The Norm Stewart Classic featured 47 teams playing 24 games over 48 straight hours. Here are my thoughts on the top players in the games I watched: 

2022 6-10 Jevon Porter, Father Tolton – The matchup between the slender, 6-10 Porter and the larger 7-0 Bradford couldn’t have been any more intriguing. The contrast in styles was on full display during the second half as the two exchanged buckets, Bradford on the inside and Porter raining 3-ptr from beyond the arc. Porter is still developing, but has a nice foundational skill set that allows him to score from the perimeter, rebound and block shots. Porter scored 17points including 4 of 5 from three. 

2021 6-8 Josh Robinson, Cardinal Ritter – Robinson made his presence felt on the boards and on the block. He snatched a total of 12 rebounds, displayed some nice low post moves and recorded a number of second chance points off of offensive put backs. He is a skilled forward that combines a mix of old school back to the basket type moves with contemporary face up perimeter skills. 

2021 6-7 Jordan Nesbitt, St. Louis Christian – In a game indicative of his growth from the last season, Nesbitt displayed the ability to sink open shots, but the real eye opener was his playmaking, court vision and passing ability. Nesbitt is a fierce competitor and is lethal in the open court. Jordan’s abilities to slash and improved shooting are well known, but I was pleased to get a good look at his passing and playmaking as well. He spent a lot of time in this contest working as a facilitator. In the point guard position, he thrived in the two-man game, pick and roll etc., and used his strong body to attack the paint and make plays. Coaches will be pleased to see his performance in this role. Expect his stock to continue to trend upwards. 

2021 6-8 Jaden Jones, St. Louis Christian – As good as the backcourt of Jones and Nesbitt was this weekend, I had to constantly remind myself that the talented guard is new to the SLCA roster and the chemistry is still growing. The upside of this backcourt is scary with Jones in the mix. Jones is an athletic and versatile player that can score buckets by the bunches. Jones can score the ball from different areas of the court. He can sink the three, slash, rebound and defend inside and out. His versatility as a scorer and facilitator will make him an attractive recruiting target. Jones scored a team high 22 points. 

2020 6-5 Dylan Branson, Mehlville – Branson’s leadership and playmaking ability shined through in this matchup. Branson is a dangerous shooter and solid passer. Branson gave a courageous second half performance that included a little bit of everything, timely passes, made 3FG, playmaking, and powering his way to the rim to finish through contact. Branson finished with 22 points. 

2020 6-2 Trey Phipps, Booker T Washington (OK) – Trey Phipps is another Hornets guard that can shoot it from deep. The passionate and fearless guard stepped to the foul line with less than five seconds to play and sank two free throws that sealed the victory for BTW. Phipps finished the game with 16 points including 11 of 11 FTA.