Real Deal: Day One

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Real Deal in the Rock tipped off on University of Arkansas-Little Rock's campus on Friday. After a handful of games, we left the gym for the night impressed with 2012 big men Kaleb Tarczewski and Robert Upshaw.

Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut Bball Club – The best player in the 2012 class showed spurts of his potential against Dream Vision. Prior to heading to the bench with some foul trouble in the first half, Drummond spun off a defender and threw down a monster slam. A play later, the 6-foot-10 big man made a move and finished through contact. Drummond runs the floor as well as any center in the class and is a presence when the offense attacks the paint.

Kris Dunn, PG, Connecticut Bball Club – In late January at the Hoop Hall Classic, Dunn intrigued us and after watching him against a very talented Dream Vision squad we still have an affinity for the 6-foot-2 combo guard. Dunn knocked down a handful of pull-up jumpers, finished well at the basket and showed off his impressive court vision. High majors are beginning to take notice.

Robert Upshaw, C, Dream Vision – Defensively Upshaw, a 6-foot-11 center, was active and aggressive against a talented Connecticut Basketball Club. Going up against Andre Drummond he held his own, which is a tough task in its own right. He recorded double digit blocks, rebounded his area and scored when he got touches around the rim. Match that up with great hands and he's a heck of a post prospect that continues to get better.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Dream Vision – Always tough and aggressive, Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 highly regarded wing, showed a scoring mentality Friday night. The southpaw worked it from mid-range and attacked the rim. Muhammad finished through contact and made his way to the free throw line a number of times.

Kaleb Tarczewski, C, NE Playaz – It was a special outing for the 7-footer from Southborough (Mass.) St. Mark's. By our count he was 10-for-10 from the field on his way to an easy 20 points. There wasn't much the big fella didn't do against New Mexico Force. He scored inside with right jump hooks, he collected numerous rebounds that usually led to points and he scored in transition. Already a five-star prospect, his stock is about to shoot higher.

Alex Murphy, SF, NE Playaz – Much like his teammate Tarczewski, Murphy had it going Saturday evening. The 6-foot-8 wing prospect was able to get out in the open court and make plays. He buried a triple, had a strong finish at the rim and punched one on the baseline. Murphy played with confidence against the New Mexico Force and in general looked more comfortable on the court than he did the previous time we laid eyes on him. The Duke commit finished in double figures.

Jim Ausbie, SF, New Mexico Force – Despite taking it on the chin to the New England Playaz, Ausbie showed some talent. A 6-foot-6 wing, he hunted long range shots and hit a couple. He also buried a pull-up from 18-feet. Ausbie certainly needs to get stronger, but he has a long, wiry frame and is a pretty good overall athlete. He's certainly a wing prospect to watch.

Perry Ellis, PF, Kansas Pray & Play – Word out of Kansas this past year was that Ellis had shown strong improvements in his game. After watching him for a half against the Southern Phenoms it's easy to see it. The 6-foot-7, possibly 6-foot-8, forward is moving extremely well and he took rebounds the length of the court. His ball handling has improved, as has his low post game. He showed some legit post moves, impressive foot work and nice touch inside.

Devonta Pollard, PF, Southern Phenoms – There is a lot of talent wrapped in Pollard's 6-foot-7 frame. There will be a debate of what position he is, but we'll go with power forward for now. His athleticism is off the charts and he gets off the ground extremely quick, both of which help with his ability to block shots. Sure he needs to get stronger and his ball handling needs some work, but his jump shot is improving and he has good touch in the paint. Arguably the top play of the day was when he took a rebound coast to coast and threw down a vicious dunk in transition.

Shaqquan Aaron, SF, Dream Vision – On a team with an elite level wing and a big man that is approaching that status, the defense often times lost the 6-foot-6 wiry wing prospect. And leaving Aaron open is a mistake. He buried a number of three-pointers and even mixed in a drive to the rim. Going forward he'll need to continue to develop his ball handling and gain confidence going to the basket, but he's a step above majority of the 2014 prospects.

*Evan Cummins, a standout at Northfield (Mass.) Mount Herman, played well for the Playaz on Friday. He's a terrific passer with a great set of hands. Word is he has legit grades to go with his solid game.

*We were also impressed with the New England Playaz wing Rodell Wigginton. The strong athletic swingman out of Canada is a pretty good athlete that's equipped with a strong frame.

*Although we weren't focused on Vanguard Elite's court, it was easy to notice 6-foot-6 wing DeAndre Harper. Every time we glanced at the 2013 prospect he recorded another block or made a play at the rim.

*Gavin Ware is a promising big man prospect. He has a wide, but strong frame that he uses to clear space for rebounds in the paint. On top of that he likes to mix it up inside and doesn't mind contact.

*Torloff Thomas, a 2013 prospect out of Mississippi, is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard for the Southern Phenoms. Although he got a little wild at times, he's a strong attacking guard that will mix in a jump shot or two.

*Winston Shepard was his normal active self on Friday. The bouncy combo forward hit the glass, pushed the break and cleaned up misses inside.

*Ethan O'Day and TJ Parker both had solid outings for Connecticut Basketball Club. O'Day is a 6-foot-7 skilled big man that can run the floor. Parker is an undersized four that brings his lunch pale in the paint.

*Kris Dunn said he has scholarship offers from Providence and Rhode Island. He also has interest from majority of the Atlantic-10 minus Xavier, plus Marquette, Virginia, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.

*Kaleb Tarczewski said there wasn't anything new to discuss with his recruitment. Although he hasn't set any visit dates, he may go to the Tournament of Champions in May early to see some of the host schools.

*There has been a lot of scuttlebutt about Andre Drummond possibly going to the 2011 class. At this point he's staying 2012, per his AAU coach JR Hargreaves.

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