Cancer Research Classic: Day Two

Tyus Battle

WHEELING, WV - On a day filled with major performances it was a freshman in Tyus Battle who stole the show. Still not to be overshadowed were Justin Bibbs, Jahlil Okafor, and Jabari Parker.

Devin Williams, PF, Montverde Academy – The Cincinnati native was an absolute beast. Since getting down to Montverde he has gotten into excellent shape and is doing everything he needs to do to be an excellent college player. A future West Virginia Mountaineer, Williams was dominant on the glass and really scored inside. Add in that he gets to the foul line and coverts quite easily and Williams is someone who should be very productive. Simeon had no answer for what Williams brought to the table.

Dakari Johnson, C, Montverde Academy – On the day he committed to Kentucky, Johnson was excellent. He just has a great set of hands that allows him to clear the glass and then has a nose for the ball as well. Johnson is a solid scorer and did that as well, but it was his rebounding and positioning on the defensive end that was so impressive.

Kasey Hill, PG, Montverde Academy – He kind of let others have most of the spotlight, but when Simeon would make a run, Hill would be sure to end it. Hill is one of the best athletes you will see at the point guard position, but it is his ability to finish through contact that is amazing. He quite simply is one of the strongest functional basketball players you will see. Hill finished and got fouled on a few occasions and then used his elite athleticism to finish in transition. Add in that he sees the floor well and Hill is a special prospect going forward.

Jabari Parker, SF, Chicago Simeon – Parker is quickly working his way back into shape and quickly becoming the elite prospect that he has been before the injury slowed him at the beginning of the season. He is still probably about 10 pounds away from being in ideal condition, but it is night and day compared to the beginning of the season. Parker had a pair of extremely impressive tip dunks and was also knocking in outside jumpers. He wasn't perfect and at times looked a little out of gas, but it is getting closer to Jabari Parker really being Jabari Parker.

BeeJay Anya, C, DeMatha Catholic – It has been a rough start to the year for Anya, but he put together a solid game here. Anya was credited with a double-double, and did it mostly by finishing on dunks and corralling defensive rebounds. He looked a little more explosive and more aggressive than he was earlier in the year. Now he was being defended by people who had no chance, but it was good to see Anya dominate a game that physically he definitely should have dominated.

Kelvin Howard, SF, DeMatha Catholic – A live body with good athleticism, Howard shot the heck out of the ball. He was 5-5 from distance on his way to 16 points. Howard is a good athlete and someone who seems like he can play in a multitude of spots on the floor. Not always a go to threat for a team with a host of division I talent, Howard really stood out and set the tone with his impressive shooting.

Kris Jenkins, PF/SF, Gonzaga – There is no doubting his production, and 31 points speaks to that. Jenkins isn't athletic and needs to get in better shape, but he is just a flat out basketball player. He scores in the mid-range, is a capable rebounder, and just has that savvy and IQ for how to play. Jenkins led his team to the win and finished everything he could when he got the ball in a position to score. He will struggle to guard in college, but offensively he is a matchup problem for nearly any kind of forward.

Jabari Bird, SG/SF, Salesian – It wasn't a vintage game for Bird as he struggled some to shoot the basketball, but he still found a way to be effective. Bird can score at all three levels, and is a tremendous athlete with a lot of versatility. Now he does need to be more aggressive with the drive when being checked by less athletic kids, but the future California Golden Bear did a lot of good things and kept his team in the game.

Steve Vasturia, SF, Philadelphia St. Joseph's – A very skilled and fundamental player, Vasturia was excellent in leading his team to a win. Now Vasturia will struggle to defend because his body is somewhat stiff, but he is an excellent passer and someone who can really knock down shoots. His creativity and understanding of the game is what will make him a player at Notre Dame.

Miles Overton, SG, Philadelphia St. Joseph's – Overton is tough and will make shots, and for Wake Forest that is how he will get on the floor. An average athlete, Overton doesn't make flashy plays, but will do the little things to help his team. Mostly a scorer he showed some good things and really made shots in the first half when the game wasn't a blowout.

Justin Bibbs, SG, Montverde Academy – On a team with a ton of talent and that absolutely dominated it was Bibbs who had the most impressive day. Against the Simeon 2-3 zone, Bibbs was a complete stud. He scored everything in the mid-range and then also mixed in a perimeter jumper. Bibbs is a good athlete and someone who can create a little bit off the bounce. Now Bibbs will need to replicate this performance again, but the Dayton, Ohio native looked excellent in the Montverde win.

Jahlil Okafor, C, Whitney Young – Another game and another domination for Okafor. Quite simply he is a manchild, and someone who lives to humiliate opponents, and that is a good thing. There was no answer on the floor for Okafor who scored all around the rim, over either shoulder, and from the foul line. Defensively he will block shots and absolutely cleans the glass. There is no question that Okafor has put himself right in the thick of the conversation for the No. 1 prospect in the class.

Paul White, SF/PF, Whitney Young – Always an impressive talent, consistency and drive has been the issue with White, but not on this night. White had it all working with his jumper, and he seemed to take that confidence and build on it. White was hitting from the mid-range and deep, and then also mixed in a few drives to the bucket. Also White defended and showed his versatility and solid athleticism. For White there is nothing on the basketball floor that he can't do, and at least on Saturday night that was on full display for all to see.

L.J. Peak, SG, Whitney Young – A good athlete, Peak also knocked in a few deep jumpers. He can finish well above the rim and is a tough kid who should be a good defender once it is made clear that he needs to be. Peak seems to be playing harder than ever now at Whitney Young and had a solid showing as his team cruised to a big win.

Corey Henson, SG, DeMatha Catholic – One of the more underappreciated kids around, Henson scorched the nets for DeMatha. A lights out shooter, he finished 10-13 form the floor including 5-8 from distance for 25 points. Also he dished out five assists and was excellent in every facet of the game. He is a bit undersized and not a great athlete, but he can flat out put the ball in the bucket and he showed it in a big way.

JaQuan Newton, SG/PG, Neumann-Goretti – Newton is noticeably bigger than he was last year and that growth makes him even more lethal going to the rim. When Newton reads his own scouting report and plays to his strength, driving to the rim, and stays away from his weakness, perimeter shooting, he is tough to handle. Newton struggled from distance, but was impossible to stop from getting into the lane. He needs to continue to use that to his advantage while repping the jump shot during practice.

Joseph Toye, SF, Whitney Young – This is one to really watch. The question with him is his jumper, but he knocked in a pair of threes. A good athlete with excellent size on the wing, Toye shows signs of being able to do a little bit of everything. He doesn't get a ton of touches and still looks like he is learning, but there is major upside here.

Bryant Crawford, PG, Gonzaga – A slick passer, Crawford made a lot of plays in a winning effort. Now he sometimes tries to make the difficult flashy pass instead of the easy play, but Crawford sees things a step ahead and has an excellent feel for the game. Also he has good size for a point guard and is tough to stay in front of. The problem for Crawford is for the most part he didn't even look at the rim during the game, but still he was solid and showed his potential and why he is one of the better point guards in the class.

Tyus Battle, SG, Gil St. Bernard – This is a bad, bad man. He is about 6-foot-5 now and clearly still growing. Battle has an incredible first step, a dynamic floater, and a nice looking stroke on the perimeter jumper. Add in that he can handle the ball well and he has an excellent feel, and it is easy to see why people were so impressed. Battle finished with 17 points and was just unstoppable when he got the ball. As time goes on he will be one of the incredibly elite players in this class.

Connecticut head man Kevin Ollie was around all day watching Tyus Battle, Bryant Crawford, Ja'Quan Newton, and all of the others.

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari was present for Dakari Johnson while an assistant kept tabs on Tyus Battle.

Xavier had an assistant on hand tracking Ja'Quan Newton, Alani Moore, and Justin Bibbs.

SMU was front and center tracking Simeon sophomore D.J. Williams as well as keeping tabs on Tyus Battle.

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