Summer Jam Notebook: Marquee individual matchups rule the day
Two head-to-head battles between top-10 prospects highlighted Wednesday's Summer Jam Action, but there were also plenty of other stars.
MEQUON, Wis. -- With so many events during each live period, it's not often we get multiple marquee individual matchups on a single night. But that was the case on Wednesday at the Under Armour/NY2LA Summer Jam, when No. 4 Cliff Alexander went against No. 6 Myles Turner on one court while No. 7 Karl Towns battled No. 9 Kevon Looney on a neighboring floor.
Everyone did their best to watch both games at once, with Rick Pitino, Bill Self, Thad Matta, Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan, Jim Boeheim, John Thompson III and others all in attendance. Kentucky Wildcats , North Carolina Tar Heels , Duke Blue Devils and Arizona Wildcats were represented by assistants.
The battles didn't disappoint.
Towns (nine points, three rebounds) played far better than his numbers would indicate, looking better than Looney (17 points, eight rebounds) when both were on the floor. Both players have inside-outside games, but Towns seemed to be more active. Towns' Sports U team also came out with the win.
Towns is committed to Kentucky, while Looney is taking his time. Duke, Michigan State Spartans and Florida Gators are making a push, while Wisconsin Badgers , Georgetown Hoyas , Michigan Wolverines , Tennessee Volunteers and Stanford Cardinal are in the mix.
The other showdown had a better back-and-forth. Turner owned the first half, as his length and athleticism were giving Alexander plenty of trouble. Alexander couldn't get any shots around the rim, and he looked frustrated. The second half was completely different, as Alexander began utilizing his strength and aggression around the rim. Turner was outmuscled on multiple occasions, and his guards couldn't get him the ball. Alexander finished with eight points and eight boards, while Turner went for nine points and 10 rebounds.
Alexander wants to take official visits to Kansas Jayhawks , Memphis Tigers , Louisville Cardinals and Arizona, though Michigan State Spartans , Kentucky and Illinois Fighting Illini are thought to be in strong positions for his services. Turner rose from a non-factor to a top-10 prospect quickly and has dozens of schools on his list. Kansas, Duke, Louisville, Georgetown, North Carolina, Kentucky and Baylor Bears are among the programs in the mix.
"It was a lot of fun," Towns said of the atmosphere. "You just go out there playing the game you know how to play."
Chase Jeter stands out on his own
Stephen Zimmerman is one of the best big men in the class of 2015, but classmate Chase Jeter is making a name in his own right.
The 6-foot-8 power forward from Bishop Gorman (Nev.) is ranked No. 30 in the class of 2015 and is only getting better.
"I can be aggressive at both ends of the floor, getting defensive rebounds and offensive rebounds," Jeter said, "proving I'm worthy of playing at the next level."
Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State Buckeyes , UCLA Bruins , Southern California Trojans , Oregon State Beavers , Oregon Ducks , Stanford, Texas Longhorns , Indiana Hoosiers , Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Arizona are all coming after him. Jeter has taken trips to UCLA, San Diego State Aztecs and UNLV Rebels .
Despite all the coaches filling the bleachers, Jeter remained focused.
"It's an honor. But once I get out there, that's not really what I think about," he said. "It's about the team. I try not to focus on them too much."
Riley LeChance breaks out with big performance
Wednesday was highlighted by the talented bigs in the classes of 2014 and 2015, but one guard emerged in the early evening as a potential high-major prospect.
Riley LeChance, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Brookfield Central (Wis.), scored 20 points in the first half, showing off a wide variety of offensive skills. He can knock down shots from the perimeter but is also a good ball-handler with passing vision. LeChance also adds some flair, reminding some of Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos.
"I'm just trying to prove I'm more than a one-dimensional player," he said. "I'm not just a shooter. I'm not just a point guard. I can play at the highest level."
LeChance holds offers from Missouri Tigers , Davidson Wildcats , Indiana State Sycamores , San Diego Toreros and plenty of mid-majors, with interest coming from Xavier Musketeers , Northwestern Wildcats , Minnesota Golden Gophers , Santa Clara Broncos , Indiana and Marquette Golden Eagles . He has visited Creighton Bluejays , Iowa Hawkeyes , Wisconsin, Marquette and Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers and wants to visit Missouri and Davidson.
"It's just that time of year," LeChance said. "I'm getting in the gym as much as I can, improving my game as much as I can, and people are taking notice.
"I'm just going to play through July and see what happens. Reevaluate after that."
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