The five most explosive players at the Nike Peach Jam summer boys basketball tournament in North Augusta, S.C.:
1. Stanley Johnson, Oakland Soldiers
The 6-7 senior forward from Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) has been dominant, blocking shots and finishing breaks with dunks. He's also hitting from outside, which opens up lanes for him. When he's been double-teamed, he has done an excellent job of splitting his defenders.
On Thursday night, in a game that ended after 11 p.m., he had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 79-76 overtime loss to the Travelers team from Kentucky. He nearly sent the game into double-overtime, but he released his three-quarter court shot that banked in off the glass a fraction of a section too late.
He followed that up by leading the Soldiers to a 67-64 win over Expressions Elite (Boston) Friday morning with 33 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks, and had a dunk right in front of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan. He drew laughs when he said he didn't know who Ryan was, but rest assured Ryan knows who Johnson is.
"I believe I've shown what I can do," said Johnson, who has not named his college choice. "For me, I am still on West Coast time, so it was like playing at 5:30 a.m. They say big-time players have to get up for each game, so I'm doing my best to get ready."
2. Malik Newman, Jackson (Miss.) Tigers
The Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) senior guard has an awesome headband and a high octane, no-conscience game to match his style. He will get his points, despite the occasional double team because he can score off the break or with a solid jump shot.
At 6-4, he's big enough to take it inside and quick enough to get there consistently. He scored 40 points in an 80-67 loss to the Houston Hoops on Thursday. A day later, he had 25 points in an 83-73 loss to Mac Irvin Fire of Chicago and 26 in a 68-67 loss to Team Scan of New York. In the three games, he had 12 three-pointers.
3. Tyus Jones, Howard Pulley (Minnesota)
Though not usually a high flyer, the top point guard in the 2014 class from Apple Valley, Minn., has a great first step and a handle that allow him to breeze past defenders. He's averaging 22 points through three games and had nine assists in a 90-78 defeat of the Travelers on Friday morning. His ability to penetrate and then dish or score makes him one of the most dangerous players in the event.
4. Montaque Gill-Caesar, CIA Bounce (Canada)
It's a shame the junior small forward from Canada is playing in the 16s, because he's clearly ready for the big boys. He apparently learned a lot from going up against fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins every day in practice this past season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. In his first three games, he's led his team to a 3-0 record while averaging 25 points and is getting his points on the inside and the outside.
5. Kelly Oubre, Houston Hoops
The 6-5 senior swingman will be playing this season at Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and his high-motor and physical style is starting to draw a lot of attention. He had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists in an 80-67 defeat of Newman and the Jackson Tigers on Thursday.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @jimhalley.