see that method of approach from King.

Willie Jackson – ’16 SF Cleveland Garfield Heights: In our first viewing of Jackson in a King James 17u jersey, after watching him several times over the years with the All-Ohio Red 2016 squad, the Cleveland sophomore forward was very impressive, aggressive and consistent. A physical specimen with great athleticism, Jackson played with a high motor all weekend long and was great at attacking the offensive glass and going back up strong for finishes. Fans of power dunks would’ve loved to have watched Jackson in Hampton, as he finished several plays well above the rim off of tip-dunks or drop-step finishes off of assists. Playing with a new team, Jackson doesn’t have a high comfort level with the ball in his hands yet for King James, but was one of their key bench performers in all four games.

Quentin Goodin – ’16 PG/SG Taylor County (KY): Despite being from Kentucky, Goodin actually plays on the Nike circuit with the Saint Louis Eagles, earning a spot as the starting point guard for their 17u team. Playing against more experienced competition over the weekend, Goodin showed strong poise in two viewings by TDP. Since we saw him last the Campbellsville, KY, native has adopted more of a combo guard role, as opposed to his old scoring-minded approach; and the new look fits the 6’2 guard nicely as he’s now an all-around threat. A solid athlete with a strong frame, Goodin has a mature all-around game, and was particularly impressive showing vision and scoring ability around the rim in transition. Potentially the top 2016 prospect in Kentucky, look for Goodin to be a Mr. Basketball candidate in the Bluegrass State next season.

Carson Williams – ’16 SF/PF Owen County (KY): One of two standout 2016’s playing up for the Kentucky Travelers (we’ll mention the second one next), Williams was also an impressive Kentucky prospect over the weekend, showing toughness, scoring ability and very good versatility. Helping lead his team to two huge wins over hosts Boo Williams out of Virginia and Florida’s Each-1-Teach-1, Williams showed that at 6’6 you can still pack a lot of power down low with the right mental approach. The physical forward was highly aggressive around the basket as a skilled scorer, rebounder and finisher, producing solid numbers with consistency. One of the top 2016’s in the Bluegrass State, the size and versatility of Williams makes him a kid that will be recruited heavily at, and maybe even above, the mid-major level.

Braxton Beverly – ’16 PG Perry Central (KY): The top point guard prospect in the state of Kentucky, regardless of class, Beverly has a mature floor game that can only be developed from experience against older prospects. After starting at the one for the Kentucky Travelers a year ago, the 2016 prospect appears in their first five again this season, with even more leadership ability. Already with seven Division I offers at the mid-major level, including in-state schools like Western Kentucky, Beverly is a high IQ guard who is a passing minded player. He’s not going to ever physically overwhelm anyone, but his savvy and competitiveness makes him a commodity among college coaches, and a guy that is entertaining to follow from a scout’s perspective.

Other Top Performers: Esa Ahmad (’15 Cleveland Shaker Heights), Ahmad Wagner (’15 Huber Heights Wayne), Josh Williams (’15 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Noah Bramlage (’15 Ottawa Glandorf), Derek Pardon (’15 Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joe’s), Kipper Nichols (’15 Cleveland St. Edward), Kyle Ahrens (’15 Versailles), Raymond Spalding (’15 Louisville Trinity/KY), James “Beetle” Bolden (’15 Covington Holmes/KY), Jalen Perry (’15 Louisville Ballard/KY), Dwayne Sutton (’15 Louisville Manual/KY), Andrew McDonald (’15 Newport Central Catholic/KY)

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