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July 22, 2013

Nike Global Challenge: Michigan targets and more

In a back-and-forth battle, 2014 small forward Stanley Johnson from California - the No. 8 player in the country according to Rivals.com, took his USA West team on his back and finished the game with a short jumper in the lane to lead the West to a win over USA South in the championship game of the 2013 Nike Global Challenge in Washington, DC. Earlier, in the third place game, USA Midwest pummeled a short handed USA East squad 133-108, with four players scoring 20 points or more.

A trio of Michigan offerees/targets participated in the annual event - part of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball series - which took place July 17-20 at Trinity Washington University in the Nation's Capital. St. Louis standout Jordan Barnett (Rivals.com No. 86) saw the most action of the three on the tournament's final day, seeing 22 minutes for his USA Midwest team. The small forward chipped in seven points and seven rebounds on 3-6 shooting, adding a block, in the win.

Barnett showed flashes of his touted athleticism on a couple rebounds in the first half, but demonstrated significantly greater promise in the second. He ended the third quarter with a dunk and hit his first touch of the fourth for a triple.

Barnett is clearly a coachable kid and does a lot of fundamentals very well, including boxing out. His tendency on this day, though, was to be content as a role player, letting teammates do the flashy stuff. He'll need to get more aggressive to stand out at the next level, but he has a good body at 6-7, clearly knows the game and could be really good if a killer instinct kicks in.

Devin Booker (6-6, No. 27) played 16 minutes for the South in the championship game, adding nine points on 3-7 shooting. Booker came flying out of the gate for USA South, scoring the game's first points on a dunk. He was all over the floor early on, running back as a long outlet, and was willing to body up on the defensive end as well.

As the West came back, though, Booker struggled to find a solid footing and saw his playing time decrease in the second half. He wasn't able to follow up his impressive shooting performance from Friday (8-9, 5-6 from three), missing both three point attempts badly and finishing 3-7 from the field, mostly on dunks and layups.

Booker is a high energy player who looks to get the ball and stay in the play. As noted, he did not shoot well Saturday, although fatigue and heat may have played a factor in his flatter looking shot.

Kameron Chatman, a 2014 small forward from Long Beach, Calif. (No. 30), was an efficient 2-3 from the field in seven minutes for the champion West team. Led by very strong forward play for the West from North Carolina 2014 SF commit Justin Jackson (No. 10) and the aforementioned Johnson, as well as a solid performance from wing Kelly Oubre (No. 19), Chatman found himself squeezed out of the West's lineup for most of the game. All four point of his points came off layups; he missed his only other shot attempt, a 15-footer from the right baseline.

Other notable performances on Saturday came from 2014 PF Reid Travis of Minneapolis (No. 40), 2014 SG and Indiana commit James Blackmon (No. 33) and 2014 SG Robert Johnson (No. 84, Chesterfield, Virginia).

Travis had a stellar second half for the Midwest and ended with 26 points, getting to the line and making eight of his 10 attempts. He looked soft at times early on before he got in control, but when he locked in he was an overpowering force against the East inside.

Blackmon's stats (25 points on 10-11 shooting) were inflated after he put on a clinic to finish the game, knocking down three straight from beyond the arc (he finished 5-5 overall) and putting down a dunk to top it off at the end, but he played well throughout. Johnson kept the team around in the first half, finishing with 20 points and five boards.

Syracuse 2014 PF commit Chris McCollough (No. 13) led the East with 21 points and seven rebounds.

A complete list of box scores from the
event can be found on the Nike Global Challenge website: Global Challenge.


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