The first July live period kicked off summer recruiting with the Peach State Showcase held in Aiken, SC. Numerous college assistant and head coaches trickled in throughout the evening. which featured a total of 15 games spread over three courts in the USC-Aiken Convocation Center.
Game of the Night:
Team Thad vs. Game Elite
Last year, Team Thad started the July AAU season at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis and this year they took their show to Aiken, SC. In a lackluster first half, Team Thad was down almost double digits in a low scoring game. Incoming junior Daniel Giddens controlled the paint for Game Elite, and touted wing forward Jaylen Brown used his strength to get to the basket for lay-ups early on. Once the second half started, Team Thad turned up the intensity and quickly closed the deficit. In a back and forth affair, Florida Gators commit point guard Chris Chiozza created opportunities for teammates off of penetration, LeRon Black finished down low, and Riley Norris ran the court for streaking lay-ups and dunks. Also, the newly committed Marcanvis Hymon (Mississippi Rebels) made a second half impact battling for rebounds and put backs while also knocking down his free throws. Team Thad displayed just enough energy to squeak out a four point victory.
Dunk of the Night:
Jaylen Brown, 6’5”, SF, 2015, Game Elite
The elite small forward from the class of 2015 made his mark in the first half with powerful drives to the hoop. At the 10:17 mark in the 2nd half Brown was dribbling the ball up the court and at the half court line he realized that his defender was missing. Brown picked up speed as he dribbled with the right hand and started to attack the basket. He rose off one foot and flew through the paint for a vicious one handed dunk that woke the crowd up. Brown showed off his strength early on and later his leaping ability.
Jawun Evans, 6’0”, PG, 2015, SC Raptors Elite
In a full evening slate of games, Evans was far and away the quickest player to step foot on court 1 in the Convocation Center. The South Carolina native got into the paint whenever he wanted whether it came in a pick and roll situation or just a simple blow-by. Evans pushed the pace in transition and found his big men when a shot wasn’t available and finished the game in double figures. The Clemson coaching staff rolled three deep for Evans’ game which included head coach Brad Brownell in what was the last game of the night.
Javis Howard, 6’8”, PF, 2014, Upward Stars
Despite a losing effort, Howard had the game of the night. The Upward Stars got off to a slow start but Howard’s first half scoring barrage kept his team in the game. He scored 14 points in the first half which came in a variety of ways. Howard started off with a short right hand hook shot that he went to several more times during the course of the game. He hit a 15 foot jump shot and also was the recipient of several put backs after attacking the offensive glass. The scoring slowed down in the second half but he still hit a three pointer and finished the night with 21 points. While he had a stellar offensive game he also made a few steals and was the point defender in the half court press while corralling any rebound that came in his area. Jason Capel and Appalachian State was front and center for his game, but Howard might have piqued other schools interest with his opening night performance.
Eric Lockett, 6’5”, SF, 2014, Aim High
Lockett’s team played in the first game of the live period on the main court and impressed all of the coaches that arrived at the onset. In a blowout win, Lockett finished with 18 points. An impressive athlete with a great leaping ability Lockett scored the majority of his first half points off drives or put-backs in the paint. He also handled the ball on the break a fair amount and made good decisions without turning the ball over. In the first half he added a 10 foot jump shot and then hit a three towards the end of the game. While Lockett is a great leaper in the paint, he only got minimal lift on his jump shot which caused a few shots to fall short. Even with these misses, Lockett still put on a show to kick off July.
James Demery, 6’4”, SG, 2014, Team Charlotte
In a win over the Upward Stars, Demery led the way with 17 points. He hit one three in the first half and then used his college ready body to score off basket cuts and put-backs. During the game Demery shot two air-balls from three, but besides for those attempts he played well in front of a some ACC coaches that are recruiting him hard. An athletic shooting guard with a strong frame, Demery was a key part in Charlotte’s opening night win.
Grant Bryant, 6’7”, SF, 2014, Southern Kings
Bryant made his mark all over the court as he often played point forward for his Southern Kings team. With a massive wing span Bryant often corralled a defensive rebound and then began the break on the offensive end with his dribbling ability. After giving the ball up, he often found himself down low close to the basket and finished strongly several times. In a game that was competing for attention, Bryant impressed the coaches that stayed around with his versatility and length.
Head Coaches in Attendance:
Some of the college coaches noted included: Brad Brownell (Clemson), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Greg Marshall (Wichita State), Josh Pastner (Memphis), Leonard Hamilton (FSU), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech), Jason Capel (App State), and Doug Wojcik (College of Charleston).