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Canucks on the AAU Circuit: Pitt Jam Fest

Posted on 20. Apr, 2010 by Tariq Sbiet in Canada Spotlight, High School, Tournaments

Some of Canada’s past marquee high school players have managed to impress scouts and recruiting analysts while playing on the AAU circuit.  The result has been these players receiving extensive exposure and giving them opportunities they may not have otherwise enjoyed. Ask Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph whether or not they benefited from standout performances on the circuit !  This past weekend, several Canadian teams travelled across the border to participate in Pittsburgh Jam Fest.  The Hoop Group ran a tremendous event which served as a great platform for Canucks to strut their stuff.  In total there were 12 teams throughout all age groups representing the great white North, including perennial powerhouses, Team Takeover Canada and Grassroots Canada.  However these two teams weren't the only ones who made the trip.  Other squads like Etobicoke 381, Burlingon Panthers, Whitby Wildcats, Ottawa Guardsmen, Y.A.A.A.C.E and Toronto BJC also made the drive and represented well.

With no further ado, here are the players that stood out over the last three days.

Negus Webster-Chan/ 6’7 PG/2012

Negus continuously shows us his great potential as a lead guard and point forward.  Negus has great vision and is able to see over the defense with his height and length.  In Takeover's game vs. BJC Magic, he did a great job working in the high post, doing an excellent job operating the high-low with Sim Bhullar.  He displayed outstanding ability to pass the rock throughout the tournament; mostly applying his craft in transition.  He's a hard worker on the offensive glass and his ability to get off his feet quickly allow him to do damage on 2nd and 3rd chances.  I'm not sure Negus realizes the kind of talent he is and how much more he can impact the game.  Once he fully believes in his own talent, he'll likely begin to dominate games. 

Stefan Nastic/ 6’11/ Etobicoke 381/2010

Nastic has gotten nasty over the past couple of months! He played with an aggressive motor as soon as the first whistle was blown. The Stanford staff really did their homework when recruiting the big fella’ as he has gradually improved throughout the year on all aspects of his game.   He's become a better shooter and a much better defender.  His ability to control the rim on both ends of the floor is what made him really stand out.   Luckily for Stanford and coach Dawkins, Stefan is not done developing!

Grandy Glaze/ 6’6 PF/ Etobicoke 381/ 2011

It is very rare to find a player with a motor like Grandy. Grandy plays with such great energy and passion that it is refreshing to watch. Picture a kid playing on the swings; that is Grandy on the hardwood. He's always having fun and exerting his energy which is displayed when he rebounds, runs the floor, and when he motivates his teammates. Grandy is so strong, you could mistake him for a 28 year old construction worker and he actually has great athleticism to accompany his power. He showed the ability to go coast-to-coast but if he develops some legitimate handles, Grandy will be scary on the wing when you take into consideration his explosiveness. When fired up, GG is like fizz ready to burst out of the pop can; that’s after it has been shaken.

Sim Bhullar/ 7’4 C/ Team Takeover Canada/ 2012

Sim has developed at a higher pace than expected. His mobility on the floor has increased significantly but there’s definitely room for more improvement. On defense, he is physically imposing as it is extremely difficult for opponents to get buckets inside with Sim either blocking or altering nearly every shot. Bhullar was sensational in the second game that I watched him play. He opened up the game with a 9-0 run single- handedly while throwing down two big dunks on his defender, then hitting a jumper at the top of the key followed by a three pointer.   Yes you read correctly! He made a three !!!  He has also made strides in his interior game, displaying a lefty hook and improved footwork.  Sim was the most impressive Canadian all week. 

Tanveer Bhullar/ 7’2/ Team Takeover Canada/2013

Brother to Sim, Tanveer has a little more potential simply due to his age. He is the biggest player in the 2013 class, both in Canada and the United States.   This size alone is what easily distinguished him as a player. He has also developed at Kiski showing much better confidence and stamina. After one of his games, I watched him take and make threes as he showed a nice touch, which he also displayed throughout the tournament by hitting a few shots from the elbow. A lot of swimming might be a good idea for these brothers in order to avoid the wear and tear on their knees while still getting in peak physical condition. 

Olivier Hanlan/ 6’3 PG/ Ottawa Guardsmen/ 2011

Hanlan is a great passer (either hand) that always plays with his head up and is always looking for his teammates.  He's the type of player that makes his teammates better. He is very good in the open court and if there’s no one to pass to, he can take it to the tin or hit the pull up jumper. Olivier can finish with contact and has decent athleticism. When locked in, Olivier is a piranha on defense as he is long and quick with good size at the point. Look out for him, he will be one of Canada’s top point guards next year, if not already.

Naz Long/6'4 PG/Team Takeover Canada/ 2012

Naz was instrumental in Team Takeover's relatively nice weekend.  He did a very good job running the team, ensuring everyone stayed happy and got their touches.  He played hard nosed defense, had his first game dunk, and made some shots when his team needed them.  The point guard at Montrose Christian was given increased freedom this week, and he did an outstanding job putting most of his arsenal of skills on display. 

Dyshawn Pierre/ 6’6 PF/ Whitby Wildcats/ 2012

Pierre is one of the biggest sleepers in Canada but was very impressive throughout the tournament and instantly caught my eye. Some may argue that he is undersized at the power forward position, which is why he is a work in progress that is transitioning to play the 3. Dyshawn can get to the rim at will and draw contact with the best of them. He is an unselfish player who may have given it up too much in the first game. However, DP made a statement in his second outing where he exploded for 32 points and about 15 boards. You can tell that he still has some “big man” tendencies like not getting low enough when guarding  perimeter players and also when handling the ball. That being said, some of these tendencies have benefited his game…. like getting in position for rebounds, creating a lot of contact, and swatting shots. He had at least 8 blocks in the second game. This project will need to improve his handle and perimeter play with shooting being the biggest area which needs improvement. If he can put it all together, Dyshawn will become a pretty good prospect by this time next year.

Stevan Manojlovic/ 6’5 CG/ Etobicoke 381/ 2011

Stevan’s mobility has improved tremendously since the Humber Classic (took place in November) and it was very evident on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he can cover all perimeter positions. I was extremely impressed with his defensive stance as it is much lower to the ground and he is moving swiftly across the floor. It’s also obvious that he’s been working hard on toning up to increase speed. On offense this increased mobility has assisted him in becoming a legitimate combo guard as opposed to where he was in November. Mano has great size for his position and will be a contributor at the D-1 level. Oh, and he is unsigned!

Stefan Cvrkalj/ 6’4 CG/ Etobicoke 381/ 2011

Like Manojlovic, Stefan played at the point for his high school team but was moved to the 2 for Etobicoke, which looks to be his natural position. CVR is a great shooter that excels on the curl or coming off a screen. He also has good range. His experience at the point helps him when it comes to decision making, and he's able to use the threat of shooting to create for teammates. Stefan is also an overlooked prospect that deserves more attention than he gets. Along with Mano, this guy is D1 material.  He's a specialist and his shooting alone should earn him a roster spot at a low-mid major. 

Richard Peters/6-8 PF/Team Takeover Canada/ 2012

Richard has clearly lost some weight and it showed in his ability to get up and down the floor.  For those who have questioned his motor, he was aggressive and looked alert at all times this week.  What impressed me most about Richard was his ability to score in the paint.  He has tremendous footwork and nice hands.  He used countless low post moves to score at the rim and showed an ability to step out and operate out of the high post.  A tremendous effort by Richard this week. 

Justin Edwards/ 6’2 PG/ Whitby Wildcats/2011

Justin is a solid point guard but he must develop his consistency. He has all the attributes with good size for position, above average athleticism, and the ability to create his own shot. Edwards has good range and can get to the rim, but, he should attack stronger as he has the explosiveness to do it. He would absolutely benefit from a quicker release as his slow mechanics were exposed vs. the better competition.  He's got some work to do, but he's also got the ability to get it done. 

Dinjyl Walker/ 6’1 PG/ Team Takeover Canada/ 2012

Dinjyl is a very aggressive player and isn't scared to take it to anyone.  He can get to the tin anytime he wants.  He also has the ability to make an impact from mid-range; a lost art in high school basketball right now.   While at points he penetrated too deep into the lane (should have used the mid-range game), you've got to love his fearless attitude.  He's a combo guard who needs more development running a team, but Dinjyl is an effective player who contributes in a variety of ways.

Nick Lewis/6'2 SG/ Team Takeover Canada/ 2012

It wasn't Nick's best week shooting the basketball, but he found a way to contribute in other ways.  He was sound on defense, staying in front of his man, and doing a nice job locating and closing out on shooters.  He also did a nice job feeding the post and staying under control, rarely turning it over.  He isn't a full time point guard yet, but certainly has the poise and basketball IQ to become one.  Generally Nick is a guy who can really shoot the basketball, which opens up opportunities to get in the lane.  With his shot not falling, defenders gave him more room and those opportunities weren't always there this week.  Look for Nick to make those looks next week in Akron, and put his full game on display.  

Rohan Boney/ 6’5 Wing/ Burlington Panthers/ 2012

Rohan is a good defender with decent length and quick feet. I did not see much of his offensive game but he was impressive on D. Boney has a good body and runs the floor well.  He's a player that can finish above the rim as well.  Keep tabs on this kid as he has a chance to really improve.

Justin Jarvis/6’6 SF/ BJC Magic/ 2011

This dude carried a load inside as he battled with not one, but two seven-footers for position (Sim and Tanveer). I was very impressed with his strength and stamina but he was quiet offensively in the first half. He came into the second half aggressive and ready to attack the trees and as a result was able to draw a few fouls.  Jarvis has good bounce and is a long body with considerable upside, however, his ability to turn and face is limited due to handles and a jumper that still need some work.

Mike L’Africain/ 6’0 PG/ Burlington Panthers/ 20

Mike has a good understanding of the game and rarely forces anything. He plays within the flow of the game and plays effectively whether it’s passing or shooting. L’Africain is a good shooter with a quick trigger and range. He must improve his athleticism and strength (as he is quite thin), in order to enter the equation of upper echelon lead guards.

Kevin Blake/ 6’3 SG/ BJC Magic/ 2011

This prospect is strong and very athletic. He loves to run the floor and finish with authority, however BJC magic were missing their primary playmaker in Duane Notice (at Jordan Brand game). He needs to be more assertive on offense as he has the components of a solid combo guard. The game against Team Takeover Canada did not do him justice as his team was mismatched at virtually each position. The best part of his game is his mid-range jumper but again in order to really do damage he must take charge, especially in the absence of BJC’s best player.  He's a jack of all trades, master of none right now.  He needs to develop one area of his game that he knows can lead to him making in impact each time out. 

Malik Brown/ 5’10 PG/ Y.A.A.A.C.E/ 2011

One of the few players that was able to penetrate the PLAYAZ defence, Brown was able to get into the cracks and make plays for himself against much taller defenders.  When he penetrated the lane, the defense collapsed and Malik did a nice job kicking it to the open man.   Malik showed good I.Q in transition, hitting a couple of nice pull up jumpers instead of going all the way to the rim andand likely getting blocked by the Playaz size. He played well against a much stronger and more athletic team. 


Tariq Sbiet- Canadian Recruiting Analyst

Nolan Shulman- North American Recruiting Analyst


Tariq can be reached via twitter @Tsbiet or you can email him at tariq.sbiet@gmail.com

Nolan can be reached via twitter @nolanshulman or you can email him at nolan@flagrantfouls.com

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Tags: , , , , , Justin Jarvis, , Malik Brown, , , , , , , , Stefan Cvrkali, , Stevan Manojlovic,

13 Responses to “Canucks on the AAU Circuit: Pitt Jam Fest”

  1. Flagrant Fouls Summer All-Canadians | Flagrant Fouls 06. Aug, 2010

    [...] sent representatives to Pitt Jam Fest (PA), King James Shooting Stars Classic (OH),  All-Canada Classic (ON), [...]

    Reply to this comment
  2. Canucks on the AAU Circuit - West Virginia Jam Fest | Flagrant Fouls 18. Jul, 2010

    [...] Cannucks on the AAU Circuit - Pitt Jam Fest [...]

    Reply to this comment
  3. Sim Bhullar Hearing From High Majors | Flagrant Fouls 25. May, 2010

    [...] his way.  So far in the spring Sim's been outstanding at every stop.  Whether it be Pitt Jam Fest, the King James Shooting Stars Classic, or the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational, the buzz has [...]

    Reply to this comment
  4. Riverside Falcons/Forster Spartans 21. Apr, 2010

    The big 6′9″ big man was #22 Evan Matthews,he was as good a big man as anyone in the open division,he is getting lots of attention because of his efforts.

    #9 Kyle Osborne had a great tournament,tough kid that is fearless inside and shoots 3’s with deep range and accuracy.

    #2 Travis Turnbull shot the lights out as usual,not suprising,he has done it for 4 years in H.S.,he only gets better when he has strong teammates.

    Riverside only had 7 players but all of them shoot with range.

    Reply to this comment
    • Tariq Sbiet 22. Apr, 2010

      Thanks “Riverside Falcons” for the insider on those players. I hope to get the opportunity to watch them over the summer…If you’d like, email me the teams schedule if you know it…thanks again!

      Reply to this comment
      • EH 28. Apr, 2010

        Riverside Falcons

        They play in Illinois May 1-2nd at an AAU qualifier.

        May15-16th in Indiana at Trine University.

        U Of Detroit tourney June 25-26th.

        Thanks Tariq

        Reply to this comment
    • Nolan Shulman 22. Apr, 2010

      We only had the opportunity to see the 16u and 17u. We missed the Open Division and 15u !!! Send us the schedule and we’ll try to get them next time.

      Reply to this comment
  5. showsomelove 21. Apr, 2010

    nothing on the team out of windsor? they placed 2nd in their division losing to a strong team in the finals. cmon their big guy played well. also travis turnbull and their other guard (#9)..didnt get his name shot the lights out all tournament

    Reply to this comment
    • Nolan Shulman 21. Apr, 2010

      Couldn’t be everywhere at once…..we’ll try to do better this weekend in Akron at the King James Shooting Stars Classic

      Reply to this comment
  6. ythehate 20. Apr, 2010

    o alright I was just wondering sorry for the negativity , canada basketball is on the rise!!!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tariq Sbiet 20. Apr, 2010

    Hey “ythehate”

    There was several game going on simulataneously throughout 9 gyms and we couldn’t be every where all the time…with regards to grass roots, we have covered them before as a matter of fact here is the link to my feature on Kaza Keane and Mikyle McIntosh some of Grassroots finest>>> http://www.flagrantfouls.com/2010/02/torontos-finest-1-2-punch/

    I hope this answers your question…

    Reply to this comment
  8. ythehate 20. Apr, 2010

    I cant belive there is not one grassroots plaer on the list like come on I kno u guys r on carr / takeover jock but im sure u kno who has the better program

    Reply to this comment
    • Nolan Shulman 20. Apr, 2010

      I never got a chance to see Grassroots 15u which I heard were superb. I never saw any 15u. Only 16u and 17u. I will get to them ASAP

      Reply to this comment

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