KU head coach Bill Self joined assistant coach Joe Dooley fresh off a redeye from Las Vegas. Self arrived in town just in time to see the end of pool play and the beginning of 17U bracket play.
Mikael Hopkins - 6-8 - Team Takeover
Kansas has had a close eye on Hopkins and Dooley and Self each watched
a half of Hopkins matchup with Jackson Tigers big man Johnny O'Bryant.
Hopkins for sure got the best of Bryant in this one blocking his shot a
couple of times in the first quarter alone. Hopkins is the better
leaper while O'Bryant is the wider and stronger body of the two.
Hopkins makes such a difference in the middle for Team Takeover...his
presence is known. I think he will be high and is high on the KU wish
list. Self watched part of one game and all of the second game of the
Johnny O'Bryant - 6-8 - Jackson Tigers
O'Bryant's team ended up 0-3 and thus got bounced from the 17U
Showcase. He didn't quite elevate enough and as a result Hopkins was
able to block his shot. He still is a big body to handle but I'm just
not sure he had enough support especially against a team as talented as
Austin Rivers - 6-4 - E1T1 Elite
Rivers again featured his driving ability and showed he can get hot at
any time from long range. Austin has the ability to make a crowd gasp
more than any other player at this tournament. His breakdown ability
off the dribble is something to marvel. Like I said, the shot is
streaky and can be inconsistent but you love a guy that can get his
shot off anytime he wants. I'm impressed with how solid he is driving
and doing it in either direction with equal success.
Trevor Lacey - 6-2 -E1T1 Elite
Lacy continued his solid play. The only thing that might separate him
from a high major level player and a mid major level player is his up
and down speed. He can elevate and he can shoot it but I wonder if he
has the full court speed he would need. Still love his game and how
hard he plays.
Ben McLemore - 6-5 - St. Louis Eagles
Sunday McLemore featured the consistency from long range hitting a
couple of threes. He just doesn't make many mistakes as he and his
teammates took out DaJuan Coleman and the Albany City Rocks to go 3-0
in pool play. KU head coach Bill Self was on hand for both of the
Eagles games on Sunday.
DaJuan Coleman - 6-8 - Albany City
Got to see Coleman play a couple of times in the last couple of days.
He's a load down low. He has a knack for grabbing a slew of rebounds
but at 280 he just doesn't possess the lift to be a terrific finisher -
yet. You will find him always working hard in the trenches and
somewhere near each and every rebound down low. His body alone forces
you to contend with him.
Perry Ellis 6-7- PPP Basketball
Ellis team was bounced from their pool finishing third. PPP was forced
to play in the Copper bracket after a disappointing loss in the morning
session against the Long Island Lightning. Bad news about that is when
you play in the Copper you get sent to offsite locations making it
tougher for coaches to attend. Joe Dooley made the trek for Perry's
offsite afternoon game while he and Self watched the 8am game.
Ellis had his shot working in this one. Its a pretty stroke and its
really tough to avoid the Marcus Morris comparisons in my head. This
kid is super smooth in all that he does. He knows how to handle and
manage his athleticism and is always under control. After dribbling
into a triple team he calmly split two defenders and dished outside but
he never panics. There a ton of guys who can jump but I can't imagine
there's too many players with as quick a second jump as Ellis.
Player of the Day
Still so tough not to talk about St. Louis Eagles star Bradley Beal.
Beal is such a special player and he is surrounded by solid teammates
but it is hard not to find yourself watching Beal and how he operates
on the court. Everything he does is so smooth including his outside
shot but yet he possesses the power to get to the rim and take the hit
while finishing the play - and he doesn't with either hand. He's a
special kid for sure and I've enjoyed two years of watching him play in
In the last couple of days in Orlando there have been blowouts and surprisingly closely contested…