Jamal Branch, PG, Grace Prep – This was easily the best outing we've seen from Branch. The 6-foot-3 lead guard headed to Texas A&M was steady in all facets of the game. With weapons next to him on both wings and a 7-footer inside, Branch looked to find his teammates and run the team. Now Branch mixed in some drives and floaters, but his main focus was running the team and he did a great job of it.
Jarvis Summers, PG/SG, Provine – Andy Kennedy found a good one in Summers. Nationally he doesn't have a big reputation, but up against one of the better lead guards in the country – Branch – Summers proved he's definitely a high major guy and worthy of some praise.
At 6-foot-3 he has good size for the position, his ball skills are above average and he made great decisions throughout. He didn't look real comfortable taking long-range shots, but he did connect on some mid-range floaters and was able to adjust shots and finish at the basket. With the game on the line, Summers number was called and he hit a game winning pull-up jumper from 10-feet.
David Rivers, SF, Hall – During the first half Rivers had his full game on display. He was especially active on defense, especially at the front of their press where he caused multiple turnovers. Offensively he attacked the basket in transition and knocked down jump shots from mid-range. A Nebraska commit, Rivers didn't play nearly as well in the second half as his team struggled bringing the ball up the court. Overall Rivers had a solid outing and plays as hard as we've seen him.
Jarion Henry, SF, Kimball – An extremely talented 6-foot-8 wing prospect, Henry put together a strong effort against Hall. He was active inside tipping in misses, but he also scored on the block and in transition. His ability to get up and down the floor and move lateral is impressive for a guy his size. With his mobility, massive length and overall skill set he's certainly a major prospect and one of the more talented prospects still on the board in the 2011 class.
Jordan Williams, SG, Kimball – It was a tail of two halves for the North Texas commit. First off Williams, at 6-foot-5 wing, is a terrific get for Johnny Jones and his staff. But in the first half Williams was shaky and struggled to get things going. That changed quickly as the second half began. Williams opened it up with a three-pointer, mixed in a couple of finishes at the rim and then buried a deep three. Williams was a big reason Kimball came back from down 22-points to knock off Hall.
LeBryan Nash, SF, Lincoln – It's hard to be more effective and efficient than Nash was against Prestonwood. He simply brought his "A" game Friday evening. Nash finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and arguably the best dunk of the year when he rose over a completely helpless defender and dunked on him one-handed. But he did much more than the dunk. Nash buried a three, attacked the basket, grabbed rebounds and played within himself. The Oklahoma State signee is getting better and improving at just the right time.
Marcus Smart, SG, Flower Mound Marcus – It took Smart a little while to get it going, but by the fourth quarter he used his toughness and strength to make plays at the rim. What started it was a tip dunk in traffic, but he also mixed in some scoring drives. Smart is a tough evaluation as he's somewhat positionless. He's a talented passer, but not a true point guard. He's more of a power guard that you just throw on the court because of his winning attributes.
Phil Forte, PG, Flower Mound Marcus – Smart's teammate in high school and AAU was steady as always. A known weapon from behind the arc the 5-foot-10 lead guard never got it going from long range, but he was able to mix in some strong, tough drives to the basket. Forte plays hard on both ends and defensively refuses to back down.
Isaiah Austin, C, Grace Prep – It wasn't a particularly eye popping outing for Austin, a 7-foot big man already committed to Baylor. But from a personal growth standpoint we were impressed. Austin, who has been known to hang on the perimeter, never strayed from the block. He snagged offensive rebounds, showed good touch in the paint and swatted shots on the defensive end.
Jordan Mickey, PF/SF, Richardson Berkner – Coming in with a strong reputation from playing with the Dallas Mustangs 2013 squad, Mickey lived up to expectations showing off his high-level athleticism. At 6-foot-7, 190-pounds, Mickey has a long, lean frame and moves up and down the floor quite well. Around the basket he has good touch and is confident in a half hook over his left shoulder.
Kendall Harris, SG, Richardson Berkner – For Berkner, Harris spent quite a bit of time on the ball, but we'll classify him as a shooting guard. Harris, a 6-foot-2, 175-pounder, has a scoring mentality and he can certainly put the ball in the basket. He's equipped with a solid jump shot with range to 21-feet, but he's also a pretty good athlete that is a stronger finisher when he gets to the basket.
Stevie Clark, PG/SG, Douglass – A 5-foot-10 guard, Clark may be the one bring the ball up the floor, but scoring is where he excels. Creating separation comes with ease for Clark, as he's speedy and knows how to get off clean looks off the bounce. Clark has pretty good athleticism, range out to 22-feet and a nice pull-up jump shot. His most impressive move of the day was pulling up for a 12-footer in transition. He finished with 15 points.
Julius Randle, PF, Prestwood Christian – The first half was downright rough for Randle and his teammates mustering only six points. But for Randle, the nation's top rated 2013 prospect, the second half was much better. He scored 15 points in the second frame and scored them in a variety of ways. He buried a pair of three-pointers and had a couple of nifty finishes inside. He secured only five rebounds in a game where there was plenty of opportunity to reel in boards, so that is definitely an area he could improve upon.
Emmanuel Mudiay, SG/SF, Grace Prep – This is going to be a fun one to watch develop. A 6-foot-3 young looking wing with a long set of arms and a frame that will eventually add strength, Mudiay is a terrific athlete that moves extremely well. He was a little shy shooting long-range jumpers, but his dribble-drive game was impressive and he showed a nice pull-up floater. Rebounding is strength for Mudiay as he uses his length and athleticism to snag boards in the paint.
Soma Edo, of Richardson (Tex.) Berkner is a major athlete. The 6-foot-5 forward skied for dunk after dunk in the first half of Berkner's loss to Douglass. He'll need to develop some skill going forward, but he has elite athleticism. Provine sophomore Roger Woods has some talent. The 6-foot-5 forward is springy and can finish at the rim. Bobby Portis of Little Rock (Ark.) Hall, is a 6-foot-7 post prospect with some potential. He ran the floor well and showed a nice turn around jump shot from 12-feet.
Marcus Smart claims scholarship offers from the entire Big 12. The only school he's taken an unofficial visit to is Baylor. He was supposed to visit Oklahoma State, but had to cancel due to family obligations.
Jarion Henry said Baylor, USC, Florida, Marquette, Oregon and Arizona State were all involved in his recruitment. He doesn't have a timetable on a decision and said he's taking his time with the process.
We spotted two head coaches today. Mike Anderson, who was accompanied by two assistants, was at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, as was SMU head man Matt Doherty. Assistants from Baylor, Houston, UTEP and Texas were also in attendance.
"I was about to windmill it and he got in my way so he had to pay the price." -- LeBryan Nash on his dunk over a Prestwood defender.