DE’SHON SCOTT WAS IN A CLASS ALL BY HIMSELF AT THE JOHN LUCAS RISING STARS INVITATIONAL

By Clark Francis | Published June 27, 2019

He was like a man among boys at the John Lucas Rising Stars Invitational, which was held over the weekend at the University of Houston's Recreation & Wellness Center in Houston, TX and featured some of the top 5th and 6th Graders in the nation. We're talking about 6'2 6th Grader De'Shon Scott from Houston, TX and he not only has a great combination of size, strength, skills, and athleticism, but he also runs the court, plays with a lot of energy, is an excellent finisher, dominates on the boards, blocks more than his share of shots, and passes the ball both in and out of the post extremely well. He also has a takeover mentality that is rarely found in somebody so big and so young and he is so good right now that he has to be near the top of the list when we start talking about the best players his age that we've ever seen. And this is important, because, if what you see is what you get down the road and, with normal growth and continued growth, it's scary just how good Scott could become.

Another guy with excellent size for this age and who separated himself from all of the rest of the top players in camp was 6'2 6th Grader Tim Winkler III from Plainfield, IL. His game is more finesse than power right now, but he has the versatility, athleticism, and skills necessary to play both inside and outside. He also is very fluid and mobile around the basket and knows how to rebound, block shots, and score in the post. Obviously he will need to get a lot bigger and stronger physically, but he does know how to compete, run the court extremely well, and has a soft touch on his jump shot, which extends out to 3-point range. And the camp also had a plethora of talented guards, as 5'2 6th Grader Christian Jones from Brookshire, TX edged out guys like 5'0 6th Grader Reid Conley from Apison, TN, 5'4 6th Grader Jaden Holt from Fulshear, TX, and 5'5 6th Grader Camden Cowgill from San Antonio, TX for the #3 spot in our Exclusive Ranking of the Top Players at the John Lucas Rising Stars Invitational. Jones has excellent ball handling and passing skills, deep range on his jump shot, and the jet-like speed and quickness, explosiveness, and moves necessary to make a living off transition and attack the rim. He's really more of a scorer than a facilitator, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder, has a good nose for the ball and knows how to pick your pocket at the defensive end, and is talented enough to be ranked among the very elite players nationally in the Class of 2025.

Conley is another quick little point guard who can flat out get out and go. He also he changes speed and directions extremely well, has a crafty handle, is quick with the ball in his hands, knows how to create for both himself and his teammates, and was very difficult to stop when it came time to finish at the rim. We would have liked him to show more of an outside shooter's mentality, but he does knock down his free throws and also is an excellent defender. Holt tried to do too much and the shot wasn't going down when we watched him play on Saturday. However, he more than made up for it on Sunday morning and, in addition displaying good ball handling and passing skills, excellent quickness with the ball, and the ability to both get to the rim and knock down the outside shot, he also played with a lot of poise and confidence, was good defensively, and rebounded extremely well for some his size and position. Cowgill is a crafty point guard with excellent ball handling and passing skills, a high basketball IQ, and a knack for being able to get his teammates involved. He also brings a lot of energy to the table, knows how to get the rim, and has a soft touch on his jump shot.

We also liked the fact that 5'5 6th Grader Mason Thomas from Danville, CA has deep range on his jump shot and clearly was one of the best outside shooters in the camp. There were times when he dominated the ball too much, but he does have the versatility and skills necessary to play anywhere out on the perimeter and his length, athleticism, and moves to the basket make it easy for him to finish at the rim. And right behind Thomas in the #8, #9, and #10 spots on our list are 5'7 5th Grader Maleek Simeus from Las Vegas, NV, 5'2 6th Grader Dennis Guams from France, and 5'8 6th Grader Kyle Carpenter from Buford, GA. Simeus also gets the distinction of being the best 5th Grader in camp and this athletic 2-guard has a great nose for the ball, knows how to finish through contract, and thrives in an up tempo setting. Guam is a crafty point guard who plays with a competitive edge and has good ball handling and passing skills, a high basketball IQ, and the ability to both get to the rim and knock down the outside shot. Carpenter is still very raw offensively, but he does have great length and athleticism and makes a living on the boards, off put backs, and with his quickness to the rim.

The camp also had good depth, as is evident by the fact that 5'8 6th Grader Scottie Guilloryfrom Katy, TX,5'0 6th Grader Aaron "A.J." Duke from Las Vegas, NV, 6'2 6th Grader Elijah Favela from Converse, TX, 5'8 6th Grader Milak Dorsey Myatt from Philadelphia, PA, 5'7 6th Grader Dominic Rhoades-Martinez from Denver, CO, 5'5 5th Grader Randy Livingston from West Palm Beach, FL, 5'1 6th Grader Trae Lewis from Spring, TX, 5'10 6th Grader Alvin Loving from Berkeley, CA, 5'0 6th Grader Drew Johnson form Durham, NC, and 6'4 6th Grader Anthony Andrews III from Houston, TX were all good enough to fall into the 11-20 range. Guillory is a versatile athletic wing who rebounds, defends, and scores in a variety of ways. Duke makes a living using his speed, quickness, and athleticism to come up with more than his share of steals and score off transition. Favela is a long skinny athletic 4-man who needs to finish better around the basket, but plays with a lot of energy, rebounds, posts-up, moves well without the ball, and can score out to 10-12 feet. Myatt has the versatility, athleticism, and skills necessary to play both inside and outside. He also is extremely quick with the ball, gets more than his share rebounds, can both shoot and slash, and is oozing with upside and potential.

Martinez is a tough hardnosed competitor with good skills and a knack for always being around the ball and being a good defender. Livingston has the size, skills, versatility, and athleticism necessary to play either guard spot. However, what he did the best in this camp was get to the basket and knock down the outside shot. And the fact that he has a tremendous pedigree, knows how to play the game, and understood his role while competing against older players are just added bonuses. Lewis is a high energy combo guard with good court vision, an excellent nose for the ball, and a knack for being able to get to the rim. Loving has the versatility and athleticism necessary to play both inside and outside and is quick afoot, was active on the boards, showed he can knock down the outside shot, and is still only just beginning to scratch the surface with regard to his upside and potential. Johnson is a pure point guard who knows how to run the show, has good speed and quickness with the ball, and is excellent at getting to the rim. Andrews is just learning how to play the game and he tries to do too much out on the perimeter. However, it's easy to be enamored length and athleticism, plus he has the ability to score and rebound in the post and his best days are still ahead of him.

And, when we dig a little deeper, we also find that guys like 5'1 6th Grader Eric Chatfieldfrom Lilburn, GA, 5'2 6th Grader Julian Plaza from Brentwood, CA, 6'1 6th Grader Chad Woodfork from Humble, TX, 6th Grader Joshua Goodman from Denmark, 5'8 5th Grader Isaiah Ward from Cibolo, TX, 6'0 6th Grader Julius Malone from Aldine, TX, 5'6 6th Grader Ian Thomas from The Woodlands, TX, 5'5 6th Grader Calvin Murphy III from Houston, TX, 4'10 6th Grader Anthony Smith III from Minneapolis, MN, 5'6 6th Grader Zeke Marshall from Anderson, SC, 5'3 5th Grader Donovan Criss from San Antonio, TX, 6'1 5th Grader Trae Nunn from Dallas, TX, 5'1 6th Grader Robert Gill from Pearland, TX, 5'7 5th Grader Bryson Wheatfall from Humble, TX,4'11 5th Grader William Pinkard from Spring, TX, 5'8 5th Grader Mayson Thomas from San Antonio, TX, 5'7 6th Grader Prince Morell from McDonough, GA, 5'1 6th Grader Berry Ashton from Missouri City, TX, 4'11 6th Grader Brock Alessandra from Orlando FL, 5'8 6th Grader Nehemiah Thompkins from Greenville, SC, 5'11 6th Grader Ray Brendon from Kingsville, TX, 5'0 5th Grader Chase Richardson from Missouri City, TX, 5'7 6th Grader Edison Onwe from San Antonio, TX, 5'8 6th Grader Aiden Aponte from Atlanta, GA, 5'6 6th Grader Jachai Cantave from Kingwood, TX, 5'2 6th Grader Christian Pedrottti from Brentwood, CA, 5'9 5th Grader Saad Mitchell from Paterson, NJ, 5'9 5th Grader Camden McKinney from Oakland, CA, 5'2 6th Grader Johnny Khoury from Spring, TX, and 5'3 5th Grader Tyme Todd from San Antonio, TX all played well enough to deserve distinguished mention.

HOOP SCOOP'S EXCLUSIVE RANKING OF THE TOP PLAYERS BASED PRIMARILY ON PERFORMANCE AT THE JOHN LUCAS RISING STARS INVITATIONAL

  1. 6'2 6th Grader De'Shon Scott from Houston, TX
  2. 6'2 6th Grader Tim Winkler III from Plainfield, IL
  3. 5'2 6th Grader Christian Jones from Brookshire, TX
  4. 5'0 6th Grader Reid Conley from Apison, TN
  5. 5'4 6th Grader Jaden Holt from Fulshear, TX
  6. 5'5 6th Grader Camden Cowgill from San Antonio, TX
  7. 5'5 6th Grader Mason Thomas from Danville, CA
  8. 5'7 5th Grader Maleek Simeus from Las Vegas, NV
  9. 5'2 6th Grader Dennis Guams from France
  10. 5'8 6th Grader Kyle Carpenter from Buford, GA
  11. 5'8 6th Grader Scottie Guillory from Katy, TX
  12. 5'0 6th Grader Aaron "A.J." Duke from Las Vegas, NV
  13. 6'2 6th Grader Elijah Favela from Converse, TX
  14. 5'8 6th Grader Milak Dorsey Myatt from Philadelphia, PA
  15. 5'7 6th Grader Dominic Rhoades-Martinez from Denver, CO
  16. 5'5 5th Grader Randy Livingston from West Palm Beach, FL
  17. 5'1 6th Grader Trae Lewis from Spring, TX
  18. 5'10 6th Grader Alvin Loving from Berkeley, CA
  19. 5'0 6th Grader Drew Johnson form Durham, NC
  20. 6'4 6th Grader Anthony Andrews III from Houston, TX
  21. 5'1 6th Grader Eric Chatfield from Lilburn, GA
  22. 5'2 6th Grader Julian Plaza from Brentwood, CA
  23. 6'1 6th Grader Chad Woodfork from Humble, TX
  24. 5'9 6th Grader Joshua Goodman from Denmark
  25. 5'8 5th Grader Isaiah Ward from Cibolo, TX
  26. 6'0 6th Grader Julius Malone from Aldine, TX
  27. 5'6 6th Grader Ian Thomas from The Woodlands, TX
  28. 5'5 6th Grader Calvin Murphy III from Houston, TX
  29. 4'10 6th Grader Anthony Smith III from Minneapolis, MN
  30. 5'6 6th Grader Zeke Marshall from Anderson, SC
  31. 5'3 5th Grader Donovan Criss from San Antonio, TX
  32. 6'1 5th Grader Trae Nunn from Dallas, TX
  33. 5'1 6th Grader Robert Gill from Pearland, TX
  34. 5'7 5th Grader Bryson Wheatfall from Humble, TX
  35. 4'11 5th Grader William Pinkard from Spring, TX
  36. 5'8 5th Grader Mayson Thomas from San Antonio, TX
  37. 5'7 6th Grader Prince Morell from McDonough, GA
  38. 5'1 6th Grader Berry Ashton from Missouri City, TX
  39. 4'11 6th Grader Brock Alessandra from Orlando FL
  40. 5'8 6th Grader Nehemiah Thompkins from Greenville, SC
  41. 5'11 6th Grader Ray Brendon from Kingsville, TX
  42. 5'0 5th Grader Chase Richardson from Missouri City, TX
  43. 5'7 6th Grader Edison Onwe from San Antonio, TX
  44. 5'8 6th Grader Aiden Aponte from Atlanta, GA
  45. 5'6 6th Grader Jachai Cantave from Kingwood, TX
  46. 5'2 6th Grader Christian Pedrottti from Brentwood, CA
  47. 5'9 5th Grader Saad Mitchell from Paterson, NJ
  48. 5'9 5th Grader Camden McKinney from Oakland, CA
  49. 5'2 6th Grader Johnny Khoury from Spring, TX
  50. 5'3 5th Grader Tyme Todd from San Antonio, TX