The 2016 Sunflower Showcase : Rewind
By: Marc Bowman
The 2016 Sunflower Showcase powered by RecruitLook was held July 21-24 in Shawnee, Kansas. More than 15 different scouting services and media outlets, including RecruitLook, covered the event. The RecruitLook brand sponsored the event to help educate families and athletes on the college recruiting process.
100 teams from 17 different states came to the Sunflower Showcase this summer. More than 180 college coaches came to the event to watch the loaded tournament field. Among the 180+ coaches, there were 70 head coaches that came, including: Fran McCaffery (Iowa), Jerod Haase (Stanford), John Groce (Illlinois), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Travis Ford (St. Louis), Kim Anderson (Mizzou), Bryce Drew (Vanderbilt), Tim Floyd (UTEP), Bruce Weber (K-State).
RecruitLook has helped families save over $15 million dollars with scholarship funds since 2008. RecruitLook educates and guides families on how to successfully navigate the college recruiting process, while also providing exposure events to get recruited by college coaches. The Sunflower Showcase is one of the many events that RecruitLook Showcase Series is part of. You can see more events here.
The last live July period is the final chance for a lot of athletes to play in front of this many college coaches at once, and the Sunflower Showcase seems to be a top destination for recruits before the new school year starts. Some previous participants are: Allonzo Trier (Nike EYBL MVP 2014), Collin Sexton (Nike EYBL leading scorer 2016), Jayson Tatum (2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year), Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Ben McLemore, Xavier Henry, Bradley Beal, and thousands of current and former college basketball players. The Sunflower Showcase has a reputation for bringing in top talent from across the country, and this year was no exception. Our staff spent 4 days watching basketball, and we highlighted some of the top recruits we saw at the event this year.
“We do a good job of bringing talent for all college division levels. We have some teams that will feature rosters of 8+ division one players, and other rosters will be loaded with mid-major and division two players,” says Tournament Director Mike Enright. “We get hundreds of college coaches because we bring a wide variety of players from all over the country for coaches to evaluate.”
There were over 1,000 basketball players for coaches to evaluate. Here are a few that stood out.
A look at a few of the Sunflower Showcase prospects
***Important*** All offers listed were gathered from, AAU coaches, VerbalCommits.com, rivals.com, ESPN.com, and 247spots.com. I apologize for any inaccuracies.
Jordan Goodwin : 2017 : 6’4” : Point Guard : St. Louis Eagles – Goodwin is ranked #53 overall in the 2017 class by ESPN. Averaged 16.4/ppg and 3.7/apg on the Nike EYBL circuit in 2016. Goodwin is a big-time target for a lot of high major programs. Coaches like his competitiveness and his abilities to score and dish the rock. He does a little bit of everything for his team.
Goodwin has offers from: Missouri, Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Alabama, Butler, Pittsburgh, Cal-Berkley, UCONN, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Illinois, and others. *days after the last July live period, Goodwin trimmed his list to: Mizzou, Northwestern, Saint Louis, Butler, Illinois, Alabama, Creighton.
Zion Harmon : 2021 : 5’9” : Point Guard : We All Can Go – Harmon is the top ranked player in the 2021 class. He’s the youngest player to ever play on the Nike EYBL! He did that this year as a 7th grader! Harmon averaged 17ppg and 4apg on the 2016 EYBL circuit. Harmon has NBA range on his spot up jumper, and some silky-smooth handles at the point. He’s already getting recruiting interest and offers from some of the best colleges in the country.
Brady Manek : 2017 : 6’9” : Small Forward : Team Griffin – Averaged 13ppg and 7rpg on the Nike EYBL circuit this season. A modern-day Larry Bird, Manek can fill it up from the outside with his pure jumper, and he can surprise defenders with his hops.
Manek has committed to play at the University of Oklahoma
Tim Finke : 2018 : 6’6” : Guard : St. Louis Eagles – Finke is ranked #37 overall in the 2018 class by ESPN. Finke’s a coach’s kid from a basketball family; he has an extremely high basketball IQ. His shot is pure from anywhere on the court. He’ll get after it on the defensive end, too. Finke is a coach’s dream player – will do anything to help the team win.
Finke has offers from: Oregon, Marquette, USC, Notre Dame, K-State, Ohio State, Depaul, and others.
Isaiah Chandler : 2017 : 6’9” : Post : Omaha Elite – Chandler is a big bodied post player that can get up and dunk on quick put backs. At 260lbs, he can carry his weight pretty well for getting up and down the court. Soft hands and quick feet make him an intriguing MM/HM prospect. Currently ranked #1 in the state of Nebraska by ESPN.
Chandler has offers from: Bowling Green, Southern Illinois, Nebraska Omaha, Buffalo, Wright State, UTEP, St. Bonaventure, Ball State.
Marcedus Leech : 2019 : 6’4” : Shooting Guard : St. Louis Eagles – Leech is ranked #11 overall in the 2019 class by ESPN. Leech is a bouncy guard/wing that can rise up and flush it down with authority. He’s got a smooth (left-handed) stroke from the outside.
Leech has offers from: Kansas, Missouri, Miami, Washington, and others.
Caleb Hollander : 2017 : 6’8” : Forward : Team Corey Brewer – Hollander has a lot of size, but he prefers to play on the perimeter where he can spot up and knock down the three. He has above-average handles for his size, and at time can bring up the ball. He’ll develop into a solid mid-major player. Hollander had one of the better tournaments at the Sunflower Showcase, picking up 6 new offers within 48 hours after the event ended.
Hollander has offers from: New Offers – UNC-Charlotte, UTEP, Bowling Green, St. Bonaventure, Santa Clara, Austin Peay. Offers before the Sunflower — Wright State, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts, and High Point.
Darius Garland : 2018 : 6’ : Point Guard : St. Louis Eagles – Garland is ranked #12 overall in the 2018 class by 247Sports. Averaged 13.9ppg and 2.7apg on the Nike EYBL circuit in 2016. A terrific passer that is crafty with his assists and being able to get to the bucket. An improved jump shot has opened up the floor for him. His stock is rising.
Garland has offers from: UCLA, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa State, USC, Xavier, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Baylor, and others.
Ethan Chargois : 2017 : 6’9” : Power Forward : Team Griffin – Averaged 10ppg and 7rpg on the Nike EYBL circuit this season. Chargois has really grown into his big frame, and his game is starting to catch up too. He has a good inside/outside game, and is improving on using his big frame to control the paint on the offensive and defensive ends. He will probably be more of a stretch 4 at the next level.
Chargois has offers from: Oklahoma State, Kansas State, SMU, Oral Roberts, Colorado, Florida International, and UTSA.
Jack Nunge : 2017 : 6’9” : Power Forward : Pocket City Basketball – Nunge is intriguing prospect with his size, skill-set, and ability to play inside and out. A lot of high major programs have been following Nunge this recruiting season to see how he might fit in their program. A college workout program will help Nunge tremendously, as he needs to add to his long and lanky frame. Look for him to be a Frank Kamisky type of player at the collegiate level. Nunge was one of the better all-around recruits we saw all weekend.
Nunge has offers from: Georgia Tech, Iowa, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Princeton, Creighton, Ball State, Evansville, and Vermont.
Fred Thatch, Jr. : 2018 : 6’3” : Shooting Guard : St. Louis Eagles – Thatch is ranked #6 overall in the state of Illinois by 247Sports. Built like a linebacker…good at getting to the rim and finishing. Above-average shooter that has seen a boost in his recruitment.
Thatch currently holds offers from: Missouri, St. Louis, Tulsa.
Javon Pickett : 2017 : 6’5” : Combo Guard : Jets Ramey United – Pickett is committed to John Groce at the University of Illinois. Pickett had his best game at the Sunflower Showcase in front of coach Groce, scoring 32 points against Team Corey Brewer. We asked Groce after the game about Pickett, he said: “He (Pickett) always has big games when I watch…good thing I’ll be watching him play a lot next year.”
James Wiseman : 2019 : 6’9” : Center : St. Louis Eagles – Wiseman is ranked #15 overall in the 2019 class by ESPN. A true post player, Wiseman is a terrific low-post defender and rim-protector. His jump shot is good, and his offensive game will only get better.
Wiseman has offers from: Alabama and Illinois.
Marques Wilson : 2017 : Point Guard : Omaha Elite – One of the top 3-point shooters to play on the Nike EYBL this season…averaged 12ppg (Team Griffin). Give him a light of daylight, and he can get his shot off. Wilson played for Omaha Elite during the Sunflower Showcase.
Wilson has offers from: Iowa State, Brown University, Bucknell University, Lehigh, Western Illinois, and UMKC.
Grayson Murphy : 2017 : Point Guard : Team Corey Brewer – A fearless point guard that has seen his recruiting stock rise since the spring evaluation period. Murphy is intelligent with the basketball, knows how to setup his teammates for buckets, and is very good at shooting off the dribble. Mid-Majors are all over him right now.
Murphy has offers from: Troy University, UT-Martin, Jacksonville State, Belmont, High Point, and several others.
DJ Heath : 2017 : 6’ : Point Guard : Alabama Generals – Heath has started to make a move up the recruiting boards with his play in the first couple of July live periods. He’s a proven winner, having won back-to-back state titles in Alabama. He ‘s got a little bit of everything in his game: handles, bouncy, court vision, mid-range jumper, behind arch jumper…Heath will be a huge pickup for whichever college gets him. Heath is the #7 overall ranked prospect in the state of Alabama by ESPN.
Heath has offers from: Arkansas Little-Rock, New Mexico State, Jacksonville State, Campbell University.
Ryan Schwieger : 2017 : 6’6” : Small Forward : PSB Elite – Schwieger has seen his recruitment soar since the April live periods. A lot of teams vying for Ryan’s services, and rightfully so! The small forward can play the 1, 2, or 3 – and he has a complete all-around game.
Schwieger has offers from: Lehigh, UNC-Charlotte, Willam & Mary, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, George Mason, Duquesne, Princeton, Dartmouth, Northeastern, Bucknell, Penn, Wofford, Yale, and Indiana State.
Logan Storm : 2017 : 6’8” : Power Forward : Omaha Elite – Storm is garnering a lot of recruiting interest in football and basketball. At 6’8” and 250lbs, schools from all over the Midwest are looking to lock him up. However, he recently just announced that basketball would be the sport he plays in college. Coaches that need a strong post presence will turn up the recruiting heat on Storm.
Storm has offers from: UMKC, Indiana State, Lehigh, Kent State, Miami-Ohio, Vermont, Southern Illinois, UC-Davis, San Diego, Wright State, IUPUI, South Dakota State, and North Dakota.
John Meeks : 2017 : 6’6” : Forward : PSB Elite – Meeks can play wing or a combo guard at the next level. He does a good job at getting himself into a scoring position…off the bounce, cutting to the basket, spotting up…he can score in a variety of ways.
Meeks has offers from: Columbia University, Air Force, UNC-Greensboro, Delaware, Bucknell, St. Bonaventure, Army, Dartmouth, and Brown.
Walker Miller : 2017 : 6’10” : Center : PSB Elite – Miller is a true center. He’s a terrific at posting up on the inside. Developing more of an inside/outside game will help him at the next level. Miller has a lot of upside.
Miller has offers from: Navy, Army, Dartmouth, Columbia, Vermont, and Lafayette.
Other notable players:
Bradley Belt : 2017 : Guard : Alabama Celtics : Rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN, Belt fell off the map with a couple of injuries. He played his way back into high-major talk with his play at the Sunflower Showcase. Belt is as one D1 coach put it : “instant offense”.
Roderick Smith : 2018 : Forward : Alabama Celtics : Ranked #5 overall in the state of Mississippi by ESPN. Smith has a big frame to him, and he battled all weekend against some highly ranked 2017 post players.
Ethan Bowman : 2017 : Shooting Guard : Arkansas Wolves : Not a lot of recruiting interest headed into the weekend, but Bowman turned some heads with his shooting abilities…he can light it up from all over. Projects to be a good D2 guard.
Matt Jennings : 2017 : Guard : Grassroots Indiana : Jennings dropped 30 against a talented Jets Ramey United squad. Good handles and jumper…D2 to low major player.
Josiah Wallace : 2017 : Guard : Grassroots Indiana : Might be one of the best passers we saw all weekend. He’s effective when slashing to the basket, and looks like he would rather setup a teammate for a bucket than score on his own. Very unselfish. Projects out to the D2 level, possibly mid-major if the right fit.
Mark Smith : 2017 : Point Guard : Jets Ramey United : Smith decommitted from Mizzou (baseball) before the last live period and several schools immediately got involved. Following his stellar play at the Sunflower Showcase, he picked up offers from: Oral Roberts, Wright State, Western Illinois, SIUE.
Oliver Stephen : 2017 : Shooting Gurad : Jets Ramey United : Stephen seemed to be the guy that the Jets would call upon for a big shot…and he usually delivered. One of the best pure shooters we saw all weekend. He has D2 schools in on him. University of Illinois-Springfield and Maryville offers currently.
Justin Carpenter : 2017 : Forward : Pocket City Basketball : Carpenter played great basketball all weekend as Jack Nunge’s compliment down-low. Carpenter would be a steal at the mid-major level. Following the Sunflower Showcase, he picked up offers from: Western Illinois, Southeast Missouri State, Eastern Illinois, Albany, and North Dakota.
Bates Jones : 2017 : Forward : PSB Elite : At 6’7” he does most of his damage on the perimeter. A great spot up shooter. Has offers from: Navy, Army, Western Carolina.
Marcus Thomas : 2017 : Shooting Guard : PSB Elite : On a team full of division one players, it was Thomas that was most consistent all weekend at the Sunflower Showcase. He had several 30 point games. He is only going to get better, and will be a big-time college basketball player. Thomas currently has offers from: Campbell University, Western Carolina, Coastal Carolina, Oral Roberts, Charleston Southern.
Christian Lorng : 2018 : Center : We All Can Go : The 6’10” Lorng is going to be a big-time recruit. He showed flashes of being superb, and should improve during his senior year. Lorng holds offers from Missouri and UAB.
Roman Wilson : 2019 : Forward : KC Pacers : Wilson is an interesting prospect. At times he doesn’t play as big as he should with his 6’9” frame, but you can see the upside in his athleticism and raw abilities to be a D1 player. Kansas State and Wichita State are both recruiting him at the Sunflower Showcase.
Some Key Games
We watched a lot of basketball over the 4 days at the Sunflower Showcase. There are just too many teams to recap all of the action, but here are a few games/teams that stood out.
We All Can Go EYBL vs. Grassroots Indiana : The first of several good games on Sunday, these two teams went back and forth the entire game. Zion Harmon hit about a 25-footer at the buzzer to give WACG an 83-80 win in front of about 40 college coaches. Big-time shot from a big-time player.
Jets Ramey United vs. Team Corey Brewer : Illinois commit, Javon Pickett, went wild in front of his future coach, John Groce. Groce came in and sat front row to see Pickett play, and Pickett did not disappoint. Pickett dropped 32 points in the game — scoring from everywhere on the court. Probably the best individual performance all weekend. Jets Ramey won 97-82.
St. Louis Eagles EYBL vs. Pocket City Basketball : The final score wasn’t indicative to how close this game was. The Eagles pulled away in the second half, but both teams showed up to play in front of a standing room only crowd. Roster depth ultimately carried the Eagles to victory.
PSB Elite vs. Omaha Elite : The final game of the tournament was one of the best all weekend. Two teams that have a combined 14 players with a division one scholarship offers. 30+ college coaches stuck around to see these two teams square off. PSB Elite was able to outlast a tough Omaha Elite team 82-77.
Team Griffin EYBL vs PSB Elite : Fans and college coaches packed the gym to watch one of Nike’s top teams (Team Griffin from Oklahoma) do battle against PSB Elite from North Carolina. PSB Elite entered the weekend with 28 wins and their players holding 38 D1 offers. Team Griffin was able to get buckets from Manek and Chargois down low throughout the game, which helped them secure a 78-69 victory.
Michigan Playmakers vs. Alabama Celtics : Some of the better guard play all weekend was in this matchup. Bradley Belt did everything he could to carry the Celtics, but it was Malik Ellison (Playmakers) who shined the most. Ellison dropped 30 points to lead the Playmakers to a 68-64 victory.
Arkansas Wolves : Went 4-0 on the weekend behind Ethan Bowman and Malik Anderson. Both players should play at least at the D2 level.
Eric Gordon All-Stars 2020 : Played up the entire weekend and held their own. This team will be one of the best in the country over the next few years.
Pocket City 15u : Went 4-0 on the weekend and had several big time college programs following their games.
Tri-State Team Iowa : A nice 4-0 showing against tough competition. A team that’s played together for the past 5+ years and it showed. They played some of the best team ball all weekend.
All-In Athletics Y&R : 3-1 on the weekend for this 15u group. They’ll be fun to watch the next couple of years.