The 2017 NY2LA Sports Swish N’ Dish tipped off Friday night from Mequon Homestead High School. An electric night of hoops action, some of the nation’s top travel programs and players took the floor. In a battle between two title contenders in 17U, All-Ohio Red checked the Iowa Barnstormers thanks to a strong effort from Michigan State commit Foster Loyer.
A.J. Green – 2018 – PG – Iowa Barnstormers
After the type of summer Green had last year and now his start to the spring, I’m close to believing this is a high-major point guard. The size is always going to be the knock on him and that’s not going away, but once again, Green produced against one of the best travel programs in the country. He flat out took over in the second half, cutting a 15-point deficit down to five with just a minute remaining. Green is one of the best at creating his own shot and has adapted to his smaller stature with a jump shot that’s nearly impossible to block/contest. Green is so quick and smooth off the bounce and has some of the best handles you’ll see. His mid-range game really sets him apart as Green can stop and pop on a dime. He finished with 20 points in a loss to All-Ohio Red on Friday.
Talen Horton-Tucker – 2018 – SF – Mac Irvin Fire
In a physical matchup with Ramey-Jets United, Horton-Tucker made his presence felt. A strong, 6-foot-5 forward, Horton-Tucker bullied his way into the paint for some tough drives. When he attacked, Horton-Tucker made the defense pay for it by drawing contact and finishing through the chest of defenders. Horton-Tucker also had some impressive plays in transition, running the floor and throwing down some creative slams. Horton-Tucker loves to slash, but also mixes it up from beyond the arc, forcing the defense to respect him all over the floor. Horton-Tucker poured in a game-high 24 points in a victory.
Keshawn Justice – 2018 – SF – Playground Elite
It’s tough to find players that just get better each time you lay eyes on them, but Justice fits that mold. He broke out last spring and wasn’t content. Justice has now added some solid muscle and appears to be taking his game into the paint. A smooth jump shooter from mid and 3-point range, Justice is also improving off the dribble and showcased the ability to score going away from the hoop. With his length, Justice was actively defensively, disrupting passing lanes and getting on the floor for loose balls. A solid mid-major prospect at the moment, Justice continues to push towards that next level and will make very interesting for high major programs throughout the travel season.
Foster Loyer – 2018 – PG – All-Ohio Red
Loyer scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half as All-Ohio Red picked up an impressive win over the Iowa Barnstormers. The Michigan State commit got hot, connecting on three-straight triples and then closed the game out with some clutch free throws. When he gets to the college level, Loyer is going to be that guy that opposing fans absolutely hate, but secretly wish they had on their team. Loyer is a pest defensively. Using elite lateral quickness, Loyer just locks up on the perimeter and rarely gives up a straight-line drive. Loyer really impressed off the dribble, connecting on a number of difficult shots while fading away from the basket. Loyer’s size suggests point guard, but he’s more than capable of playing off the ball and running through screens to get his shot.
Drew Peterson – 2018 – SF – Illinois Wolves
Peterson is a very intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-7, he’s a lanky, skilled prospect with a lot of tools. Peterson shot the ball well from the outside, but also surprised with his ability to take advantage of mismatch opportunities. Peterson put the ball on the deck and shot over smaller defenders and also did a little bit with his back to the basket. Peterson needs to pack on the pounds, but he moves better than you think and has some deceptive athleticism. He scored a game-high 17 points in a win over Playground Elite on Friday.
Quincy Anderson – 2018 – PG – Playground Elite
Anderson was able to give Playground Elite a big boost off the bench on Friday. Always good for a handful of triples each time out, Anderson delivered from beyond the arc, including a couple in the second half put his team ahead. Known as a spot-up shooter, Anderson surprised with his ability around the rim. He had some good finishes in traffic and also showcased some impressive leaping ability defensively, coming from the weak-side to alter and block shots. Against some talented guards for Hoops4Health, Anderson got after it defensively and made them work for every inch up the floor. He also created some loose balls and run outs for his team, sparking the second half comeback. Anderson finished with 21 points in the win.
D.J. Carton – 2019 – PG – Quad City Elite
A sleeper prospect in the 2019 class, Carton was very sound in a win over Chicago Select. A high-IQ, crafty floor general with burst and athleticism, Carton scored very efficiently for Quad City Elite in their win on Friday. Carton picks his spots very well and doesn’t play outside of himself, even when facing constant pressure in the backcourt. He was able to stay composed and make plays for himself and others despite being harassed up and down the floor. Carton has an intriguing game. He can blow by defenders with ease, but remain under control to hit pull-up jumpers or absorb contact at the rim. His team will also run sets to get him open triples off the ball. To ice the game, Carton came up with a couple of steals and coast-to-coast layups.
Eddie Creal – 2018 – SG – Hoops4Health
Creal just didn’t have an off switch on Friday. Showcasing a relentless scoring ability, Creal poured in 12 first half points, including 18 for the game. Creal has some deceptive athleticism and showed no shyness to go right over the top of defenders and finish. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard has some nice length and is a smooth attacker. Creal is always looking to run the floor in transition for easy buckets. In the half court, Creal knocked down two 3-pointers and also created some mid-range opportunities. Generating some Division 1 interest, Creal got his spring off to a good start.
Javon Freeman – 2018 – SF – Meanstreets
Relatively unknown coming into this weekend, Freeman could make a name for himself. The 6-foot-4 wing has a ton of upside and flashed that high ceiling during a loss to the Wisconsin Swing. Freeman opened eyes early with a big dunk in transition. He’s raw, but impressed with his ability to go 1-on-1 and break down his defender off the bounce. Freeman needs to expand his game beyond the paint, but Freeman is also very active defensively. He’s a solid weak-side shot blocker and uses his long wingspan to disrupt passing lanes.
Mason Steffen – 2018 – SG – Wisconsin Swing
Steffen nailed a lot of timely shots as the Swing hung on for a win over Meanstreets. When he’s hot, Steffen can be difficult to handle because he’s got a strong frame and can create off the bounce, particularly from mid-range. Steffen was feeling it in the second half and turned the game after a couple of key 3-pointers. Defensively, Steffen created a couple of turnovers by walling up on the perimeter and also sparked his team by getting on the floor and fighting for loose balls. He scored 15 points in the win.
Eddie Creal listed interest from Tulsa, Yale, Illinois State, and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
D.J. Carton has interest coming from Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska-Omaha. He visited both the Badgers and Cornhuskers this season.
Drew Peterson has offers from Kent State, William & Mary, IUPUI, Tulane, and Loyola (IL). He listed interest from Northwestern, Stanford, Purdue, Michigan, Princeton, Davidson, and Penn.
Talen Horton-Tucker has offers from Northwestern, Arizona State, Missouri, DePaul, Iowa State, and others. Michigan State, Xavier, Creighton, Michigan, Notre Dame, and more are showing interest.