The Upward Stars 16u took a decisive win in one of two featured games.
The Queen City Showcase opened with a bang at the new Carolina Courts facility in Concord, NC, with dozens of college coaches in attendance, several high profile players and many more who are quickly showing they have potential at the next level. Spotted at the event were South Carolina’s Frank Martin, as well as coaches from VMI, SC State, UNC Pembroke, Lenoir-Rhyne, North Carolina A&T, UNC Asheville, Harvard and many others.
Operated by 6th Man Basketball, the Queen City Showcase is a solid AAU event, and space is limited, with several high quality teams available to scout. This year, several games were streamed live over the web by Augusta Basketball, and those guys did a great job, even providing commentary during the games in what can only be described as a marathon session for voice man Chad Cook, who also coaches the Augusta Eagles. Chad takes great pains to get players’ information and names correct, and humbly provides some of the most professional AAU broadcasting that we’ve encountered.
Basketball Elite sponsored two streamed games this year, and provided some color commentary the Upward Stars 16u vs. Swish City Elite, which you can watch at this link. Day two’s featured game was a match up between two high-octane teams, the Upward Stars 17s vs. the CP3 17u, which you can watch here.
Even with three Basketball Elite scouts in attendance at the event, it is impossible to watch even half of the games going on. This is the reality of basketball recruiting, that even playing in a good event, with college coaches in the building, good teams and during a live evaluation period, doesn’t mean players will even be seen.
Here are a few of our notes from the event:
P.J. Dozier (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2015) – Upward Stars 16u – Very long guard with a fluid stroke and nice crossover. Already has an offer from Kansas and is definitely a solid high major prospect. Will need to get stronger but is only a rising sophomore, so has a high ceiling. True combo guard, can run the point and team effectively, with poise, but also a scoring threat.
Trey Mitchell (SG, 6’5″, 2013) – Charlotte Jets (South) – Mitchell is currently ranked as our No.2 shooting guard in the state for his class, and he still impressed in this event. Quick, long and with a high motor, Mitchell is a tough-minded player who always keeps a cool head on the court but is active all over the floor. He constantly is involved, whether it’s finding open players on the break, defending multiple positions or scoring. Can play above the rim. Mitchell needs to get stronger but is poised for a breakout year at Olympic HS (Charlotte, NC).
Josh Dominguez (SG, 6’4″, 2013) – Charlotte Jets (South) – Dominguez has offers from UNCG, Hampton and Liberty, and is definitely a Division I shooting guard. Good size and an ability to score from deep or slashing to the basket, Dominguez is a player who will continue to get more and more college offers. Also extremely effective in transition, but doesn’t leak out early. Is often out on the break fast enough to be a target, and when he catches the ball at full speed, he’ll finish either on the move or with a dunk.
Kingsley Okoroh (C, 7′, 2014) – Upward Stars 16u – Kingsley hails from England and played last season at Findlay Prep. Still working on his overall conditioning, he has a big frame and great length. A good shot blocker with excellent hands, Okoroh is a likable personality who has physical tools that aren’t easy to come by. Okoroh’s size and athletic ability make him a mobile big man, and there’s no other way to say it – he could be a pro prospect if he continues to add muscle, works on his footwork in the post and improves his ability to run the floor.
Tony Nunn (C, 6’8″, 2013) – Upward Stars 17u – Nunn continues to show that he’s a banger in the paint, effective on the putbacks and crashing the boards. Still dropping weight, he’s lighter on his feet and running the floor better, but still needs to improve in his overall conditioning. Long and likes contact. Committed to North Texas.
Sidy Mohammad-Djitte (C, 6’10”, 2013) – Upward Stars 17u – Mohommad-Djitte is a big man with upside. Right now most effective as a shot blocker and has good rebounding timing, but still needs to add strength to help him box out more effectively. He does understand positioning on the blocks and can get putback points. Still needs work on his footwork but runs the floor very well and is a fluid player.
Trevor Anderson (PG, 6’1″, 2015) A solid prospect in the NC 2015 class already, Anderson is a savvy point guard who plays well in a high octane game or in the half court. Strongest asset is his awareness and look ahead passing ability. Players who run the floor hard with Anderson should be ready to get the ball no matter where he is on the floor. He wants to burn the defense, but understands when not to throw the deep pass. Can finish with contact and is a solid ballhandler. Holds an offer from Cal Poly, which is just the beginning.
Sam Hunt (PG/SG, 6′, 2013) – CP3 17u – Hunt continues to be a player with heavy college interest (and offers) while simultaneously being one of the better players under the radar in the southeast. Our rankings have Sam as the second-ranked point guard in NC for his class right now, a player with good strength and an ability to score the ball even against elite talent. Definitely more combo guard than pure point, Sam can finish with contact and plays very well at full speed.
Emmanuel Patton (PF, 6’5″, 2013) – Charlotte Jets (North) A good showing by Patton with him proving he can play a tweener SF/PF, although undersized at the four spot. Has an improved midrange and is very active, has a good build that looks like he will add to over time. Good hands. Needs consistency on his shot follow through and tends to fade on his shot, but has a high release and can score on the move. Has good timing on rebounds.
Steven Burrough (C, 6’8″, 2013) – Charlotte Jets (North) – Burrough is a player we’ve been tracking for some time and he continues to show improvement and big man skill. Big time shot blocker, solid frame and good rebounder. He is a post player and needs to work on developing go-to moves in the post but a solid prospect at the LM/MM level.
Sindarius Thornwell (SG, 6’4″, 2013) At the very least, Thornwell should already be in the discussion for regional all star games, and maybe more. He showed his versatility, and an ability to score on the move. He is most effective in transition, and needs to improve his handle some, but definitely a big time prospect.
Aaron Linton (PG, 5’7″, 2013) – Charlotte Jets (North) – a lightning fast point guard who even can step around some of the fastest guards at the event. Solid ballhandler. Issues for Linton are his overall decision making, especially at full speed, and his size. However, he has the jets and handle that make him exciting – he just has to improve on his “floor general” skills.
L.J. Peak (SG, 6’4″, 2013) Peak is a shooting guard with good size and build and can finish with contact. Squares up well on his shot. Definitely a DI prospect and high octane athlete. He will need to continue to add strength but already has a decent build. Can create his own shot off of the dribble and is effective attacking in transition.
Justin McKie (SG, 6’5″, 2013) Active on both ends of the floor and moves well without the ball. Can be explosive, had a nice tomahawk jam in traffic among other highlight plays. Still working on overall consistency.
Bradley Fisher (C, 7’0″, 2014) Ran the floor well and was active. Has a good frame and length but needs to add strength and use it to establish himself in the paint. Had some nice baby hooks around the basket. Will be much more effective with more muscle.