Mesa, AZ - Red Mountain High School played host to the Mesa Summer Primetime Tournament this past weekend, one of Arizona's top summer events. The compact two-day schedule had teams playing two games a day, allowing players plenty of time to show their abilities. Here's a recap of some of the top performers from the event.
Payton Dastrup - 2014 Power Forward from Mountain View High School Dastrup was the biggest name in the tournament. The rising junior has been receiving interest from high major programs. Dastrup is very athletic and has great bounce off the floor. He has good hands and works hard to get low post position. He showed a nice jump hook in the lane and several put backs from offensive rebounds. The power forward has good shooting fundamentals; he squares his shoulders and has a nice follow through. Dastrup has three-point range and showed that off several times over the weekend. He is a great rebounder in his area and works hard on the boards. He recently took an unofficial visit to Arizona and claims the Wildcats and Virginia to be his current top two schools. Either way, Dastrup plans on playing his first year in college then taking a two-year leave for his LDS mission. Although still raw offensively, Dastrup has great size at 6-foot-9 and has a very bright future.
Casey Benson - 2014 Point Guard from Corona Del Sol High School Benson was as good as advertised over the weekend. He showed great court vision and an ability to get his teammates involved. He knew when and where to bring the ball, hit teammates in the right spots, and understood when to look for his own shot. He shot the ball well from deep and was able to draw fouls and make his free throws. Corona Del Sol High School was upset, but the rising junior played as well as anyone in the tournament. The point guard has received offers from Arizona State, Saint Mary's, Boise State, Boston College, USC and, most recently, Colorado. Benson has taken unofficial visits to Arizona State and Boise State so far and says Arizona State and Saint Mary's are the schools recruiting him the hardest at the moment. Benson has a high basketball IQ and is a coach on the court. Whichever program he decides upon will be getting a winner.
Dorian Pickens - 2014 Shooting Guard from Pinnacle High School Pickens, like Dastrup, is garnering high acclaim. Pickens was probably the best offensive player at the tournament. He showed a great mid-range game, pulling up for floaters in the lane and jump shots from fifteen feet. He has a quick first step and used his 6-foot-4 frame to shoot over smaller guards. Pickens was not the fastest or most athletic player at the Mesa Primetime event, but probably had the highest basketball IQ. The shooting guard was patient on offense and avoided taking bad shots. Pickens holds offers from Arizona State, Weber State, Boston College and Rice. With another two years of high school to go, Pickens should only continue to develop as a player and see his name steadily move higher up in the national rankings.
Jalen Jenkins - 2015 Point Guard from Mesa High School Jenkins is the top 2015 player in the state of Arizona. Jenkins is a very flashy passer, and has great court vision. He seemed to pass before teammates were even open. He has long arms and his length caused a lot of problems for opposing guards. His dribbling was second to none; he weaved around defenders and found open teammates with ease. He did not look for his shot on a regular basis, but did not shy away from attacking when he saw the chance. Jenkins is athletic and is only going to continue to get bigger. The sophomore to be has received an offer from Arizona State, and Arizona, Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA, Marquette, Indiana and Washington have shown interest. Jenkins is clearly one to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Drew Bender - 2013 Shooting Guard from Pinnacle High School Bender was one of the lone seniors to be at the tournament, but showed that his experience would pay off as he led Pinnacle High School to the victory circle. Fresh off a trip to the Pangos All-American Camp, Bender showed a versatile game from start to finish. He played the point for a majority of his games, but was in attack mode throughout. He had a variety of dribble moves he used to gain separation for a quick pull up jump shot that worked very well. He has a textbook stroke and shot well from deep over the weekend. Bender and teammate Dorian Pickens were too much of a double threat, which is why Pinnacle won the tournament. The senior to be is a scoring machine; he blew by defenders playing too close, and shot over defenders that gave him too much space. Bender holds offers from Northern Arizona, Idaho State, Air Force, Drake, Dartmouth and Houston Baptist. Bender is a gifted shooter and is developing as a lead guard; he should continue to receive interest from mid major programs.
Isaac Allen - 2014 Center from Mesa High School Allen had a good weekend. He showed an improved offensive game and already capable defensive moves. The rising junior has high major length and athleticism and at 6-foot-10 with long arms he reeked havoc on defense. He used a college-ready jump hook to score in the lane, and has nice form on his jump shot. He started his games off slow, but once his motor kicked in any rebound or block he wanted was his. Also, the center showed nice passing skills when guards cut through the lane. Allen should continue to hear from more and more schools as he develops his offensive game around his already impressive defense. As it stands, the schools recruiting him the hardest are UCLA, Marquette, Arizona, Arizona State and Notre Dame. His size and length will become more and more appeasing to schools as the year goes on. Look for the rising junior to hear his name on national rankings sooner than later.
Frank Woodford is a special contributor to The Recruit Scoop. Specializing in West Coast and Southwest coverage - specifically Arizona - Woodford can be followed on Twitter at @FrankWoodford34.