Youth was most certainly served at the Nike Peach Jam last week. A number of the top guards from the event were rising juniors. Rivals.com's Justin Young breaks down the top 10 underclassmen performers from the prestigious event in North Augusta, S.C. from last week.
There wasn't a better pure point guard in the field than Pressey. The 5-foot-8 point guard ran his team with great poise and efficiency. He protected the ball like his weekly allowance was dependent on zero turnovers. Pressey showed off his outstanding passing ability, all the while scoring when he needed to score. For BABC to make it to the 17 and under title game, Pressey had to bring his 'A' game to Augusta. He certainly did.
In order for the City Rocks to play in the final game of the 16 and under division, someone needed to step up and play like a champion. In a must-win game against the Alabama Challenge, Buie was that guy. He scored at will and scored with a variety of moves to the basket. The Rivals100 junior-to-be put his team on his back when it mattered. Buie had the gym buzzing after his performance in the final game of pool play.
Like Buie, Harris stepped up down the stretch. In the playoff rounds, the 6-foot-8 forward was the perfect post player. The class of 2010 big man did an incredible job of establishing position on the low blocks and putting himself into position to score at will. Harris was a pure grinder and a tough matchup for the majority of the 16 and under field at his position. He shined when it mattered the most, too.
The roll that the 14-year-old is on right now is fantastic. After shining at the LeBron James Skills Academy, Gilchrist picked up right where he left off in Akron. The 6-foot-7 wing showed off a number of skills. He can handle the ball well enough to be the lead guard. He rebounded well enough to lead his team on the glass. He scored both inside and out with the best of them, too. Gilchrist's long term potential is limitless.
The 6-foot-2 combo guard did a nice job of showing his scoring punch at the Peach Jam and led his playoff team in scoring. Galloway has a great frame and long arms and he knows how to use his length from a scorer's standpoint. Galloway does his best work going to the rim. He's playing himself into high-major offers. LSU stepped up and tendered a free ride as soon as the tournament ended.
It is starting to sound repetitive. Franklin was once again one of the top scorers at an event he played in. With games like his 32-point effort against Howard Pulley and several other 20-plus scoring games, Franklin proved his worth as a scorer. Most of his buckets came off of long range shots. The 6-foot-1 guard played off the ball most of the tournament and made quick work with the roundball once he got his hands on it.
Just like he did in Akron at the King James Shooting Stars Classic, the prep school-bound guard got better as the tournament pushed forward. Coleman used every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame whether it was on offense or defense. He's a better shooter than he gets credit for but his best work comes on athletic moves to the basket. His potential on the defensive end of the floor is also outstanding.
The Syracuse bound guard was a threat in three different ways at the Peach Jam. He was good for at least 12 points per game, five rebounds a contest and four assists each time out. Defending the strong-bodied and hard-nosed Philly native was no easy task. Waiters served up some serious aggressiveness and gave teams a sampling of several facets of his game. He'll be a fine Big East player the minute he gets to upstate New York.
There are good scorers and then there are great scorers. Johnson is very much the latter. The 6-foot-2 combo guard has proven himself as a guy that can score in big bunches. His play at the Peach Jam didn't change that scouting report. The Chicago native is much more athletic than he looks and he'll have a play or two a game that will leave on-lookers mystified.
While Jones may not be the best prospect on his team (that distinction goes to Terrence Ross), the 6-foot-7 combo forward was the most productive for the Portland, Oregon team. Jones topped the 20-point mark three times in the tournament and also showed his rebounding skills along the way, too. Jones can handle the ball well and caused mismatch problems throughout the event.