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John Lucas All Star Weekend
By Invitation Only
3rd - 8th Grade Boys and Girls
*Tournament Fee: $495.00
|| February 13, 2015|
February 15, 2015
This is our Annual John Lucas All-Star Weekend Tournament, February 14th through 16th, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The All-Star Weekend Tournament showcases teams from all over the country and beyond. It is open to boys
and girls of all age divisions, this tournament offers a platform to take your team's skills to the next level.
This tournament is being designed to change location each year so that more teams have an opportunity
|• 3 Game guarantee|
• Team and Individual Awards given to 1st and 2nd place teams
• Team check in Friday February 13, 2015
• Coaches there will be a small hospitality meal on the night of team check in
• All games will start on Saturday
*TEAM CONFIRMATION IS NOT CONFIRMED UNTIL PAYMENT IS RECEIVED
Double Tree by Hilton Hotels in New Orleans Airport
2150 Veterans Blvd
Group Name: John Lucas All Star Weekend
Group Code: JLA
CHECK IN: Fri, Feb 14, 2014
CHECK OUT: Sun, Feb 16, 2014
SPECIAL RATE AVAILABLE UNTIL: Jan. 15, 2014
2 Double Beds Non-Smoking
Rate: $199.00 night /plus taxes
RATES above include a light breakfast in private JLE room
To make reservations use link below or call 1-800-222-TREE (8733) and reference JLA
HoopscoutingWritten by: Tate Johnson Feb 20, 2014
The 2nd Annual John Lucas All-Star Weekend Tournament was another great success. The event had some of the top 8th grade and under AAU teams in the south. The event was held at the prestigious Alario Center in New Orleans. It was a well ran tournament and a special mention of John Lucas, Miss Lynn Meadows (tournament director) and the whole John Lucas staff. The games were on time and the competition was definitely intense. The 'We All Can Go All Stars' program out of Nashville, TN had a dominant weekend but were definitely tested and know their some elite teams on their heels. Below is just a few of the standout performers of the weekend.
Marvin Bagley 6'8 Pheonix, AZ (We All Can Go) I'm still somewhat confused on Marvin. He has a chance to be a very special player. He showed when tested this weekend he can rise to the occasion and show why many have picked him top payer in the class. The problem is when not tested he seemed bored and just went through the motions. He has all the tools to be a major impact as a freshman on his high school team next year.
Camron Jordan 6' Nashville, TN (WACG) He the motor that makes this team go. He controls the tempo of the game and knows when he needs to take over. He put constant pressure on the ball and has the quickness to stay in front of quicker, smaller guards.
Kevin Easley 6'6 Indianapolis, IN (WACG) He rebounds well, has very good touch around the basket and continued to knock down the open jumper through the weekend. He plays with more intensity then Bagley and if rubs off, this front line could wind up very, very special.
Demonty Dickson 6'5 Nashville, TN (WACG) He may be the least polished of all the big men on this squad, but he plays hard and not afraid to get physical. You can tell his still in the early learning stage and has a promising upside. The player that most intrigues me on this squad.
Mark Freeman 5'8 Memphis, TN (WACG) Mark is the spark plug on the team. He always seems to hit the big shot. He plays with one motor and that's fast. He has great on ball defender skills. He definitely has that Memphis toughness.
Javonte Smith 6'4 Metairie, LA (ATR) This a very special player. He almost single handily led his team to the championship. He has all the tools you want in a great combo guard. He has excellent pace, great vision and range on his jump shot. He's one of the best defenders I've see in his class. He will be making major moves in the future.
Ladarius Marshall 6'5 Jackson, MS (MBA Hoops) Ladarius started the weekend a little slow, but in the semifinal loss to WACG his total arsenal was on display. He was a terror on defense contesting shots, he was attacking the glass and his jump shot from deep was on. His team was under manned this weekend and he tried to put them on his back. When full strength MBA Hoops has a chance to be a force this spring and summer.
Michael Barber 6'5 Jackson, MS (MBA Hoops) He has and unorthodox offensive game and his skills are a work in progress but he seems to get the job done. He plays extremely hard and has a great motor.
Reggie Chaney 6'5 Plano Texas (Team Texas Elite) Has a good combination of athleticism and sizes. He needs to improve laterally quickness to guard perimeter players better.
Russell Bartlet 6'7 Plano Tx (Team Texas Elite) He's improved his body and offense is a work in progress. Defensively he needs to get tougher and establish himself in the paint.
Terrance Joseph 6'3 New Orleans (New Orleans Elevate) he plays with great intensity and energy and always seems to be around the ball. Must improve ball handling and outside shooting to take his game to another level.
Antoine Davis 5'11 Houston, TX (Houston Hoops) He's still in the learning process of being a PG. He made some good passes and some bad ones. His ball handling getting better and his shot is still money. The more he plays the position the better he'll get.
Joshua LeBlanc 6'6 Baton Rouge, LA (Houston Hoops) He was easily one of the better long term prospects this weekend. He has long arms, plays hard and good skill set and coordination for his size. The best is yet to come.
Tamir Bynum 5'10 Houston, tx (Houston Hoops) He's a well built guard from originally from Phili. He's not quite PG but has the tools to become a good one.
Byson Etienne 5'11 Houston, Tx (Gulf Coast Bluechips) He has a knack for getting buckets. He has college range on his jumper and has the ability to create his own shot at this level. It will be interesting to see how his game adjust next year in high school.
Brock Cunningham 6'5 Austin, TX (NAOE Bulldawgz) He wasn't athletic but just knows how to play. He was decent ball handler, had good post moves and was an excellent passer. It always seemed like he made the right decisions.
Jamari Mosley 6'6 Atlanta, Ga (Atlanta Celtics) he has good hands, physical and not scared to mix it up.
Nobal Days 6'8 Milwaukee, WI (Caron Butler) The young fella from Milwaukee has tons of promise. He's long athletic, patient and runs the floor. He contest shots on defense and keeps the ball in play. He never seemed to get rattled in the post, which is very unusual for a big man his age. He has a great upside.
Michael Salter 6' Chicago, IL (We All Can Go) He's a typical Chicago PG, he loves to attack the basket and handles the ball on the string. He's a tenacious defender who can make it along day when you go up against him. He has a decent mid range shot but needs to work on deeper range to keep defenders honest. He's was by far the catalyst for one of the best 7th grade teams on the circuit.
Jayden Davis 5'9 Houston, TX (Gulf Coast Blue Chips) he's a strong built PG that gets to paint and creates his own shot. He rebounds the ball well for PG and is a good on ball defender.
Keimon Capers 6'3 Houston, TX (Gulf Coast Bluechips) he's long, developing forward with lots of promise.
Brandon Davis 5'9 Nashville, TN (We All Can Go) he's a quick Litel guard, makes open shots and great in transition. He's a very good on ball defender.
Khalil Bradley 5'0 Atlanta, GA (Worldwide Wildcats) Khalil game is just plain smooth. He plays with great pace for such a young age. He was always under control and directed the team. He continuously made positive plays when I watched him play.
Zion Harmon 5'2 (5th grade) Washington, DC (Team Glory) Him and Bradley were the two most impressive players in the 6th grade division for me. Then I was told Zion was a 5th grader (WOW), my impression took another leap. For such a young age he's the total package. Teams tried to double and sometime triple team him and that didn't always work. I can't wait to watch lil mans development over the next few years.
Kennedy Chandler 5'1(5th grader) Memphis, TN (Memphis War Eagles) He has the complete game. He can hit the floater in the lane and also knock down from deep. He has outstanding ball handling skills and seems to always find the open man. Along with Walker could be the best one two punch in the south.
Kyree Walker 6'2 Atlanta, GA (Memphis War Eagles) Kyree has a chance to be special. He has all the tools and drive to be scary in the future. He has good touch, a great motor and a good feel for the game. He's already an all windex performer. His dads 6'10 and his grandfather 6'9, if he reaches either those heights, he will be dangerous.
Chris Martin 5'9 Beaumont, TX (SETX Heat) Chris is a unique talent. He plays with a lot of passion and is tough as nails. He handled the ball, he attacked the basket and was a terror on the boards. Once he gets more discipline on and off the court his game should take a nice leap.
Jayden Springer 5'8 Charlotte, NC (WACG) Jayden is a stud, all weekend he scored at will. He was totally unstoppable. He was so dominant around the basket it wasn't fair. In the future he'll need to refine his game, but with his work ethic that shouldn't be a problem.
Cruz Davis 4'10 Plano, TX (D-1Basketball) This lefty was a killer all weekend. He controlled all the games I watched him play and hit big shot after big shot. He led his team to a come from behind victory in the championship game. It was great to see a kid this young refuse to let his team lose. I usually don't get excited about kids this young but he had me highly impressed.
Camron Amboree 5'1 Houston, TX (Gulf Coast Bluechips) Camron played exceptionally well all weekend and helped carry his team to the championship. He just ran out of gas in the championship game. He has exceptional handles and a sweet stroke. He has a very nice upside and should have some good spurts ahead of him.
Marvin Bagley & Plethora of Great Young Talent Highlight John Lucas All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, LAWritten by: Clark Francis February 18, 2014
The John Lucas All-Star Weekend, which was held over the weekend at the Alario Center in New Orleans, LA, was totally dominated by the We All Can Go All-Stars, which had a team in the Championship Game in four of the five age groups and left with a 2-2 record in the title games. However, even more important for our purposes, we got to see 6’8 8th Grader Marvin Bagley from Phoenix, AZ, who is one of the top two-ranked players nationally in his class, along with 5’1 8th GraderChase Adams from Chicago, IL, play a number of times and there is no doubt that he has the size, skills, and athleticism necessary to evolve into a superstar someday at the highest level. He is a thoroughbred in transition, has excellent moves and is explosive around the basket, has a good nose for the ball, gets more than his share of rebounds, and is a terrific shot blocker. He also had 16 points in his team’s 57-49 win over ATR-Xplosion in the Championship Game and was the clear choice for tournament MVP honors.
However, Bagley also has a tendency to not play hard, often is too emotional, and he left us wanting a lot more when we saw him score just five points against the Texas Ballhawks in the 3:35 PM game on Saturday afternoon. So, while Tyson Chandler comparisons for Bagley may be in order, it is cleat that the debate also rages on with regard to who is the best player nationally in the Class of 2018. And, believe it or not, a number of people that we talked with over the weekend who have seen both players play7actually give the nod to Adams over Bagley.. Obviously it’s like comparing apples and oranges, but Adams has such a high basketball IQ, is such a great floor general, and is such a tremendous competitor. All he lacks is size and he still has plenty of time to grow.
Bagley also had plenty of help, as the We All Can Do Allstars also featured 6’6 8th Grader Kevin Easley from Indianapolis IN, 6’0 8th Grader Camron Jordan from Nashville, TN, 6’5 8th GraderDemonty Dickson from Nashville, TN, 5’8 8th Grader Mark Freeman from Memphis, TN, and 6’4 8th Grader T.J. Moss from Memphis, TN. Easley and Jordan are ranked #34 and #37 nationally in the senior class by the HOOP SCOOP and they had 13 points and 11 rebounds respectively in the Championship Game. The former also provided the perfect complement to Easley with his size, quickness, athleticism, and explosiveness to the basket and the latter impressed us with ability to do a little bit of everything, as he got to the basket, knocked outsides shots, had good ball handling and passing skills, and was quick-on-quick in this tempo setting. Dickson has a tendency to be a bit mechanical, but he has good hands, tremendous length, and showed some flashes with his ability to rebound and score around the basket. However, it’s Dickson’s upside and potential and likelihood that he will continue to grow (his mother is a tall as he is and he’s really sprouted up in the last year) that makes him such an intriguing prospect. Freeman is an athletic combo guard with good ball handling and passing skills, the ability to knock down the outside shot, and the speed and quickness necessary to be a good defender . What Moss does best is slash to the basket, but he also has a tendency to be too quick for his own good and, at times, he also can be turnover prone.
Another one of the top players in the entire event was 6’4 8th Grader Javonte Smith from Metairie, LA and he almost singlehandedly was the reason why his team was able to knock off Team Texas Elite in the semi-finals. We’re talking about a true combo guard, because he has the size and ball handing and passing skills necessary to be a match-up problem at the point guard spot and the world-class athleticism and the outside shooting necessary to be a big time 2-guard. We’re not sure if he just ran out of gas or whether the We All Can Go All-Stars just had too many weapons, but Smith only had six points in the Championship Game. However, that won’t stop us from touting him among the top 20 players nationally in his class even though his name currently is no where to be found on our List of the Top 175 Players Nationally in the Class of 2018.
As for Team Texas Elite, they had four players that we need to mention in 6’6 8th Grader Reggie Chaney from Plano, TX, 6’8 8th Grader Russell Barlow from Plan, TX, 6’4 8th Grader David Ward from Plano, TX, and 5’11 8th Grader Antonio Davis from Houston, TX. Chaney is another guy who has to move way up in our national rankings (currently he checks in at #49 our list of the top players in this class) due to his big time athleticism, excellent motor, aggressiveness on the boards, and ability to finish around the basket. He also showed that he can step out and hit the mid-range shot, but his bread-and-butter is using his quickness around the basket and he likely will continue to grow, which makes him ideally suited to a big time power forward prospect at the college level. Barlow is a pure post man and he is very fluid and athletic around the basket, as he blocks more than his share of shots, is a strong defender, and is very aggressive on the boards. Ward is like a jack-of-all-trades, but a master-of-none right now. On the other hand, he’s multi-dimensional enough and has the size and the ball handling and passing skills necessary to play anywhere from the one to the four spot and he’s got the talent necessary to evolve into a very good player. Davis is a high energy athletic combo guard who has improved dramatically in the last year. He’s also a coach’s son, but he’s more of slasher than a facilitator and, as a result, it will be interesting to see if he grows and how his game continues to evolve as he continues to advance to a high level.
The fourth team in the final four of this age group was MBA Hoops and this team featured a terrific one-two punch in 6’5 8th Grader Ladarius Marshall from Jackson, MS and 6’5 8th Grader Michael Barber from Jackson, MS, who are ranked #10 and #14 nationally in the Class of 2018 respectively and did a great job of matching up athletically against a number of the aforementioned players even though they lost to Team Texas Elite in pool play on Saturday night and the We All Can Go Allstars in the semi-finals Sunday evening. Marshall is a raw athletic post player, but his skill level improves each tine we see him, he is aggressive on the boards and is tough to stop in the low post, and he surprised everybody when he stepped outside and knocked down a 15-jump shot a key momentagainst the We Can All Go Allstars in the title game. Right now Barber is more of a four than a three, as he thrives in transition, is explosive to the basket, and has a tendency to bring the house down with a number of electrifying dunks. However, he also showed that he can get his own shot and his club team coachOmhar Carter has a successful track record of getting inside guys to make the transition out to the perimeter. Unfortunately for MBA Hoops, their best outside shooter, 6’4 8th Grader Zachary Willisfrom Madison (H.S.) MS, was slowed early in the tournament by a sprained ankle injury and several of their other top players were not in attendance this weekend, which made it was only a matter time before they got blown out in the semi-finals against the We All Can Go AllStars.
Several other players that we wanted to mention in this age group are 6’1 8th Grader Elijah Parquetfrom Sour Lake, TX, 6’5 8th Grader Brock Cunningham from Austin, TX, and 6’6 8th GraderJoshua LeBlanc from Houston, TX. Parquet is an athletic 2-guard who shoots the three, has good ball handling and passing skills for his position, and is explosive in transition. Cunningham is a skilled multi-dimensional white kid with a high basketball IQ, good ball handling and passing skills for somebody his size, the versatility necessary to play both inside and outside, and the talent necessary to be the guy who totally carried his team. LeBlanc is a fluid slashing athletic wing with good size and he was at his best in an up tempo setting.
The two best players in the 7th Grade Division were 6’8 7th Grader Nobal Days from Racine, WI and 6’1 7th Grader Michael Salter from Chicago, IL and, ironically, their teams played against one another in the Championship Game. And the big reason why Butler Elite was able to emerge with the victory in a game that was not as close as the 58-49 final score might indicate was the inside presence of Days, who clearly was the best shot blocker/intimidator in the entire event. He’s also extremely long and agile in the post, has great hands, runs the court, dunks in transition, and just turned 13-years-old. He will need to get bigger and stronger physically, but he’s also got a great nose for the ball, is active on the boards, and he has no idea just how good he is right now or how good he may become. And to make this story even more refreshing, he also has that competitive edge and we’re talking about one of the top players nationally in his class, as he’s only just beginning to tap into his vast upside and potential. Salter is a skilled point guard with incredible length, great ball handling and passing skills, and the explosiveness necessary to beat most defenders off the dribble, He does need to develop more of an outside shooter’s mentality, but he has exceptional moves to the basket, tremendous court savvy, and a very high basketball IQ. He also was one of the top prospects that we saw in the entire event and clearly is one of the top players nationally in his class.
The best player in the 6th Grade Division was 5’2 5th Grader Zion Harmon from Washington, DC and, believe it or not, he was playing up a year in class and still was the guy with the most poise and the highest basketball IQ on the court every time we saw his team play. He not only has great ball handling and passing skills, but he handles pressure extremely well, is explosive in transition, has great moves to the basket, rebounds well for his size, and can knock down the outside shot even though he is much more of playmaker than an outside shooter. We also want to mention 5’0 6th Grader Khalil Bradleyfrom Atlanta, GA and 6’2 6th Grade Kyree Walker from Atlanta, GA. Walker was the best player on the Memphis War Eagles and he has long arms, big feet, great hands, good skills, and big time athleticism. He also is an excellent rebounder and he is expected to grow another eight to 10 inches, which means he likely will end up someday being in the 6’10 or 6’11 range. Bradley was the tough heady point guard on the Worldwide Wildcats and he did a great job making his those around him better as he led his team to an impressive 52-39 victory over the We All Can Go Allstars in the 6th Grade Division.
The best player in the 5th Grade Division was 5’8 5th Grader Jayden Springer from Charlotte, NC and it looks like he is a chip-off-the-old-block, as, just like his father (former Iona star Gary Springer), this kid is exceptional at getting to the basket and he does everything well except knock down the outside shot. He also was good enough to put his team on his back with 18 points in the first half and lead his team to an impressive 51-42 win over YBE Elite in the Championship Game. The best player in the 3rd and 4th Grade Division was 4’10 4th Grader Cruz Davis from Plano, TX and he was the catalyst behind his team’s 38-35 overtime win over Gulf Coast Bluechips in the Championship Game. Davis has unbelievable skills and poise for somebody so young and he’s quick off the dribble, can beat you with his moves to the basket and outside shooting, and also is his team’s best defensive player. He also has a great feel for the game, a high basketball IQ, does a great job of making those around him better, and is good enough to be ranked as the top player nationally in his class, if and when we decide to publish a 4th Grade list.
Girlz Prep ReportWritten by: Simmie Colson Feb 17, 2014
Lucas being more innovative for #AllStarWeekend
I've been rolling with John Lucas covering the girl's side of whatever event he's doing and he blew me away with this one. Not only did the South Texas Hoyas come away with a nice trophy, they also won championship rings. I don't know what's popping up next but I'll be at the 60/60 Camp in Duncanville.
WESTWEGO, Louisiana- The line just keeps getting longer on the John Lucas events I’m covering on the girl’s side and one thing that has remained constant is that I’m steadily identifying talented players that I hadn’t before. This go round, my travels had me in Louisiana at the Alario Center, a place I am all too familiar having traveled there numerous times over the past 10 years to observe some of the top players in the country. What I saw at the John Lucas All Star Weekend were some very exciting young players, in fact a couple of the top prospects in the 2020 class who are on the fast track to maybe even MDAA. I’ve mentioned most of the players and all of the teams throughout the blog, there was over fifty talented young ladies who have their destiny in their hands and here are a few that simply stood out
Khaitlyn Gavidel-guard-South Texas Hoyas- Ghavidel is becoming more than just a three point shooter who simply strives to be the best she can be. Her six three’s in the semi’s and three from bta isn’t what impressed the most, it was her improved defense and ability to attack from the wing.
Dynah Jones-point guard-Elevate New Orleans-Jones simply amazed me, not only from what she did on the court but she did numerous times after being injured and coming back. She knows how to score but more importantly understands at an early age how to run a team
Kourtney Weber-wing-Elevate New Orleans-Weber is a physical specimen at a young age incorporating size and strength along with being relentless while attacking. She can rebound as well as handle it coast to coast. Once she realizes how good she is, watch out in a big way.
Megan Wilkinson-guard-GTE Red Elite-I knew she was a player last season, simply put "ice water runs through her veins" as nothing fazes her. She has a stroke, trust me and she is going to be one of those pressure players that will come up big many times.
Simran Mayfield-point guard-GTE Red Elite- Like Jones, Mayfield caught my eye off the top because I love watching PG's that understand the game at an early age. She also showed she could get anywhere on the floor and set up her teammates. She handled the press effectively without being flustered.
Arianna Cooks-wing-Louisiana Blue Chips-Long and athletic, Cooks was worth me going to Louisiana is what I tweeted. Her athleticism is through the roof; she has good skills and understands the game. Tremendous upside will have numerous colleges calling.
Dynah McZeal-guard-Baton Rouge Lady Tigers-I’m almost ready to put McZeal in the scorers category because she simply found ways to put the ball in the basket. Size was a deterrent as she got to the basket whenever. Nice arsenal of weapons at a young age.
Alynzia Morris-post-Baton Rouge Lady Tigers-The more I watched Morris against the different, I saw she “got it.” Good hands and footwork are a plus at any age but her strength enabled her to finish with contact and no matter how hard the contact was, she kept coming.
Ta’Niya Jackson-guard-South Texas Hoyas-Jackson has been working and her mentality is going to make her a star. She was simply everywhere on both ends of the court, scoring almost every way imaginable while being one of the top defenders during the event.
Ana Rodriguez-point guard-HTX Fire- This young lady keeps getting better and what keeps impressing me is that she’s getting it done against older, stronger and more athletic kids but she’ll be bringing the heat once everything is level because she knows the game.
Deyonna Gaston-post-HTX Fire- Gaston is ultra-athletic as a sixth grader, if you don’t understand, remember her name. She’s hard to handle in the paint, she can score from the wing, midrange and long ball. How can you hold her, oh she’s six feet.
De’ja Kelly-whatever-South Texas Hoyas- Kelly simply goes off when she has too, she can attack and finish with either hand, can hit step back three’s which sometimes are fours because defenders fall for it. I list her as 'whatever' because she plays all five positions. She rebounds defends, she definitely has 'IT'
2014 John Lucas All-Star Weekend: Breakout PerformersWritten by: Chuck Lawson Feb 20, 2014
As the beautifully renovated Smoothie King Center hosted the 2014 NBA All-Star festivities in The Big Easy over the weekend, not far down the road, John Lucas All-Star Weekend showcased an excellent regional field of youth hoops talent.
As always, the six-court Alario Center proved to be an ideal venue to evaluate multiple high-level teams and prospects under one roof. The following players took advantage of the stage in a big way.
Coverage begins with the current eighth grade class, as we highlight our selections in the 'Standout Performers' category.
Marvin Bagley III, 2018 F, WACG All-Stars: Bagley's athleticism has increased since last season, evidenced by the one and two-handed lobs he threw down all weekend. He demonstrated more confidence putting the ball on the floor, looking comfortable operating in tight spaces off the bounce, and attacking from the wing and high post. The game is too easy at the middle school level, as Bagley is able to literally do everything. He rebounded, blocked shots, handled, and even scored with his jumper. His versatility is simply unmatched and he's looking more and more like a wing long-term. He has excellent touch in the lane, but the next steps are to continue polishing his offensive skill-set, and remaining engaged as a rebounder and defender.
Reggie Chaney, 2018 PF, Team Texas: He's long been in the mix as one of the country's most dominant interior players in the Class of 2018. Chaney's combination of physicality, size, and motor have earned him a reputation among his peers. Emerging skill now makes him a player his peers must respect even more. He has diverse repertoire of offensive weapons in the lane, but is best attacking the basket, out-muscling others at his position. The aspect that seems to translate to the next level is his ability to create space and play through contact. He'll need show expanded face-up ability in order to continue being as effective moving forward.
Camron Johnson, 2018 G/F, WACG All-Stars: Johnson made it clear, that on the national level he's very underrated and under-appreciated. Johnson simply gets it done, always finding a way to be a factor, and a positive impact on the game. He's got a knack for making plays in big situations, whether it be knocking down a jumper, or completing a tough finish around the rim. He has a nose for the ball and is an excellent rebounder from his position. Though it can argued Johnson's length and explosiveness are not at an elite level, his energy and competitiveness allow him to out-perform many higher-rated 'prospects'. As he nears his ceiling physically, expanding his game off the bounce, and finding a middle game will both be important elements.
Ladarius Marshall, 2018 F, MBA Hoops: It's no secret that Marshall is one of the top athletes in the Class of 2018 nationally. As usual, he spent the majority of John Lucas All-Star Weekend with his head above the rim, but also impacted games as a rebounder and physical presence in the paint. Though he showed some ability laterally, and is becoming more comfortable putting the ball on the floor, he must continue working on his perimeter skill-set as he makes strides to becoming a full-time wing. He's an intimidating presence on the junior high circuit and his explosiveness translates to any level of basketball.
Javonte Smart, 2018 SG, ATR Xplosion: The term 'special' gets thrown around a lot in younger age groups but Smart could be just that. The young guard has the goods. Size, feel, length, and athleticism combine to form quite the package. He played lead guard throughout the John Lucas All-Star Weekend Tournament and looked as comfortable as anyone doing so. He found teammates, sometimes zipping no-look passes from beyond halfcourt, and proved very adept at creating scoring opportunities for his teammates and himself. Smart already has offensive moves at his disposal, and seemed particularly fond of his dribble hesitation, from which he moves into crossover and pull-up jumper. This is clearly one of the top eighth graders in the country right now.
Devonte Allen, 2018 F, ATR Xplosion: Allen is a 'tweener' in terms of position but possesses the athleticism to have a significant impact at the eighth grade level. He's most comfortable closer to the rim but showed flashes of an expanding game on both ends of the floor. He handles a heavy load on the glass for his squad and is a capable finisher in the lane. On a team where the guards receive the majority of attention, Allen is a major piece of the puzzle for a group that is currently nationally-ranked.
Michael Barber, 2018 F, MBA Hoops: An extremely young member of the current eighth grade class, Barber has excellent length, and a quickly emerging skill-set offensively. He's much more comfortable using the dribble than he was last season and he's the owner of a smooth stroke. As his handle continues to develop, it appears Barber will be a versatile prospect, that will hit his stride sooner than later. Adding toughness on the interior would be a nice addition to his package but he was one of the most intriguing prospects from the Class of 2018 at John Lucas' All-Star Weekend event.
Antoine Davis, 2018 PG, Team Texas: The son of current Texas Southern head coach Mike Davis, this steady lead guard definitely has mentality of being a coach and leader on the floor. He constantly puts pressure on the defense by pushing the ball in transition and is an excellent passer in the halfcourt. He'll need to continue to polish his jumper, but Davis has potential as a lengthy on-ball defender, and is an underrated point guard nationally in the Class of 2018 at this time.
T.J. Moss, 2018 G/F, WACG All-Stars: Moss' debut in the 2018 class was a huge success. The talented wing prospect made a big impression at John Lucas' All-Star Weekend Tournament, playing with a new team, and leading the 'We All Can Go All-Stars' to the title. Moss is at his best when fully engaged, showing off a crafty handle, pulling up for midrange jumpers, and playing above the rim in transition. While his increased explosiveness had the gym buzzing, it was his underrated vision and passing that was most impressive to the trained eye. Moss is a prospect worth monitoring closely and will likely ascend the national rankings very quickly.
Elijah Parquet, 2018 SG, Texas Ballhawks: Shooter alert! Parquet is a confident long-range specialist, evidenced by his 24-point performance, which included 6 three-pointers in his opening game at John Lucas' All-Star Weekend Tournament. He's got great mechanics, a quick release, and showed some ability to put it on the deck as well. If can add a few more inches, Parquet could emerge as an absolute gem, and it's already clear this shot-maker isn't afraid to let it fly. He told JrFuture150.com he'll suit up with the Houston Defenders for the remainder of the travel circuit.
All-Star Basketball WeekendWritten by: Clark Francis February 17, 2013
The big story at the John Lucas All-Star Basketball Weekend, which was held this weekend at the Legends Sports Complex in Spring, TX and featured players in the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade age groups, has to be the fact that there is another set of twins on the horizon with superstar written all over them.
However, unlike 6'5 Andrew Harrison from Richmond (Ft. Bend Travis) TX and 6'5 Andrew Harrison from Richmond (Ft. Bend Travis) TX, who were physically stronger, more polished, more skilled, and much more perimeter oriented at the same stage, it's the size, athleticism, potential to grow, and the fact that 6'4 8th Grader Dean Rhea from Humble (Woodcreek Middle School) TX and 6'4 8th Grader Shawn Rhea from Humble (Woodcreek Middle School) TX are only just beginning to scratch the surface of their vast upside and potential that gets us excited.
What impressed us the most about these two thoroughbreds are their length and athleticism, their unselfishness and ability to find the open man, the way they run the court and finish in transition, and their nose for the ball and how active they are around the basket. They also both have great hands, a high basketball IQ, a size 15-shoe and the likelihood is good that they still have a lot of growing yet to do. They do need to get bigger and stronger physically and they do not like contact right now inside, but it's our guess that will take of itself over time. On the other hand, they both are extremely competitive and it's obvious that all of the hard work that they've put in expanding their game is paying off, as they also handle and pass the ball pretty well in transition. The fact that they are both excellent students, nice kids, and the right age academically are all just other added bonuses, as they both will be ranked near the top of the list the next time we update our Ranking of the Top Players Nationally in the Class of 2017.
And to make the story even more interesting is the fact that the Franchize All-Stars also feature two more big men in 6'5 8th Grader Deshane Weaver from Cypress Fair (Liberty Middle School) TX and 6'5 8th Grader Aston Charles from Klein, TX and a jet quick point guard in 5'9 8th Grader Darius McNeal from Houston (Wells Middle School) TX. Weaver is the better of the two aforementioned big men right now, but Charles has a size 18-shoe and, as a result, is being projected as a possible 7-footer. The word is that all five of these guy will play up on the Franchize All-Star 17-Under team this summer and we find it hard to believe that his group won't be one of the next great up-and-coming teams nationally on the AAU circuit.
However, earlier today they were unable to get over the hype against the Dream Team, which featured three terrific guards in 6'0 8th Grader Antoine Hylton from San Antonio (Davis Middle School) TX 6'1 8th Grader Jawan Anderson from San Antonio (Davis Middle School) TX, and 5'9 8th Grader Anthony Walker from San Antonio (Earl Rudder Middle School) TX. Hylton is a versatile athletic combo guard with a great court presence and leadership qualities, the ability to beat you both slashing to the basket and with his outside shooting, and the skill level and talent level to be another guy that needs to be ranked among the very elite players nationally in the Class of 2017. And Anderson isn't too far behind him, as this silky smooth athletic 2-guard really impressed us with his soft touch, good court savvy, and excellent mid-range game. We also liked the way Walker accepted his role and made some great passes and clutch shots at key times in his team's 55-50 win against the Franchize All-Stars in what clearly was the best game that we saw during the entire tournament. However, none of the players that we've mentioned thus far were any better than 6'3 8th Grader Kevin Norman from Alexandria (Arthur F. Smith Middle School) LA and 6'4 8th Grader Cedric Russell from Alexandria (Arthur F. Smith Middle School) LA.
The former was the best outside shooter that we saw all weekend and the latter is one of those good old-fashioned athletic blue collar guys who plays like every possession might be his last, blocks more than his share of shots, and totally owns the boards. And he did this while playing against 6'7 8th Grader Clayshon Gaffney from Clarksville (Middle School) TX, who is a long athletic big man who runs the court, blocks shots, is active on the boards, scores around the basket, and has good hands and big great feet, which means he too is probably going to grow a lot more. We also don't want to forget about 6'2 8th Grader Devonte Deuthrie from Duncanville, TX, who is another excellent marksman from behind the arc; 6'4 8th Grader Martin Boyd from Ft. Worth (Crowley Middle School) TX, who is strong and physical enough to do more than his share of damage inside, but also is quick and athletic enough and a good enough outside shooter to be very effective out on the perimeter; 6'3 8th Grader Malik Webb from Arlington, TX who is a tough hardnosed slashing athletic wing that makes a living off transition; and 6'5 8th Grader Jordan Rubin from Ft. Worth (Crowley Middle School) TX, who is a like a deer learning how to run, but was intriguing due to his size, upside and potential, and twin tower effect that he provided while playing along side of Gaffney on the Full Court Dallas-based team.
Another one of the better teams that we saw at the John Lucas All-Star Basketball Weekend was the Houston Defenders, which featured the likes of 6'2 8th Grader Jacob Wiley from Houston, TX, 6'2 8th Grader Alex Tchouangwa from Houston, TX, 5'7 8th Grader Max Evans from Houston, TX, and 6'0 8th Grader Alex Fernandez from Austin, TX. Wiley is capable of playing both inside and outside, but what he does best is use his quickness and finesse out on the perimeter and shoot the basketball. Tchouangwa is one of those guys without a true position, but he used his power and athleticism to get more than his share of rebounds and was the enforcer that his team needed inside. Fernandez is a high energy guy who plays excellent defense and creates havoc in the open court. Evans provided his team with the necessary speed, quickness, and outside shooting. There also was 6'3 7th Grader Brock Cunningham from Austin (Stevens) TX, who was playing up a year and clearly was one of the best players that we saw in the 14-Under Division. We're talking about a long athletic and very fundamentally sound white kid with great mobility and coordination, a high basketball IQ, and a knack for coming up big in the clutch, as he scored eight points in the final minutes of the game and almost helped pull off the upset against the Houston Defenders. Unfortunately Cunningham also was the one who came up a little bit short on his free throws, as he missed three out of four from the charity stripe, including two in the final minute that helped cost his team the game. The best team that we saw in the 13-Under Division was the Celtics, which featured the likes of 6'3 7th Grader Reggie Chaney from Tulsa, OK, 6'7 7th Grader Russell Barlow from Richardson, TX, 6'4 7th Grader Evan Marshall from Midlothian, TX, and 6'0 7th Grader Davonde Jackson from Mesquite, TX. Chaney is a multi-dimensional athlete with quick hands and feet, the ability to guard somebody both inside and outside, and a knack for being able to score out to 15-feet.
Barlow is raw offensively right now, but it's hard not like his length and athleticism, ability to alter shots and effect the game, and upside and potential. Marshall is an athletic wing with excellent size for his position and a nice looking outside shooting touch. Jackson is like a jack-of-all-trades and he's good at using his body to create match-up problems and over power smaller guys around the basket.
ALL STAR WEEKENDWritten by:
The SYE Gray got to experience NBA All Star weekend while also participating in the John Lucas All Star Weekend Tournament last weekend in Houston. The weekend was definitely an experience as the Gray team got a chance to attend NBA All Star Jam Session, watched the NBA D League Dunk Contest up close and personal, and met WNBA All Star Lindsay Harding and NBA Legend John Lucas. The girls faired well in the event but ended up losing in the semi-finals to the eventual champion Cy-Fair Heat.
Left - Gray Team at NBA All Star Jam Session
Right Top - Gray Team with WNBA All Star Lindsay Harding
Right Bottom - Gray Team with NBA Legend John Lucas)