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A few Peach Jam observations before we leave the party

The KSR expert recruiting team is at our favorite restaurant in North Augusta, gobbling up all the homemade cake and free Wi-Fi before we hit the road back to bluer grasses. But before we go, I have a few notes and observations from our time at the Jam of Peaches. Tomlin and Matt will have more once we wheels down in Kentucky.


The Jackson Tigers should be the Jackson Malik Newmans.

Through three games at the Peach Jam, Malik Newman has taken 71 shot attempts. If you could see how good he is, and how mediocre his teammates are, you would understand why and wonder why he hasn’t taken more.

The kid gets to the basket with ease, through double and triple teams, and finishes up, under and around contact. Passing the ball isn’t one of his strengths, although it’s tough to judge his ability to distribute because I can’t recall him doing it. Not once.

To put it simply, Malik Newman is the star of the 2015 class and a name you’ll be hearing a lot of over the next two years.

Cliff Alexander is a man.

Like Julius Randle last summer, Cliff Alexander’s frame stands out against the other Peach Jammers. His physique is near NBA ready and he is so explosive when attacking the goal for rim-rattling dunks. No one in the tournament gets the crowd fired up like Alexander after a two-handed slam. How the glass remains intact is nothing short of amazing.

Thon Maker. Remember that name.

KSR has a new favorite prospect and he still has a lot of high school and AAU basketball ahead of him. Thon Maker, a rising sophomore, impressed us with his 15 and 10 outing against Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander and the Mac Irvin Fire, a game his team won but would later forfeit for an ineligible player.

We were in our seats early for Maker’s Thursday night game against the Texas Titans and the three of us decided he’s the best basketball player in the world, ever. That may be a stretch, but we’re sticking with it. At 7’0”, 200 lbs., he’s very agile with athleticism rarely seen at that size.

Maker has already heard from Kentucky but is still awaiting an offer. Arizona and Virginia Tech are two schools on his offer sheet.

Stanley Johnson confuses me.

Johnson is very athletic and quick to the basket, but can’t always finish, a la Archie Goodwin. He looked great at times, but sometimes erratic and unpolished. I think he’s hurt by playing on a bad team, which led to him running into double teams and clogged lanes. Like James Young last year, I won’t let a couple of Peach Jam games ruin my opinion of his talent and potential.

The thirst for Coach Cal is real.

Coach Cal can’t walk in a room without every coach from every level of college basketball approaching him for a fist bump or a handshake. Many will turn around and bad mouth him behind his back, but everyone is drawn to him and his presence dominates the room.

He’s the cool kid at the party.


Talk to you back in Kentucky, folks.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

12 Comments for A few Peach Jam observations before we leave the party

  1. ROSE
    3:04 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Drew how about bringing a girl a jar of that peach jam? Wouldn’t that be great on some French Toast or Pancakes with some bacon on the side (no syrup required just plenty of butter).

  2. Bobbum man
    3:04 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Did you ever hear what the deal was with the ineligible player?

  3. Blueinville
    3:22 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    The other coaches are jealous. They don’t have his swagger.

  4. truBLU
    3:27 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Sounds like Maker really left an impression. A mark if you will. Maker’s mark?

  5. TDog
    3:28 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @3. They also don’t wear that UK on their chest either.

  6. Ridge Runner
    3:28 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    2, Still nothing I have read here locally. Boo Williams Team had to forfeit 2 games and one was the upset over Mac Irvin Fire’s Alexander/Okafor team.

  7. Hey Drew
    3:52 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Seriously Drew you all should dish on the coaches who bad mouth Cal behind his back. I’d love for all that petty jealousy to be exposed to the public, would be hilarious.

  8. SouthBeachWildcat
    4:06 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Why no mention of the Kentucky Travelers team? A bunch of talented kids from Kentucky can’t get any love from a Kentucky sports blog

  9. Whateva
    4:49 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sure the the tier one coaches , Coach K,Pitino,Williams and Self Boeheim and Izzo. Are not moving crowds to see Cal.

  10. Hairy Armpitchick
    7:20 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry, I was too busy hula hoopin’ to read this article

  11. SeaCat
    11:36 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Great work Drew!!
    Hope remains for us
    western Ky boys!

  12. El Guapo
    5:12 am July 13, 2013 Permalink

    How the hell can you have an ineligible player in what amounts to a pick-up game where kids are playing for shoes and money and attending “prep schools” that don’t actually exist?? Something this dirty CAN’T have actual rules.