UA & Nike stock boosters
The Nike and Under Armour circuits both ran their second sessions over the weekend in Indianapolis where the best talent from across the nation was on display. Some of the more highly thought of and touted recruits came to play but there were a few others that broke out and saw their recruitments pick up. We take a look at those that made a loud statement over the weekend that should see their stock improve as the weeks progress.
CHRIS SEELEY, PF, SPLASH CITY, 2016: While he didn’t end his stay in Indy as he might have liked, Chris Seeley made a large statement in front of a throng of college coaches on Friday evening. The hard playing and tough big man looks to be one of the best unsigned big men nationally and did major work from 20-feet and in. Seeley showed off the ability to hit the perimeter jumper with his feet set yet it was his dominance in the lane that really impressed. He scored the ball through contact at the basket, rebounded his area, and changed shots on the defensive side of the floor. He tallied double digit rebounds in every contest but one and because of it, received offers from San Francisco and UTEP at the conclusion of the event.
LUKE GARZA, C, TEAM TAKEOVER, 2017: He didn’t have the best of weekends until the very end where Garza displayed some major toughness and a low post skillset. In an era where everyone wants to be a guard and play on the perimeter, the Takeover big man comprehends where his bread is buttered. A throwback 5-man, Garza puts his behind on the block, posts hard, gives a target for the entry catch, and can score on solid drop step and baby hooks over his left shoulder. While he will never be portrayed as an elite athlete, the DMV recruit is a space eater who cleans his area on the glass but also can have his team’s offense be run through him on the low block. Finishing with 23 points off of just 10 shots attempted on Sunday, offers have continued to roll in as James Madison, Navy, Penn State, Northwestern, UCF, Columbia, and Princeton have all offered since the conclusion of his time in the Midwest.
DEVONTAE SHULER, SG, TEAM CP3, 2017: While he has been thought of solely as an elite athlete with a major burst to him, Shuler was quite the scoring weapon on Sunday morning in Indy. He had a solid weekend prior to his final contest but it was the shooting display that he showcased that has put some more attention on the South Carolina native. The 6-foot-2 guard has never been seen as a knockdown shooter and while he still needs some more consistency thrown into his game, Shuler was on fire. He hit on five of his eight long distance attempts, exploding for 30 points on the scoreboard. It would be difficult to describe Shuler as a breakout but the past few months have been silent ones for the explosive leaper; that should all change after a strong few days of play during the second session of the Nike EYBL.
KJ BUFFEN, F, SOUTHERN STAMPEDE, 2018: Buffen had a tremendous game on Saturday evening and while it was in at an off-site gym, college coaches took notice. The 6-foot-6 forward is a major matchup issue within the half-court setting. He has a decent looking jumper that he can hit in rhythm but whenever he is guarded by a defender smaller than him, he can take them down into the paint and score on strong post-ups moves. While consistency has sometimes been a detriment of Buffen’s in the past, his athleticism, frame, and talent levels are all beginning to meet, making the Peach State native a well-worthy recruit within the 2018 class.
CHRISTIAN BROWN, SF, GEORGIA STARS, 2019: While it may be tough to call Brown a break out as he is a relatively well-known freshman and one that is just beginning his story on the national level, his high-flying antics, developing ball skills, and toughness were on display all weekend long. The bouncy and active South Carolina native is one of the more entertaining ballplayers that you’re going to find in the underclassmen ranks. Still primarily an athlete at this time, Brown stepped up his game on Saturday evening whenever his team’s star lead guard Ashton Hagans went down with an injury. All the 6-foot-5 wing did thereafter was create for others, finish at the basket, and defend with a vengeance, all of which led to an offer from the Clemson Tigers basketball program.
MARCUS TSOHONIS, G, PORTLAND BASKETBALL CLUB, 2019: Entering the weekend with little known about him, Tsohonis put on a major shooting display on Saturday at Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse. More of a combo guard type that can be played on the ball some, the Portland born sophomore hit on nine 3-pointers in his afternoon contest. While he failed to hit on as many for the rest of the weekend, with the new day and age where shooters are placed in such high regard, one can expect for Tsohonis’ stock to really improve in the coming months. No offers have been handed out just yet, though Portland, Portland State, Gonzaga, Oregon, and Oregon State have all expressed varying degrees of interest. With more showings like that he had on display this past weekend, that interest should easily turn into a bevy of offers in the nearby future.