Flyin’ To The Hoop: Top Seniors
Plenty of future DI power in Dayton.
In what could honestly serve as the model for your ideal national high school event, the Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop lived up to it’s rep this year and put on yet another outstanding event. While many of the nation’s top seniors were doing their thing in Springfield, MA at HoopHall, Eric Horstman and Branden Cultice did a sick job of getting a few of the nation’s top seniors along with a ton of the best underclassmen under one roof for one hell of an event.
There were teams from eight different states that drew the likes of John Calipari, Thad Matta, Chris Mack, Mick Cronin and Brian Gregory down to Trent Arena to check out the talent. The hospitality room was off the hook with ribs, wings and everything else you could imagine catered by Fricker’s. After the games were over, organizers hosted a social in the host hotel that allowed coaches, media and organizers to kick it and network with each other into the wee hours of the morning. All in all, a legit weekend with some great hoops.
Here’s a look at some of the top seniors who caught our eye:
Anthony Davis, 6-10, Perspectives Charter (IL), 2011
Similar to when we checked him out in the CPS Showcase, Davis received very little help from is Perspectives teammates. It’s really tough to get an accurate read on Davis from just watching him in a high school game because he honestly has to do EVERYTHING for Perspectives to even keep a game somewhat competitive. Against a marginal but gritty Meadowdale team, AD23 dropped 32 points, 18 boards and 6 blocks in a 10-point loss. Of all of the times that I have checked out Davis (over 10), this is most definitely the best that I’ve ever seen him play. Even though he didn’t do any damage from the blocks, the Kentucky recruit showed off a pretty pull-up and had his outside jumper on point. It’s pretty scary to see a legit 6-10 guy shooting NBA threes in a high school game and looking fluid doing so. He’s still adjusting to the eight-inch growth spurt that he got over the last year and a half, and it’s clear that Anthony has the natural instincts of a guard. The dominating showings that the Chicagoan showed over MLK weekend definitely have him in contention for top player in the SLAM 2011 Fresh 75.
Traevon Jackson, 6-2, SG, Westerville South (OH)
Jimmy Jackson’s baby boy put on a show in South’s shocking win over Hamilton Southeastern. Not a guy who you’re going to see featured on HoopMixtape anytime soon, his throwback style of play is exactly what makes him a perfect fit for Bo Ryan’s system at Wisconsin. Traevon played both guard positions, took care of the rock, and drew at least three charges while locking up top-25 junior Gary Harris. The stat line of 28 points, 10 rebounds and 3 dimes is quite impressive, but numbers can’t describe the impact that this power guard had on the game.
Travis Trice, 5-11, PG, Huber Heights Wayne (OH)
After starting the game off slow with single digits in the first half, Trice straight balled out in the second and finished with 30 points, 8 assists, and a huge upset W over Whitney Young. A lot of cats (myself included) were skeptical of Trice at times because he’s not the biggest or most athletic guy. The performance that he had over the weekend put a lot of my reservations to rest. He shot the lights out of the ball, finished over WY’s monster front line, and always made the right pass. Even though the Kalin Lucas’ era will be coming to an end, Michigan State has quite a bit to look forward to next season.
Sam Thompson, 6-7, SF, Whitney Young (IL)
Arguably the most athletic player in the country keeps advancing his skill set farther and farther, as seen at Flyin’ To The Hoop. While his J wasn’t falling and he took a tough L, you couldn’t help but me impressed with Thompson’s ability to slash through the D and get to the cup. The future Ohio State Buckeye also did a nice job of utilizing his size for a wing by posting up smaller defenders, something we never really saw out of him on the AAU circuit. Presently ranked No. 1 in the country, Ohio State has great things to look forward to with the arrival of Thompson and his fellow 2011 recruits in C-bus next season.
Charles Lee, 5-8, PG, Huntington Prep (WV)
Perhaps the smallest player in Dayton was right there in the running for MVP of the tourney after averaging nearly 20 and 5 over two games with his blazing speed. Despite his diminutive size, he’s got no problem getting into the teeth of the D and finishing amongst the trees. Hats off to Gary Waters and Co., because they got a good one.
Davonte Beard, 6-3, PG/SG, St. Vincent St. Mary (OH)
Starting the game off slow with 2 points in the first half against Huntington Prep, Beard straight stole the show in the second and wound up finishing with 25 and 4 dimes. He was playing out of position at the 2, but was great slashing to the rim acrobatically, showed good court vision, and shot the rock well from deep. The one time St. Francis commit has exploded this season and is now getting looks from LaSalle, George Washington, Cincinnati, Siena, Boston College and others.
Kevin Thomas, 6-8, PF, Christian Faith Center (NC)
Doing his best Blake Griffin impersonation, Thomas converted a pretty insane oop with an “and one” for the play of the tourney. The athletic lefty changed the game on D with his shot blocking prowess and is oozing with potential, but needs to get a little more assertive in order to maximize it. Texas, NC State, Wake Forest, Missouri, Seton Hall, Oregon, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Charlotte are still left in the running for this Canadian stud.
Cody Martin, 6-7, PF, Cleveland Heights (OH)
Martin is one of the better unsigned big men in the state of Ohio and showed that in his squad’s blowout dub over Fairmont. His 20-point, 9-rebound outing was awfully impressive in front of the abundance of college coaches on hand. Cody doesn’t have the most refined post game and is coming off of an injury, but the explosive leaping ability that he has around the tin will be enough to garner a significant amount of college interest.
Jordan Taylor, 6-2, SG, Northmont (OH)
Continuing the trend of upset Ws, Taylor had 23 points and 7 boards in Northmont’s upset victory over Wheeler out of Georgia. The two guard also had the most important bucket of the game, a tip-in at the buzzer to get the 62-60 W. The football/basketball recruit is reportedly undecided about which he’s going to play in college but Taylor keeps playing like this, we might be seeing him on the hardwood in the college ranks.
Mike McQueen, 6-7, PF/C, Garfield Heights (OH)
Another hooper who does his thing on the gridiron, McQueen finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and a ton of huge defensive plays in Garfield’s one-point win over Trotwood Madison. The unsigned big man showed off great hands, finished everything in the paint, and was the typical bruiser who just about every school could use on the front line. McQueen has a plethora of DIIs on him now but with the lack of big men left on the board, there’s a chance of him latching on somewhere on the DI level.