Last weekend, the Under Armour Association exposure circuit ascended onto the Bluegrass State to hold Session No. 2. The league not only had high-level individual talent, but also showcased good team play. Held at the MidAmerica Sports Complex, UA hit a homerun by providing a great multi-court facility where multiple age groups could be seen. Below are some of the participants that stood out:
Mitchell Ballock, 6-5, G, KC Run GMC (KS), 2017
What coach wouldn’t love to have Mitchell Ballock? Ballock exhibited elite scoring prowess as poured in 30 points against 1 Nation. At 6’5’, the heady guard possesses great size that can pose matchup problems for defenders. He excelled at making shots off of screens- whether they were catch & shoot, or off of pick and roll. They crafty lefty did a tremendous amount of damage from downtown. Ballock also got it done off of the bounce as he got to the rack and finished in traffic. What stood out the most was the amount of energy competed he with the entire contest- on both ends of the court. He didn’t take plays off, went after 50/50 balls, and displayed toughness while fighting for rebounds. Ballock’s current list of suitors includes Kansas, Kansas St, Iowa, and Creighton.
Josh Jackson, 6-6, SF, 1 Nation (MI), 2016
Jackson had one of the most memorable performances of the weekend as he dropped 41 points in a win over a very good KC Run GMC squad. Jackson has been gifted with the perfect basketball body. At 6’6, Jackson has the size and athleticism to shoot over smaller defenders, make contested shots, or attack the rim & emphatically. The phenom shot the ball extremely well- hitting from varying distances on the court. Josh also looked good in transition as he handled the ball and drew from his arsenal of moves as he made his way to the hoop.
Trevon Duval, 6-3, G, We R 1 (DE), 2017
Duval was out for blood the entire weekend. Duval is the prototypical combo guard as he showed his abilities to handle the pill & set others up, or score. And score he did. Duval is strong and athletic enough to creatively finish at the cup, but can also keep defenses honest with his J. He also connected on mid-range shots & floaters. Just as much as he scored the ball, Duval was always willing to make the assist to the open man. Although he does many things well, Duval’s deadliness on the court will increase if he works on his consistency from behind the arc.
Billy Preston, 6-9, F, Mo Williams Academy (TX), 2017
His nickname should be “The Nightmare”, because that’s what his size, and skill set gave opposing defenders after they played him. Preston was an absolute joy to watch, because he adapted to whatever tactic the defense employed. If his defender backed off of him, the versatile forward calmly drained a three. When his defender wanted to pressure him, his handle & solid frame allowed him to get by his man and get to the basket. If he simply wanted to impose his will, the combo forward set up shop in the post. Preston was a master in transition-displaying change of direction moves uncommonly found in a player his size. Defensively, Billy made some great help-side blocks. With his frightening combination of size & skill, he could improve tremendously on the defensive end by working on his lateral movement. Preston has received offers from schools in the Pac-12, ACC and BIG 12.
Joey Brunk, 6-10, C, Indy Hoosiers (IN), 2016
Upon seeing this kid play, I immediately thought “Tyler Hansbrough 2.0”. Brunk played a high motor while running the floor, fighting for rebounds, or working to secure his position in the post. College coaches would be delighted to have Brunk because he does “the little things” consistently well such as throw good outlet passes, and keep the ball high in the post. Brunk showed the ability to score with his back to the basket, or by facing up and hitting jump shots. His range extended out to 15 feet. Brunk currently has offers from schools in the Big East, Big Ten, &SEC.
Best of the Rest
Quade Green, 6-0, G We R 1 (DE), 2017
Played with tenacity of a pit bull terrier. Sophomore guard does it all
Jeriah Horne, 6-6, F KC Run GMC (KS), 2016
Has the build of an NFL tight end. Crafty 4 man who scored in the post, or from deep. Helped himself tremendously this weekend. Would be great fit for a mid major program.
Joseph Caldwell, 6-1, PG, Houston Defenders (TX), 2016
Two words. Court vision. Passes the ball as if he has several sets of eyes. Ball on a string
Charlie Brown, 6-6, WG, Philly Pride (PA), 2015
Classic late bloomer. Athletic wing that can slash & shoot. Tantalizing upside.
Nazreon Reid, 6-9, F, Sports U (NJ), 2018
Looked like a man among boys playing at 15U. Supremely versatile.
Bol Bol, 6-10, F, KC Run GMC (KS), 2018
Manute’s son scores, snatched boards, and protects them rim.