Think about this.
LeBron James, who is in town for his son Bryce’s tournament run, was courtside today for a game featuring an undefeated team from Maine. Yes, Maine.
In fact, the gym was packed to see this team from Maine take the floor. After all, it features the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2025, Cooper Flagg, who had taken down the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2025, Cameron Boozer, earlier during the week. Both of their brothers, Ace Flagg and Cayden Boozer, respectively, are also highly-touted in the class of 2025.
Keeping up with all of that? There’s a lot going on at Peach Jam between the massive influx of college coaches, NBA players floating around and intense action on the court. Missouri also had plenty of prospects take the floor on Friday, so I’ll do my best to sum up the day as a whole into some form of organized chaos.
Missouri Prospect Highlights
- T.O. Barrett (Committed, Class of ‘24 SG, Mokan Elite)
I was not in attendance for Mokan Elite’s 65-60 win over AZ Unity, as I was busy watching Brad Beal Elite take on New York Renaissance, but Barrett and Co. received a surprising test from a winless Unity squad. Barrett scored just six points on 3-for-8 shooting, but he led the team with three blocks in the winning effort.
- Khaman Maker (Offered, Class of ‘24 C, Oakland Soldiers)
Again, I was not in attendance for much of Maker’s game today, but he continued a strong end to the week with eight points and 10 rebounds, his second straight double-figure outing on the glass. Oh, he’s also blocked four shots in each of the past two games. Maybe he has found a home with the Oakland Soldiers after all.
- Bishop Boswell (Offered, Class of ‘24 CG, Team CP3)
In a pivotal swing game for Team CP3 against undefeated Meanstreets, Boswell played some of his best basketball of the week. He racked up 15 points (tied team-high), six rebounds and two assists, but Boswell’s squad fell 56-51 in a tightly contested game. After stepping off the gas following a 20-point outing to open the week, Boswell appeared to find his groove again.
- Trenton Burns (Offered, Class of ‘24 PF, Houston Hoops)
It was another frustrating start to the game for Burns, who picked up two early fouls that saw him sit on the bench for much of the first half. However, as he began to pick up steam, so did Houston Hoops. Burns posted 12 points and six rebounds, and Houston ran away from Team Melo to win 71-52. This was easily Burns’ most productive game of the week and may be a sign that he is adjusting to the tempo in North Augusta.
- Aaron Rowe (Offered, Class of ‘25 PG, Mokan Elite)
An efficient, moderate day for Rowe. Again, Mokan Elite got a surprise test from AZ Unity, but Rowe’s eight points on 50% shooting went a long way in securing the victory.
- Dallas Thomas (Offered, Class of ‘24 SF/PF), BJ Davis-Ray (Offered, Class of ‘24 SG), Jordan McCullum (Class of ‘24 PF)
As they are all teammates, I grouped this trio together.
It was a promising start to the day for Thomas, as he nailed two confident three-pointers early in the game against the New York Renaissance. However, he failed to score again after that, and his team (Brad Beal Elite) faltered in the second half.
Jordan McCullum built off a strong showing on Thursday with seven more points on Friday, but five of those came in the first quarter. Similar to Thomas, McCullum’s level of play dropped as the game went on, and his minutes diminished as a result.
Davis-Ray played sparingly.
- John Bol (Offered, Class of ‘24 C, Mokan Elite)
Nine points and six rebounds is a rather tame stat line for Bol compared to his pair of double-doubles from earlier this week, but he made a major impact on both ends of the floor in this game, adding on two blocks and a steal. With him and Rowe leading the charge, Mokan Elite remains a favorite to win Peach Jam this weekend.
- First and foremost, the best way I can now describe this event is a cornucopia of basketball entertainment. I have already touched extensively on the high level of play and talent at the event, but with LeBron James, Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul patrolling the event alongside dozens of college coaches, I found myself people watching more than basketball at times.
Can’t imagine receiving much more valuable coaching than from a future NBA Hall of Famer. pic.twitter.com/t1790sw901— Parker Gillam (@gillam_parker) July 7, 2023
- Simply put: the knowledge and experience these high school kids receive from being coached by future NBA Hall of Famers is irreplaceable in any way. I watched Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook coach up their respective teams today, pulling kids aside for one-on-one chats and hyping them up when they made great plays. Those are memories that will last a lifetime for them, and it is great to see some of the best players in today’s game pouring back into the next generation in this way.
- Present coaches that I had not seen on Thursday: Tony Bennett (UVA), Juwan Howard (Michigan), Anthony Grant (Dayton), Bobby Hurley (ASU), Jamie Dixon (TCU), Mike Woodson (IU), T.J. Otzelberger (ISU), Jerry Stackhouse (Vandy), Fred Hoiberg (Nebraska), Leon Rice (BSU), Matt Painter (Purdue), Micah Shrewsberry (ND), Fran McCaffrey (Iowa), Greg Gard (UW), Doug Collins (NW), Brad Boswell (Clemson).
- With how many coaches I saw chopping it up amongst themselves during games, I can imagine that Peach Jam is a major event for college coaches to catch up, meet new minds of the game and maybe even compare some recruiting notes (or not).
- Cooper Flagg had one of the quietest 23 points I’ve ever seen, but I suppose that is just what happens when he pours in 38 the day before. Still, he lived up to the billing. Flagg’s motor jumped out to me, as he was relentless on the glass and in driving through and around defenders. He’s not afraid to fight through any form of contact, and he at times even chases it. Flagg plays primarily on the wing, which is all the more impressive for a 6-foot-8 player with a freakish wingspan. Still, Flagg handles the ball like a point guard yet has all of the tools to score at will in the paint. A matchup nightmare through-and-through, and PSA was forced to double and triple him often as a result. Eager to see if Cooper, Ace and Maine United can hold off the Boozer twins and Nightrydas this weekend.
- Trent Lincoln of Nightrydas (PIT) wins the award for shiftiest player of the week in my book. Holds nine offers from a variety of mid-majors.
- I got my first glimpse at AJ Dybansta today, and while his team fell to 1-4 on the week, his ability to play at this level as a Class of ‘26 prospect is incredible. And when I say ability, I mean the ability to lead the ENTIRE EYBL in scoring at 25.8 points per game this week. He’s not ranked yet, but he already holds offers from the likes of Alabama and UConn.
- Landren Blocker of Brad Beal Elite wins the award for athlete of the week. From his mind-boggling warmup dunks to catching lobs and deflecting passes, Blocker was all over the floor on Friday. He holds an offer from Mizzou, but his recruitment appears to be trending elsewhere.
- Dylan Harper, who plays for the New York Renaissance, currently holds the title of No. 1 player in the Class of 2024. Harper, who is a heavy Duke lean and was watched closely by Jon Scheyer, diced up Brad Beal Elite for 26 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in an exemplary performance. Despite the immense talent in the EYBL, Harper just appears to be on a different level on the floor. He’s a well-balanced player that can will the ball into the basket just as easily as he can set up his teammates with a great look, and he has the build of a high-major guard already. It’s hard to point at a glaring weakness in his game at this point, so yeah, I’ll go ahead and tab him as the best player I watched today.
- Team Why Not’s Tounde Yessoufou had Tom Izzo, Matt Painter, Fran McCaffrey and plenty of other big names watching him on Friday, and he put on a show. 12-for-22 shooting, 31 points and 11 rebounds in an 88-73 win over Indy Heat that kept Team Why Not atop Pool A (PIT). Currently a 4-star and the No. 25 overall prospect in the class of ‘25 according to 247 Sports, Yessoufou is incredibly bouncy at 6-foot-7 with a soft touch around the rim.
- The last, and most important thing that I learned this week: Nothing comes easy at Peach Jam. Every rebound is fought for, every shot is heavily contested, every coach and fan is yelling, and every player is fighting for their chance to be noticed and win a trophy. I can count on one hand how many times I saw a player cruise for an easy layup. I can’t count on two hands how many times I saw someone drive into the paint and 3-4 bodies end up on the floor.
- Best Team I Watched Today: Maine United was certainly impressive, but the New York Renaissance were clinical in their 68-59 win over Brad Beal Elite. Eight different players scored, and they forced Brad Beal’s usually explosive guards to take tough shots throughout the game. NY’s only defeat this week came at the hands of Mokan Elite, 67-55. A rematch may be in the cards very soon, and Aaron Rowe and T.O. Barrett vs. Dylan Harper would be must-watch.