The first day of The Showdown began on Saturday as a few names popped onto the scene, yet it was a dude from Philadelphia that went out and displayed dominating performances in repetitive fashion that I have never seen before. Many coaches were in rather awe while others began placing calls immediately to their bosses as Horace Spencer was awe-inspiring with his play carrying his lackluster squad in both of his outings at Philadelphia University.
Danjel Purifoy/6’6 Atlanta Xpress 2015
Purifoy is a monster of a young man carrying around a legit 6’6, 220 pound frame on the perimeter and he brings it on every possession on the floor. Plus, the talented forward is more than receptive to defending the basketball with an added purpose on the perimeter and exudes intensity and passion. He does have to develop his ball skills a bit further where his handles aren’t totally polished and his jumper can be a bit iffy at times. However, if he were to buy into being that bad dude who does all the garbage work and is tough in checking the basketball, Purifoy could become the next Ron Artest.
Steven Enoch/6’9 High Rise-Team Up 2015
Enoch continues to flash the immense upside out of the frontcourt and at the same time, has further progressed his ball skills off of the face-up and in the open floor. The intriguing big man has a world of potential and it is mind boggling to think that the Connecticut native wasn’t even playing varsity basketball a year and a half ago. Enoch is all legs at this point and with massive, broad shoulders, and upon entering a solid weight room, his frame should explode. Several programs are beginning to enter into the picture, yet many believe for Enoch to stay in state and play out his college career at UConn. He did voice that, “I want to explore all my options,” before coming to a final decision.
Jake Silpe/6’0 Jersey Shore Warriors 2015
The more you watch the red-headed lead guard, the more you appreciate the savvy senior. You know what you are going to get in every game with Silpe and most college coaches have to appreciate that with the JS Warriors guard. He makes all the right plays on the floor, is vocal in setting the floor for his team’s offense within the half court, and has removed any questions about his on ball defense where he hounds opposing guards on the perimeter. Look for Silpe’s name to continue to be on the hot track for higher level looks in the coming weeks.
Nate Grimes/6’8 Las Vegas Knicks 2015
Grimes is a long and lanky 4-man who is more perimeter based than seen on the block. However, he makes instinctive plays on the offensive glass and can stretch out the defense with the deep ball both off the catch, and off the bounce. He also uses his frame to protect his bucket well and though he could use a few pounds to handle contact better, the Las Vegas native doesn’t want to put on too much weight in order to keep his quickness intact to play further away from the bucket.
Skal Labissiere/6’11 M33M 2015
The big Haitian was excellent on Saturday as he made rhythm jumpers out to 18-feet off the catch, hit on his go-to righty hook over his left shoulder in the lane and off the block, and constantly blocked and altered shots at the bucket. Looking to gain more and more confidence coming off of a knee injury, the M33M big man has some John Henson to him with his light feet and giant wingspan. The big man was highly tracked by several head coaches on Saturday and for good reason; he is beginning to pick back up where he left off last summer as a dominating interior presence on both sides of the basketball
There is still some questions on where Keyser belongs on the floor; if he is a 1 or a 2. Regardless, he belongs on the hardwood and he makes plays with the basketball. He has Russell Westbrook explosiveness on the attack and unbelievable breakdown moves below the arc. Keyser has a good, strong lower-half in keeping his line to the bucket off of the first bump and is tough-nosed in the backcourt. He does have to sure up his outside jumper and become a better distributor near the bucket, yet he has the body, first step, and finishing abilities to possibly make a jump to the highest level in the coming months.
Charlie Brown/6’7 Philly Pride 2015
No, not that Charlie Brown. This kid is a 6’7 baller out of Philly that can do a little bit of everything on the floor. He is a live-body 4-man who can defend further away from the basket, shoot the 3 off the catch, and rebound the basketball on either side of the rim. There is little known about Brown and not many programs yet involved, but that needs to change as Brown brings the versatility, upside, and evolving set of ball skills that you’d look for out of a sleeper in 2015.
Grant Riller/6’2 Q6 All-Stars 2015
Definitely the biggest blow-up candidate of the day in Philadelphia as the lead guard for Q6 was rather phenomenal in a big, underdog victory over Sports U. In the first half, Riller was pretty composed with the basketball in setting the floor for his team, slowing things down when it was needed, and making appropriate reads and passes off the bounce. However, Riller blew up in the second half and was hitting contested, pull-up 3s and then threw down a monstrous, one-handed jam over 6’9 jumping jack, Chris Silva. His squad held on for the W and the Florida native was the primary reason why his group went on to the next round in the championship bracket at The Showdown.
Kaleb Johnson/6’6 Richmond Squires 2015
The Carlisle School wing has always been known for being a solid secondary piece alongside guys like Devon Robinson on the AAU circuit last year, and Thon Maker during the high school season, However, Johnson is coming into his own and moving up positions on the backcourt as the playmaking lefty scores in traffic, can finish with added touch and with his off hand through contact, and convert on tough mid-range, bunny and-1 attempts. Throw in his 4.2 GPA and his quality demeanor off the floor, and Johnson is due to receive heavier looks from the prestigious, high-major programs in the coming weeks; he voiced that he would like to be recruited by Virginia Tech or VCU.
Horace Spencer/6’9 Gym Rats 2015
Had to save the best for last here as Spencer was easily the biggest standout of the day and had the best full day of AAU basketball that I might have seen in recent memory. Coming up, Spencer was supposed to be ‘the guy’ out of Philly and was a top-5 talent during his freshman year. However, for one reason or another, Spencer never developed as much as he should of and during his first year at Findlay Prep last year, the big man primarily played as a 5 and just rebounded the ball. On Saturday, Spencer made everyone forget about his prior high school days as he showed off just how skilled he really is in putting the ball on the floor and facilitating off the deck, hitting face-up jumpers and rhythm 3s, and throwing down highlight reel dunks over sorry defenders. The big boy plays with a chip on his shoulder as big as the Atlantic Ocean is wide and as he adds onto the performances that he threw out on Saturday, Spencer could become the dude with the largest array of high-major offers throughout all of the land. For hoops enthusiasts, watch out over the next several days as the 267 native will receive big time offer after big time offer on the recruiting front.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
2015 Sam Rines forward Ellis Dozier is an intriguing one as the 6’7 forward is more perimeter based but has the ball skills to create for himself off the deck and the body control to score amidst contact and on either side of the bucket.
2015 SC Raptors Elite guard Jawun Evans voiced how fatigued he was in the afternoon period on Saturday, but that didn’t slow down him and his team in coming away with two wins and the Greenville native further established himself as the best point guard throughout all of America.
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton has made Dwayne Bacon a priority this week thus far, setting up a tent at every one of his games.
Assistants from USC, Oklahoma State, Clemson, and Illinois, along with head coach Rick Barnes of Texas, chased Jawun Evans all throughout the day.
Assistants from Memphis and Kentucky, along with Roy Williams and John Thompson III followed Skal Labissiere all day long.
St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli, Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint, URI head coach Dan Hurley, and assistants from La Salle, Villanova, and Temple traced Chris Clover and his Philly Pride group.
Roy Williams and UNC assistant, CB McGrath, followed 2015 Upward Stars guard PJ Dozier all day long; Clemson, South Carolina, and Georgetown also showed their faces.
Kaleb Johnson lists offers from Oklahoma State, Duquesne, ECU, Davidson, Radford, St. Joe’s, William & Mary, Radford, and High Point, with interest from WVU, Harvard, and several others Ivy League programs.
Moses Toriola lists an offer from Manhattan, with interest from NC State, UMass, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac, Lafayette, UMBC, Lehigh, Princeton, Brown, and Southern Methodist.
Grant Riller holds just two offers from Abilene Christian and Kennesaw State.2015 Q6 All-Stars center Kerry Blackshear holds 26 offers and is primarily being recruited the hardest by the likes of Kansas State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Clemson, Boston College, UCF, Miami, Houston, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech; he holds further interest from UConn, Stanford, Florida, and Alabama.
Horace Spencer added an offer from Oklahoma State last night, and had coaches from OK State, Memphis, Georgetown, Auburn, Tennessee, Villanova, Miami, and South Carolina following him all day long.
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