2017 Sunflower Showcase and Verbal Commits JUCO Showcase Preview
The 2017 Sunflower Showcase basketball tournament will tip-off July 27th (Thursday) and run through July 30th (Sunday) in the Greater Kansas City area. The 17th year of this event is shaping up to be one of the best events in the entire country with over 1,500 high school recruits set to compete over the 4 days.
Each year the Sunflower Showcase features some of the best high school prospects for college coaches to evaluate. Prospects can expect to see high-major college coaches all the way down to division three coaches in the gym scouting their next big-time recruit.
“We don’t play for any type of trophy in this event. We try to get as many quality teams in the field and match them up accordingly for college coaches to get a good evaluation,” says Mike Enright, Tournament Director. “The trophy recruits are competing for is a scholarship offer.”
There have been a lot of athletes that have come through this event that go on to play in college, and coaches are finding everything from NBA caliber players to hidden gems.
“There were 4 first round picks in this year’s NBA draft that played in the Sunflower Showcase, so the big-time talent is there, but the reason so many college coaches attend the Sunflower Showcase is depth in the talent pool we’ll get at the Sunflower Showcase,” says Enright.
The now NBA players Enright was referring to are: Jayson Tatum (AAU: St. Louis Eagles), John Collins (AAU: Florida Flash), OG Anunoby (AAU: St. Louis Eagles), and Tony Bradley (AAU: Sothern Stampede). Those players along with the likes of Bradley Beal, Derrick Rose, and Blake Griffin are just a few of the other NBA players that have once competed at the Sunflower Showcase.
Hidden gems or “under-recruited” players are at every event, but it seems like college coaches flock to this event to find them. Last year, two players saw their recruitment heat up after playing in the Sunflower Showcase. Caleb Hollander, playing with Team Corey Brewer, picked up 15+ division one offers following the Sunflower. Hollander committed to Belmont University. Mark Smith, playing with Ramey Jets United, saw a bump in his recruitment – over 25 D1 offers throughout the entire year after his stellar play at the Sunflower Showcase and during his senior season before ultimately committing to the University of Illinois.
College Coaches will have an added bonus this year to find talent. The Sunflower Showcase is now hosting an elite Junior College Showcase sponsored by Verbal Commits that will run July 27th and 28th. The Verbal Commits JUCO Showcase will feature 60 of the top 2017, 2018, and 2019 junior college players from across the country; players from 14 different states will be there.
Each JUCO athlete at the Showcase will be guaranteed 3 games with the chance to be selected to the “All-Showcase” Game on Friday night. The JUCO games will run in-conjunction with Sunflower Showcase event.
“Our junior college database has grown exponentially the past few years, and we know partnering with the Sunflower Showcase is the right platform to elevate our presence in this space,” says Nathan LeClair, CEO of Verbal Commits.
The event is open to the public and will cost $10 per day.
Here is a preview of some of the players and teams that will be there.
***Important*** All offers listed were gathered from AAU coaches, JUCO coaches, VerbalCommits, Rivals, ESPN, Scout, PrepHoops, and 247Sports. I apologize for any inaccuracies.
Cole Anthony – 2019 – Point Guard : Plays for PSA Cardinals (NY). Anthony, son of former NBAer Greg Anthony, just finished the prestigious Nike Peach Jam event as the leading scoring with 25.6ppg and 1st Team Selection. Anthony is a 5-star point guard on Rivals and ranked #5 overall in the class of 2019.
Anthony has offers from: UCLA, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Miami, and others
Cole Anthony at the NBA Top 100 Camp
Keyshawn Embery – 2018 – Point Guard : Plays for Oklahoma Run PWP. Embery has elevated his stock on the Under Armour circuit this spring and summer. Multiple high-major programs are checking in on his services. Embery is ranked the #1 overall player in the state of Oklahoma for 2018 and #113 overall in the class.
Embery has offers from: West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Purdue, Nebraska, Creighton, Tulsa and others
Adokiye Iyaye – 2018 – Shooting Guard : Plays for On Point Hoops (Oklahoma). Iyaye is an athletic combo guard that is great at attacking the basket and can finish above the rim. Iyaye commited to the University of Texas-San Antonio earlier this spring. Iyaye is the #3 ranked player in the state of Oklahoma.
Isaiah Mucius – 2018 – Small Forward : Plays for PSA Cardinals (NY). Mucius (6’8”) is a long and lanky wing/forward combo with some serious bounce. Many high-major programs are vying for his services. Mucius is ranked the #67 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Mcuius has offers from: Oregon, Minnesota, Xavier, LSU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, UCONN, and others.
Isaiah Mucius highlights from NBA Top 100 Camp
Jalen Shaw – 2018 – Center : Plays for Kessel Heat (IL). Shaw reminds us a lot of recent Sunflower Showcase participant, John Collins. Shaw has above-average athleticism and is starting to fill out his 6’10” frame. A great shot blocker and post presence, Shaw has developed his offensive game nicely this year and has included a nice mid-range jumper. Shaw is the #11th rated player in the state of Illinois. Has a lot of Mid-Major looks, and starting to get high-major interest.
Shaw has offers from: Southern Illinois, University of Illinois-Chicago, Manhattan.
Zion Griffin – 2018 – Small Forward : Plays for Hoopers Basketball Club (IL). Griffin is currently the 12th ranked player in his class from the state of Illinois according to PrepHoops. A 6’5” forward that has a wide range of moves while posting up, and has started to extend his game to the 3-point line. Griffin played Nike EYBL, Howard Pulley, last weekend in an event and went for 42-points, 11-rebounds, and 3-assists. Griffin’s head coach said he immediately got calls from multiple high-major colleges.
Griffin holds over 15 division one offers from programs like Iowa State, Illinois, Northern Illinois, Drake, Wright State, UTEP, Southern Illinois, Illinois State and others. High Majors are starting to check in on him.
Bryce Thompson – 2020 – Guard : Plays for Oklahoma Run PWP. Thompson has seen his recruiting skyrocket recently, picking up high major offers after a good showing at the Under Armour Finals. Thompson can flat out shoot the ball…off screens…off the bounce…catch-n-release. Add in a steady ability to distribute the basketball as a point guard, and you can see why his ceiling is so high. He is young and has a thin frame, but some think he could potentially reach 6’6” and the muscle will eventually come. Thompson could be the next big recruit to come out of Oklahoma.
Thompson has offers from: Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, DePaul, Tulsa, and others.
Keenan Fitzmorris – 2018 – Center : Plays for KC Run GMC. The 6’11” Fitzmorris committed earlier this year to the Stanford Cardinals. Coach Haase is getting his shot blocker and rebounder that every Stanford team seems to have. Fitzmorris is a bit of a work in progress on the offensive end, but he’s developed each and every year at St. James Academy, so his ceiling seems pretty high still.
KJ Williams – 2018 – Small Forward : Plays for Da House (MS). Williams is a freak of an athlete…maybe the best in the entire event. Although he’s picked up some offers recently, he is still flying a bit under the radar. Williams is a stud on the gridiron too. A 6’8” Quarterback with a cannon for an arm. On the hardwood, his offensive game is coming around which is nice to see, and he can defend all 5 positions on the floor. He’ll be a steal for any coaching staff.
Williams has offers from: VCU, Southern Miss, UAB, Southeastern Louisiana State, Murray State, Middle Tennessee State, Troy and a lot of MM interest.
Terrance Hargrove – 2019 – Wing : Plays for HoopVille (IL). Hargrove is the #3 ranked player in the state of Illinois for his class. His recruitment is starting to pickup with a lot of high majors calling his AAU coach about his availability. Hargrove does a little bit of everything on the court from inside to outside. He’s an athletic wing that can really slash and crash the lane. As his outside jumper gets more consistent, he’ll be tough to defend.
Hargrove has offers from: Mizzou, St. Louis University, and Illinois State.
Jake Forrester – 2018 – Power Forward : Plays for PSA Cardinals (NY). It might be easier to list the schools that haven’t offered Forrester. With almost 30 division one offers, college coaches are in love with this athletic big out of Harrisburg, PA. Forrester is a true talent and will see his stock soar as his outside jumper continues to develop. He is a beast on the defensive and offensive glass, and he is one of the best bigs we’ve seen in 2018 at running the floor.
Forrester has offers from: Georgia Tech, Xavier, Miami, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Indiana, K-State, VCU, Rice, Pittsburgh, Arizona State, and others.
DeAndre Heckard – 2018 – Guard : Plays for Hoops4Health (IL). Heckard is the #9 overall rated player in his class for his state. Heckard’s name is buzzing after the April live periods, and his stock is continuing to rise. He’s a point guard that can score in bunches from all over the court. He’s got above-average handles, and his superb passing adds to his overall stock.
Heckard has offers from: Southern University, Bethune-Cookman, Drake, and Coppin State with several other mid-majors checking in on him.
Robin Duncan – 2018 – Point Guard : Plays for Pocket City Basketball (IN). Duncan committed to the University of Vermont before the July evaluation periods began. We think Duncan is just scratching the surface on his potential, so coach Becker is getting a steal this early on. Duncan is ranked the #12 overall player in his class from the state of Indiana. He’s a fun point guard to watch, especially when he’s on the fast break.
Clay Gayman – 2018 – Forward : Plays for the Kansas City Pacers. Gayman is one of those players that every college coach wants on their team. He has a motor that just doesn’t stop, and he plays max effort at all times. He is a junkyard dog that will wear opponents down physically and mentally. Gayman is starting to hear from a lot of mid-majors after a successful season on the Powerade Circuit. Gayman holds several division two offers.
Paul O’Leary – 2018 – Center : Plays for the Illinois Stars. O’Leary hasn’t been playing basketball that long so his recruitment isn’t where it should be for a 6’10” post player that can play on both ends. Following the Stars’ twitter feed, it seems O’Leary visited about every Ivy League school this spring and summer. His passion for the game is unmatched as he’s often the most vocal one on the court. He plays the pick-n-roll game nicely, and his lost post moves are starting to really come along. O’Leary holds a couple of division two offers, but we see him going as high as Mid-Major.
Donovan Moore – 2019 – Point Guard : Plays for the Illinois Irish. Moore has burst onto the recruiting scene this year. He’s ranked #9 overall in the state of Illinois for class of 2019. He went from not a lot of traction to several division one offers. A point guard that likes to get to the basket, and is good at using his body to navigate the traffic through the lane. He has great form on his jumper and can hit from 3 or the mid-range game. A nice mid-major recruit with MM+ potential.
Moore has offers from: Toledo, IUPUI, Oakland, Detroit, and others.
DJ Carton – 2019 – Point Guard : Plays for the Quad City Elite. Carton has seen his recruitment blow up since this April. A lot of schools checking in on him, and really only mid-majors were offering. Then he showed out against some elite competition, and now he’s one of the top point guards in the class of 2019. Carton can do a little bit of everything on the court… he’s good at taking opponents off the dribble, and he’s an excellent passer. I think what has raised his stock has been his ability to score.
Carton has offers from: Marquette, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas State, Northern Iowa, IUPUI.
Rondel Walker – 2020 – Point Guard : Plays for Team Griffin (OKL). Walker has generated some buzz for himself playing for Nike’s Team Griffin, and that was heightened last week at Peach Jam Invitational with a 40-point performance. Walker is an unselfish point guard…always looking to get his teammates involved, but he can score it from all over when he needs to. Expect a lot of high major programs to check in on Walker at the Sunflower Showcase.
Walker has offers from: Oklahoma State University.
Ismael Massoud – 2019 – Shooting Guard : Plays for PSA Cardinals (NY). Massoud is ranked as the #95 overall prospect in the country for 2019. He recently competed at the Nike Elite 100 Camp and is getting looks from high majors in all the power conferences. A 6’8” shooting guard with range and a pure jumper…and long-lanky-active…college coaches are all over Massoud. He’ll put on some more muscle and weight over the next couple years, and expect his ranking to move up in the top 50 or better.
Massound has offers from: Xavier, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Yale, St. Louis, Minnesota, and others.
Kobe Burgess – 2019 – Point Guard : Plays for Team Griffin (OKL). Burgess is ranked as the #1 player in the state of Oklahoma for his class. Only Oral Roberts has offered thus far, but a lot of mid-major and high-majors are starting to call for him. He’s best when pushing the ball in a high tempo offense, and he excels at finishing at the rim. Perhaps as his outside game catches up with the rest of his game…the high majors will get more involved.
Other notable players…
Devonire Glass : 2018 : SYF Players (IN). A long 6’7” wing can score from anywhere and loves to attack the basket. He can finish strong above the rim. Has a Southern Florida offer with a lot of low-to-mid majors checking in.
Derek Sabin : 2018 : Wisconsin Shooters. A high academic recruit that is off the board early to Belmont University. A 6’8” crafty forward that can finish strong with either hand. Solid from mid-range too.
Dashon Enoch : 2019 : Mad Men. A super quick point guard with tight handles. Best at scoring when attacking the basket but can hit the 3. Currently holds Western Illinois University offer.
Diego Bernard : 2018 : KC Pacers. One of the nicest passers and true PGs we’ve seen this spring and summer. A lot of mid-majors will be on him in July.
Josh Strozier : 2018 : Alabama Celtics. Played extremely well in the Adidas Gauntlet this year, resulting in a couple offers from Alcorn State & North Alabama. A super-bouncy wing that score at all 3 levels, but he’s best at crashing the lane.
Jermaine Marshall : 2018 : Alabama Celtics. Remember the name… Marshall doesn’t have anything in the way of offers but he’s 6’6” with a college frame on him. He is bouncy, physical, and does everything that won’t show up in a boxscore.
Chris Burnell : 2019 : Illinois Stars. Burnell is an intriguing PG. Doesn’t do a lot of flashy things, but perhaps that is because he makes the game look easy. Ranked #18 in state of Illinois for his class. Hearing that mid-majors and a few high-majors will be tracking him at the Sunflower.
Malachi Smith : 2018 : Ramey Jets. Every year a player from the Ramey Jets seems to gain traction with their recruitment in July, and this year it is Malachi Smith. He’ll be one to watch this weekend to see which schools will pull the trigger. Right now he has one D1 and one D2 offer. That will change after this weekend.
Carson Meier : 2018 : 3D Athletes. Meier is probably more of a 3 in college but plays a lot of point-forward for his club out of Oklahoma. Meier does a good job of getting to the rim, can run the floor with or without the ball in transition, and has a real nice release on his jump shot. Meier currently has several D2 offers, and he’s hearing from multiple IVY league schools.
With 150 teams from 18 different states and Canada we doubt you want to read about each one, so we highlighted a few notable ones below.
PSA Cardinals 17u & 16u. The Cardinals come from New York and both teams played on the Nike EYBL circuit. An organization with a track record of producing NBA players, they’ll showcase a couple of prospects that just might be the next Sunflower Showcase alum to go to the league. Cole Anthony is the guy that makes this team go, and he helped lead them to an 11-5 record during EYBL play.
Oklahoma Run PWP 15u, 16u, 17u. Playing out of Oklahoma on the Under Armour Association circuit, this club is one of the tops in the entire Midwest. They have a deep roster at each level, and a big college coach following from across the country.
Da House 17u. This team just won the inaugural Powerade Platform Circuit, and is currently ranked #20 in the nation by IndiHoops. The team out of Mississippi plays fast and likes to get up and down. The more possessions the better is the way they play. They have steady guard play with Tada Stricklen and Quatarius York, and boost a front court of 6’6”, 6’7”, 6’7”, and 6’8”.
SYF Players 17u & 16u. Another team that played on the Powerade Platform Circuit and performed quite well. Each team made the Championship bracket with the 16s finishing 11-1 on the season. The team from Indiana has been around for 30+ years and always has a talented group with a good college coach following.
KC Run GMC 17u. Playing in a showcase game on Saturday night against the KC Pacers Blue, we’ll get to see Under Armour (GMC) vs. Powerade (Pacers) in front of a lot of local fans. KC Run GMC finished in the top half of the UAA this year, and have a really nice balanced team.
Team Griffin 16u & 15u. The second year as the rebranded under NBA and former Athletes First (previous name), Blake Griffin’s sponsored team played this year on Nike EYBL’s 16u circuit. They have a stable of talented players in the 2019-2021 classes that will have college coaches getting eyes on them this coming weekend at the Sunflower Showcase.
Illinois Stars 17u & 16u. A quality program out of Chicago that will always feature college prospects. Both teams competed on the Powerade Platform this year – the 16s were runner-ups in the Championship Bracket, and they got ranked as high as #12 overall in the country.
GTH 4XIII 17u & 16u. Made the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina earlier in July after rolling through the Adidas Silver division. The team from Oklahoma has several division one players, and they can play with anyone in this field.
This past Thursday and Friday saw the first ever Verbal Commits event: the VC JUCO Showcase. Hosted alongside the prestigious Sunflower Showcase in Kansas City, players from all over the country, 17 different states, came out to play in front of coaches for an opportunity to earn scholarships.
From T.J. Washington’s off the backboard alley-oop to Preston Ellis, to Mickey Locke’s hot streak in the All-Showcase game, certain players had coaches buzzing once the games were over. We’re hearing that multiple players have been contacted by college coaches that were in attendance.
We’d like to thank Mike Enright from RecruitLook for hosting the event and Tommy Canale for coaching the players. Coaches, if you have any questions about any of the participants in our event, please DM us on Twitter or email me at email@example.com.
We’re extremely grateful for the following recruits who played in our showcase:
All-Showcase Team Orange:
T.J. Washington, Coffeyville SO (6′, 185)
Tyrin Harris, Penn Valley JR (6’2″ 170) AVAILABLE
DeShaw Andrews, USC Salkehacthie SO (6’4″ 245)
Christian Carmichael, Colby SO (6’6″ 167)
Femi Omisile, Long Beach City JR (6’4″ 195) AVAILABLE
Preston Ellis, Neosho County SO (6’8″ 210)
Dominique Primer, Redlands SO (5’8″ 160)
Perion Little, Miles RS SO (6’2″ 177)
Corey Thomas, Ocean County SO (6′ 185) AVAILABLE
George Lee, RS FR (6’6″ 200) AVAILABLE
William Lybaek, Northwest Kansas Tech SO (6’3″ 170) QUALIFIER
All-Showcase Team Black:
Wali Parks, Des Moines Area SO (6’6″ 215)
Dion Union, Kansas City Kansas SO (6′ 155)
Cedric Roland, Coffeyville SO (6’7″ 225)
Anthony Lupardus, Johnson County SO (6’1″ 175)
Tafari Beckford, Oakton SO (6’5″ 180)
David Payne, Malcolm X SO (6’5″ 205)
Drew Young, Colby SO (6’3″ 200)
Aurimas Tverijonas, Northwest Kansas Tech SO (6’10” 215)
Will Sides, Lewis & Clark JR (5’11”) AVAILABLE
Mickey Locke, Des Moines Area SO (6’1″ 197)
Conor Geiger, Mount Hood SO (6’5″ 195)
Seth McCoy, Louisburg RS FR (6’3″ 205)
Brent Finn, Dawson SO (6′ 180)
Tyler Zinn, Fort Scott SO (6’1″ 175)
Tyler Williams, Allen SO (6′ 165)
Chauncey Turner, Moberly Area SO (6’1″ 175)
Anthony Cerda, Fort Scott JR (6’2″ 180) AVAILABLE
D.J. Tyree, FR (6’1″ 175)
Robert Johnson, McHenry County FR (6’4″ 225)
Jazz Parker, Northeastern SO (5’10” 175)
Rodney Henderson, Santiago Canyon FR (6’5″ 180)
Shammond Ivory, Des Moines Area SO (6’3″ 205)
Marcel Cherry, Wabash Valley SO (6′ 170)
Malik Keith, Coffeyville SO (5’11” 155)
Lee Higgins, Des Moines Area SO (6’4″ 190)
Dawson Gunter, Pratt SO (5’10” 165)
Jeremiah Hudspeth, Colby SO (5’8″ 180)
Josh Hill, Coffeyville SO (6’5″ 220)
Holden Redparth, Highland SO (6′ 205)
Tyree White, Moberly Area SO (6’6″ 192)
D’Andre Franklin, RS FR (5’8″ 140) AVAILABLE
E’mon Frison, South Suburban RS SO (5’8″ 180)
Brian Thomas, South Suburban SO (5’11” 180)
Marcus Thomas, Itawamba SO (6’2″ 180)
Treshawn Gause, Eastern Oklahoma RS SO (5’11” 165)