Tonight, Monday and Tuesday I will put together a sampling of some takeaways from Summer Jam. Summer Jam 2018 will likely be the best non-D1 viewing period event of the year, it was a tremendous three days of hoops in Bloomington. No particular order on the notes. 10 players/team notes each posting.
Mallory Brake, North Tartan 2020 EYBL, Hastings HS
I've always liked how she plays, but this weekend confirmed what level she can play at. She can play at any Division I level. She was a presence on the boards against some of the most heavily recruited bigs in the country and she showed consistency as a scorer with tough shots inside, and stepping away and facing the hoop. Rebounded at high production level against other elite talent.
Paige Bueckers, North Tartan 2020 EYBL, Hopkins H.S.
I said this on Twitter, and I will stand by this statement. Paige Bueckers, in my opinion, is the best High School player, regardless of class, in the country. She went head to head with a who's who of top recruits and led her team (playing up an age level against Nike EYBL circuit teams) to a runner-up finish. She wills her team to victory and her on-court charisma and skill set is once a generation in this region. If you're in Minnesota enjoy this talent while you can!
Caitlin Clark, All Iowa Attack 2019 Nike EYBL, Dowling Catholic HS
If you can find a better passer/playmaker let me know, I haven't found one. Whether it's in the half-court or transition game there isn't a pass she can't make...or come up with a way to make. She has a gift for creativity and some of the passes, passing angles, and delivery styles will leave you scratching your head how she pulls them off. She is a modern name Pistol Pete with the ball. Add in her ability to go on scoring rampages and you can see why she is at and among every national ranking services top players.
Ava Hawthorne, All Iowa Attack 2021 Nike Jones, Gilbert HS
If you're wondering who might be the next elite Point Guard nationally in our region after Paige Bueckers and Caitlin Clark are gone, it just might be Hawthorne. It almost look like she's taken a page out of Clark's AIA handbook with some of the plays she can make on the move and her pinpoint precision delivery of the ball. Add in great shooting touch from the arc and ability to take over as a scorer and you have the makings for another great All Iowa Attack Point Guard.
McKenna Hofschild, Minnesota Fury 2019 Gauntlet, Prior Lake HS
All she did was help lead her team to a 3-1 record and Consolation Championship in the top division at Summer Jam while continuing to be one of the regions truly dominant scoring machines. Somehow she remains open in recruiting despite being her schools (Class AAAA) All-Time leading scorer with another full year to pulverize the record books. Lightning quick, hair-trigger release with incredible range. She will one day make many of us (myself included) for doubting her at any time, her height does not impede her ability to dominate a game in the several years I've seen her play...not one time.
Elaina Jones, Minnesota Suns 2019 Jefferson, DeLaSalle HS
Jones get trapped in the "what position does she play" debate. When people ask me that, I say "basketball player" because she knows how to play and perform at a high level. She rebounds like a traditional power forward and she has no quit on the glass. She sprints the floor with the speed of a quick guard, and she explodes to the glass off the bounce. What do they call that position? Don't know, but I DO know she can play, and all she needs is a coach that recognizes her unique skill set and capitalize on it.
Maddie Krull, All Nebraska Attack 2019 Elite, Millard South HS
Krull is an old-school Point Guard. She's savvy with the ball, knows every trick in the book on how to deliver the ball and is a pass-first play maker. She helped lead Nebraska Attack into the quarterfinals and then elevated her game as her team went toe to toe with three EYBL opponents. She is a bona fide floor general.
Maggie McGraw, Kingdom Hoops 2019 Elite, Southeast Polk HS
The Iowa State commit from the 2019 class is a pure shooter. She can hit from anywhere across the arc, and her range extends way past the three point line. Such a prolific scorer, when she gets in the zone, you're in trouble, because she can go on serious scoring runs. She teams with Zoe Young for what may be the most potent 1-2 scoring punch in the region.
Adalia McKenzie, Minnesota Stars 2021 Hersch, Park Center HS
Athletic would be selling it short. McKenzie is explosive and she is getting better and better and better, and she's already right at the top of the 2021 rankings. Her rim attacks on drives are a thing of beauty and when she has open space to drive or in transition she is electric. She can disrupt defensively and take turnovers and make them scores and she has a great vertical on the boards. As exciting to watch as any 2021.
Lauren Ware, Dakota Drillers 2019, Bismarck Century HS
There aren't a lot of impact players at the Division 1 level to come from North Dakota, but Ware is changing that image. She has the build to continue to be a dominant scorer and rebounder off the low block. She has legitimate size and strength, and moves very well for a 6'4" player. She'll protect the rim defensively, and off the low blows she has a ton of power and finishing skills in her drop step and can finish countering back to the middle.