July 11, 2010

Day Three at the River City Showdown Finally Has Some Star Power

The first two days of the River City Showdown lacked one big element: star power. Well, that wasn't the case Saturday.

Memphis' own Jarnell Stokes showed up to play for the Memphis YOMCA 16-under team against the Mid-State Ballerz and the Georgia D'fenders. Also with YOMCA were Leron Black and Jonathan Williams(or J3 to Memphians), though neither of them played due to prior injuries.

YOMCA beat both the Ballerz and the D'fenders, but neither went down without a fight.

It wasn't a shock to see Stokes there, as we found out late last night from his father that he would be playing for the Memphis-rooted AAU program before he sets off for the Peach Jam.

In the first game of the day, Memphis YOMCA versus the Mid-State Ballerz, one parent summed it up best about Stokes' play.

"He's a man amongst boys," she said.

By TSR's count, Stokes had a double-double, with 24 points, over 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Simply put, he couldn't be stopped when he wanted to score. His post moves are advanced for a kid his age, and though there is room for improvement, they're effective. Stokes also showcased his handle after stealing the ball, or grabbing an offensive rebound, and he went coast-to-coast with it. At times, he tends to try to do too much with the ball in his hands, but he makes up for that with his passing. He may be one of the best passing big men since Kevin Love.

Markel Crawford is also one to keep an eye on for the Memphis YOMCA. He shot the ball well, and drove to the lane with tenacity. With some added weight, he's a solid mid-major prospect right now; let him keep improving (as most ballers his age will) and we could easily forecast him as a high major signee in a power conference.

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