The Hoop Group has thrown many of the nation’s finest events for over a decade and now falling within the Under Armour umbrella, have taken their events to another level. Teams from coast to coast descend to Pitt Jam Fest, offering a package of UA’s top programs along with many of the area’s finest, regardless of shoe affiliation. Games ran from sun up to sun down, giving us a reminder of the grind that the AAU circuit holds ahead for players, scouts, coaches, and fans alike.
Here are the top performers that we caught from Day Two of the Pitt Jam Fest:
Isaiah Whitehead, 6’4, Juice All-Stars, 2014- Easily the best player we saw all day at the Pitt Jam Fest, Whitehead simply did whatever he wanted on the hardwood. He was unstoppable in isolation situations, displayed nasty court vision, and played shutdown defense at either guard position. The Brooklyn product did everything to live up to his top 20 ranking and more, which is why he”ll be playing in the elite 8 tomorrow morning.
Trayvon Reed, 7’1, Atlanta Express, 2014- The tallest player in the event did not disappoint, dominating the game on the defensive end. He used every bit of his 7’1 frame to change the game defensively, blocking a ton of shots without ever getting in foul trouble. Offensively, Reed didn’t get a ton of touches, but dunked everything he touched in the paint. With 7-footers, its progress not perfection, and Trayvon is definitely on the right path.
Devin Robinson, 6’7, Richmond Squires, 2014- A wing with outstanding size, Robinson did a bit of everything against ATL Xpress. He shot the ball effortlessly from three, had a super soft touch in the paint, and used his wingspan to get his hands to get a ton of deflections on the defensive end. Already holding offers from VCU, UCONN, Xavier, Rutgers, Auburn, and Clemson, expect this super smooth wing’s recruitment to blow up this spring.
Tariq Owens, 6’9, B’More’s Finest, 2014- A player who we had heard about but never seen, Owens showed why so many BCS schools are on him. He’s a super long guy at a legit 6’9 and owns a huge wingspan, allowing him to provide a shot blocking presence and finish over the top of people. Additionally, Tariq has a nice package of skills that allow him to shoot it out to around 19 feet and get buckets around the rim with either hand. Holding offers from Miami, South Florida, Seton Hall, and VCU, Owens’ recruitment will pick up heavily as more college coaches get a glimpse of him.
Justin Bibbs, 6’5, Ohio Basketball Club, 2014- This Dayton native and Montverde product was able to have more of a significant role with OBC, showcasing some of the skills that he wasn’t able to put on display with Montverde. He outplayed highly touted forward Dwayne Morgan by shooting the ball well from deep, converting in transition, and getting buckets out of the high post against the 2-3 zone. OBC took an L in the game, but it certainly wasn’t because of Bibbs’ performance.