Fullcourt Press Easter Classic, Day Three

LAS VEGAS – Shabazz Muhammad took home Fullcourt Press Easter Classic MVP, but Winston Shepard and Robert Upshaw played big roles in Dream Vision 17U's championship, while Jordan Mathews, son of UCLA assistant Phil Mathews, also made a statement on Sunday.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Dream Vision 17U: It was a slow start in the title game for Muhammad, who just couldn't get going offensively and only scored six points. However, he picked it up in the second half, scoring 12 points, all of which came from inside the stripe. It wasn't his best performance as a whole, but he did what he needed to do to get his team the win and never took a game off the entire weekend. He's been consistent from three, is nailing the midrange game and is relentlessly driving to the hoop. It was a dominant weekend for Scout.com's #3 overall prospect in 2012, and he was the easy selection for Fullcourt Press Easter Classic MVP.

Winston Shepard, PF, Dream Vision 17U: Teams that win titles do it not only because of the star, but also because of the player next to him who is willing to fill whatever role his team needs of him in that particular game. In the championship game against Branch West Academy, Shepard was everything Dream Vision needed of him and his team wouldn't have won the championship without him. He was a force on the glass and once he got the ball would take off down the court, either going straight at the rim for an athletic throw-down or finding a teammate for an easy look. There are few players in the country with his height, body and athleticism that are cool with just being the utility guy, but every good team needs one and Shepard plays the role well.

Robert Upshaw, C, Dream Vision 17U: Like Shepard, Upshaw also came to play in the first half, scoring all 10 of his total points. The big man faced constant double teams, but he did a good job of drawing in the defense and then dishing back out to the open man. Muhammad led the offense in the second half, so Upshaw stuck to rebounding and blocking shots. He also started the break with several good outlet passes after defensive rebounds. It was a pretty good weekend for Upshaw, considering he's coming home with a championship and a significantly improved stock.

Demetris Morant, PF, Dream Vision 17U: If you watch Morant play for the first time, you'll see a big time athlete who is still raw offensively. However, you want to see consistent improvement and there's no doubt Morant has made it since last summer. He's more coordinated and the athleticism has definitely gotten better. He's gained confidence offensively and on defense he makes up for his skinny frame with long arms and quick feet. He's going to have to work hard in the gym on his offensive skills and continue to get stronger if he's going to make it, but he's going in the right direction.

Ben Carter, PF, Las Vegas Lakers: When you score half of your team's points, you're doing something right, and that was exactly the case when Carter went for 25 on Sunday, albeit in a loss. His motor was running all game long and even when he misses a shot, he always follows it up and is right there for the put-back. He can step out and hit the three, but he's best when he's facing up and working to get to the basket. While he doesn't get great lift from the standstill position, he's got good anticipation and is a respectable shot blocker. He's got three high major offers already and that list will expand this summer.

Jordan Mathews, PG/SG, Dream Vision 16U: The combo guard had a big performance to lead his team to the finals, where it lost to Las Vegas Prospects. Mathews is all energy on both sides of the court and plays with a great competitive fire. He drove to the basket with a purpose and his shot was on, inside and outside the arc. Taking his defender off the dribble is a definite strength of his, which helps considering he's definitely strong for his age. He has a big time benefit of having a father who is a coach, and Phil Mathews, an assistant at UCLA, was at all of his games in Las Vegas.

Stephen Domingo, SF, Dream Vision 16U: The smooth shooter showed off his expanding offensive repertoire, confidently banking in some shots a few feet outside the paint. His game has expanded over the past year, and if he keeps working hard, you're going to have a skilled forward who can put the ball in the basket any number of ways. His shooting ability will always be his biggest strength, but it's good to see that he's not settling for just being a shooter; he's looking to become a well-rounded player. There's a lot to be intrigued by.

On top of Shabazz Muhammad's MVP award for Dream Vision 17U, JuJu Jacobs and Juwan Major took home co-MVP's for Las Vegas Prospects 16U title team, while Shaquille Carr and B.J. Burks were co-MVP's for the Las Vegas Prospects 15U championship squad.

2011 athletic guard Darnell Taylor says he's made progress on his academics and anticipates qualifying. If the grades are there, high majors who need a guard for next year are going to be recruiting him.

Winston Shepard named, in no particular order, New Mexico, San Diego State, Kansas, Memphis, Louisville, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and UCLA.

Rashad Muhammad has offers from Texas A&M, SMU, Northwestern, USC and UNLV.

Jordan Mathews is receiving attention from the Pac-10 and SEC, amongst other conferences, but is still waiting on his first offer.

Darnell Taylor claims offers from LMU and Hawaii.

David Andoh holds offers from Colorado and Santa Clara. He's hearing from Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, Washington State, Utah, Detroit, Penn and Columbia.

"Shabazz was close to a decision earlier (in the recruitment). I pulled his coattails and said he's not allowed to do that yet. He's starting to understand the process now. He understands that even if he gets a little excited, just calm down and let it take its course." – Ron Holmes, father of Shabazz Muhammad


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