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July 20, 2013
Brown plays like a five-star
SUWANEE, Ga. -- Game Elite's Jaylen Brown recently earned the right to have five stars next to his name in the rankings, and he is showing why. Through two days of action at the Best of the South, he's simply been the best player in the gym.
Brown, a Georgia native who attends perennial powerhouse Wheeler High School, had two strong performances on Friday. In an afternoon matchup against a local rival in the Southern Kings, Brown crossed the 20-point mark and made all the big plays down the stretch. A strong, athletic wing, Brown has a picture-perfect jumper and is not afraid to go inside to use his strength to finish over or through defenders.
Friday night's matchup against Each One Teach One drew a number of college coaches, and Brown again put on a show against the depleted Nike EYBL champs. Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, N.C. State, VCU and many more have been on hand to see Brown and his Game Elite team this week.
Gilmore gets his chance
When Each One Teach One's whole team is present, it features one of the best backcourts in the country with North Carolina commit Joel Berry, Duke commit Grayson Allen and Ohio State commit D'Angelo Russell. With all that firepower around him, Michael Gilmore, a 6-foot-9 forward from Tallahassee, doesn't always get his chance to shine.
The Nike Global Challenge took Each One Teach One's loaded backcourt away from it this weekend, clearing the path for Gilmore to show college coaches what he can do. What he can do is run the floor, dunk with authority, block shots and knock down midrange jumpers. His performance on Thursday afternoon against the Southern Kings helped him earn an offer from Wichita State to go with ones from Kansas State, Miami, Oklahoma and several mid-majors. It's a safe bet to assume he'll be adding to that list in the upcoming days.
Aim High obliterates Georgia Stars
In one of the more highly anticipated local matchups on Friday afternoon, the lesser-known Aim High took on the Nike-sponsored Georgia Stars with more than 40 college coaches taking in the action. The Stars jumped out to a 10-2 lead before sharpshooter Cleveland Jackson and do-it-all forward Eric Lockett led Aim High to a 25-point victory.
Jackson, who attends Olympic High School in North Carolina but is from Georgia, connected on six 3-pointers. Coming into the weekend, Jackson held no offers. With every 3-pointer he sank, college coaches watching the game grew more interested. High-level shooters are in high demand.
The South Georgia sniper
Continuing the theme of impressive shooting performances, Showtime Hoops 15U shooting guard Tyree Crump put on an impressive display in the final game of the night. In a low-scoring overtime game, Crump knocked down several long-range jumpers that proved to be the difference in the victory over the Georgia Heat.
The 6-foot-2 guard from Bainbridge, who is going into his sophomore year, is one of the better guards in Georgia. His shooting ability will get the attention of everybody who watches him, but he's more than capable of putting the ball on the floor, making a move to get by his defender and finishing in the paint with a floater. His athleticism and competitive nature make an impact player on the defensive end.
College coaches are taking notice of his abilities. Memphis head coach Josh Pastner made an appearance on Friday night. Assistant coaches from Georgia and Ole Miss also took in the action. The Bulldogs have made Crump's only scholarship offer.
Notes and observations
Game Elite forward Marcus Sheffield improves every time out. Playing alongside Brown makes it easy for him to get overshadowed, but the lanky 6-foot-6 wing is starting to make a name for himself. His father reports that Clemson, VCU and Xavier have extended scholarship offers.
Upward Stars guard P.J. Dozier makes basketball look easy. Everything he does on the court appears to be effortless. At 6-foot-5, Dozier can play either guard spot because of his ability to score and distribute.
When a 6-foot-7 forward comes down the lane in transition and throws down an emphatic dunk, college coaches quickly look at their roster books to find out who the prospect is. That's what happened when Atlanta Celtics-Neysmith forward Jabreel Faulkner flushed an impressive dunk on Friday afternoon. The play caught the coaches' attention, and he continued to perform well, showing the ability to handle the ball and knock down jumpers.
One way to get the attention of college coaches if you're an athletic 6-foot-7 post player is to play hard, rebound and finish a high percentage of your shots in the paint. That's what Southern Kings forward Eric Hamilton has done this week. He'll likely receive some phone calls and possibly scholarship offers from low majors and mid-majors after his performance at the Best of the South.
Southern Kings guard Devin Mitchell received a phone call from North Carolina last week and had an assistant on hand to see him this week. The contact from the Tar Heels has Mitchell excited. Mitchell's list includes Alabama, Butler, Georgia, Kansas State, Tennessee, UAB and Wake Forest, but an offer from North Carolina would be a game changer.
Georgia Stars forward Isaiah Wilkins said Clemson and Florida State are the most recent schools to offer scholarships. They join a list that includes Auburn, UCF, Georgia State, Murray State, Richmond, UAB and Wichita State. Georgia, Georgia Tech and Memphis have been in touch.