Andre Drummond vs Isaiah Austin, C – In a match up of the nation's top two prospects, Drummond struck first, struck early and struck often. The 6-foot-10, 260-pound big man leaned on Austin and pushed him off the block, thus forcing Austin to score using his skill and face up game. Now Austin did muster a three, a right-handed floater and a pull-up 18-footer, but this match up belonged to Drummond.
When we released our last batch of rankings, we challenged Drummond, a standout at Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More. He stayed at No. 1, but it was clear Austin and Muhammad were closing in on him. The tools and physical attributes are there, we just needed to see Drummond continue to show what he's capable of.
On Friday night on a big stage, with a throng of media sitting baseline, Drummond showed out in a big way. Offensively he ran for buckets, made a couple of nice passes and scored a number of ways on the block. He likes to shoot a short right hook, which he scored off twice, but he's also tough to contain when he spins baseline and goes up strong.
Defensively Drummond used his body and strength to control the paint. He leaned on the opposition, forcing them away from the hoop. For his size, Drummond has tremendous mobility and his lateral quickness is flat out impressive for someone as tall and wide as he is. Drummond also owned the glass to the tune of at least a dozen boards. The bottom line is Drummond showed progression and tipped off Pangos camp with a terrific outing.
Anthony Bennett, PF/SF, -- While the big man match up was taking place, this 6-foot-7, 235-pound combo forward made it clear he was on the court. He started with a pull-up three-pointer, but worked his way to the basket, attacking aggressively and attempting to dunk on any defender that got in his way. He's strong, athletic and tough. He brought the A game on Friday and certainly proved that he's among the nations best.
Kris Dunn, PG/SG – This 6-foot-2 guard is one that seems to impress us a little bit more every time out. Today it was his ability to use screens and his canny court vision that stuck out the most. He made a handful of plays in transition and played his trademark on the ball defense. He's a guy developing at the right time and once July hits he'll be a big name among college coaches.
Dominic Artis, PG – Over the course of the last year, Artis, a 5-foot-11 lead guard, has made notable improvements to his game. He's not the fastest, nor the most athletic, but he knows the game and rarely forces the issue. In the second round session Artis showed good vision, dished the rock out to teammates and hit a pair of three-point jumpers.
Demarquise Johnson, SG – One of the better dunks of the spring came from this 6-foot-4 guard. Running the break Johnson took an Artis bounce pass to the rim with some aggression, as he threw down a vicious one-handed dunk on a defender. The wiry and athletic guard is an impressive overall athlete that likes to attack the rim. He also mixed in a three-pointer during the second session of games.
Twymond Howard, SF – It didn't matter that we were sitting a court away, as it was easy to see the 6-foot-5 strong, athletic wing taking over the game on court three. Howard is a strong wing prospect that uses his athleticism when he attacks the basket and he can produce points through contact. We saw him mix in a mid-range jump shot, but majority of his work was done in transition or attacking the rim in the half court set.
Nick Stover, SF – The younger brother of current UCLA player Anthony Stover, had himself a pretty good start to the weekend. A 6-foot-4, possibly 6-5, wing, Stover was aggressive on the offensive end and showed the ability to score from mid-range, but also around the hoop. In our first viewing we were impressed with his energy and ability to score.
Jabari Bird, SG – From a pure scoring standpoint it'll be tough to pinpoint many guys in the high school ranks that can score at the rate Bird can. His arsenal is full of crafty scoring moves, pull up jumpers and floaters. He was in attack mode Friday night and the opposition had trouble keeping him out of the lane. He mixed in a pull-up three-pointer and a pair of tip dunks. It was a great start to the weekend for the Richmond (Calif.) Salesian product.
*Tyler Lewis had a nice stretch at the end of the first half in the second round of games. He's learned how to use his body to shield off defenders and is confident scoring on his way to the basket.
*He's known as a big time football recruit, but Arik Armstead is a talented hooper as well. He knows how to use his massive frame, has soft touch around the basket as well as a nice set of hands.
*Although it's still early, it's tough to not be impressed with 2015 big man Stephen Zimmerman. At 6-foot-9 the Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman post prospect has nice hands, a face up jumper and good touch in the paint.
*There weren't many guys as active and aggressive as Eddie Alcantara at times on Saturday. The 6-foot-5 guard was looking to grab rebounds and finish inside at every opportunity.
Kris Dunn said he has schools primarily from the Big East, ACC and Ivy League looking at him. He said Providence, Marquette and Connecticut are his current offers. He wants to do some visits in August.
Demarquise Johnson said Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Arizona State and Colorado have all offered him a scholarship. He's hoping to take visits to Washington and Oregon State soon.