Pittsburgh Hoop Group Jam Fest recap

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Hoop Group Jam Fest featured over 250 grass roots teams from all around the United States and Canada. President Rob Kennedy and director Rob Engemann did a great job of not only assembling great talent but well coached teams to make the tournaments competitive on every level.

Standout players

Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy)
2012, PF, 6-foot-11, 250 pounds

The big-bodied lefty is strong, physical and possesses very good skill. He runs the floor and rebounds extremely well. McGary can rebound and push the ball on the break with an excellent bust-out dribble and can go coast-to-coast, if the defense falls asleep, or hit the open man. He posts up low and wide and has a nice hook over his right shoulder. McGary finishes drop-off passes above the rim through contact and can step out to the arc and knock down open 3s. He will need to continue to build his back-to-the-basket scoring package and improve his midrange jumper, but McGary -- who compares his game to Lamar Odom -- has all the tools to be special. McGary is also good at blocking shots on and away from the ball. He has a long list of suitors, but mentioned Texas, Arizona, Florida and Maryland to name a few.

Jerami Grant (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha)
2012, PF, 6-8, 210 pounds

Grant is an extra long, athletic combination forward who run the floor well and is a high wire act on the break, where he often catches lobs over defenders. He has continued to build his game as well. Grant has developed his midrange jumper and attacks defenders with short wing and baseline drives. He handles the ball well for his size and rebounds on both ends with his length and quickness rather than strength. Grant plays with energy and urgency and is capable of defending both forward positions as well. He has Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Virginia, Maryland and Clemson among others on his list.

Andre Washington (Roanoke, Va./Roanoke Catholic)
2012, C, 7-0, 215 pounds

Washington is an extra long post who has continued to improve. The Wake Forest commit is mobile and runs the floor pretty well although he needs to open up his stride. Washington blocks shots, as well as changes and contests shots in and out of his area. He must add strength and play more physical, which is the reason why he is more comfortable facing the basket -- where he displayed a nice touch out to about 15 feet with time and space. He also passed well from the low and high post areas, has good hands and can rebound in and out of his area well. Washington often goes to the half hook over his left shoulder when he has his back to the basket and finishes above the rim from drop-off passes created by dribble penetration. He must play with more urgency and is still very much in the development stages, but has tremendous upside.

Tyler Lewis (Statesville, N.C./Forsyth Country Day School)
2012, PG, 6-1, 163 pounds

Lewis has continued to impress with his ability to pass the ball. His teammates know if they are open, he will get them the ball where they will have an opportunity to make something positive happen. Lewis also knocked down deep open jumpers on a consistent basis, got to the basket and showed the ability to finish with reverse layups in heavy traffic. Lewis will have to add strength and at times he can get hung up when he over penetrates, but he does a great job of running the team and keeping everyone happy. When it comes to passing, the N.C. State commit is the 2012 version of Kendall Marshall.

Surprise players

BeeJay Anya (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha)
2013, C, 6-8, 275 pounds

The young post has the ability to dominate in the lane at times with his ability to score with his back to the basket and rebound at a high rate on both ends of the floor. Anya is tough, strong, physical and takes no prisoners when attacking the rim. He blocks shots in his area and can make the 10- to 12-foot jumper with needed time and space. Anya will need to pay close attention to his conditioning, but he can flat-out score inside and rebound. Anya says he is hearing from Texas, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Georgetown and Maryland to name a few.

Steve Vasturia (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph Prep)
2013, SF/SG, 6-5

He is a big-time shooter with great size. At 6-5 and pushing 6-6 he is able to shoot over most defenders he faces on the perimeter with range to 25 feet. Once he has his feet set you can just about mark it up. Vasturia also has solid ball skills and is not afraid of contact. He can score a little bit off the dribble, but still prefers to catch and shoot from the wing. He will be a very good recruit for any program looking for a shooter in the 2013 class.

Players to watch

Isaiah Hicks (Oxford, N.C./Body of Christ)
2013, PF, 6-8, 190 pounds

He is a long, skilled and very bouncy big-time athlete. Hicks plays hard and is a developing shooter with solid range to 17 feet. He is a face up 4 man who can score from the high post, put the ball on the floor and drive into the paint or post up and jump over his opponent to score. Hicks is thin and needs to add muscle, but he has a great upside and is one of the top post players in the 2013 class.

Brandon Williams (Tampa, Fla./Summit Christian)
2012, PF, 6-7, 195 pounds

Williams is a long, lean and athletic power forward who plays with great energy. He is a quick jumper who excels on the break. Williams scored around the basket from hard cuts, short drives, midrange shots and by attacking the offensive glass. Williams rebounds in and out of his area and can defend both forward positions as well with his excellent lateral foot speed. Williams has great upside and Miami (FL), Florida State and Central Florida have all expressed interest so far.


• Class of 2012 Florida commit SG Michael Frazier (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) is known for his ability to make jump shots from beyond the arc on a consistent basis, but Frazier has done an excellent job of adding to his game. Frazier now also attacks off the dribble both left and right and did a good job getting to the rim and drawing fouls in order to set up his jumper.

• Alabama commit 2013 PG Jaren Sina (Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's) has a great feel for the game. He always plays with his head and eyes up and delivers the ball to open teammates on time and on target. He also dropped deep open jumpers to keep the defense honest and off balance.

• The U-17 tournament was won by Team Takeover (Md.) as it defeated Team Loaded (Va.), 83-71. Grant lead Team Takeover with 20, while 2012 PG James Robinson (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) added 19 in the win. 2012 PG Tyler Lewis pumped in 23 for Team Loaded. Lewis put in quite a show scoring 50 points in his final two games.

• Team Final (Pa.) defeated CIA Bounce (Can.) in the U-16 tournament championship. 2013 PF Austin Colbert (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick) had 12, while 2013 WF Davon Reed (Ewing, N.J./ Princeton Day School), 2013 WF John Davis (Neumann Goretti) and 2013 WF Rondae Jefferson (Chester, Pa./Chester) each had 10 for Team Final. 2013 PG Tyler Ennis (St. Benedict) had 20 for Bounce.

• CIA Bounce upended Team Takeover 65 to 61 in the U-15 championship.

• PF Jalen Robinson (Columbus, Ohio./ Northland) of All Ohio Red 17's is one of the best low-post scorers in the 2012 class. He has great feet and wonderful post moves. It is rare that you find a player you can just dump the ball down to and he can get you a bucket. Robinson is one of those players.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.John Stovall, a recruiting coordinator, has worked as director of scouting for Prep Spotlight Scouting Service and magazine for 15 years.