We spent some time watching games over the showcase and camp weeks in Nebraska. Here are some of the best performances we saw for 6 players that are under-recruited.
2021 Marcus Shakeer – Omaha Benson High School
Shakeer isn’t the most well-known prospect in the state, but he definitely should be. Shakeer is an offensive explosion. He only played 1 game at the camp, but in that game, he went for 43 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists on 50% shooting. Shakeer can purely take over games at points, and after a cold start to this one, that is exactly what he did. He is extremely athletic, which made for some high flying, eye-popping dunks. Shakeer can get to the rack and contort his body to finish even the most improbable layups, regardless of contact from the defender. Shakeer will be the go-to guy for Omaha Benson this year, and has a good chance to be one of the state’s leading scorers.
2022 Jayden Dawson – Team Factory 16U UA Rise/Omaha Central High School
Dawson was scoring a lot, and doing so at an efficient rate. He is a great shooter, and has grown to about 6’4 while retaining all of his tools. He was making some really good reads off of pick and rolls and wasn’t afraid to dish it off to the rolling post player. His role with Omaha Central will be even bigger this year, and Omaha Central is stacked with talent. Dawson has really gotten himself into a good position, and D1 coaches should be very interested in him soon.
2021 Jai’Lyn Spears – Texas Tarheels 17U/Omaha Bryan High School
I had already known that Spears had improved since the last time I had seen him, but I was extremely impressed by just how much better he was. He was really hard to stay in front of on the offensive end, as he consistently made it into the paint and finished plays. One of the biggest changes I noticed was his athleticism. He could really fly when going up for dunks, and he made them look effortless. Spears played for a Texas-based Grassroots program, so I didn’t get the chance to see him at all during the summer, but he is a name to look out for this high school season.
2021 Curtis Ogba Jr. – Team Factory 17U UA Rise/Omaha North High School
Ogba Jr. has been one of my favorite players to watch ever since he was a freshman. Standing at only 5’6, he plays like he’s taller than everyone else on the court. He had 5 possessions in a row where he took it into the heart of the defense – which included guys who were literally a foot taller than him – and found ways to score. One of them being an offensive rebound and a baby hook for a bucket – something you don’t see from many 5’6 guys. One of his former coaches, who was in attendance, told me “Curtis makes plays that I previously thought were impossible to make.” His handles are airtight, quick, and unpluckable. And he really is not afraid of anyone.
2022 Kip Tupa – Blair High School
Tupa was a name that I didn’t recognize going into the camp, but his game really grew on me the more I watched him play. He didn’t necessarily have a specific highlight play or anything that jumps off the stats sheet, but he showed something that not a lot of other players did. Competitiveness and focus at the showcase event. Kip wasn’t there for the media attention or for the clout, he was there to show college coaches how he can help their program. A lot of other players didn’t take it as seriously; some left before all of their scheduled games were played, some seemed to forget that college coaches aren’t just watching how you can score. Tupa shared the ball really well, played determined defense, and was locked in the whole time.
2022 Chandler Meeks – Team Factory UA Rise/Westside
Chandler impacts the game in a variety of ways. He’s a physical guard that has a nice change of pace to his play. He displays tight handles with the ability to put combination moves together with a purpose…he doesn’t over dribble…a few moves and he goes. It is what he does off these moves that super impressive. He can bully his way into the lane to finish at the rim. He can pull up from 3 or the mid-range. He can find open teammates for easy buckets. Chandler is a tough on the ball defender, too. He’ll be heavily recruited in the 2022 class.
In partnership with Cornhusker Hoops Report