Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Summer Basketball: Hunter Sallis, Saint Thomas, Tre Holloman & More

August 19, 2020

Over the weekend, summer basketball teams from around the midwest descended on the Kansas City area to compete in the various events taking place there. One of those teams was the OSA Adidas 3SSB 17U Crusaders led by Millard North’s Hunter Sallis.

I made the trip down to Kansas City to watch the Crusaders compete in the KC Run GMC United Showcase against some of the better programs in the midwest featuring other prospects with offers from Nebraska. OSA also played in a separate showcase game as part of the RecruitLook Hoops Sunflower Showcase on Sunday. Here’s my notebook from the weekend.

Sallis Shows Flashes, but Others Step Up for OSA

The OSA Adidas 17U team went 3-1 over the weekend after opening their summer with a pair of wins back in the Omaha Metro area the previous weekend.

OSA dropped its first game to KC Run GMC 17U 73-72 after a late Crusader turnover led to a go-ahead three-point play for GMC in the final seconds. OSA bounced back with an 88-86 double-overtime win against KC Run GMC 16U; Sallis hit the deciding free throws in the final period to give OSA the lead for good. OSA wrapped the day up with a 70-65 win over Howard Pulley that featured a 7-0 run by the Crusaders to end the game.

OSA closed out the weekend with an 85-83 win over Grassroots Sizzle Suggs. OSA built up a double-digit lead and looked liked it was going to roll to an easy win before a late rally by Grassroots that came up just a bit short.

I’ve watched Sallis play countless times over the past three years. He wasn’t at his best this weekend but still showed off the talent that have coaches from all over the country tuning in to his games. Sallis averaged 13.8 points overall but scored 21 and 18 in OSA’s first two games. He slipped and went down hard with about six minutes to go in OSA’s last game of the day on Saturday and didn’t return, but he was back in the lineup for the Sunday morning game.

Sallis shared the court with a handful of other 4- and 5-star prospects throughout Saturday and very much looked the part with his athleticism and shot-making ability. Considering his talent, this is mostly picking nits, but watching him this weekend just reinforced the areas of his game in which he needs to make the biggest strides.

Sallis is a terrific mid-range shooter and his long-range shot looked very smooth on Friday night while he was going through the skills workout that accompanied Saturday’s games, but he still needs to improve as a 3-point shooter in games. He only made three triples all weekend, but he kept firing away (which actually isn’t a bad thing for his development). He also had more turnovers than assists, and a lot of that is tied to his ball-handling (and to a lesser extent, his decision-making) than it is to his passing ability. Sallis is capable of high-level dribble moves, but the consistency is lacking as he will mis-handle the ball a bit more often than one would like.

Sallis holds offers from more than 30 teams at this point including some of the biggest programs in the country. He’s unlikely to choose Nebraska, but the Huskers will continue to recruit him until he gives them a reason to stop.

Sallis isn’t the only high-major prospect on his team, though. Two of his teammates had big weekends to lead the way for the Crusaders.

Saint Thomas, the 6-foot-6 forward who also plays with Sallis at Millard North, led the Crusaders in scoring at 19.3 points per game on 60% from the field including 56% from 3. He stepped it up even more in OSA’s last two games, scoring 54 points on 18-of-27 from the field, 9-of-15 from 3 and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Thomas finished well around the basket and shot even better from the 3-point line. He won’t shoot over 50% every weekend, but if he keeps playing like he did this weekend Mississippi State, TCU and Virginia Tech may not be the last high-majors to offer him.

The other high-impact player was Tucker DeVries, the son of current Drake head coach and former Creighton assistant Darian DeVries. DeVries didn’t shoot the ball as well as he normally does but still found a way to contribute in a lot of different areas.

The 6-foot-6 wing put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a block in OSA’s win over KC Run GMC 16U. He took a charge on a dunk attempt by an opponent, then beat two defenders to the rim and flushed it himself on the other end, showing how much he’s developed athletically from a year ago.

DeVries left OSA’s third game with a leg cramp that spreads his whole body. He missed the rest of the game and left the gym on a cart before heading to the hospital where they pumped him full of IV fluids and released him. He was back out there on Sunday morning, starting OSA’s final game and putting up an efficient 18 points.

Most expect DeVries’s recruitment coming down to Creighton — the program he grew up around — and Drake — where he could play for his dad.

KC Run GMC is Loaded with Talent

The host program for the event fielded two incredibly talented teams and both of OSA’s games against them were instant classics.

The headliner for the 17s was Mark Mitchell Jr., a 6-foot-7 5-star 2022 forward who put up a game-high 24 points and scored what proved to be the game-winning three-point play. He’s a tremendous athlete who had some tough buckets on Saturday.

Mitchell’s running mate is Tamar Bates, a top-150 prospect with offers from a dozen high-major programs. The 6-foot-4 guard didn’t shoot well from deep on Saturday but is a capable shooter and has tremendous touch with his dominant left hand on shots around the basket. He also displayed terrific defensive anticipation and plus length with four steals and two blocks.

For the 16U team, top-40 2022 wing Gradey Dick is the really deal. The 6-foot-7 swingman is a bouncy athlete who can really shoot the ball from the perimeter. He shot 6-of-10 from 3 and scored 24 points against the Crusaders while also grabbing seven rebounds and two steals. Nebraska offered Dick early, but Kansas pulled the trigger on the same day.

Taj Manning, a 6-foot-6 forward, doesn’t have any offers yet but is certainly on the radar of a number of schools. He’s a bouncy athlete who showed a soft touch on his jumper as he poured in 25 points against OSA while also corralling 11 rebounds.

Tre Holloman is Smooth

Howard Pulley’s 17U team actually consists mostly of 2022 prospects led by point guard Trejuan Holloman. Holloman is a smooth operator who does a great job of running his offense and setting up his teammates while also showing the ability to get buckets himself. He put up 12 points and nine assists with just two turnovers against the OSA 17s.

Holloman has been high on Nebraska’s 2022 board for a while as the Huskers first offered nearly a year ago. However, Michigan State apparently feels the same way as the Spartans offered last week.

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