The inaugural Elite HS Grind took place at Crossover Athletics in Stafford over the weekend, featuring 20 high-level prospects from across the state and country. It was incredible to see such a collection of talent in one gym during the basketball offseason, and while I want to give a mention to all of the kids in attendance, I especially want to highlight the 2020s, as they were a special group.
Jae LeDee attended the workout on Sunday after his official visit to Texas A&M wrapped up on Saturday, and had an impressive showing against the younger bigs at the camp. LeDee continues to fill out and perhaps has grown a bit taller recently, and has an imposing frame that will help him make an immediate impact at the collegiate level. Yesterday, LeDee ended his recruitment process early and committed to Ohio State, and I have no doubt he will be a tremendous asset for new hire Chris Holtmann and his staff.
Cameron Cohn, Javonne Lowery, and Montavious Murphy all represented the local 2019 class very well at Elite HS Grind. Cohn is known as a knock-down shooter, but has become much more adept at attacking the basket when defenders close out, and made some tough finishes look easy. Lowery is one who excels in a camp setting, as his motor and energy make him a standout in many drills. His offensive game continues to progress, and this a player who can fit in any system. Murphy displayed improved foot speed and handles, and is still out to prove that he is a 3 at the next level. When his perimeter shot is falling like it was this weekend, he is a mismatch offensively.
Scottie Barnes - Was a teammate of RJ Hampton on the 16U USA Basketball Team that won a gold medal over the summer, and his wide array of skills were on full display at Elite HS Grind. Barnes has exceptional length that allows him to make difficult finishes look routine, and he runs the floor extremely well for his position. Scottie has added a ton of polish to his game recently, including an improved midrange jumper, and is undoubtedly one of the best 2020s in America.
LJ Cryer - Combination of poise and polish make him stand out, even in a group such as this. In an age when many PGs are poor shooters, Cryer is among the best you’ll find, and he has become proficient at the pull-up 3 in transition. LJ is constantly looking to push the pace, and finds open teammates for easy buckets. High majors are paying close attention after he lit up Vegas in July, and he is going to lead a young Morton Ranch team to a ton of wins this season.
Cade Cunningham - I did not get to see Cunningham much over the summer, and I could not have been more impressed with him at Elite HS Grind. Now standing a legit 6’6, Cade has a terrific combination of size and skill from the wing that is going to make him a unique prospect in the 2020 class. This is a player who uses his body to create space for his offense, and his length and athleticism make him an asset on the defensive end as well. Sky is the limit here.
Caleb Golden - Proved he is one of the best PG prospects in the state when making significant contributions against top competition for Urban ASAK 17U in July. At 6’3, Golden has nice positional size, but his best quality is an explosive first step that allows him to get into the paint at will. Caleb is also an elite athlete looking to dunk the ball at every opportunity, and fits the profile of a modern point guard. This is a special talent who still has a ton of room to improve.
RJ Hampton - Continues to look like the top 2020 PG in America. The biggest thing I noticed was that Hampton has become much more athletic since July, which is going to make him virtually impossible to stop going forward. RJ dominated the adidas 16U circuit over the summer, and has always had a fantastic feel for the game, but his newfound bounce virtually assures he will remain near the very top of the 2020 national rankings over the coming years.
Isaiah LeBlanc - The inside-out combo of him and LeDee is going to help Kinkaid win many games in the SPC this year. I did not get to see LeBlanc this summer as he played out of state with Team Griffin, but he has improved many facets of his game over the past six months. Isaiah can really shoot it from the perimeter, and as he becomes more athletic, he will be a force going to the basket as well. This kid is underrated and plays the game like he has something to prove.
Jahari Long - Perhaps the most under-the-radar prospect at Elite HS Grind, had a productive summer while leading Cooz Elite 15U to several wins over shoe teams. Long has grown to 6’3, and has a strong frame that allows him to create space on his way to the basket. Jahari holds offers from Wichita State and Louisiana Tech, and that list is sure to grow as more schools become familiar with him. Can’t wait to see him against SPC competition at Episcopal this year.
Tramon Mark - After spending the summer between the 15U and 16U level with Houston Hoops, he appears primed to take a big step forward at Dickinson this season. Mark has tremendous length and a nice jumper that he has no problem shooting over defenders. Tramon is another one who has added athleticism of late, which has made him a better finisher at the rim. This is a true combo guard who can give you productive minutes at either the one or the two.
Micah Peavy - Seems destined for rapid improvement as he has grown recently and now stands a legit 6’6. Micah has always been able to get to his spots and score from most anywhere on the court, and adding size and length will only make that part of the game easier. Peavy also possesses great feel, and is a fantastic passer who will find the open man if drawing a help defender. Won the UAA 16U Finals with Hardwork this summer, will a state title be next at Dekaney?
Allen Udemadu - This is a kid who has come a long way since the beginning of the summer, and the work he has been putting in is starting to pay off in a big way. Udemadu has always been a very fluid mover for his size, and he looks like a prototypical 4 whose physical gifts stand out in a camp setting. Allen is coming along on the offensive end as well, and once he becomes a more polished scorer, he will be among the most sought after recruits in the 2020 class.
Jerrell Colbert, Keon Edwards, Chuks Isitua, and Noah Kon are four of the top 5 2021 prospects in the Houston area, and each proved why over the weekend. Colbert is the most raw of the bunch, and took his lumps against much stronger foes inside, but perhaps possesses as much upside as anyone in the camp. Edwards also faced challenges against a classy group of wings, but his length and speed cause problems for opponents on both ends. Isitua has grown stronger and improved many facets of his game over the summer, and should have no problem impacting the high school game on the interior. Kon held his own against a fantastic group of 2020 guards, and his athleticism and swagger are on display at all times.
The camp featured three of the brightest 2022 prospects in the nation, as Bryce Griggs, Chris Livingston, and Tre’ White showed why they are so highly regarded while having some success against the top-notch older kids at Elite HS Grind. Unfortunately, Griggs suffered a minor back injury and was unable to participate in the scrimmages, but he showed improved handle and shotmaking ability during the two days of drills. Livingston is one of the most exciting prospects in the class, and can score in a variety of ways. White already possesses fantastic size, strength, and athleticism from the wing, and makes an impact on both ends of the floor.