The 2018 annual NY2LA Sports Swish N’ Dish returned from Homestead High School on Friday. Opening night featured a handful of big time matchups as some of the nation’s top travel programs and prospects were in attendance. Facing a huge test, D.J. Carton and Quad City Elite picked up a huge victory over Bradley Beal Elite…

D.J. Carton – 2019 – PG – Quad City Elite

This kid continues to get better and better, Carton opened a lot of eyes on Friday. Going head-to-head with Bradley Beal Elite, Carton and Quad City Elite pulled out a two-point victory. Carton was sensational. He scored 15 points and created a ton of opportunities for his teammates. Defenders try and hassle and get after Carton, but it’s to no avail. He’s able to rise above the pressure and still dictate the game. Carton looks for even more explosive than a year ago. He had a nasty poster dunk between multiple defenders and a few other impressive drives to the rim. A clear top 50 prospect in the class of 2019, Carton blew up last summer. Expect his offer list to continue to grow. 

Jalen Johnson – 2020 – G/F – Phenom University
The top ranked player in the Class of 2020 state of Wisconsin left no doubt who the alpha dog was in a high level matchup with EG10. Johnson scored 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first half as Phenom University ran away with a 71-42 victory. Johnson mixed it up offensively, knocking down jumpers and putting home some highlight plays at the rim. At 6-foot-7, the positionless, five-star talent just makes the game look so easy at times. 

Mario McKinney – 2019 – SG – Bradley Beal Elite
A high volume scorer, McKinney excels at finding ways to put the ball in the hole. McKinney can score from all three levels and is a terrific shot creator. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is a smooth leaper that makes things happen in transition. He’ll use that athleticism on the glass as well, hunting offensive rebound and put back opportunities. Despite a loss to Quad City Elite, McKinney had a solid effort, proving his worth as top 100 prospect in the class of 2019. 

Francis Okoro – 2019 – F/C – Bradley Beal Elite
Okoro just activates beast mode and nobody can match his physicality and intensity inside. A strong, athletic post that relishes contact, Okoro did a lot of damage in the paint in a loss to Quad City Elite. The top 50 prospect lives near the rim, putting home tough baskets and second chance opportunities. However, Okoro looks to be more improved with his back to the basket. He showed some nice footwork and skills on the block, able to finesse his way to buckets rather than just using brute force. One of the nation’s best rim protectors, Okoro did his job defensively, cleaning the glass and sending back shots from the opposition. 

Mike Saunders – 2020 – PG – G3 Rising Stars
Despite a loss to All-Ohio Red, Saunders was fantastic. The electric floor general took the game over offensively in the second half to lead a strong comeback. Saunders found himself in a lot of isolation settings and was able to create something positive. Saunders has a deadly mid-range game. If he needs to create space, Saunders can knock down a step back jumper. A speedy guard with terrific handles, Saunders will make defenders pay who try and crowd him. A quick, explosive guard, Saunders took some strong drives to the rim on Friday. Holding offers from DePaul, VCU, and more, Saunders had the feel of a solid power-five recruit. He’s been picking up interest from Ohio State, Wisconsin, and others this spring.

Amari Bailey – 2022 – G – Mac Irvin Fire

The highly regarded 8th grader opened some eyes once again with solid play and when it mattered the most he stepped up big as he drilled a trey ball to win an opening night matchup for the 16U Mac Irvin Fire EYBL.  A talented and skilled young guard, Bailey is legit and only getting started.

Khristian Lander – 2021 – G – EG10
Lander is going to be a dynamic scorer over the next few seasons. This kid has a lot of tools offensively and was very tough to contain in a loss to Phenom University. Lander is quick on the ball and loaded with counters against defenders who try and cut him off. A guard with a quick trigger, Lander can pull up from just about anywhere or leave defenders in the dust with a deadly hesitation move. Looking like a high major prospect in 2021, Lander had one of the more exciting offensive showcases on opening night. 

Cameron Palesse – 2021 – W/G – Phenom University
Like the offensive package and what Palesse brings to the table. Already 6-foot-4, Palesse is a good-looking slashing wing with some creativity in traffic. The Waukesha West standout had 15 points in a low scoring affair versus EG10. When he saw an opening, Palesse was aggressive and hit the gaps hard before the defense could react. If given space, he can knock down shots consistently. Palesse has a soft touch on his jumper. Palesse has good length and quickness defensively as well and should be a standout on that end of the floor. It’s early, but it feels like Palesse is a Division 1 talent that’s going to get better in a hurry over the next year or two.

Malcolm Reed – 2019 – W/G – Wisconsin Swing
This should be a valuable pickup at the Division 3 level. Reed has very good size at 6-foot-5 and is a solid all-around prospect. He can play three positions on the perimeter, but might be best suited for point guard. Reed makes sound decisions with the basketball and can create for others offensively. He’s probably too passive to a fault and should look to shoot more. In transition, Reed has an excellent feel. His passes are crisp, on time, and on target. A prospect that has value across the board, Reed has a chance to be a nice steal at the small school level.

C.J. Wilbourn – 2019 – F/C – Quad City Elite
Wilbourn just brought it in Friday’s win over Bradley Beal Elite. An intriguing, up and coming post prospect, Wilbourn continues to get better and better and was outstanding in a high level matchup. Wilbourn protected the rim at an eye-opening rate, blocking shots and contesting without fouling against some strong, aggressive drives. A prospect that’s improved his hands around the rim, Wilbourn can catch and finish in traffic. He’ll step away from the basket and do some things from mid-range occasionally as well. Drawing some Division 1 interest, Wilbourn has a chance to be a potential steal at that level as a kid whose best days are ahead of him.