Three unsigned PFs shine at Nike Invitational
If you are a school looking for a hard-playing, producing power forward, the Nike Invitational was a good place to do some recruiting. There were a trio of unsigned senior big men that were good enough to put onto the “inquire” list.
Jade McLendon, Chamblee: With the team’s best player out due to a funeral, Caesar Burgess needed someone to bring it on Friday. McLendon was that guy. Bouncy and aggressive, McLendon played angry around the rim. And by angry, I mean intimidating. And by intimidating, I mean the kind you like on your side. McLendon tried to dunk everything and found success by getting to the foul line nine times (and making all nine attempts). The 6-foot-6 power forward finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds against a big Norland frontline.
Maljhum McCrea, Norland: A quick peek at my notes on Norland and written next to McCrea’s name was simple: PLAYS HARD! Paired against McLendon for the majority of the game, it felt like we were watching an undercard fight before a title UFC match. And that’s a good thing. McCrea is a blue collar post player that showed off a contributing block-to-block game. Solid player at 6-foot-6. You know what you are going to get with him.
Karlos Odum, Bartow: Playing alongside 6-foot-8 South Florida bound big man Chris Perry, Odum enjoyed the luxury of one-on-one opportunities in the paint. And like the two guys listed above, Odum played with great energy. Of the three, he showed the most potential outside of the paint. Highly athletic, the 6-foot-6 forward plays well around the rim but didn’t let his game be simply defined by his bounce. Long term, he could be trusted to be a midrange big man on the offensive end and defend, at times, the three spot.
By Justin Young