Kirk, Beal shine at KC Prep Invitational
Christian Kirk (Springfield, Mo./Kickapoo)
2011, PF, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds | AAU Team: KC Pump N Run
Kirk always seems to be a standout player in each and every tournament he's in, he really stood out throughout the weekend in Kansas City. Kirk's added strength allows him to create more space in the post, where he finishes almost every time he gets the ball. Kirk got his KC Pump N Run team going early in the championship game against the St. Louis Eagles when he threw down three dunks after using his strength to create easy passing lanes into the post for his teammates.
He is hearing from Iowa, Virginia, and pretty much every school in the Missouri Valley Conference, including hometown Missouri State.
Bradley Beal (St. Louis, Mo/ Chaminade)
2011, 6-3, 180 pounds | AAU Team: St. Louis Eagles
Despite flight troubles causing Beal and his St. Louis Eagles teammates to arrive late to the tournament, Beal was still able to lead the Eagles to the championship game. His ability to score from anywhere on the floor was once again on display throughout the weekend, but what Beal did on the defense end was most impressive. Beal's ability to use his length in passing lanes created easy steals that led to easy points.
Players to watch
Wesley Staten (Sioux City, Iowa/ Bishop Heelan)
2012, 6-1, 160 pounds | AAU Team: Kingdom Hoops U-16
Staten probably played his best basketball of the summer this weekend in Kansas City, and with all of the college coaches in attendance, Staten couldn't have picked a better weekend. The combo guard put on a scoring show throughout the tournament, including 24 points in the U-16 championship game. Most see Staten as a point guard at the next level, and he has clearly worked on those skills, but his ability to score the basketball is something that will allow him to play multiple perimeter positions at the next level.
Staten played great in front of coaches from Kansas and Florida, who he currently says are the favorites in his recruitment.
Connor Frankamp (Wichita, Kan./ North)
2013, 5-10, 150 pounds | AAU Team: KC Pump N Run U-15
It's common to hear the word 'shooter' yelled out by players and coaches when the opponents best shooter catches the ball behind the three-point line. Opponents might have to use a new word when Frankamp catches the ball. What he lacks in size, for now, he easily makes up for in natural ability and skill. His ability to score point in bunches helped led his KC Pump N Run U-15 team to the tournament championship.
• The No. 9-ranked player in the ESPNU Super 60, Perry Ellis (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Heights), scored 28 points in his final game of the tournament due to some right knee soreness, and that performance will be the one that coaches easily remember the most. Coaches from Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, Baylor, Stanford and Kansas were all present when Ellis took the court.
• At 6-5, 225 pounds, it should come to no surprise that 2013 SF Ishmael Wainright (Raytown, Mo./Raytown South) already has coaches excited about what kind of player he can be at the next level. Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis all watched him this weekend. St. John's, UCLA and Missouri have already offered, according to Wainright.
• The No. 9-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, Ben McLemore (St. Louis/Oak Hill), is quickly adding to his list of schools. Kentucky can now be added to the list of schools on McLemore's list.
• Kansas State not only spent time watching Ellis this weekend, but they also spent some time evaluating 2012 PG Benny Parker (Kansas City, Kan/Sumner).
• The Missouri Tigers continued to show do-everything 2011 SF, Antwan Space (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) that he has become one of their top targets. At least one member of the Tigers staff was in attendance for each of Space's games this weekend.
• Outside of Beal, McLemore and Ellis, no player received as much attention as PG Marcus Smart (Flower Mound, Texas/ Flower Mound). The super long and strong PG had coaches from Kansas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas and Kansas State watching his every move on the court.
Matt Scott writes for ESPN affiliate TheShiver.com