NY2LA Swish N’ Dish: Top Seniors
Seniors put on show during the opening weekend of AAU.
by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn
The first weekend of April is one of my favorite of the year. The weather is starting to get right, but more importantly, AAU basketball is back. Many teams give their players the first week or two of April off, but those Midwest teams who opt to play descend to NY2LA Sports Swish ‘N Dish in Milwaukee.
Founded by SLAM alum Antonio Curro, the Swish ‘N Dish serves as a legit chemistry builder for many teams who may have not even practiced together yet. Nike EYBL teams All Ohio Red, St. Louis Eagles, CIA Bounce, Meanstreets, Mac Irvin Fire, SYF Players and Playground Elite all came out to play before things got real serious. Throw in some legit adidas, Under Armour and Reebok teams and it’s easy to see why it’s tough to find a hotel room in the city of Milwaukee during the opening weekend of the month.
With the absurd amount of talent that was on hand, we found ourselves watching a nice player in every single game. Here is a look at a few of the seniors who caught our eye:
Jabari Parker, 6-8, SF, Mac Irvin Fire
The No. 1 player in SLAM’s Fresh 25 didn’t dominate how some felt he should, but those same critics ignored the fact that he plays for the most stacked AAU team in the country. Now standing closer to 6-9, Parker has developed into a legit presence as a shotblocker. As you can see on the video from our friends at CityLeagueHoops, he made the game look easy with his ability to both see and finish over the defense. The expectations as the No. 1 player in the country are near impossible to live up to and there will always be haters, but Jabari showed out enough for us at NY2LA.
Moshawn Thomas, 6-8, PF, Meanstreets
There were a lot of other guys from the Meanstreets team who scored more points, but there wasn’t another dude who impacted the game more than Thomas on both ends. The super athletic forward had mad energy, was tougher than Mr. T, and was an animal on the glass. Word on the street is that there may be some concerns academically but provided that he gets his grades straight, he’s the type of 4-man who every college coach needs on their team.
Bronson Koenig, 6-2, PG, Wisconsin Swing
New summer, new AAU team for Koenig. After killing last summer with JP Tokoto and Sam Dekker for Wisconsin Playground Warriors, he opted to run his final summer of AAU with the Swing and appears to be taking that next step in his game. Bronson made pinpoint passes, shot the lights out, and controlled the game to the point that he took the Swing to the U17 title game. We would have loved to see the Wisconsin recruit be a little more aggressive for himself, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Xzavier Taylor, 6-9, PF/C, Mac Irvin Fire
Coming off the bench for the most loaded front line on the AAU circuit, Taylor made some serious strides in his game since last spring. The hella long big man was able to block a ton of shots on D,while also proving to be a force offensively with his handful of dunks. Xzavier even stepped out and knocked down a pair of face-up Js, showing why many college coaches consider him a blank canvas as a prospect.
Duane Wilson, 6-2, PG, Playground Elite
The top player in the city of Milwaukee put on in the hometown tourney. As one of the more athletic point guards in the country, Wilson was able to use his speed to get past defenders to the rim and bounce to finish above it once he got there. Staying at home to play his college ball at Marquette, Wilson still needs to improve his decision making but should make an impact from the jump.
Tanner Williams, 6-7, SF/PF, Peoria Irish
Though Jabari Parker definitely got the better end of him, Tanner Williams definitely showed that he could hang with his more heralded counterparts. The 6-7 combo forward is a sneaky athlete who can put on the deck against most big men, but is also tough enough to take smaller guys down to the blocks. He didn’t get a ton of love coming out of Orion, IL, but expect that to change real quick next year when he does his senior year for Jason Smith at Brewster Academy.