King James: Day Two

Akron, Oh. – Tournament play got going in a big way on Saturday at the King James Shooting Stars Classic. Numerous players had strong performances, but Devonta Pollard stole the show with his play.

Devonta Pollard, PF/SF, Southern Phenoms – Pollard was nothing short of spectacular on Saturday. His athleticism is off the charts, and he just knows how to be effective on the floor. Pollard did a lot of his damage with drives off the wing to the rim, but also was effective on the glass grabbing offensive rebounds and turning them into points. Defensviely Pollard can guard multiple positions, and really is asserting himself as one of the best forwards in the class.

Gavin Ware, PF/C, Southern Phenoms – A big body down low, Ware showed touch out to 15 feet with the jump shot and was able to convert around the rim in traffic. He is slightly undersized for the position and not super explosive, but Ware does find a way to make an impact on the game. He is still working to completely recover from an injury, but overall it was a solid effort from Ware who did the dirty work down low for the Phenoms.

Semaj Christon, PG, Cincinnati Knights – Now officially a member of the 2012 class, Christon will be one of the most looked at floor generals in the country. He has good size, great speed with the ball, and even knocked in a few jump shots. He needs to limit his turnovers some as he can get out of control at times, but his floor vision is undeniable and has the tools to really be an excellent college player.

Justin Pride, PG, Southern Kings – This is a kid who really knows how to pass the basketball. Although he is a smaller guard, Pride is super effective because when he gets into the lane he makes great decisions. His floor vision and feel are off the charts, and simply knows how to run his team. Pride makes the others around him better, and was instrumental in the Southern Kings rout in tournament play.

Evan Nolte, PF/SF, Southern Kings – There has never been any question about Nolte's ability to shoot the basketball. He has been making shots consistently for a long time, but now he is also showing more game off the bounce. He drove baseline and hit a pair of mid-range floaters, and also brought the ball up the floor some. As he develops more off the dribble that will make him far harder to guard, and so far things are going in the right direction for Nolte in terms of his development.

Charles Mitchell, PF/C, World Wide Renegades – A real crafty post player, Mitchell just knows how to be effective on the low block against taller defenders. He uses his wide frame and nimble feet to create angles for himself around the bucket. Defensively he is strong enough to make up for his lack of pure height and also he has long arms. He needs to develop more of a face up game on offense, but there is no doubt he can play and can score down low.

Mike Hall, C, World Wide Renegades – A newcomer on the national radar, Hall runs the floor like a deer and has good hands as well as very nice athleticism. He is a legitimate 6-foot-10 and maybe taller with long arms. Now he just needs to add strength. Right now his defense and shot blocking are ahead of his offense, though he can score on put backs and dunks. No doubt he will get a ton of high-major looks, now he just needs to continue to put it together.

Devon Scott, PF, Hidden Gems – A strong and athletic player, Scott made an impact during the high school season. He does look improved since last summer, but Scott didn't have his best game. He battles foul trouble, and was just never able to get into the swing of things. Still he blocked a few shots and had a few nice finishes around the rim with power and athleticism.

Brannen Greene, SF, Southern Kings – This is quite simply a big time player in every sense of the phrase. He can score from deep with a great looking three point stroke, is capable of getting to the rim, and is a very good athlete. Greene did a little bit of everything while playing up with the 17-and under team, and really made a name for himself with his play yet again.

Greg McClinton, SF/SG, CP3 All-Stars – A big time athlete, McClinton is one of the best wings in the class. He is still getting back to 100 percent from an ankle injury, but you would never know it with his play. His jumper wasn't really falling, but McClinton was able to get to the rim and also did a good job of defending and rebounding. Still his above the rim athleticism and finishes were the highlight of his impressive performance.

Tyrek Coger, C, CP3 All-Stars – Just a bruising low post player who will give effort and score around the rim. Not a great athlete or super skilled, Coger has an idea of what to do when he gets the ball down low, and has a decent touch out to about 10 feet. His free throws can use some work and he gets there often. Rebounding wise he is very impressive and has good hands as well, it was a solid showing for Coger.

Derrick Walton, PG, Michigan Mustangs – He has unreal floor vision and great quickness which allows him to cause havoc all over the floor. Walton made a pair of threes, though his first instinct is to get others involved. His floor vision is definitely the strength of his game as he can make every pass in the book, including one that is 70 feet right on the money to a streaking teammate. His ability to shoot it consistently will be the key, but no doubt he makes others around him better.

Jaaron Simmons, PG, All-Ohio Red – Due to injuries and other reasons All-Ohio only had five players, but Simmons made sure that was more than enough to get big wins. He scored as needed, and also dished out nice assists to open shooters. With the situation All-Ohio was in, it forced Simmons to go hard every possession, and that is just what he did. With that he looked very good and his natural talent level shined through.

A.J. Davis, SF, Southern Kings – Davis is a multi-talented wing that knows how to play. Not an unreal athlete, he can get to the rim off the dribble or knock down the open three. He needs to do a better job of creating space for himself with his dribble in order to get open, and his footwork can get sloppy at times, but with his body and skill set he is one to watch for sure.

Harold Givens, SF/PF, Southern Kings – An excellent athlete, Givens finished around the rim and from the mid-range. Also he showed an ability to handle the basketball and make the 15 foot jumper. He is still raw and working to figure everything out, but his body and athleticism make him intriguing as a prospect going forward.

Quentin Payne, SG, Rising Stars Gold – Illinois is just loaded in the 2013 class, and Payne is one of the reasons why. He plays off the ball mostly and is a good shooter, but also is a more than capable athlete and someone who can really get to the rim. Add in a good idea of how to play, and it is easy to see why he is considered one of the top players in a loaded class in the state.

Vincent Hunter, PF/SF, Detroit Stars – He is a bit of a tweener right now as he isn't big enough to be a real power forward and not super skilled on the wing, but boy is he a big time athlete with a high level motor. Hunter had some ridiculous above the rim dunks, and was making plays all over the floor on sheer effort. He knocked in one jumper, but that clearly isn't his game. He is definitelyl a prospect that could begin to emerge as he gets stronger and more mature.

Tyrek Coger mentioned Georgetown, Missouri, Baylor, Virginia Tech, and NC State as schools showing interest.

Devonta Pollard listed Mississippi State, Georgetown, Kentucky, Memphis, LSU, Ole Miss, and Alabama.

Gavin Ware has Mississippi State, Georgetown, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma as schools hot on his trail.

Justin Pride has offers from Auburn and Louisiana Tech. Also he is hearing from Boston College, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Kansas.

A.J. Davis rattled off a list of Georgia, Connecticut, Miami, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, and Marquette.

Harold Givens noted interest from LSU, Georgia, Marquette, and Florida.

Vincent Hunter has interest from Cleveland State, St. John's, and Oakland


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