The 2017 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam carried on Saturday from Mequon Homestead High School. The stars came out to play on day four as teams inched closer to the coveted Summer Jam championship. In a highly anticipated battle, DreamVision got past the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, advancing to Sunday’s quarterfinals…

Top Performers
Tyron Brewer – 2018 – SG – MBA Hoops Elite

I liked Brewer quite a bit last year and he continues to fly under the radar nationally. A 6-foot-6 shooting guard with a lot of strength, Brewer is imposing when he puts his head down and gets to the rim. At the very least, Brewer is usually shooting free throws following a drive. He’s a nice mid-range shooter, but can be streaky from beyond the arc. However, Brewer’s shot is good enough where defenders can’t sag off all game and hope he misses enough. Brewer had a strong first half to help MBA Hoops put away Team Power on Saturday. When the game got closer, Brewer had a few closing statement buckets to ensure the victory. 

J’Raan Brooks – 2018 – PF – DreamVision
One of the favorites for the 17U MVP, Brooks had 18 points in a win over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The USC commit was excellent at the high post, facing up and either taking the jumper or putting the ball on the deck and going to work. He’s a guy you can isolate in that area and let him simply size up the opponent. A post that runs the floor very well, Brooks is always ahead of the pack a few times per game for easy dunks. Brooks has a good enough shooting touch where he’ll likely expand his stroke to 3-point range with time. He can also handle the ball, which could make him a big mismatch problem in the Pac-12. 

D.J. Carton – 2019 – PG – Quad City Elite
Another day, another big performance for Carton. The rising floor general earned an offer from Nebraska following his 28-point performance on Saturday. Quad City Elite found themselves in a battle with the Wisconsin Swing. In danger of being sent home early, Carton just wouldn’t let his team die. A good combination of strength and speed, Carton is an explosive guard in the open floor that loves to challenge people at the rim. His outside shot continues to come along. Carton knocked down a couple of 3-pointers. An excellent passer and facilitator, Carton has a great feel for his teammates, anticipating their movements and setting them up for success. 

DeAndre Heckard – 2018 – PG – Hoops4Health
Saturday was the best I’ve seen Heckard play. Looking to make a statement against a loaded Game Elite squad, Heckard was absolutely fearless and probably had the best overall performance of anyone on the floor. Heckard made things happen off the dribble drive, leaving defenders in the dust and showing great body control at the rim against Game Elite’s long, athletic forwards. If he gets enough momentum and space, Heckard showed he can dunk on some bodies as well. Although Hoops4Health came up short, Heckard accepted the challenge and passed. 

Jordan McCabe – 2018 – PG – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
Making up for lost time after spending the first part of the week at the Under Armour All-American Camp, McCabe got right to work in a win over Yanders Law. The West Virginia commit went for 23 points and 10 assists, once again having complete command of the game. There’s a lot of questions about whether his flashy style will translate to the college level. All I know is that the kid seems to play his best against the best and always rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. Later that night, McCabe registered 20 points in a loss to DreamVision. 

Cardell McGee – 2018 – SG – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
In Saturday’s loss to DreamVision, McGee was excellent on both ends. He was very disruptive as a perimeter defender, forcing turnovers, walling up inside, and blocking shots. His passion on that end of the floor was outstanding. Offensively, McGee is an explosive wing. He’s got a quick first step and is fearless when going to the rim. When McGee takes off, he’s looking for a poster and doesn’t back down no matter who is waiting in the paint. 

Kyree Walker – 2020 – SG – DreamVision
Walker dropped 30 in a win over the SYF Players. The Arizona State commit is just a wrecking ball out on the floor. A kid that welcomes contact and is one of the most physically impressive soon-to-be sophomores in the country, Walker is a relentless attacker. The outside game is a work in progress, but Walker gets by with a physical brand of basketball. He just beats on defenders until they eventually give in. Also a defensive stud, Walker well beyond his years on that end of the floor. He takes pride in shutting his man down and has been very tough to score on all week.

Stock Boosters
Johnny Bernard – 2018 – SG – SYF Players

Bernard held his own in a close loss to DreamVision. The lengthy 6-foot-2 shooting guard finished off some acrobatic buckets around the rim. His length was also useful on defense, particularly in the press. Bernard got his hands in the passing lanes and came up with a number of steals that led to fast break opportunities. Bernard also got hot from 3-point range and buried some momentum swinging triples. He finished with 18 points in the loss. 

Josh Cash – 2019 – F – Wisconsin Swing
Cash played really well in a close loss to Quad City Elite. Shooting the ball well from the outside, Cash nailed a handful of triples that kept the Swing within striking distance the entire way. Once defenders figured out he could shoot the ball a little bit, Cash took advantage and was able to get all the way to the rim for some easy scores. Perhaps his biggest impact was on the offensive glass. Cash flew in for a number of offensive rebounds and kicked out immediately to open shooters, buckets that turned into significant momentum changers at the time. 

Dante Combs – 2017 – G – A2P
Combs scored in a variety of ways during Saturday’s gold playoffs. The 6-foot-3 guard mixed it up from all over the floor. Combs was solid on the dribble drives and showed the ability to pull up from mid-range. Off the ball, he ran hard off screens and worked to get himself free for good looks form downtown. 

Nobal Days – 2019 – F/C – Playground Elite
Playing up at the 17U level, Days is starting to get the hang of things. In a win over the Wisconsin Blizzard, Days made a number of plays with and without the basketball. The passing ability for a 6-foot-9 big is exceptional, especially in the high-low game. Days has eyes in the back of his head on the block and can find cutters going to the rim. On Saturday, Days moved well on the interior and got a couple dunks at the rim. Not anywhere near finished offensively, Days is learning to handle the ball in transition, shoot 3’s in the pick n’ pop game, and be more consistent as a mid-range jump shooter. He’s also flashed the ability to score going away from the rim down on the block all week. 

Eze Dike-Nwagbara – 2018 – PG – Northern Kings
Jump starting the Northern Kings in a gold playoff win over the Wisconsin Swish, Dike-Nwagbara had some stretches of basketball to help his team gain some much-needed separation after a tight first half. The 6-foot-2 point guard can be explosive on the ball and has plenty of wiggle in the open floor. Dike-Nwagbara means business on the floor. He doesn’t take unnecessary dribbles, makes quick, good decisions, and controls the flow of the game around him. The Yale commit rarely settles for jumpers but showed be can put the ball in the hole from the outside and shoot from range off the dribble as well. 

Justin Eagins  - 2019 – SG – Kessel Heat
Eagins does a lot of things well and he had a heck of an effort in a loss to Quad City Elite on Saturday. He’s only 6-foot-1, but makes up for it with surprising length and a nose for the ball. Eagins made some spectacular defensive plays, blocking shots at the rim or breaking up fast break opportunities by getting his hand on the ball. The kid can also flat out score the basketball. Eagins has a knack for hitting difficult shots from all over the floor. He’s very creative and is good for a couple of highlights every time out. It will probably take more time before the Division 1 schools catch on, but Eagins appears to be a sleeper in Illinois. 

Dontia Johnson – 2018 – SF – Hoops4Health
Johnson came out of nowhere, seemingly, and opened my eyes on Saturday. The 6-foot-8 senior made some eye-opening plays against Game Elite, beating some really good defenders to the rim and shaking people for mid-range jumpers. A high-upside forward, Johnson, when engaged, can have some dominant stretches of basketball on both ends of the floor. Johnson is long and raw physically, able to protect the paint and hold his own if he gets pulled out to the perimeter. This is a kid mid-major programs should at least give a look to next week if they haven’t already. 

Messiah Jones – 2018 – SF – Butler Elite
Jones was getting buckets in a loss to Indiana Elite. A strong, athletic wing, Jones has some exciting tools on the perimeter. He shook some guards and pulled up from 3-point land off the bounce and hit nothing but net like it was no big deal. When this kid has a rhythm going and is in scoring mode, it’s really fun to watch. The 6-foot-5 senior has an exciting blend of strength and athleticism. If his perimeter game is indeed coming alive, Jones could have a chance for a big end to July. 

Christian Wilbourn – 2019 – PF – Quad City Elite
A developing post, Wilbourn had a bit of a breakout day. He was impressive in two games and played probably the best I’ve seen. He’s grown more comfortable on the block and is getting good at pinning and sealing his man. Wilbourn has a nice one-dribble drop step and spin move. Wilbourn can also step out and shoot from 10-12 feet effectively. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound junior has a Division 1 body. He rebounded quite well on Saturday and came down with some huge boards in two close games for Quad City Elite. Like a lot of young bigs, Wilbourn can get happy feet and panic when guards come inside and swipe at the ball, but Saturday was a very encouraging step in his development. 

Recruiting Notes
Messiah Jones has offers from Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, Chicago State, and Drake. 

Deandre Heckard has offers from Drake, Coppin State, Southern, and Bethune-Cookman. 

Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie joined Bruce Pearl (Auburn) in the gym Saturday for the first time joining a laundry list of head coaches in attendance this week including, but not limited to, Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Brad Underwood (Illinois), Rick Pitino Jr. (Minnesota), Greg Gard (Wisconsin), John Beilein (Michigan), Dave Leitao (De Paul), Sean Miller (Arizona), Bobby Hurley Jr. (Arizona State), Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Mike Hopkins (Washington), Chris Holtmann (Ohio State), Lavall Jordan (Butler), Andy Enfield (USC), Frank Martin (South Carolina), Scott Drew (Baylor), Bryce Drew (Vanderbilt), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State), Dana Altman (Oregon), Chris Mack (Xavier), Pat Baldwin (UW-Milwaukee), Jon Harris (SIU-Edwardsville), Dan Mueller (Illinois State), Niko Medved (Drake), Brian Wardle (Bradley), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Marty Simmons (Evansville), Jack Owens (Miami, OH), Scott Nagy (Wright State), Paul Lusk (Missouri State), Jason Gardner (IUPUI), John Groce (Akron), Linc Darner (UW-Green Bay), Mark Montgomery (Northern Illinois), David Richman (North Dakota State), T.J. Otzelberger (South Dakota State), Craig Smith (South Dakota), Brian Dutchek (San Diego State), Saul Phillips (Ohio), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Steve Pikiell (Rutgers), Matt Lottich (Valparaiso), etc.