Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop: Top Underclassmen
Young bucks do their thing in Dayton.
2012 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop tournament and they gave the fans one hell of a show. Adding an extra day of basketball action to their usual three-day slate, 21 games were played over the of four days at Trent Arena on the campus of Kettering Fairmont HS. Eric Horstman, Branden Cultice, and Co. did an amazing job of assembling teams from seven different states to show out for the fans. National powerhouses like Findlay Prep, Huntington Prep, and Grace Prep all drew near sold out crowds. In fact, Huntington Prep had the entire building on their feet before the game even started with the ridiculous dunk show that they were putting on for the 4,000 plus in attendance.
On the court action aside, there may not be a better independently ran event in the country. From the box scores after every game, to the prompt schedule, to the constantly updated website, to the fan interaction, to the accommodations… everything is done at a grade A level. Flyin’ To The Hoop shows the media and coaches mad love, too. They’ve got a hospitality room that offers ribs, wings, chicken bites, desserts, and just about everything else you could imagine in between every game. There is a side room that has two big screen TVs showing all of the NFL playoff action for Saturday and Sunday, then the ESPN televised games from the HoopHall on Monday. To top it off, there’s a hospitality suite in the host hotel where sponsors, college coaches, high school coaches, and media fraternize into the wee hours of the morning over pizza and drinks. I’ve been showing my face there for four years in a row, and don’t see that changing any time soon.
Already having examined the top seniors, here are the top youngsters from the 2012 Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop:
Justin Jackson, 6-6, SG/SF, HYCA (TX), 2014
Though Andrew Wiggins is hands down the top player in the 2014 class, Justin Jackson was the most dominant player in the 2014 class at Flyin’ To The Hoop. With his HYCA squad picking up an extra game due to another squad’s travel mishaps, Jackson had another opportunity to show everyone why he’s amongst the 10 best sophomores in the country. While he used to be known as simply a shooter even a year ago, he has taken his game to another level now as a complete scoring weapon. Mid-range Js, floaters, and crafty moves out of the post were all new tools added to his repertoire. Given weapons like that, it’s easy to see why Justin has established himself as arguably the best scorer in the Class of 2014.
Andrew Wiggins, 6-6, SF, Huntington Prep (WV), 2014
The #1 sophomore in the country came into Flyin’ To The Hoop with more buzz around him than anyone. He lived up to every bit of it with his play and more. In two Huntington Prep blowouts, the son of former Washington Bullet Mitchell Wiggins averaged over 20 points and 8 rebounds while electrifying the crowd with his aerial attack. He also shot the ball incredibly well and showed improvement putting the ball on the deck, causing one to salivate at the long term potential that he has. In fact, as many recruiting gurus discussed over the weekend, Wiggins may have the highest upside of any player currently playing high school basketball. He’s that good.
Luke Kennard, 6-5, SG/PG, Franklin (OH), 2015
Donned by many as the top freshman in the state of Ohio, I was excited to see the next potential star that my home state had to offers since I”m living in NC now. Immediately, you couldn’t help but be taken back by the size of the big point guard from Franklin. More of a natural scorer, Kennard runs the show for his HS team and looked awfully good doing so. 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists and a victory good. The ambidextrous lefty dropped teardrop floaters and made some silly passes off the dribble with either hand. While it’s early to anoint him the king of the 2015 class in Ohio (point guard AJ Harris and a few others can make a strong case), Kennard is definitely a youngster to keep an eye on over the next 4 years.
Mikyle McIntosh, 6-6, SF/PF, CFCA (NC), 2013
A regular for some time now on SLAMonline, McIntosh showed a vastly improved game from when we had seen him two months ago. Formerly almost a straight power forward, the Canadian junior is making some legit progress in transitioning into a viable threat from either forward slot. At Flyin To The Hoop, he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in a pair of CFCA games while showing a nice pick and pop game that now extends beyond the three point arc. If the junior is able to continue puttin’ in work on his outside game like that, expect to see him popping up in the top 150 lists awfully soon.
Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-3, PG/SG, Grace Prep (TX), 2014
Had you only watched the first half of his game against Thurgood Marshall, you definitely would have been left scratching your head as to why Mudiay was revered as one of the top sophomores in the country. Maybe it was jet lag after traveling all weekend or perhaps it just wasn’t his night, but this wasn’t the same guy who wowed people with his ability to do so many things on the court as a freshman. After a brief intermission, the regular Mudiay came out of the locker room ready to play and dropped the first 7 points for Grace Prep. The combo guard dominated the game on both ends of the floor, scoring at will while also creating hella turnovers. Ohio State was in the building to watch the super soph and he played well enough to walk away with a scholarship offer on the table.
Jalen Coleman, 6-2, SG, Cathedral (IN), 2015
Similar to Kennard, Coleman is considered by many to be the top frosh in the Hoosier state. It was immediate from the tip that Coleman isn’t your average 15-year-old. The chiseled guard played with a poise and intensity uncommon to most seniors on both ends of the floor. He slashed to the rim at will, while also locking down on D. Throw in a few pull-up J’s and it’s easy to see why Big Ten schools are already vying for the services of Coleman for the ’15-16 season.
Zak Irvin, 6-5, SG/SF, Hamilton Southeastern (IN), 2013
Gary Harris’ HS running mate was just as impressive as his older counterpart, as they straight up put a hurting on the local Ohio team they faced. The prized recruit for Michigan has his game rolling on all cylinders, combining his lethal outside J within a number of dazzling dunks. Irvin even showed more skills as a facilitator than we’ve seen in the past, setting up his teammates with a number of crisp passes for easy bucket after easy bucket. John Beilein can’t help but be elated about getting Irvin on campus for ’13, even though he could probably use him right now.
Tony Farmer, 6-6, SF/PF, Garfield Heights HS (OH), 2013
One of the elite juniors in the state of Ohio, Farmer brings an inside/out game to the table that is unlike many 16 year olds. At 6-6 and 22o pounds, he already has the body of a grown man and is capable of playing either forward slot. Against Columbus Northland, the junior from East Cleveland looked to establish his outside game first by keeping the D honest with his J and strong drives to the cup. Once he got it going from all areas of the court, he (along with Mike Davis) was a problem for Northland’s pair of 6-8 forwards to stop. Xavier was in the building watching Farmer and his play reassured why the top team in the A-10 is keeping him as a recruiting priority.