Spring Showdown: Day One

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – The opening night of the Nike Spring Showdown produced some lopsided games in pool play, but 2014 big man Cliff Alexander proved that he's among the nation's best young post prospects.

Tyrone Sherman, PG, Illinois Wolverines – Sherman is among a glut of 2012 point guards in Illinois trying to separate themselves from the mid-major pack. A small, but talented lead guard, Sherman is at his best when he keeps it simple and uses change of pace moves to attack the defense. Unfortunately, the Homewood-Flossmoor product likes to add some flash that sometimes results in unnecessary shots and turnovers. He's a work-in-progress running an offense.

Alex Olah, C, CAPS All-Stars – The Northwestern commit definitely has the size and length to anchor a Big Ten defense, and he definitely fits the mold of a Bill Carmody big. Olah didn't get many touches in the post, but when he did, he showed patience and vision in finding cutters and shooters. In a Princeton offense, that skill set will come in handy when working the ball around in the half court. Defensively, he'll need to add a bit of muscle to bang inside, but he has the frame to do so.

Tim Williams, PF, Meanstreets – The Meanstreets didn't face very good competition, but Williams still came to play and impressed with his ability to hit the glass and score on the interior. When he plays inside and works his way outside, he is at his best.

Milos Kostic, PF, CAPS All-Stars – Another Northwestern commit running with his future teammate Olah, Kostic has a European forward's game. Although not a strong athlete, Milos is skilled and tough and has an array of fakes and moves to keep defenders honest. He also showed some touch, hitting jumpers out to the perimeter.

A.J. Patty, PF, Illinois Old School – The potential has always been there for the St. Joseph forward, but now things are starting to come together. Patty has a long and lanky frame at the forward position and has improved his ability to go off-the-dribble as well as his faceup game from 17-and-in. Already active and hard-working on the glass, Patty did as best as he could against a far bigger CAPS squad and did a nice job on the boards.

Cliff Alexander, C, D-Rose All-Stars – Alexander doesn't get as much love out of Chicago as Whitney Young center Jahlil Okafor, but he has an upside that will get high-majors very interested. Alexander already moves well, owns his area defensively, and gets after it on the glass. He also does little things like screen for his point guard, seal his defender to allow a driving man to score, and hunt outlet passes after gobbling up rebounds with his immense hands.

* Donald Moore from the Illinois Wolverines can create his own shot, but needs to do more with the ball in his hands as a playmaker for others if he wants to maximize his potential.

* Kendall Pollard is among a ridiculous amount of talented players from Simeon in Chicago, but playing on the D-Rose 16's, Pollard can finally be a go-to guy. He played well on both ends in doing so.

* Elijah Ray fits the dreaded "tweener" label, but with the way he scored the ball, schools will take notice. Ray had it going in the D-Rose win over Full Package with an array of jumpers and moves off the dribble.

* BBG has a duo in Russell Robinson and Frank Williams that will get the attention of low-major programs due to their length and improving skill sets. Although both are rail thin, they have some perimeter ability and both have great length to counteract the lack of bulk.

* Juwan Starks is finally starting to transition from a high school post to a wing player. He's athletic and bouncy, but now he's finally making solid perimeter moves that lead to buckets.

Tyrone Sherman claims offers from Southern Illinois and Indiana State while also hearing from Nebraska, Drake, TCU and Cal-Poly. Sherman says Cal-Poly and Drake are on him the hardest.

A.J. Patty is just starting the recruiting process and has fielded preliminary interest from Central Michigan and Dayton.

Cliff Alexander has heard from Illinois but acknowledges that Kentucky is his favorite school. Alexander also has taken a liking to UConn and Florida as schools he is interested in.

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