The focus here was not directed at star seniors but rather those carrying high-major interest without the rankings, and some key underclassmen make an appearance in this space as well.
D.J. Wilson, PF, Team Superstar — Wilson is someone who might categorize as a high post big man, a player who doesn't play at long-range but someone who also doesn't do his best work in the paint. He's very thing and certainly will need to gain strength for college, but he's long, fluid and a capable jump shooter from the elbow. Wilson also handles surprisingly well and can take slower opponents off the bounce, but of course he can be overpowered defensively, too. His recruitment slots right on the mid-major/high-major cusp, and in his scenario choosing the right style — a system that doesn't require a traditional, post-oriented power forward — is just as significant as level. He's playing high stakes poker in Vegas this week and had some nice moments on Thursday morning.
Tristan Etienne, C, Drive Elite — It may be a minute before the Washington-bound Etienne is ready to play a major role for the Huskies, but he does possess legitimate skills as well as true center size. He's very much a finesse player and lacks great run/jump athleticism, that combination working to conspire against his interior offense, defense and rebounder. But if you inspect his game a little more closely, you'll see polished footwork and a knack for finishing in traffic. He simply must get bigger and become more physical to absorb a hit and, eventually, initiate one. As it pertains to young big men, patience is more than a virtue — it's absolutely essential.
Dejounte Murray, SG/PG, A Plus (16s) — This skinny guard played very well during this month's second live period and, although not quite as effective on Friday morning, possesses obvious skills. He utilizes his long arms on both end of the court, pushing his dribble past defenders and impressively ripping away steals. He's also a fine passer who loves to penetrate and dish, to the point that he passes up high percentage scoring opportunities. You hear the expression "unselfish to a fault" continually, but in this game, at least, that proved true for Murray. Physically and in terms of style, he reminds me a little of former N.C. State guard Lorenzo Brown at the same stage. Let's watch how he develops with more strength and experience.
Tres Tinkle, WF, MT D1 Ambassadors (16s) — The son of Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle, the junior Tinkle possesses clear Division I talent. He isn't a great athlete (at least yet) and that's definitely an attribute to monitor going forward, but despite that he uses his long arms and attacking style to produce offense off the dribble. The southpaw actually is a fine jump shooter as well, firing a backspin three that should translate well to college, He's also a head mover without the ball and competes on both ends. It's too early to project a level, but he can play.
Brandon Ingram, WF, Stackhouse Elite (16s) — Steadily and without any profound leap, Ingram entered a state of improvement during the past six months. That progress appeared halted at the brutally challenging NBPA Top 100 Camp, but against the 16s on day two he was a star. He's very long at 6-7 and may finally have stopped growing, which as I mentioned last night with respect to Ronnie Harrell, can distort perceptions of a player's true athletic prowess. Ingram is by no means complete, because he's still very thin and not elite in terms of explosiveness. But his reactions have improved, he's springier and he always has been able to handle and shoot (streakily). He's a national-level junior and getting recruited accordingly.
Harrison Henderson, PF, ProSkills — The Bigfoot-run Las Vegas Classic receives less attention than the Super 64 or Fab 48, but it's a fine event on its own merits and on day two brought forth a healthy number of less vetted prospects. Henderson was one such example, a prospect who's well-known locally but hasn't yet received tremendous attention on the national circuit despite playing at a high school that's producing substantial talent. He's definitely a talent: Henderson runs the court well, shoots a nice looking 17-foot jump shot and has a nice frame to build upon. He's gawky right now, a little small for power forward at 6-7 and has a long way to go, but high-majors are wise to take early notice of this Dallas (TX) Triple A product.
Lorenzo Romar and I crossed paths frequently today, including for Etienne and Donaven Dorsey. The Huskies are fighting hard to establish their ground in the wake of the new California coaching hires within the Pac-12, and they're holding their own. … Michigan, Vanderbilt and numerous others were courtside for the early game and Trey Kell … Larry Brown, Nebraska and other regional mid- and high-majors tracked ProSkills and its bevy of players … Roy Williams traveled to a 16-under gym to watch Ingram …