In our “First Person Grassroots Recap” series we take a look at how the travel team season went for one our state’s programs. Here we caught up with Troy Johnson of the Illinois Stars to break down their 16U squad.…
In our “First Person Grassroots Recap” series we take a look at how the travel team season went for one our state’s programs.
Here we caught up with Troy Johnson of the Illinois Stars to break down their 16U squad.
Iowa Barnstormers, Athlete’s First (OK), Terry Porter Elite Young Legends
Overall Thoughts of Season:
After losing two top players early in the season (Malik Binns and Josiah Wallace) the team regrouped and gained steam going into the June” break” with great showings at Team D Rose Classic (loss championship) and NY2LA Invitational (Final Four). Our July was spectacular and we played our best basketball under the bright lights of the NCAA Live Period. The month included a Chicago Summer Classic Championship title, an Elite 8 spot at NY2LA Summer Jam, and finishing 3rd in Kansas at the Sunflower Showcase. The great finish had many D1 programs calling our guys including some offers. We are looking forward to finishing the job next Spring and Summer.
PJ Pipes came into the AAU season with a lot of intrigue and maybe the most hype on our roster. He didn't disappoint. His ability to score inside and out is at the top of the list why so many college coaches are recruiting him. Many also like his fearlessness and strength. He has spent a lot of time improving his ball-handling and adding distance to his three-point shooting.
Most didn't know anything much about Mitch Lewis going into the Spring and he didn't strike lightening until the very end of the Spring when he finally started to feel comfortable with the roles he had on our team that includes rebounding, handling the ball, and attacking the rim when being guarded by defensive mismatches. In July he rocketed to another level with breakout performances in Chicago and Milwaukee. Then he blew up in Kansas with top performances against other highly-rated 2017 players with a ton of college coaches in attendance. Mitch is currently playing football, but also putting time into improving his shooting and ball-handling.
Remember the name TeeAaron Powell who has zoomed from just one of the tall guys at Marian Catholic to one of the top 2017 bigs in the state. The thing that impressed myself and coaches alike is how fast he is improving. Coaches that saw him in the Spring all noted that they have seen vast improvement. He is currently working on improving his low post moves, and adding counter-moves. Plus gaining strength and lift to his vertical.