When the Road Show started years ago, a driving force behind the idea was highlighting local talent. After spending the first month of the season cris-crossing the country, it's time to get back to the heart of the Road Show and focus on the Kansas City area guys for a bit.
Last night, the Hy-Vee Shootout got off to a start with three boys games. The showcase game was a matchup between Kansas State bound Will Spradling and his Shawnee Missiou South Raiders and junior Corey Hilliard and his loaded Raytown South squad that includes freshman sensation Ishmail Wainright.
Thought not part of the Hy-Vee Shootout, the Road Show was also in attendance at Center High on Tuesday night as multiple D1 prospects took the floor during Center's game with O'Hara.
Ishmail Wainright, SF, Raytown South- Looking at Wainright, it's hard to believe that he's only a freshman. Well built and athletic, he looks like a senior out there and has plenty of confidence. He's already been to Kansas on an unofficial visit and had Texas in to see him recently. Wednesday night was a quiet one for him, but it's easy to see why high major programs are showing early interest.
Will Spradling, PG, SM South- A final statline of 9 points (3-13 FG), four rebounds, six assists, 10 turnovers and six steals wasn't the prettiest. South needs him to do just about everything and it takes a lot out of the senior's tank. Despite his struggles from the floor, he displayed feel for the game and understanding of how to set up teammates that goes way beyond his years.
Corey Hilliard, SG/PG, Raytown South- A natural two guard who is making the transition to the point, Hilliard had some struggles with his decisions while registering eight turnovers (three of them on charging calls). He's explosive off of the dribble, has a good pull-up jumper and will be fine down the road.
D.J. Jackson, PG, O'Hara- The junior floor general is as competitive as any player in the city. A ball hawk on defense, he gets into his opponents and really disrupts things. His 14 points were helpful, but it was his willingness to share the ball and activity level that made the difference in a tight ballgame with Center. Coaches will be watching him closely this winter.
Mark Braden, SG, Center- After transferring from O'Hara, there's little doubt the 6-foot-4 senior had the game with the Celtics circled on his schedule. After a quiet, four point, first half, Braden erupted for 23 in the second half. He's long, disrupts things defensively, gets to the rim and is starting to knock down jumpers. He may end up in a junior college first on the next level.
Dillon Starzl, C/PF, Kearney- He had a long football season and is likely just rounding into shape. Didn't seem to matter as he torched KC Harmon for 26 points and nine rebounds while going 12-15 from the field. He's a big and strong kid with soft touch and the ability to go up and dunk it on defenders when the opportunity presents itself. He had Drake, UMKC and Columbia in the building to watch on Wednesday night.
More Early Notes
Northern Iowa looks to have found themselves a player in O'Hara junior guard Jevon Lyle. The combo guard has worked on his explosiveness, shooting and ball handling in the off-season and the hard work is showing. ... The Ray South/SM South game was ugly. 39 total turnovers and a first half where the teams combined to shoot just 16-47 from the field. However, Ray South's athleticism and ability to deploy talent in waves was too much for SM South to handle on a cold shooting night. ... Credit Ray South junior PG Nodie Newton for making a difference. The Cardinals played their best ball during a six or seven minute stretch during the third and fourth quarters while Newton was running the show. ... Others to look for on the Ray South squad are 6-foot-2 senior shooting guard Xzavier Moananu who went for 16 and six. Senior big man Joe Cooper is much improved and was good for 14 points and three boards. Finally, sophomore wing Earl Peterson is an explosive athlete who is looking to score. There isn't a team in the metro with more top to bottom talent than Brad Oestreich's bunch. ... Programs in attendance Wednesday night included Purdue, Missouri State, UMKC, Columbia, Drake and several Kansas junior colleges. ...
Total games watched- 57.
Total teams watchd- 104.
Total miles traveled-- 9,301.