Sunday, July 13, 2008

12U AAU Nationals Recap Day 2: Top Performers

Jacques Batiste (New Orleans Panthers Select)

Day 2 again provided the opportunity for me to go around and check out players from other areas of the country. I sat in on a few games and got the chance to watch some upcoming studs. Here’s a list of players that caught my eye.

Day 2 Top Performers

Jacques Batiste Guard (New Orleans Panthers)- Batiste is a powerful guard that bullies his way to the cup. In his game against Wisconsin Playground he punished their guards in the half court and transition. The combo guard also has some athleticism as he has shown throughout the tourney. I like his game and confidence on the floor.

Charles Stokes Guard (Team Rim Rockers)- Stokes carried his squad through in their game against Team Melo. He brings the total package to the stage including ball handling, nice size and the ability to finish at the rim. What really impressed me about Stokes was his willingness to guard to best player on the opposing team and he seemed to enjoy it.

Bruce Watkins Guard (Team Melo)- If you like point guards with size then Watkins is your find. He sees the floor well and can pass over most guards on this level. Sometimes you can tell when a player has some special qualities that continue when they get older and he seems to be one of those players. I think I will be hearing his name in years to come

James Cunningham Guard (Central KY Warriors)- When James is on his game he makes things happen that benefits the squad. He drives into the teeth of the defense and leaves the rock for waiting teammates. He also can drop it in the hole with a nice floater or high arching pull ups.

Charles Grundy Guard (Central KY Warriors)- I like this kids size for his position. He looks like a legit wing guard and showed transform into one when he reaches high school. Charles got hot as his team needed a serious comeback to knock off the Wilson Blue Devils. The lanky shooting guard has good touch on his shot in traffic.

Mike Collier Forward (Central KY Warriors)- Collier has some size and skills to make an impact on this level. He showed decent post moves, great hands and good touch inside. The big question will be if he will grow into his position as he moves up in age but right now he's good to go.

Dylan Portwood Forward (Central KY Warriors)- Dylan also stepped up in the pivotal second half. He does some many different things for his squad. He handles the rock when they are being pressured, rebounds and scores when needed. Portwood also makes an effort to keep a hand in the face of shooters.

Christian Kent Guard (Wilson Blue Devils)- The southpaw made some big plays to give Wilson the lead against Central Kentucky. His deep trey ball was wet and he also maneuvered himself to the basket and scored over bigger defenders.

Jalen Harris Guard (Wilson Blue Devils)- Harris also got my attention with his slick point guard play. He helped to bring the Blue Devils back after they fell behind 14-0 at the beginning of the game.