*Malik Hairston, SF, The Family: There are guys with bigger reps, but when the smoke of the summer clears, watch how high this guy will rise. Hairston handed a Spiece team 34 points and 10 rebounds on 13-26 shooting. Folks, he is young for his year and the recently turned 16-year-old could wind up being a poor man's Carmelo Anthony. Regardless, he made a nice bid in front of handful of McDonald's voters on Saturday. We thought he was a Top 25 player before the spring and now he's moving up our lists with a bullet.
*A.J. Ratliff, SG-PG, Spiece Blue Demons: Our first look at him was a good one as he tallied 20 points in an overtime win. He's speedy, he'll attack and he's got range. Plus, he's a legitimate combo guard. He had 20 and six assists in an early morning effort.
*Greg Stiemsma, C, Randolph Boys Club: Just because he committed early to Wisconsin doesn't mean he is to be forgotten. We still feel he is an elite level big man in the class. He blocks everything he can get to and he made so many shots with his left hand that we almost forgot he is right-handed.
*Arron Afflalo, SG, Compton Magic: We've been hearing all spring how good he is, but we've been missing him at events. We finally caught up to him on Saturday and he hung 22 in a half on someone. He's a legit 6-5 with a great body and deep range. He prefers shooting it to driving it but he can handle the ball well.
*Kyle Lowry, PG, Philly MJC: He's as tough a customer as they come. Lowry has his team deep in the playoffs here at Spiece. He's not the tallest guy out there, but he rebounds well for his size, finds teammates and will finish tough plays. Plus, he really gets after it defensively.
*Joe Crawford, SG, The Family: Like Hairston, his star will keep rising. While Hairston is the versatile scorer, Crawford is the powerful athletic type. He and Hairston have been hanging big numbers on people all tournament long. If we remember one thing about Joe out of the Spiece event, it will be how he's able to hang and hit jumpers over guys.
*Shaun Livingston, PG, Sooy: He had 13 points and four assists in an afternoon game and he's playing on an ankle that is really bothering him. In addition to his passing, shot making and court vision, we liked how he dove to the blocks and went to work as well. He'll be a tough college matchup if he can continue to play that way. Right now, he's just getting his wind.
*Justin Cerasoli, PG, Sooy--With Livingston in the lineup he is seeing plenty of time at the shooting guard, which probably won't be his college position. Still, you have to like and respect the range on the jumper and the percentage with which he makes them. When he's at the point, he is generally under control.
*Luke Zeller, PF, Spiece Top Dogs: He continues to mature and so does his game. He's at least 6-10 and maybe slightly taller. He plays a little like Shavlik Randolph in terms of his skill level. He's still got strength work to do, but you get the picture. He is big time.
For the second week in a row, we saw a little Ardvydas Sabonis in the game of Sooy's Mick Yelovich. Mick would be the mid-major version of Sabonis. Justin Cerasoli has really good touch from medium and deep range.
Ohio's Brian Roberts appears to have grown a little and his game is much more well-rounded this year than last. Instead of just being a shooter, Roberts looks comfortable getting to the rim. Sooy's 16-year-old team has a nice player. Terrence Smith is a fine shooter and athlete.
Did we mention that Greg Stiemsma is equally proficient with either hand in the paint? The guy hit two amazing lefty shots that were really advanced skill moves for someone his age. Stiemsma and Brian Butch at Wisconsin? Wow!
Utah Heat has a potential high-major power forward in Chris Miles. He is thin, but he has some skill and likes to face. Malik Hairston and The Family held Robert Vaden to 13 points on Saturday. He went 1-for-9 from the three-point line against The Family. Trust us, Vaden's terrific, but he was the third best perimeter player in the game next to Hairston and Crawford on Saturday and that is no knock on him. .
Many teams were without star players today for two reasons: 1) the prom and 2) a Saturday morning SAT session. A.J. Ratliff likes Iowa State, Memphis, Xavier, Marquette, Duke, UConn and North Carolina State. Iowa State and Xavier are very strong with him. Mick Yelovich is hearing from Ball State, Southern Illinois, Drake, St. Louis, Nebraska and Northern Illinois. Shaun Livingston's current list reads Duke, Illinois, Duke, Florida State, Arizona and Louisville. However, Duke has not offered to date. We hear that he will be on Florida State's campus the Memorial Day weekend. It looks like the Gators scored an official visit.
In addition to Purdue, we hear Kentucky and Indiana will be in the hunt for Robert Vaden. Lowell Grisson of the Spiece team has a famous daddy. His stepfather is Cliff Levingston. Malik Hairston is listing Michigan State, Kentucky, UCLA, Missouri, Kansas State. The Bruins are likely to receive an official visit and he was on OSU's campus last week for an unofficial.
Center Craig Reichel lists Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Bowling Green among his early contenders. Compton Magic center Maurice Shaw will spend a fifth year at Brewster next season. Compton Magic small forward Ty Morrison likes Oregon State, Arizona State and Louisville. He hasn't taken the SAT yet but Oregon has offered.