Monday, July 18, 2011

14U AAU Nationals: Pool Play Top Performers (By Hype Basketball)

Daniel Giddens (Worldwide)


The 2011 14U AAU National Championships wrapped up pool play on Sunday from ESPN’s Wide World Of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Orlando-metro area was full of young basketball talent as many of the nation’s best rising freshmen have come together for an exciting week of hoops from Walt Disney World. With teams moving on to the National and Classic brackets on Monday, HYPEBasketball is proud to present the top 10 performers we’ve watched so far during the tournament. We’ll have more player and team updates as the week moves forward. Enjoy!

6’8 PF/C Daniel Giddens – Worldwide
The Georgia-native really exploded onto the scene in May at John Lucas’ International Middle School Combine and has continued his stellar play in Florida. While his offensive moves are still a work in progress, the young post is a capable finisher at the rim, and doesn’t mind flushing on opponents who stand in his way. Of all the frontcourt prospects we’ve watched this week, Giddens has been the most reliable rebounder and shot blocker of them all.

6’3 WG KeVaughn Allen – Arkansas Soldierz Elite
One of the top perimeter prospects in the class of 2015, the Soldierz took an early loss, but Allen helped the team bounce back and qualify for the national bracket. With an AAU state championship under his belt, Allen has spent the majority of his spring and summer playing on the 16U and 17U level, but seems to be enjoying showcasing his ability in his own age/grade division. If you’re looking for a fun guard to watch, don’t miss the Soldierz in action!

6’2 WG Isaiah Briscoe – Team Philly Aztecs
A popular name this spring and summer, Briscoe has already picked up a number of scholarship offers from some of the nation’s premier college programs before entering his freshman season. Due to his scoring ability, Briscoe will be listed as a shooting guard but can slide over to the point guard position if needed. He’s moonlighting with the Aztecs here in Orlando and has been a great compliment to Philly guards Marcus Floyd and Traci Carter so far.

5’11 PG Sam Foreman – Team Final
Team Final has one of the most impressive young backcourts in the country, but through the first three days of pool play, Sam Foreman has been his team’s top performer. He’s fearless going to the rim and does a nice job of finding open teammates and making plays in the lane. Defensively, he’s been great on the ball, and also does a nice job of anticipating away from the action. As he continues to be a distributor and finds consistency with his jumper from deep, Foreman has a pretty nice package for a future floor general.

6’3 WG Austin Grandstaff – Team Texas Elite
One of the best shooters in the nation’s 2015 class, Grandstaff got loose for 32 points in the first half of his team’s final pool play game. Coming off a strong performance at the Adidas Phenom Camp in San Diego, Grandstaff looks determined to show people he’s MVP-worthy, as he fell just short of the award in California weeks ago. He’s grown to a legitimate 6-foot-3, is brimming with confidence on the perimeter, and beginning to create off the bounce.

6’5 WF Joshua Jackson – The Family
For the most part, the 2011 14U AAU Nationals has been a guard-dominated event, and Jackson may have been the most impressive of the bunch so far. He was the best player on the court as his squad knocked off the defending National Runner-Up Cincinnati Knights in pool play, and torched the other two opponents he faced for 20+ points. More impressively, not only is Jackson a player right now, he has a tremendous ceiling as a prospect.

6’3 WG Anthony Mathis – Fast Team Sports
The Oregon native certainly isn’t the most familiar player in the 2015 class, but his ability and production definitely places him in discussion as one of the top perimeter players we’ve seen in this young class to date. Playing for a squad with only six players, F.A.S.T. Team Sports ran out of the gates to an undefeated start behind huge scoring efforts from Mathis and 6-foot-4 teammate Ryan Bay. Both Mathis and Bay should be considered two of the top rising freshmen prospects on the West Coast at this time.

6’3 WG Chance McSpadden – Nike Team Florida
The talented combo guard is a playmaker extraordinaire with the ball in his hands and works for his touches away from the ball as well. McSpadden is very smooth and has a lot of deceptive quickness and athleticism in his game to match his impressive length. It’s easy to watch him, like his game, and know he’s a player. What’s difficult because he is so skilled, is determining exactly what his main strengths are, and the impact he has for his team when he is on the court. We’ll continue to monitor him throughout the week.

6’3 WG Jesse Pistokache – Texas Titans
There are several players to like on the returning 2010 13U AAU National Champions, but Pistokache has been the most consistent producer for the Titans. Yet to have a close match-up in late game situations, the talented perimeter prospect has consistently knocked down jumpers from mid-range and the perimeter, and has also done a nice job of finishing around the cup. Good for 30+ in his last pool play game, Pistokache is one of the event’s top scorers so far. With highly regarded teammate Mickey Mitchell playing limited minutes in pool play, Pistokache has quickly embraced his role as the team’s leader.

6’8 C Diamond Stone – Milwaukee Young Legends
At times the young post has been frustrated with the physical nature and speed of some of the games, but he’s extremely gifted, and managing to contribute in major ways. An excellent rebounder with a great feel for the ball coming off the rim, Stone also has good timing defensively, and is a disruptor in the paint. Without question one of the top frontcourt prospects in the 2015 class nationally, he’s offensively game is coming along nicely, and he is a threat to score when he gets position on block. As he learns to temper his emotions and works his body into shape, Stone has nowhere to go but up from here forward.