Recruiting Coverage

Sunflower Showcase 2015 Preview


2015 Sunflower Showcase

The Sunflower Showcase is set to tip-off on July 23rd-26th and will feature some of the best prep basketball athletes in the country.  This year’s tournament will have 80+ teams from 18 different states, and will attract hundreds of college coaches from around the country.

Follow the event on twitter at @KC_HOOPS

3-Sunflower-Showcase-2015The Sunflower Showcase is one of the premiere July recruiting events in the entire country; it has been an evaluation stop for hundreds of collegiate players along with several NBA players (Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Bradley Beal to name a few).

This year’s event will be loaded with talent once again.  Top teams from across the country will make the trek to play in the brand-new Sports Pavilion in Lawrence, Kansas.  The 8 court facility will be the site for wire-to-wire basketball the next 4 days, with a lot of college coaches expected to get one last viewing of the recruits for the 2015 evaluation period.

Plenty of talent will be at the Sunflower Showcase.  Nine of the Nike Elite 100 invitees and 3 of the 40 Nike Global Challenge players will be playing for their grassroots team in the Sunflower Showcase.

The Nike Elite 100 is an invite camp for the top underclassmen in the country.  One Hundred hoopers put their skills on the line in this highly competitive camp, led by the best coaches in the country.

The Nike Global Challenge brings 40 of the top American high school basketball together to battle the international elite in a tournament open to college coaches.

With over 800 prospective student-athletes coming through the Sunflower Showcase event, there will be plenty of talent on display for college coaches

“We do a good job of bringing talent for all college division levels.  We have some teams that will feature rosters of 8+ division one players, and other rosters will be loaded with mid-major and division two players,” says Tournament Director Mike Enright.  “We get hundreds of college coaches because we bring a wide variety of players from all over the country for coaches to evaluate.”

From Thursday (23rd) to Sunday (26th) afternoon, the Sports Pavilion at Rock Chalk Park plays host to the wall-to-wall hoops tournament organized by Mike Enright and Chad Rader.  The tournament field will feature heavy hitters, rising stars, and under-the-radar recruits.

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“The facility is one of the best in the country coupled with one of the best fan bases in all of college basketball, and we are expecting a really good atmosphere for these games.  Having all games under roof makes everything easier for college coaches, AAU teams, parents and fans,” says Enright

The event is open to the public and will cost $10 per day.

There will be 800+ high school recruits playing in the Sunflower Showcase, and many have bright college futures… Here is a look at a few:

A look at a few of the Sunflower Showcase prospects

***Important*** All offers listed were gathered from, AAU coaches, VerbalCommits.com, rivals.com, ESPN.com, and 247spots.com.  I apologize for any inaccuracies.

Jordan Tucker – 2017 : 6’7” : Small Forward : Plays for NY Lightning.  Ranked #28 overall by ESPN for the 2017 class, Tucker’s game has blossomed on the Nike EYBL circuit.  Watch his highlights

Jordan Tucker currently holds offers from:  Arizona, NC State, UCONN, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Oklahoma, Providence, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, Xavier, Alabama, and others.

Jatrious “J.J.” Smith – 2017 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for Southern Stampede.   J.J. came onto the scene last year at the Sunflower Showcase as a sophomore-to-be playing in the 17s Elite division.  ESPN rankings have J.J. Smith at #46 overall for the class of 2017.

J.J. Smith currently has offers from: Kansas State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion.  Smith is hearing from Arizona, Florida, Florida State, Baylor, and others.

Alex Reese – 2017 : 6’9” : Forward : Plays for SE Elite Alabama.  Reese is ranked #49 overall in the 2017 class by Rivals.  Reese has been landing on everyone’s recruiting radar with his inside/outside game.  Reese has had a busy summer competing on the USA Men’s Junior National Team.

Alex Reese currently has offers from:  Alabama, Auburn, Kansas State, Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, UAB.  Reese is also hearing from Kansas, LSU, Texas among others.

Victor Uyaelunmo – 2017 : 6’11″ : Center : Plays for SE Elite Florida.   Victor is ranked #60 overall in the 2017 class by ESPN.  Victor shows a wide range of offensive moves and can even step out to hit the 3-ball.  His rim protection on the defensive end is solid too.  Very interesting prospect.

Victor Uyaelunmo currently holds offers from:  Wake Forest, Miami, Memphis, Florida State.

Shamorie Ponds – 2016 : 6’1″ : Point Guard : Plays for NY Lightning.   Ponds is ranked #45 overall in the 2016 class by Rivals.  He is a smooth left-handed point guard that can score and dish.  His shooting range extends way beyond the 3-point line!  Watch his highlights 

Shamorie Ponds currently has offers from: Minnesota, Creighton, Miami, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Temple, Georgia Tech, Xavier, USC and others.

Screenshot 2015-06-13 19.00.56

Chaundee Brown, SE Elite Florida

Chaundee Brown – 2017 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for SE Elite Florida.  Chaundee Brown is the #58 overall player in the 2017 class ranked by Scout.com.  Brown climbed the rankings board after a solid spring where he displayed his ability to score the ball.  He had a 40 point performance against a tough Florida Vipers team.  A lot of coaches will be following Brown this July.

Chaundee Brown currently holds offers from:  Central Florida, UAB, Northern Arizona.  Brown is hearing from Florida, Florida State, Kansas State, Virginia Tech and others.

Kristian Doolittle – 2016 : 6’6″ : Small Forward : Plays for Athletes First.   Kristian Doolittle is the #62 overall ranked player in the 2016 by ESPN.  Doolittle is a versatile forward that can score at the rim or hit the mid-range jump shot.

Kristian Doolittle currently is committed to: University of Oklahoma Sooners.

Rodney Miller – 2016 : 6’11″ : Center : Plays for NY Lightning.   Rodney Miller is currently ranked #77 overall in the 2016 class by Scout.com.  Miller is a big that brings it on both ends of the floor. He can score down low with his left or right, and he is an excellent shot blocker.

Rodney Miller currently holds offers from: Wake Forest, UCONN, Tulsa, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech.  Miller is drawing interest from Kansas, Duke, Florida, Purdue, Stanford, Arizona and others.

Jakolby Long, Athletes First EYBL

Jakolby Long, Athletes First EYBL

Jakolby Long – 2016 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for Athlete’s First.   Long had a nice season on the Nike EYBL circuit, which led to some new recruiting interest.  Long has the ability to score from anywhere on the court and is very good in the transition game.

Jakolby Long currently holds offers from: Wichita State, Missouri, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Houston, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Georgia and others.

Terrell Turner – 2017 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for SE Elite Florida.  Terrell Turner is ranked #5 overall in the state of Florida for the 2017 class by PrepHoops Florida.  Turner is making a case to be one of the best shooting guards in the class of 2017.  Turner is a smooth perimeter scorer who not only is a knock-down outside scorer, but he can create for himself off-the-dribble as well.  Watch his highlights

Turner currently has offers from: Minnesota, Georgia, Rutgers, Memphis, Murray State, Florida International, Northern Arizona, Louisiana Tech and others.  Turner is also getting interest from Ohio State and Syracuse.

Wyatt Wilkes – 2017 : 6’8″ : Small Forward : Plays for SE Elite.  Wyatt Wilkes is the #96 overall 2017 recruit ranked by Scout.com.  Wilkes only has a few high major offers, but he has plenty of interest.  Wilkes said over 30 coaches called him on the first day D1 coaches are allowed to contact 2017 recruits.  Wilkes does a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor.  At 6’8”, he is a matchup nightmare.

Wyatt Wilkes currently holds offers from: Clemson, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, UAB.  Wilkes has interest from Kansas, Florida, Stanford, Purdue, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State and others.

Al Durham – 2017 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for Southern Stampede.  Durham is starting to get more high major recruiting attention after a strong showing on the Nike EYBL circuit.  He is a smooth left-handed shooter that is extremely quick.  Watch his highlights 

Al Durham currently holds offers from: Indiana, Miami, South Florida, Rhode Island.

Martins Igbanu – 2016 : 6’9” : Power Forward : Plays for Southern Stampede.  A big and strong forward that plays nasty down low.  Igbanu has improved on his mid-range game, but still has some work on it. 

Martins Igbanu holds offers from:  Cincinnati, Iowa St., Miami (OH), Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Princeton, Tulsa, Yale, Tennessee and others.

Collin Sexton – 2017 : 5’11” : Point Guard : Plays for Southern Stampede.  A bit undersized, but makes up for it in effort.  Sexton is very quick with the ball and had terrific court vision.  He’s motor is nonstop, and he can fill it up from outside.

Collin Sexton currently holds offers from: Kansas State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Tulane, Old Dominion.

Elijah Pemberton – 2016 : 6’4″ : Shooting Guard : Plays for NY Lightning.  Pemberton can score in bunches when he is on.  His outside shot has improved, but he still needs to be more consistent.  Pemberton has the ability to score in a variety of ways from all over the court. More high major teams will be offering him this July. Pemberton did excel recently at the Victor Oladipo and Ty Lawson All-American Camp.

Elijah Pemberton currently holds offers from: Kansas State, Stony Brook, Towson, Fordham, Iona, and many others.

Dimencio Vaughn – 2016 : 6’4″ : Combo Guard : Plays for NY Lightning.  Vaughn averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds per game on the Nike EYBL circuit.  Impressive numbers that will earn him a lot of recruiting attention this July.  Vaughn had a couple of 30 point games on the circuit too.  At 6’4” and 185lbs, he plays a lot bigger and tougher than his measurements.

Dimencio Vaughn currently holds offers from:  East Carolina, Marshall, Rhode Island and others. Vaughn is hearing from Penn State, Temple, Miami, Drexel, Cincinnati and others.

Brendon Gooch – 2016 : 6′7” : Small Forward : Plays for SW Illinois Jets.  Gooch is an intriguing recruit for the high major teams.  He’s grown a few inches, so he isn’t quite a shooting guard like he was early in his basketball career.  Gooch can stretch the floor with his inside/outside game, and would be a good pickup for any college program.

Brendon Gooch currently holds offers from: San Jose State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois and others.  Gooch is hearing from Purdue, Illinois, St. Louis U, and others.

Kevin Morris – 2016 : 6’8″ : Power Forward : Plays for SE Elite Alabama.  Kevin Morris has risen to the top of the recruiting boards with his play on the court and his stellar academics.  A lot of IVY schools were recruiting Morris, but after a strong season on the Adidas Gauntlet Series, more mid-major and high-major coaches are following him.  Morris is a force down low.

Kevin Morris currently holds offers from:  North Florida, Tulsa, South Alabama, Brown, Yale, Cornell, Miami (OH), Rice, Murray State and others.  Morris is hearing from Vanderbilt, Oregon, Oregon State and others.

Asante Gist – 2016 : 6’ : Point Guard : Plays for NY Lightning.  Gist controls the tempo for the Lightning squad when Ponds shifts over toe shooting guard.  A gritty point guard that can score when needed, doesn’t turn the ball over, and can defend extremely well.

Asante Gist currently has offers from:  LaSalle, Penn., Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida.  Gist is hearing from UCONN, Florida, Indiana, Maryland and Syracuse.

Justin Pierce – 2016 : 6’6” : Forward : Plays for Mercury Elite.  Pierce had a terrific showing the last two weeks in Chicago and Milwaukee that brought him 8 new scholarship offers in the last 10 days.  The versatile forward can drain it from deep, and has shown this recruiting period that he added a dimension to his game…scoring at the rim.  His grades are outstanding too.  Always a plus!

Justin Pierce currently holds offers from:  Toledo, University of Wisconsin GB, Elon, IUPUI, Lehigh, Northeastern, Yale, Brown, Bucknell, Boston U., William & Mary, Furman, Belmont.

Jacob Cushing – 2016 : 6’7” : Forward : Plays for Mercury Elite.  Cushing and Pierce (mentioned above) form a tough duo of size, shooting, and slashing.  Cushing holds 5 scholarship offers, with lots more coaches following him to see how he competes against more high level competition.

Jacob Cushing currently holds offers from: Cal Poly, Mercer, Western Illinois, Illinois Springfield, Lewis University, Hillsdale.

Ethan Chargois – 2017 : 6’7” : Power Forward : Plays for Athletes First.  Chargois emerged on the recruiting scene with his stellar play for the 17u Athletes First team on the EYBL circuit.  College coaches got to see the young big battle with taller opponents.  At the 2015 Nike Peach Jam, Chargois finished 11th in rebounding average per game.

Ethan Chargois currently holds offers from: Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, FIU.

Elijah Landrum – 2017 : 6’ : Point Guard : Plays for Athletes First.  Landrum started to gain recruiting interest as he held his Athlete First teammates to a 16u Nike Peach Jam berth.  Landrum can really push the tempo and would be a good fit for a college program that does the same.  He can score from all over…he recently dropped 40 points in the GASO tournament.

Elijah Landrum currently holds offers from: Houston, SMU, Tulsa, UMKC.

Other notable players:

Tarkus Ferguson – SW Illinois Jets – 6’2” shooting guard with 6+ division one offers.

Brad Greene – Team Eleate (California) – 6’10” big body with soft hands. Holds UC Irvine offer.

Alec Hickman – Team Eleate (California) – 6’4″ point that is versatile and can play either on or off the ball. There is a reason Scout.com did a feature on him.

Mitch Lewis – Illinois Stars – 6’5” shooting guard with MM interest. Holds Northern Colorado offer

Javon Pickett – SW Illinois Jets – 6’5” forward that picked up 4 D1 offers the last 3 days.

Collin Stallworth – SW Illinois Jets – 6’7” forward with lots of upside. Holds Central Michigan offer

Ryan Welty – Pumas KC – 6’7” forward had a big July. Plenty of D1 interest. Holds UMKC offer.

Camron Donatlan – Illinois Rise – 2018 guard with huge hops & big-time jumper. Holds Santa Clara offer.

Sandro Noel – SE Elite FL 17s – 6’7” power forward that plays physical. Holds 8 D1 offers.

Malik William – SE Elite FL 16s – 6’8” power forward controls the paint for his team. Holds Northern Arizona and Central Florida offers.

Kevion Stewart – Team pFab – 6’4” combo guard with mid-major offers. Had two 30 point games last weekend in Indy.

Jalen Dupree – Team pFab – 6’8” athletic forward with several division one mid-major offers.

Tai Bibbs – Mercury Elite – 6’1″ ultra smooth point guard that recently picked up Toledo & Buffalo offers.

Julius Sakinis – Nebraska Select-Ahrens – 6’9″ Lithuania transfer that brought his Euro-game to the states.  A lot of mid-major programs watching Sakinis.

David Wingett – Nebraska Select-Ahrens – 6’6″ combo forward can play multiple positions and scores in double digits. Several schools following him, including University of Nebraska.

A few Marquee Games

There will be lots of good basketball all weekend long starting Thursday (7/23) afternoon.   Here are a few intriguing matchups for the 2015 Sunflower Showcase.

All games can be found on the Sunflower Showcase website and will be played at the Sports Pavilion in Lawrence, Kansas.

8:15pm : Saturday July 25th – NY Lightning17u vs. Athletes First 17u – Two teams that play on the Nike EYBL circuit and both advanced to the prestigious Nike Peach Jam.  These teams feature rosters full of high-major division one players.

7:00pm : Thursday July 23rd – Southern Stampede 17 vs. SE Elite Florida 16u – A battle of teams from the southeast will surely be intense.  Stampede has a roster full of division one players in the 2016 & 2017 class, while SE Elite Florida 16s have 3 players (Brown, Turner, Wilkes) that competed at the Nike Elite 100 for the 2017 class.

11:30am : Saturday July 25th – SE Elite Alabama 17u vs. Athletes First 17u – SE Elite Alabama played all year in the Adidas Uprising circuit, anchored by Alex Reese (KU target) and Kevin Morris (20+ D1 offers).  Athletes First is one of the best teams from the Nike EYBL circuit with 2 recruits that played at the Nike Global Challenge (Doolittle & Long).

5:45pm : Friday July 24th – Mercury Elite 17u vs. Wisconsin Academy 17u  Two teams with similar playing styles face off in this interesting matchup.  Mercury Elite is led by Justin Pierce, Jacob Cushing, Tai Bibbs (19 new offers between the three in the last 5 days) and their inside/outside style of play.  Wisconsin Academy isn’t loaded with household names, but they play team basketball and always find a way to win. Wisconsin Academy will be a tough out all tournament long.

7:00pm : Friday July 24th – Team Eleate 17u vs. SW Illinois Jets 17u  Team Eleate hails from Los Angeles, and they have a trio of Alec Hickman (6’3”), Brad Greene (6’10”) and Solomon Hunt (6’8”) that can play with any 17u team in the country.  The SW Illinois Jets rank as one of the best teams from Illinois with their roster of mid-major to high-major kids. 

4-Sunflower-Showcase-20158:15pm : Thursday July 23rd – New York Lightning 17u vs. Pumas KC 17u – How will one of the best teams from Kansas City fair against one of the elites of the Nike EYBL?

8:15pm : Friday July 24th – Athletes First 16u vs. KC Basketball Club 16u – Athletes First 16u team is one of the best in the country, and they’ll face one of the best from the Midwest in KC Basketball Club.

10:15am : Friday July 24th – D1 Minnesota 15u vs. Illinois Rise 15u  D1 Minnesota is the 11th ranked 15u team in the country.  They will play an Illinois Rise team that brings a Chicago-style play to the gym.  The Rise have been known to upset some top ranked teams.

3:15pm : Friday July 24th – D1 Minnesota 15u vs. Athletes First 15u   A battle of the younger shoe sponsored teams.  Who will win… Adidas (D1 Minnesota) or Nike (Athletes First)?

Bracket play for all age groups start on Saturday.