The Peach Jam - which again, is not actually in Georgia - kicked off their championships yesterday. St. John's targets Kyle Anderson (Playaz Basketball Club) and Ricardo Gathers (Louisiana Select) are both playing down in South Carolina.
The recruiting media folks are thick on those sessions; CBS' Matt Norlander learns firsthand what AAU basketball is about, while apparently Gary Parrish wrote an article or said something so not-pro-Kentucky basketball that the Kentucky Associate AD seemed to threaten to revoke his media credentials. Brian Bosworth is reporting on interesting players for NBE Basketball. And the finals will be on ESPN.
More relevant for the St. John's basketball recruiting fans - Kyle Anderson's recruiting is hot and heavy and lustful, with Kyle and his father Kyle senior doing an excellent job of not tipping their hands (they could run a course on this). He is one of the Johnnies' two main targets this summer, with Ricardo Gathers being the other.
How they did at the first day of the Peach Jam, after the jump.
The first game for Ricardo Gathers' Louisiana Select team was a 9 point (60-51) loss to B-More Elite. But Gather's squad was a hard luck loser late to Indy Speice last night at Peach Jam:
With two minutes to go, Indy Spiece trailed 58-53 after a demoralizing alley-oop dunk by Ricardo Gathers of Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.). Smith-Rivera responded with a three-pointer, a free throw after getting fouled underneath and hit an ugly jumper in the lane that bounced around the rim several times before falling in to tie the score at 59 with 1:13 left.
The good side, though, is that Gathers is playing with fewer miscues than in earlier Nike EYBL sessions.
The rebounds are still there, but the turnovers are low, really low. And the free throw percentage is up to 50%. Gathers didn't take any three-pointers, and his two-point shooting percentage is over 50%. That's most of what you want to see out of a big man. - efficient scoring, few miscues, lots of trips to the line. This doesn't tell us about defense, of course, but Gathers is harnessing those man-child Beast skills into what could be an even more college-ready force. No wonder St. John's wants him to bring those basketball talents up to Queens.
Folks are gushing about Kyle Anderson's day one performance, and with good reason. Those numbers aren't just eye-popping. I had to check them twice to make sure I had entered them correctly... wait. Let me check that again.
I think Anderson's playing the game on easy. Taking more free throw attempts than field goal tries; rebounding the defensive end like a dominating forward (while his team is really dominating the defensive glass). Anderson is scoring well, taking up more possessions than he did in his earlier EYBL sessions. There's no quibble, he played great on day one, leading his team to a pair of wins.
Adam Zagoria reports that former St. John's head coach Norm Roberts is watching Kyle Anderson for Florida, while almost all of St. John's staff - Steve Lavin, Rico Hines, and Tony Chiles - are showing Anderson the appearance love at his morning game.