Scouting Notes: Super 60 Showdown 2015

Super 60 Showdown Basketball 2015 Chris Washburn

The second annual Super 60 Showdown, organized by GetMeRecruited.com, was held at Knightdale High School near Raleigh, NC on March 21 and it was a loaded event, with top talent from the state and multiple media outlets in attendance. Former NC State and NBA star Chris Washburn shared his own experiences and cautionary tales with the attending players and should be commended for not sugar coating his experiences. The event also had an informational session for parents regarding current NCAA eligibility rules.

3 point shootout winner: DeShawn Patterson (PG, 5’10, 2016) Victory Christian. Runner-up: David Caraher (SF, 6’6″, 2017) Chapel Hill HS

Dunk Contest Winner: Jashaun Smith (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2016) Garner HS

Here are my notes from the event:

Dennis Smith, Jr. (PG, 6’3″, 2016) Trinity Christian School – Coming into the event, Smith was already the likely highest rated prospect and is considered a national level recruit at this point. Thus, we no longer are determining what level (high major, mid major, etc) Smith can compete at in the collegiate game but what level of High Major recruit he is. That is to say, I don’t consider every high major player a ‘5 Star’ and even among players who can start at high major colleges there is separation between those level of players. Smith is definitely a top level 5 star player so the scouting on him is more based on what how his game will transition to college and possibly beyond.

Smith has reached the level where he should be scouted as a national prospect and that showed in this event, where he looks like he can play half-speed and still get points and assists with ease. Smith has a solid handle and size at the point guard position, deft passing, although he should probably be considered a scoring point guard with an ability to drill threes. He does make some sizzling plays with the ball and has a very strong first step. He will need to show he won’t be turnover prone when he faces the faster hands of college defenders and be able to drive and score against college zone defenses.

He is known for his explosive above-the-rim play, but at the college level that is not where guards make their mark, rather the running of the team and keeping defenses honest with his outside shooting touch. Very few college point guards are able to drive into the lane and score in the half court. Probably the best I’ve seen at the college level at that was Chris Paul, but I do like Smith’s ability to do this so far. Smith is at the ability level where playing in the NBA at some point is a possibility, but he will have to prove he can make the transition from being an elite high school player to being an elite college player and then beyond in order for that to happen. No doubt talented and athletic enough to start at some point at the PG or SG position for an elite level program. He will need to show he can get his shots off against the longer defenders in the college game and handle the heavier ball pressure as well. I see Smith as a player whose potential is an NBA player, but at this point he is where I saw Tyus Jones two years ago; he has the potential but isn’t a pro lock yet and will have to show every season going forward that he can handle higher levels of pressure/athleticism. I recall NBA scouts telling me they weren’t high on Tyus Jones in high school partly because he always looked like he was going half-speed, and I think that perception may be there for Smith as well, but he is a gamer, and has the personality to handle the scrutiny of playing at a big time program.

Edrice Adebayo (PF, 6’10”, 2016) Northside – Adebayo is also a highly sought after recruit, and watching an early match up between he and big man Iran Bennett was telling. Bennett is a pure back-to-the-basket type of center, while Adebayo has a great build but is much more of a PF who plays facing the basket. Adebayo has great size to play the PF spot and showed an ability today to hit the 15-foot jumper. He also has great footspeed driving to the basket against bigs. However, it should be noted that the matchup with Bennett definitely showed that the two players are definitely not players at the same position, as Adebayo had trouble with Bennett’s strength and size on the blocks while Bennett struggled when Adebayo pulled him away from the basket and slashed to the hoop. Adebayo can get minutes on major college programs his first year, but I think he should definitely look at a school that has the size to play him at the 4 spot.

He can play in the open court and half court equally and has great hands. He also plays above the rim and reminds me a bit of Montrezl Harrell in his attack of the rim.

Jalen Harris (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Greenfield School – Harris is a gifted slasher and ballhandler. His best asset is his first step – it’s extremely hard for defenders to stay in front of him. However, he shows a fluid release and an ability to score from outside as well. Plays as a true PG, eyes up, running the offense. Needs to add strength, but I see Harris’ potential as higher than some other scouts. He is currently rated as a LM Division I guard but I see his potential more in the MM+ range.

Sacha Killeya-Jones (PF/C, 6’10”, 2016) Virginia Episcopal School – The Virginia Cavaliers commit showed his length and agility in the post. Slender and will need to continue to add strength, but has very good passing ability in the post and a lot of upside. Length is at the elite college big man level; Killeya-Jones is one of those big men who should develop into a go-to guy at the 4 or 5 spot on offense but also add a ton of defensive length inside.

Quate McKinzie (F, 6’7″, 2016) Harrells Christian Academy – was good the last time I saw him but has improved by leaps and bounds already and colleges who watched him in the past should be keeping up. Has excellent passing skills from the SF or PF spot but has good rebounding timing and athleticism. Very good defender with length.

Aaron Cash (SF, 6’6″, 2018) Word of God – really like the potential of Cash, who has exceptional timing and athleticism on both ends of the floor. Already has the look of a college prospect at the 3 spot but plays both 3 and 4 at the high school level right now. Has heard from NC State, Syracuse and others and it’s not surprising.

Dondre Griffin (G, 6’4″, 2016) Knightdale HS – Strong guard with quick release and shooter’s mentality. Warmed up early and starting draining buckets. Whenever the defense would sag in transition, he would take advantage. Has an easy release and probably should be considered a combo guard at this point but has good size for the position. Definitely see him as a Division I guard.

Deshaun Leftwich (G, 6’3″, 2017) Trinity Christian – explosive guard who has a deadly first step and great quicks. Active in the defensive passing lanes and was able to get to the rim, but also had some excellent on ball defense.

Andrew Tuazama (F, 6’5″, 2018) Knightdale HS – Great timing on blocks and athleticism on the break. Listed as a Power Forward for Knightdale but looks more like a SF at the college level at this point.

Iran Bennett (C, 6’10”, 2016) Greater Emmanuel Prep Academy – Bennett is a space-eater big, a back to the basket post player with excellent hands and good footwork. Best in the halfcourt and a below the rim type big, he has good shot blocking timing and was hard to handle on the blocks all day. Had a nice runback block in transition. Conditioning will be a factor at the college level but a strong player who likes to mix it up in the post. Really good on the pick and roll.

Todd Smith (SG, 6’4″, 2017) Freedom Academy – good shooting form and size on the wing, one of the better shot releases I’ve seen recently.

Tavion Atkinson (SF, 6’6″, 2017) Red Springs HS- good length, active rebounder and good in transition. Was able to finish through contact and has excellent size. Was active all day and is a perimeter wing.

Cory Gensler (SG, 6’4″, 2016) Cary HS – Gensler is a pure shooting guard who uses his quick release to get up volume shots in both spot up transition opportunities and in the half court. Good rebounding timing from the SG spot and good length. Gensler averaged 24+ ppg this high school season.

Tyrique McClain (G, 6’3″, 2016) – Wayne Christian – deft handle, good size and great hesitation dribble and good crossover. Was able to put his defender on his heels with the dribble in the halfcourt.

David Caraher (SF, 6’6″, 2017) Chapel Hill HS – Butler commit, super quick hands and really at his best playing the passing lanes in the open court or on the move on the break in transition. Has a really quick release on the move and can get buckets in a hurry. Has a good handle at the SF spot and will see minutes at Butler.

DeShawn Patterson (PG, 5’10”, 2016) – Victory Christian HS – I wrote about Patterson a couple of weeks ago and he’s got one of the better handles in the state at the moment. Doesn’t turn the ball over and has a lot of flash to his game. Won the 3 point shooting contest and can play through contact. I think one somewhat overlooked aspect of Patterson’s game is his assists/TO ratio, which is through the roof. Often has double-digit assist games and averaged 5 steals per game for Victory Christian last season.

Michael Pippins (PF, 6’8″, 2016) DH Conley HS – Pippins has the look of a small forward in agility but plays in the paint and really goes hard at the rim. Above the rim post player with a lot of versatility and great hands – catches off the bounce and throws it down or takes one quick step to get inside the defender for the rim rocker.

Tahj Small (SG, 6’4″, 2017) Northern Durham HS – Active shooting guard with good length and a really nice slashing ability and showed he could finish inside. Will be even more effective as he continues to add strength.

Michael Okauru (SG, 6’4″, 2017) Ravenscroft – Okauru is known as a ‘buckets machine’ and adds instant offense to any lineup. Long, slashing shooting guard who is extremely difficult to stop on the break. I’ve rarely seen even good shot blockers be able to get to his quick shot and he uses a deft finger roll to get layups off at full speed. That said, today Okauru was usually focused on showing more passing ability, working to find teammates on cuts and was less focused on getting his own points. I note this because I think it’s important to see when players are actively working on expanding their game and it definitely seems like Okauru wasn’t as concerned with getting points, which he is known for already, but rather was using the event to get open run against high level players and work on some other areas.

Lavar Batts (PG, 6’2″, 2017) Jay M Robinson HS – Considering how much I’ve covered the region and conference where Batts plays I regret not scouting him much during this past high school season. I liked Batts since seeing him last year during the AAU/grassroots season of 2014 and his matchups with Dennis Smith, Jr. were one of the better one-one-one guard battles of the day. Batts is a full court speed demon, and makes very good decisions on the break. Handle is good and he has active defensive hands in the open court. A good pressing guard at full court and has the speed to play his man close.

Tremaine Lawrence (G/F, 6’4″, 2017) Quality Education Academy – Lawrence is a versatile perimeter player who already has an above the rim game and is good at finding gaps in the defense for the mid range. Good in both the full court and half court and moves well without the ball. Has some really nice blocks on the move in transition.

Kaleb Hunter (G, 6’4″, 2017) North Releigh Christian Academy – great defensive length and has an ability to both pass and slash to the bucket. Also has a nice touch from the mid range and I never saw him get out of control or charge the basket at the wrong time.

Devontae Shuler (G, 6’3″, 2017) Irmo HS (SC) – I’ve seen Shuler multiple times and he was one of the best looking guards today, right along with Smith and Harris. Shuler is very fast end-to-end and gets right to the rim and is very effective in open court chaos. Has an attacking mentality and when the defense is out of sorts or doesn’t sprint back after a basket, Shuler is the type of guard who will run up their backs and score. Really solid player with a lot of interest and could have a breakout AAU season.

Justice Kithcart (PG, 6’2″, 2016) Virginia Episcopal School – Kithcart is a player who I’ve liked for a while and was not surprised to see his recruitment pick up heavily this year. Was hitting threes early but was playing off the ball much of the day and wasn’t able to showcase his floor general skills quite as much, but Kithcart is a competitor who takes on any matchup and will add toughness to a college roster.

Tyler Creammer (C, 6’11”, 2016) The Miller School – Creammer is often lauded for his stellar GPA (4.7!) but he continues to develop into a solid big man with great hands and excellent decision making. Rarely have I seen Creammer make a bad choice with the ball or pass, runs the floor hard and passes well from the post. Has continued to get stronger and is a back-to-the-basket big on both ends.

Ian Boyd (PG, 6’3″, 2016) Apex HS – I feel like Boyd continues to be one of the more underrated guards in the state, and has improved his floor general skills over the past year. He already has great physical tools and control, finds players with the pass but can also drive and finish in traffic in the lane. Boyd holds offers from Division I schools for football, but isn’t sure which direction he wants to go (football or basketball) at this point, and I think that schools may be holding off thinking he’s a lock for football. That said, I still see him as a really solid college prospect as a guard and is already bigger than many college guards with another year to go before graduation.

Jashuan Smith (SF, 6’5″, 2016) Garner HS – highlight reel dunker with a high motor and definitely some upside. Great end-to-end player and has elite athleticism that will serve him well at the next level. Was tending to fade on his shots today but was able to find open spots in half court and has a very high release and good elevation that is hard to defend.

J.J. Smith (SG, 6’5″, 2017) EE Smith HS – I have to give the nod to our fellow scout Charles Clark on J.J. Smith, who Charles saw as a Division I guard long before Smith had gotten any college offers. Explosive shooting guard with big time collegiate athleticism and size. Already has a good build and is a high octane, full court beast who likes to finish above the rim.

Greyson Kelley (G, 6’2, 2016) North Raleigh Christian Academy – I will be blunt; Kelley is one of the most underrated guards in the state, but I understand why. On one hand, Kelley is not overlooked, as most regional scouts include him as one of the top 60 or 80 players in the state of NC regardless of class. However, Kelley is an undersized combo guard who doesn’t have the ‘sizzle reel’ game of high flying guards or elite passers. That said, I have seen Kelley now in multiple environments – open gym, AAU, high school and showcases – and I’ve never seen him not flat out ball. That sounds like slang, but it’s the only way to describe his game. Open court steals, stop-and-pop shots on the run, circus moves in traffic to finish, no look precision passes to the perfect open teammate, he just always makes a play even when it seems there’s nothing there. The reality is that right now he’s more of a scoring guard with a good handle and good passing, but I think he’s the kind of player where some college will get a steal who will be great on their roster for four years.

Ian Steere (PF, 6’8″, 2018) Village Christian – I’ve seen Steere in the past and have seen his monster dunks in transition before; today was looking to hit the 18 footer and although he was inconsistent early, his release is really solid and he started clicking with his shot as the games progressed. Has a great build and I really like his upside. As a power forward he’s got great game facing the basket and should develop into a difficult player to guard at the 4 spot.

Eyisi Brown (C, 6’10”, 2018) Quality Education Academy – The big name post players coming into the day were Iran Bennett and Edrice Adebayo, but I have seen Brown in the past and I think he is a high major big man who is active, agile and runs the floor like a small forward. One of the most mobile big men I’ve seen at the high school level in some time. Absolutely runs the pick and roll to perfection and has excellent rebounding timing. I will definitely be watching Brown more this year as I think he could play in any conference and be effective.

Blake Harris (G, 6’3″, 2017) Carlisle School – Quick and has a nice ability to weave through traffic with the dribble in the half court. Does tend to show the ball a little too much with the dribble and will need to improve that at the college level. Nice passing vision and is at his best when putting pressure on the D with his dribble, while simultaneously looking for the open man when the defense adjusts. Want to reiterate that point here: Harris puts the ball on the floor, drives into the gaps of the defense in the half court set, and is actively looking because he knows the defense is going to scramble to cover and leave someone open, and he hits that player with the pass.

Isaiah Whaley (F/C, 6’9″, 2017) Ashbrook HS – Good athlete and has the size but would like to see him become more assertive in the post. Should continue to improve in this area and is a very mobile big man.

Emmanuel Ugboh (C, 6’10”, 2016) Elite Prep – Ogboh is a force in the paint and once he gets a hand on the ball he never loses it. Good outlet passer and has good power in the post.

DaShawn Corprew (G, 6’3″, 2016) Quality Education Academy – A late addition to the event but always a gamer who makes things happen with the pass or dribble. Athletic guard with size and the handle to play point or shooting guard.

Want more scouting notes? You can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, right this second @m_shockley

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