The Great Lakes Summer Classic was well-organized, just poorly-timed. My timing was also poor, as I got there the day after everyone played really well, apparently. Team Pride and Team Detroit, the two biggest draws at the event, were coming off trips to Louisville and Chicago, respectively, and both appeared pretty gassed. A number of notable 2013 kids played up with Team Detroit’s 16U, including Monte Morris, Denzel Watts, and Leo Edwards, and they were some of the most impressive prospects on this day. I got to watch some big names and some up-and-comers, so the trip was definitely worthwhile.
Javontae Hawkins (2012, G, Team Detroit) – I saw Javontae play briefly very early on in the spring for Team Pride, and I was impressed. Today, for Team Detroit, he was decent, but not great. To be fair, by all accounts he was astounding yesterday, scoring 29 points in one game and playing very well throughout the day. I think I got him right as he (and many others) were running out of energy. The AAU circuit is a grind; I’m tired, and I’m not even playing any games. While he didn’t have great games, you can tell he’s a cut above the rest. His jumper wasn’t on today but I know from watching him at Elite Camp that he can fill it from deep. He can finish at the rim really well and knows how to use his tremendous length and athleticism. His defense was on point and he never let up, even when he was missing shots. He also rebounded well. On offense, he seems to need the ball in his hands in order to be effective. He had a few nice drive-and-dish’s but other than that he looked to score. Very good player, great prospect, still has work to do.
Monte Morris (2013, G, Team Detroit) – Only a rising sophomore, Morris is a legit point guard prospect. He’s very small, but extremely quick with insane handle. And despite his small stature, he can finish at the rim against bigger players. He has great hands on defense and never lets his man go by him. His shot looked nice, but it’s hard to judge a shot after watching just one day. He’s very elusive in the paint but not afraid to draw contact. Great scorer already, can work on passing. Overall, the hype around him is justified, in my opinion.
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