The 2017 NY2LA Sports Swish N’ Dish continued on Saturday. Day two marked the start of bracket play in the 15, 16, and 17U Divisions. Advancing to the 17U quarterfinals, Bradley Beal Elite flexed its muscles, led by a big performance from their star point guard Darius Garland.
Trequan Carrington – 2019 – PG – Playground Elite
One of the most overlooked point guards in the Midwest, Carrington plays big each time we get eyes on him. Carrington made people look foolish at time, picking the pocket of the player he was defending or shaking them out of their shoes when he possessed the ball. Carrington is usually the smallest player on the floor, but he might have the biggest heart. A fearless attacker, Carrington finds different ways to finish and can double-clutch in mid-air with ease. Defensively, he’s very tricky. Carrington will almost lull opponents to sleep, acting disinterested in the play before he comes out of nowhere to steal a pass. He finished with 15 points in short work Saturday night.
Perry Cowan – 2019 – SG – Illinois Wolves
Cowan was everywhere for the Wolves in their blowout win of Kessel Heat Saturday. The 6-foot-4 sophomore made a ton of plays, many of which didn’t end up in the box score. Cowan was aggressive on the offensive glass, seeking out second-chance opportunities. He also dished the ball extremely well, particularly in the pick n’ roll. Cowan needs a lot of skill work, but appears to understand the smaller parts of the game very well. His help and recover defense was terrific as was his ability to wall up and use his length without fouling. Cowan finished with a game-high 13 points in the victory.
Nimari Burnett – 2020 – G – Mac Irvin Fire
A knock down shooter, Burnett is very hard to stop. If he’s allowed to go 1-on-1 on the perimeter, you have to like your chances with Burnett. A creative scorer and deadly shooter from mid and 3-point range, Burnett caught fire in Saturday’s loss to the Playground Warriors. At one point in the second half, Mac Irvin just cleared out of his way and let Burnett go to work. Burnett has good quickness and wiggle off the bounce. He doesn’t need much space to operate, but appeared to easily free himself with little head fakes and change of speed in the open floor.
Darius Garland – 2018 – PG – Bradley Beal Elite
Gardland came in as arguably the number one point guard in America. Saturday’s performance in the Round of 16 certainly didn’t dispel that. Garland was sensational from the opening tip. The ultra-quick guard almost shoots out of a cannon when he makes his move towards the rim, but he can just as quickly pull it back and stop a dime. Garland got hot in the second half against the Iowa Barnstormers, draining some ridiculous off-balance jumpers and contested finishes at the rim. Garland also tears defenses apart with his vision and passing ability. Able to thread the needle, Garland whipped a number of gorgeous passes past the defense for easy buckets. He finished with a game-high 21 points in the win.
A.J. Green – 2018 – PG – Iowa Barnstormers
Despite a loss Saturday, Green was outstanding. Going head-to-head with a five-star point guard, Green not only held his own, he excelled. Green was unconscious for long stretches, knocking in tough, contested jumpers from all over the floor. His change of pace and elusive ball handling makes it extremely difficult for defenders to stay in front of. Green can get too carried away in isolation sets at times, but he’s almost always able to generate a clean look. While he makes his name as a scorer, Green can also be a floor general and a leader for his team. Green does a good job of organizing the troops and getting people where they need to go on the floor.
Joey Hauser – 2018 – PF – Iowa Barnstormers
There’s no sweeter sound than when this kid shoots the basketball and hits the bottom of the net. A highly-skilled, versatile forward, Hauser is one of the biggest mismatch nightmares in the country. Hauser scored from all over the floor in Saturday’s win over the Milwaukee Spartans, putting home some thunderous dunks off the dribble and knocking down catch and shoot 3-pointers. Hauser didn’t take many shots, but finished with a game-high 20 points. While he’s more of a finesse player, Hauser’s physicality and toughness has improved this year. Hauser showed the ability to bang down low defensively and power his way to buckets around the rim.
Jalen Johnson – 2020 – G/F – Playground Warriors
We’ve known it for a few years, but on Saturday, Johnson proved he’s absolutely the real deal. In a huge matchup with Mac Irvin Fire, Johnson was the best player on the floor. His ability to contribute across the board makes him a can’t-miss prospect in 2020. Johnson racks up points, rebounds, assists, steals, and even takes charges for his team. Still growing into and figuring out his body, it’s scary what Johnson could become, considering he was athletic enough to throw down a one-hand dunk off a euro-step on Saturday. A 6-foot-6 freshman with point guard, wing, and post skills, Johnson is one of the most well-rounded prospects in his class. He finished with a game-high 19 points in the victory.
Jordan McCabe – 2018 – PG – Playground Warriors
When McCabe controls the game as he did Saturday night, it’s generally a long game for the opponent. Leading the Playground Warriors to a win over the Wisconsin Swing, McCabe played some A+ point guard basketball for much of the game. When it was his time to score and hit big shots, that’s what McCabe did. When it was his time to run the offense and get his team in their sets. He did just that. And when McCabe needed to create for others, he weaved his way around the floor with the ball and set up his teammates for success. Holding off a late rally, McCabe, who finished in double figures, made sure to get to the free throw line and ice the game there.
Donavan Moore – 2019 – G – Illinois Irish Elite NY2LA
A big stock booster this weekend, Moore is a quick, elusive guard that has some intriguing explosiveness going towards the hole. Moore plays fast, but under control. A good blend of size, speed, and strength for the guard position, Moore picks his spots well and when he sees a driving lane, it’s over. The 6-foot-3 sophomore rebounds well for a guard and can start and finish a break on his own. A good pull-up jump shooter, Moore isn’t afraid to test his range off the bounce. The lefty seemed unstoppable throughout most of Saturday and was able to get whatever he wanted offensively. He came up big for the Illinois Irish, scoring the game-winning tip in to cap off a 20-point performance.
Christian Davis – 2019 – PG – ET21 Buckeyes
You never know what’s coming when Davis has the ball in his hands. A dynamic floor general, Davis has an array of moves at his disposal when he’s looking to score. A quick guard with an even quicker trigger, Davis doesn’t let his size on the floor impact his game. In a standout performance against the Illinois Irish, Davis creativity off the dribble and willingness to make the extra pass helped keep the ET21 Buckeyes close. Davis sees the whole floor in transition and always seemed to make good decisions on the go.
Nobal Days – 2018 – PF – Playground Elite
Those who know basketball, appreciate Nobal Days. He may have a long way to go offensively, but it’s rare to see such a raw prospect stand out in almost every other area. Days eats the glass, blocks shots and protects the rim, handles the basketball in transition, and passes extremely well for a big man. Although he’s 6-foot-9, Days doesn’t have to make highlight plays to be effective. In two wins on Saturday, Days did show promise offensively, hitting a turn-around jumper from mid-range. He also got hot and knocked down a couple of jumpers, including a 3-pointer. One of the most intriguing prospects in the country, Days will be just fine at the college level whether or not his offense catches up to the rest of him game. But if it does…watch out.
Aguek Deng – 2019 – SF – Kingdom Hoops
Deng is a high-upside forward that showed some promise this weekend. In Saturday’s loss to Quad City Elite, Deng showed the ability to contribute in a variety of different areas. The long, athletic sophomore is a terrific shot blocker. He times shots very well, even when he’s on the ball. Very raw offensively, Deng flashed some transition game and ability to slash from the high post. If he starts to expand his game beyond the paint, Deng will be a handful with his measureables.
Chris Grubbs – 2020 – G/F – G3 Grind
Grubbs has a tremendous feel for the game for such a young prospect. Despite playing at 8 a.m., Grubbs had tons of energy in a win over the Illinois Wolverines. Already a three-level scorer, Grubbs had success slashing from the high post and knocking down mid-range shots. He also showed the ability to take smaller defenders into the post and create. Hitting a lot of check marks, Grubbs has pretty good size at 6-foot-4 and contributes across the board. He was active on defense and on the glass, doing a little bit of everything for his team.
Jericole Hellems – 2018 – SF – Bradley Beal Elite
Making a ton of plays to help Bradley Beal Elite advance to Sunday, Hellems looked untouchable at times. The long, athletic forward glided to the rim with ease and made difficult finishes against contact look easy. Hellems has plenty of bounce and used that to his advantage on the offensive glass, flying in for acrobatic put backs. Hellems is difficult to handle on the perimeter as well. His mid-range game is fluid and at 6-foot-6, makes it very tough for defenders to contest. Hellems was also actively defensively. His long wingspan blocked and contested a number of shots. En route to 20 points, Hellems constantly changed the game with momentum swinging plays.
Mason Madsen – 2020 – G – Playground Warriors
Part of a deep 2020 class in Wisconsin, Madsen showed he belongs among the top players after Saturday’s win over the Mac Irvin Fire. Madsen handled pressure in the backcourt very well and finished off some explosive transition buckets. A terrific ball handler with some get-up, Madsen killed the opposition in transition, either going coast-to-coast or dropping passes off to teammates for easy buckets. Madsen is also a strong shooter and can score off the bounce or play off the ball. Already quite polished for his age, Madsen handles the point guard duties very well for the Playground Warriors. His toughness with the ball against the press was a big reason why his team came out on top.
Jackson Molstead – 2019 – PG – Martin Bros.
Molstead led Martin Bros. to an easy win Saturday night. The sophomore point guard poured in a game-high 21 points in the victory. Molstead kept the defense off-balance, scoring from all three levels, including two triples. A strong point guard and good ball handler, Molstead made the defense work constantly. Despite a high-scoring effort, Molstead wasn’t selfish and still got his teammates involved.
Xavier Pinson – 2018 – PG – Mac Irvin Fire NY2LA
Pinson was outstanding in a win over Kessel Heat. The 6-foot-3 point guard was breaking defenders off the dribble and making some difficult jumpers look too easy. Pinson is a smooth guard with a quick trigger and doesn’t need much space to fire off his shot. Always keeping his head up on the dribble, Pinson knows how to draw defenders and kick to open teammates. Pinson made quick, simple passes up the floor that put his teammates in scoring opportunities. Even though he was hot, Pinson never tried to do too much and stayed within himself throughout the course of the game.
Jalen Shaw – 2018 – F/C – Kessel Heat Black
Shaw was very active in a loss to Mac Irvin Fire NY2LA on Saturday. A long, athletic post, Shaw is very disruptive defensively and keeps a lot of plays alive on the offensive end of the floor. At 6-foot-7, Shaw plays much bigger than his size with his big wingspan. Shaw plays with good intensity on the glass and had some very impressive blocks from the weak side. He’s still very raw and needs a lot of skill work, but Shaw can do some things off the dribble and slash from the high post. His back-to-the-basket game also needs to be developed, but there’s clearly a ton of potential if Shaw wants it bad enough.
Joey Hauser’s main five schools are Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan State, and Marquette. Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, Notre Dame, and others are showing interest.
Perry Cowan has offers from DePaul and Illinois-Chicago. He said Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin were expressing interest.
Nobal Days has offers from Wisconsin, UNLV, Illinois, Marquette, and DePaul. Among those showing interest include North Carolina, Arizona, Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State, and Northwestern.