Nike Peach Jam Report: Day 1

Jan 25, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of Nike basketballs on a rack before a game between the Boston College Eagles and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at McCamish Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of Nike basketballs on a rack before a game between the Boston College Eagles and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at McCamish Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Day 1 of the Nike Peach Jam – and the NCAA live recruiting period – is in the books. Where were the Kansas coaches?

Despite horrendous weather that brought the trip in to Augusta, GA down to a slow crawl, we made it to Nike Peach Jam (and Nike’s offshoot – Peach Invitational Tournament). We got to see almost the full first round of Peach Jam 17U games, and we’ll see more of the 16s and Peach Invitational 17s today. The 17s at PIT should be featuring some Kansas targets, including one of the hottest names out there in point guard Collin Sexton.

2017 Targets

Troy Brown Jr

The first player we saw on the night, and he played well in the opener. Assistant coach Kurtis Townsend was courtside for this one, and we saw coached from Duke, Texas, UNLV, California, Arizona, USC, and a host of others. Granted Brown’s Las Vegas Prospects were up against Howard Pulley, which features Duke targets Gary Trent Jr. and Tre Jones – so not all of those coaches were on hand for Brown.

Much like at EYBL Atlanta, we came away impressed with Brown’s play. They were overmatched talent-wise against Pulley, but Brown’s defense, rebounding, and passing helped them to an early lead and a really strong first half. Brown looks to be a legitimate 6’7″ with good length and a good frame. He moves like a guard and handles the ball like one too. He’s going to have to figure out his shot in college if he wants to move to the pros eventually, but right now he’s an instant-minutes guy at the elite college level because of his versatility.

Kansas had fallen off a bit in his recruitment last year, thanks in some part to Brown’s poor play last summer. Given Kansas’ need for a win in the upcoming class and the current lack of elite options, we’ve got an inkling they’ll make a strong push for him if he continues his solid play in the live periods.

Trae Young

Another MoKan Elite game, another great performance from Young, another game with Coach Self and an assistant watching from the sidelines. The Kansas staff will follow Young’s every move, and it will almost always be with at least two of them watching (unless Deandre Ayton is playing at the same time, I suspect).

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Young dazzled with his ballhandling and finishing last night, rather than his shooting. He finished just 2-7 from beyond the arc, instead doing most of his damage off slicing drives from the top of the key. He is a very, very good finisher at the rim, and reminded me quite a bit of former Duke point guard Tyus Jones’ performances at Peach Jam a few years ago in that way. Young bounced off defenders and still finished, but his creativity in attacking his layups is what sets him apart. He doesn’t ever seem to finish the same way twice against a shot-blocker, using a variety of hesitations to change speeds. Sometimes he finishes quickly before a defender can react at the rim, sometimes he baits the shotblocker and finishes around them. He’ll need that as he moves to the next level where he’ll face defenders more athletic than him nearly across the board every night.

As usual Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky were all on hand, each with multiple coaches. From what I still hear, it’s a Kansas and Oklahoma battle, with Kentucky somewhat chasing those two.

Chaundee Brown

The Nike South Beach wing had a great start to his live period with Kansas head coach Bill Self watching on the sidelines. Brown, who has visited Kansas for Late Night in the past, put up 24 points and 9 rebounds against a loaded PSA Cardinals squad.

Brown is a strongly built, long-armed wing that stands about 6’5″. He is known as a scorer, but his shooting was excellent on Wednesday night. He went 3-6 from deep and hit a few other jumpers as well. He plays hard and has elite potential as a defender because of his length and athleticism. As long as his handle continues to tighten up – and it has improved tremendously since last season, along with his shooting – he’ll be one of the more sought-after guys this summer. I expect Coach Self will watch a few more of his games this week to continue to evaluate him.

Kentucky, Duke, UNC, and a load of other high majors were on hand for this game, so it won’t be a surprise to see him pick up some big offers over the next week.

Deandre Ayton

The Kansas coaches also watched Ayton, although we weren’t on hand to see much of his game (we headed out to check out some younger players before the week gets too hectic). Ayton had a strong outing with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks in Cal Supreme’s opening win against Albany City Rocks.

Related Story: Catch Up With Our Peach Jam Preview

We’ll have more updates later today from both Peach Jam and Peach Invitational. Also, the Kansas coaches are also present at Under Armour’s camp in Charlotte and the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg.

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