AUGUSTA, SC - Friday featured the second day of U17 action, as well as the U16 semifinals at the Nike Peach Jam. With Malik Newman leading the field on Thursday, the days top performances belonged to Stanley Johnson in the morning and Tyler Ulis in the nightcap. With the action heating up and college coaches all over, the intensity and asmosphere on day four at Peach Jam could not be topped.
Johnson Dominates the Day
Coming off of two losses the day before, the Oakland Soldiers (CA) needed to rebound and win. Led by star 2014 small forward Stanley Johnson, they did just that on Friday.
An explosive outburst came out of Johnson, who went off for 33 points and 14 rebounds. Johnson shot the ball well, attacked the rim and took over the game in front of every school recruiting him.
The five-star talent's recruitment remains the same following his decision to take five official visits: Kansas, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky and Oregon, to go along with unofficial visits to UCLA and USC. The Wildcats offered last week and will have him fly out from California for Big Blue Madness in October.
"That's supposed to be the biggest show ever," he told Rivals.com.
With the plan of deciding on a college sometime in the winter, Johnson hopes to take fall visits, pick a school in the fall and sign during the late period.
Alexander Sets Visits
It appears that Cliff Alexander continues to get better and better. As he is in the best shape of his life with Mac Irvin Fire (IL), and is already one of the more physically dominating big men in the class, adding a high motor was his coach's priority for Alexander this year. That has paid major dividends.
With a toned body, his play on the court has looked phenomenal as he is getting a double double every time out on the court.
Alexander has set four official visits with one last visit lingering. Kansas, Louisville, Arizona and Memphis will receive official visits in the fall, and Kentucky, Michigan State and others could get the final visit. While Alexander remains persistent that he does not have his eyes set on the Spartans and Wildcats, a new team has emerged as a contender.
The hire of Jerrance Howard at Kansas helped in a big way as Howard was the first to recruit Alexander out of high school while at Illinois. He also got him on campus in June, a visit that the top big man enjoyed.
Going forward, no timetable has been set for a decision, but it is clear just how good he will be at the next level.
Travis Taking Advantage of Exposure
Since Reid Travis has had the opportunity to play against the best talent this spring and summer, his stock has acclimated and everyone is beginning to realize how skilled he is.
A stretch four at the next level, the 2014 power forward works hard in the paint, plays physical at all times and stretches his game out by doing so much more than the typical four-man. While Tyus Jones has had the spotlight on him for years, it is now Travis who is receiving some attention.
Right now, he is being carted hard by Minnesota, Stanford, UCLA, Michigan State, Georgetown and Iowa State. He visited Gonzaga in June, and hopes to visit UCLA in late August.
Travis states there isn't much pressure to stay home and play in Minnesota, even with new coach Richard Pitino pursuing him. Stanford is also making a run, but took a hit when Mark Madsen - the lead recruiter for Travis - left in the spring for a D-League head coaching gig.
Despite the fact that he plays football, Travis still wants to take visits during the fall, which could get tricky scheduling wise. However, if he is visiting local schools such as Michigan State or Minnesota, that could work for a one or two day trip.
Coaches Liking Lawson Brothers
The brotherly duo of Keelon Lawson and Dedric Lawson is a talented one for Team Penny (TN) as both are long forwards who can do a lot on the court. They rebound, post up, shoot the ball well, use a jump hook and create mismatches with their length. Their versatility is second to none on the circuit.
As they are being recruited by the similar schools, despite Keelon being in the class of 2015 and Dedric in the class of 2016, they have thought about a potential package deal depending on the circumstances going forward.
Memphis, Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri and others have been the primary schools down south to offer both, while a number of west coast schools such as Stanford and UCLA are really pursuing older brother Keelon.
The likes of Notre Dame, North Carolina and Gonzaga, among others, are showing a lot of interest. It will be fascinating to see how good these two turn out with how well they have already developed.
2014 Chicago Meanstreets (IL) point guard Tyler Ulis had the opportunity to face the top point guard on the EYBL circuit in Tyus Jones. While his squad lost by 3 in overtime, Ulis accounted for 22 points and 17 assists in one heck of a performance. Despite his size, Ulis is pound for pound one of the most efficient and smartest lead guards in the class of 2014, and he showed it out there, as well as in the stat book. Michigan State and Northwestern recently received visits from Ulis, who has yet to set any official visits. Northwestern is creeping up on him, though, with the recent addition of teammate Vic Law. Law has promised to make Ulis a priority at Northwestern, even though Michigan State is really making a strong push at him.
2014 New York Lightning guard Khadeen Carrington played his best game at Peach Jam by tallying 24 points and 7 assists on Friday. Playing the lead guard on and off the ball, he will likely keep this role going to the next level. Carrington did a good job of attacking the basket fearlessly and constantly, which was appealing because of his effort and ferociousness on the court. Wake Forest offered right before the Live Period began, but Cincinnati, SMU, UConn, Hofstra, St. John's and others are involved. Carrington has a great relationship with UConn coach Kevin Ollie and won't be impacted by the commitment of Daniel Hamilton there. At the same time, St. John's could be the sleeper in this recruitment.
2014 Cali Supreme shooting guard Julian Richardson only holds one scholarship offer, but played well enough to the point that he is bound to receive many more. Time after time, Richardson created space and found an opening to receive the ball and shoot it from behind the arc. He was very accurate as a shooter, but did a good job of spacing the floor out and creating mismatches. Fresno State is the only school to offer him thus far, but the likes of Oregon, Minnesota and Villanova are involved. He plans to wait it out and see how this summer goes, but more than likely the scholarships will come his way.
2014 St. Louis Eagles (MO) small forward Jordan Barnett has been playing hard at Peach Jam as the do-it-all small forward rebounds, passes, shoots, and really everything a small forward should be involved in. His handle is holding him back at this very moment, however, as he could be a much better slasher with some better ball handling skills. If the Missouri native had to set five official visits today, which he is not ready to, it would be Florida, Texas, Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford. The Spartans are constantly calling and texting Barnett, and Iowa, Florida, Stanford and Texas do, too. He could decide at the end of the summer at the earliest but at this point visits will be set for the fall.
2015 Team Final (PA) shooting guard Malachi Richardson continues to wow coaches and scouts with his stature, shooting and, now, his passing in the open court. Richardson is becoming a multi-dimensional player and is setting his teammates up to succeed. Indiana, Ohio State, Arizona, Georgetown, North Carolina, Cincinnati and Villanova have been calling him the most at this point.
2014 Texas Titans point guard Alex Robinson has nearly gone for a triple-double several times this year. He didn't get one in Friday's action, but came up close in the process. He did a good job of setting himself up, along with teammates. A natural leader on the court, Robinson executed on both ends by getting into the lane, playing hard nose defense and executing. Right before the July Live Period began, Robinson spent his 4th of July out of Texas and in Pittsburgh for his first official visit. This is due in part to Robinson's mother going to TCU with Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, where both played basketball and established a friendship. The Panthers have made it clear that he would play alongside James Robinson if he joined, and this peeks his interest. Along with that, the point guard is being carted hard by Texas A&M, Miami, SMU, Minnesota and Vanderbilt with a likely list cut after July.
2016 CIA Bounce point guard Jamal Murray came on to the scene when he won co-MVP of the Jordan Brand Classic International game back in April. Since then, people have started to find out about him as one of the next great Canadian basketball players. A floor general who can really score the ball and facilitate the offense, Murray has a chance to be very good. A year after Syracuse recruited Tyler Ennis to be their point guard, they did the very same on Friday as they, along with tons of other coaches, watched the floor general in action with the plan to get him on their squad in a few years.
2014 Team Final (PA) point guard Ja'Quan Newton continues to do a great job of playing the role of the scoring point guard. His jumper has improved, along with his already impressive floater. Recently, Newton expressed interest in a package deal with New York guard Isaiah Whitehead, in which they would consider USC, Miami or Minnesota. The guard is interested in those options, along with SMU, Cincinnati, Villanova, Oregon and Seton Hall, who continue to stay present in his recruitment. Newton doesn't have any plans for visits going into the future, but his stock will continue to rise as he keeps cruising through the summer with big scoring performances.
2014 All-Ohio Red small forward Vince Edwards didn't see his shot fall to much today, however, he played hard and aggressive on both ends of the floor. With his versatility a major factor on the court, college coaches see Edwards as a wing but are recruiting him to play the guard position, on the wing and in the post. For the time being, Purdue and Michigan continue to lead for his services because of their facilities, as well as the atmosphere. The Ohio native will head to Purdue for an official visit during the middle of October. As it looks now, everything should remain the same with the Wolverines and Boilermakers fighting to the very end to acquire him.
For the latest in college basketball recruiting, head to TheRecruitScoop.com for the latest details and notes on offers, visits, commitments and more. To contact Alex Kline, you can reach him by email at MaryKlineClassic@gmail.com or on Twitter at TheRecruitScoop.