TRENTON, NJ - In what could be a very special class of 2016, the 3rd annual J.E.M. All-Star Classic, presented by BBallSpotlight, did not disappoint as some of the notable AAU and High School coaches from around the northeast came out to see the future of high school basketball on Saturday.
One of the most promising players in the class will be Rodney Miller - a 6-foot-9 center from New York, who will be attending St. Benedict's (NJ) this fall. Miller is going to learn from some of the best as he will play alongside Pittsburgh commit Mike Young and learn from head coach Mark Taylor , who coached current NBA player Andrew Bynum in high school. Miller has a great feel for the game as he has soft hands, runs the floor well, rebounds and can score in the post. His physicality and strength are developing, as most bigs do, but he has a similar frame and game to that of SMU incoming freshman Jordan Dickerson . While Miller has no idea who is recruiting him yet, look for the local Big East schools to be all over him.
From a standpoint of impressive performances, 6-foot guard Unique McLean showed off his athleticism and ability to attack the rim. With an offer from St. Francis (NY) in his possession, McLean's development as a point guard will be crucial for his development as he currently plays more of a wing position, despite his size. If he can transition to the point, which he played while in Las Vegas this summer, his future could be very strong. He is expected to attend Hoosac (NY) in the fall.
The guards around him for AAU are impressive, as well. Team Scan's Temple Gibbs, Bryce Aiken and Devonte Green all had strong games as guards who can distribute the rock, as well and handle it and get to the hole. Seton Hall has offered Gibbs, while Aiken holds offers from Delaware and St. Francis (NY). Green has high-major interest from around the nation after being part of a talent Our Savior New American (NY) team last season.
As the class of 2016 locally is booming with talent, Tyus Battle will likely be the highest ranked player out of all of them when all is said and done. A 6-foot-4 combo guard, who will play at Gill St. Bernard's (NJ), Battle has already drawn his fair amount of comparisons and college looks. As the likes of Rutgers, Seton Hall, Cincinnati and others are already aware of him, his development as a guard will be crucial in the future.
Nyrhique Smith, Alani Moore, Daveyon Barnes, Buddah Mott, Vaughn Covington and Lamar Stevens also showed that they will have strong high school careers.
Finally, despite playing in the rising 8th grader game and being a part of the class of 2017, 6-foot-3 guard Jermaine Samuels caught the attention of everyone in the gym. A high-flying guard, who has a motor, Samuels hails from Franklin, Massachusetts. While he may play AAU with CBC or Mass Rivals in the future, his ability to attack the basket, shoot the mid-range jumper, aggressively rebound and hold his own on the court is unbelievable. Samuels brought the gym to a frenzy when he cut through the lane and threw down on two defenders. He says Kentucky and UConn are his dream schools.
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