Day One At The Weber

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – For many, the Charlie Weber Invitational is a rite of passage, which signifies the fall and the upcoming basketball season. Without the college coaches present, the tournament took on a slightly different feel and aside from one contest, most of the early games were competitive.

Day One Review

2002 Standouts

Chris McCray, SG, DC Blue Devils: The Maryland-bound shooter seemed to feel right at home on the Terps' campus. On Friday, he looked energetic, shot the ball well from downtown and passed the basketball like a senior leader should. Actually, he's an even better passer than we thought. The Blue Devils won, and he looked solid. When he shoots 3s from the college line and doesn't' settle for the NBA ones, he's something.

Almany Thiero, PF, Team Georgia: This is one of the best-looking rebounders in the Class of 2002. Physically, he's so far advanced it's scary and the way he plays conjers up images of Ousmane Cisse in terms of effort. He has so much bounce and athleticism and always plays hard. He will struggle some when he takes his game to the perimeter, but that's a developing facet.

Jabbar Young, C/PF, National Christian: There's reasons why some big programs have expressed their interest. When Young is given a chance to score on the blocks, he delivers the goods. He's come a long way and he's still improving.

Travis Garrison, PF, Face Systems: We didn't watch the game, and for good reason, but it was passed along that Garrison was outstanding. His team comprised of DeMatha players might have realistically beat Mason Dixon by 75 points.

2003 Top Performers

Tim Thomas Playaz II Team: These guys are loaded up. From Art Bowers to Will Sheridan to Jamar Nutter to Sean Banks to Marquis Webb, these guys are good. Coach Jim Salmons doesn't bring guys on road trips if they are not at least mid-major players and this team is loaded with high-major talents. Bowers can really score it and Nutter's jumper is coming along nicely.

Safwaan Muhammed, PG/SG, Team Georgia: The 6-2, 175 pounder from Lithonia can play. He's got that Rashaad Carruth compact release on his jumper, which is good to 3-point range. But, unlike Carruth, he can switch over and run some point where he has quick hands, makes good decisions and is a nice passer. He's a high-major prospect to watch for in the future.

Mohammed Tangara, PF, Team Georgia: This Nike camper is a big-time athlete who does all of his work inside. In the paint, especially in traffic he has a knack for moving quickly from block to block and goes up and gets his hands on a lot of loose balls.

2004 Watchlist

Roy Hibbert, C, DC Blue Devils: He's a legit 6-11 and probably weighs 240 or 250. This guy is plenty good enough to play for a lot of schools right now and surely ranks as one of a handful of best prospects in the Class of 2004.

Surprises:

Dakin Braddick, SF, National Christian, 2002: He might be 6-10 on a good day, but he's extremely skinny. Despite the height, his best position is small forward where he is a willing rebounder, even in traffic and he can go get balls above the rim. He doesn't appear to have much of an inside game or presence. Interesting prospect who we could see going to a high-major program, academics permitting.

Ryan Hughes, SG, DC Blue Devils: The Mount Vernon senior can really stroke it to 3-point range and can pull it off the bounce as well. He's at least a mid-major prospect as a combo guard and might need a prep school next year.

Jack Browne, SG/SF, Richmond Metro: Last year, Browne averaged 25 points a game at Commonwealth Christian. Apparently, that wasn't good enough to get him much notice. So far, Wagner, Elon, Campbell and Rider have sent letters and he hasn't taken the SAT. The reality is, this kid is a mid-major lefty who can drill the trey – he made a clutch one to tie Tim Thomas late in the game – and can really score. If he can qualify, he'll play for somebody.

News and Notes:

DC scout Lloyd Fennell says that Tom Jones AAU junior swingman Deonte Taylor is one of the three best 2003 prospects in the D.C.-area. Taylor looked pretty good on opening day. That's a pretty bold statement from an educated observer. … The word is UConn is now the school to beat for super swingman Rashad Anderson. … Sources think DC Blue Devils combo forward Ryan Lambert might end up picking George Washington. … Jabbar Young is presently being recruited by Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Wake Forest and Tulane. … Teammate Dakin Braddick likes Georgetown, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Carolina State and St. Louis. … Former Maryland standout Buck Williams was around watching hoop today. … Division II and III coaches were permitted to attend the event. …


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