John Lucas Midwest Invitational recap
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The first John Lucas Midwest Invitational Camp, which was held at Hoops gym, was loaded with talent and consisted of skills training and scrimmage games for some of the most talented players from not only the Midwest, but the country in a variety of graduating classes.
John Lucas, who was drafted first overall in 1976 by the Houston Rockets, has coached three NBA teams after a great college career at the University of Maryland and brought a lot of experience to the campers.
Marcus Paige (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar)
2012, PG, 6-foot, 160 pounds
The smooth lefty lead guard simply controls the game and makes great decisions with the ball. Paige knows when to push the pace or set the offense. He has a tight handle and terrific court vision, which helps him beat pressure with ease. He can also make the defense pay with his ability knock down open jumpers with range to the arc. Paige, who seems to get better every time we see him, has Kansas, Iowa, Iowa St, Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois and Clemson in hot pursuit.
Mike Gesell (Sioux City, Neb./South Sioux City)
2012, PG, 6-1, 180 pounds
The tough combination guard had some dominating possessions. Gesell is a fearless competitor who is sneaky athletic and will finish above the rim on the break versus unexpecting transition defenders. Gesell handles and passes the ball smoothly and effortlessly and can find the open man on the break or when running the show in the half-court set. Gesell is also a deadly perimeter shooter who can get on a role and knock down two or three in a row. He has excellent strength for his size and is not afraid to mix it up when he attacks the lane. Nebraska, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Iowa, Iowa State, Drake and Utah have all offered.
Andrew Harrison (Houston, Texas/Travis)
2013, PG, 6-5, 205 pounds
Harrison has it all -- talent, size, strength and skill. He attacks the defense with a full package of offensive weapons. He rebounds, pushes the ball at high speeds, can finish at the rim, hit the pull up or drive, draw and kick to an open teammate. Harrison's size allows him to pass over smaller defenders and his strength gets him baskets through contact. His handle is tight with the ability to execute crossovers going both ways and he can make open shots to the arc, but what makes Harrison special is his ability to simply make plays with the ball in his hands. Kentucky, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor and Arizona are on Harrison's early list.
Jabari Parker (Chicago, Ill./Simeon)
2013, SF, 6-6, 215 pounds
Parker displayed his great skill set and feel for the game. He can rebound and start the break or make plays from the wing his ability to handle the ball. He finished inside with either hand and rebounded everything in his area on both ends of the floor. Parker also was a willing passer when he drew multiple defenders and his passes were on time and on target. Parker looks extremely comfortable with the ball for a combination forward and will be a matchup nightmare for high school opponents this season. Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, Purdue, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Washington and Memphis, among others have been by Simeon to check out Parker and everyone that has come in has offered.
Cimeon Bowers (Milwaukee, Wisc./King)
2012, PF, 6-7, 270 pounds
He is a wide-bodied, skilled power forward who can handle the ball on the wing, along the baseline and from the high post area where he can finish through contact with ease or throw down drop-off passes. Bowers also has the ability to knock down open mid-range jumpers, is a powerful rebounder in the paint and he even ran in from the perimeter for a couple timely tip-ins. Iowa, Depaul, Marquette and Maryland are all interested in him.
Player to watch
Jonathan Milligan (Casa Grande, Ariz./Union)
2012, PG, 6-2, 150 pounds
He drew a lot of attention during the drills, where he handled, passed and shot the ball very well. Milligan is a wiry thin, but very skilled combo guard who has good speed and quickness. He displayed excellent court vision and delivered the ball on the money when he attacked off the dribble and drew multiple defenders. He can also get to the rim and finish with a nice touch, as well as hit mid-range jumpers with ease. Milligan, who mentioned Oregon State, Clemson and Denver, has a good feel for the game and is a player to keep an eye on.
Aquille Carr (Baltimore, Md./Patterson)
2013, PG, 5-6, 145 pounds
Don't let his size fool you because Carr attacks and takes on all comers on the court. He is lightning quick with the ball and can push the pace off the dribble or advance it off the pass or drive, draw and kick because he gets in the lane at will. He will also attempt to throw it down with a full heard of steam when he is ahead of the pack on the break. He scores in the lane with acrobatic shots on either side of the rim with great touch and body control and can create space with his handle to get off his jumper. Carr plays with swagger and if his defender is not ready to play, it will be long night.
• Class of 2014 SF Jalen Lindsay (Nashville, Tenn./Christ Presbyterian Academy) is a very impressive 6-6 athletic slasher and above-the-rim finisher. He says Memphis has already offered.
• Purdue and Indiana have both offered Class of 2013 combo guard Bryson Scott (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop), who has a good feel for the game, a smooth mid-range game and can knock down jumpers off the bounce with ease.
• Baylor commit Isaiah Austin (Mansfield, Texas/Grace Preparatory Academy) continued to impress with his length and skill by changing and blocking shots and displaying big time ball skills that are rarely seen done by a 7-0 center. Austin also showed a nice jump hook over his left shoulder.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.
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