Tuesday, August 21, 2012

J.E.M. All Star Classic 8th Grade Recap: Written By ESPN.com

Unique McLean MVP

By John Stovall ESPN.com

TRENTON, N.J. -- The J.E.M. All Star Classic, which is a showcase put together by Basketball Spotlight founder Mike Melton, featured many of the top middle school players in the Northeast. The highlight of the event was an all-star game, featuring rising ninth graders, and there was some true talent on the floor. The game had some kids that should not only be impact players this year in high school, but potentially premier college players down the road.

Top Performers

Tyus Battle (Edison, N.J./Gill-St. Bernard) 2016, SG, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds- He definitely looks like a future basketball star. He is thin, long, wiry, very skilled and has a great basketball IQ. Battle can score the ball and has the ability to play any perimeter position. He is quick and has been well schooled already as he has a good midrange game and an excellent pull-up jumper. He is already one of the better rising freshmen in the country and has a very good upside. He is scheduled to attend Gill-St. Bernard high school this season.

Rodney Miller (Queens, N.Y.) 2016, C, 6-9, 195 pounds- Rodney might have been the most intriguing prospect at the event. He is already a legitimate 6-9 and has very good length. What I really liked was despite his thin frame he was not hesitant going inside and mixing it up on the low block. He also showed solid skills on the block (finishing with his off/left hand, passing out of double teams and re-posting). Miller also ran the floor solidly and his ceiling is off the charts. Rumor is he will be attending St. Benedict in the fall.

Unique McLean (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 2016, SG, 6-0, 170 pounds- He is one of the most athletic players in the 2016 class that I have seen. The lefty can really finish above the rim and is a slasher who can get in the lane and get some things done. McLean definitely needs to improve some of the other aspects of his game (he is a streaky shooter), but he has solid length and has the look of someone who will be on the national radar moving forward.

Bryce Aiken (Randolph, N.J.) 2016, PG, 5-9, 160 pounds- He is a solid and heady little point guard who can score and create. He has a solid handle and a nice shot with range beyond 20 feet. A very nice player.

Temple Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.) 2016, SG/PG, 5-11, 170 pounds- He is following in the footsteps of his famous brothers (Sterling and Ashton). Temple has a similar game and is solid and productive with no frills. Look for him to have the same type of career as his siblings.

Devonte Green (Long Island, N.Y.) 2016, SG, 6-1, 175 pounds- He also has very good bloodlines as his the brother is San Antonio Spur Danny Green. Devonte is a scoring combo guard with good strength who can shoot with range and can finish well in the paint.

NyRhique Smith (Asbury Park, N.J.) 2016, PG/SG, 6-2, 165 pounds- He is a solid combo guard with great size. Smith has a nice handle and is tough to keep out of the lane. His size and skills make him an intriguing prospect.

Reggie Gardner (Bowie, Md.) 2016, SG, 6-2, 170 pounds- He has the ability to put the ball in the basket. Gardner is a streaky shooter with range to 22 feet, but he has a chance to be special as he continues to grow.