D-One Sports Aftermath tournament director Brian Clifton organized the 8-team AAU event held at the Greensboro Sportsplex.
The three-day event was highlighted by Sunday's run to the championship by the D-I Greyhounds. Led by super freshman Bill Walker and O.J. Mayo, the Greyhounds pretty much did what they wanted and ran roughshod through the field. They had the best players at the event and no one touched them.
Now remember, most the guys we are about to talk about have not played a single game of high school basketball. With that in mind, here's a look at the top talent from the event.
2007 Top Performers
O.J. Mayo, G, DI Greyhounds: OK, so he's the exception to the rule because he's played more than his share of high school ball as a middle school player. He's very unselfish and clearly is an elite guy in his class. The jumper is good, so is the athleticism and at this level, no one in his age group impedes his progress to the rim.
Bill Walker, SG-SF, DI Greyhounds: (left) He was the second best prospect at the event. Even with a knee brace on, Walker exploded to the rim for big time dunks and athletic finishes. When he started making mid-range jumpers off the dribble that was pretty much all you needed to see. He and Mayo on the same high school team? Not fair.
Aaron Pogue, PF, DI Greyhounds: (right) He's a rock inside. You have to remember that at 6-7 and 235 he hasn't played a high school game yet – imagine the possibilities. The guy finished strong, hit some face-ups and made his mark.
Keenan Ellis, PF, DI Greyhounds: (left)Think Jermaine Bell. He's thin but has some skill already and flashes it in the paint. Now, he's got some work to do in the weight room but the talent is there.
Steven Thomas, PG, DI Greyhounds: (right) This young man is going to be quite the floor general. He's a good passer, runs the show and is a tough little guard. Both he and Ellis are at Cathedral in Indy so you know they're going to be tough the next few seasons.
Junius Chaney, SF, Virginia Squires: Kind of an early version of James Mays. He's not quite a small forward and isn't really a power forward. However, he's a very good athlete, who if he works on his jumper could really be a player.
Chris Ealey, SF, Virginia Squires: This young man is a warrior. He plays at the same high school that produced Ilian Evtimov. He's already got a strong body at 6-3 and really chases after it and seeks out contact. Good player.
J'Courtney Williams, SG, Virginia Squires: Like Chaney, he's a Carlisle High product. Loves to shoot the mid-range jumper on the move and has some leaners in his bag of tricks. Plenty of perimeter offense at this stage.
Mezie Uzo, SF, D-One Sports: (left) His body is light years ahead of his peers. He finishes strong and showed some mid-range perimeter offense. Not afraid to rebound at his position either.
LaRon Dandy, F, South Carolina Select: Looks like a guy who is going to develop into a high-major talent. For starters, he's extremely long in the body and arms. He got himself into foul trouble the game we watched but he's got a prospect's walk to him.
Zoccarrio Bennett, SG, South Carolina Select: He's going to be a great slashing guard and he can really score. Uses both hands to finish and he's an above average athlete.
Josh Lanham, PF, D-One Sports: This young man is very aggressive on the court and will battle inside. He's a few inches shy of being considered a prospect at the highest level, but again, he's yet to play in a high school game and is a scorer inside.
Jeremy Stimpson, PF, D-One Sports: Already at 6-7 and has a long body. He's likely a guy we'll hear plenty about in the future.
Malcolm Pope, CG, D-One Sports: The native of New York handles his business at the point. He defends and has some offense. Right now, he plays both guard spots.
2008 Top Performers
Shannon Foster, G, South Carolina Select: This guy has another year before he plays high school ball but you'd never know it. He's comfortable putting it on the floor and isn't afraid of anybody. Passes, defends and looks to score.
2006 Top Performers
Antonio Houston, SG, Charlotte Nets: Not a bad perimeter player. Right now he looks to be a mid-major candidate but he some nice scoring efforts at the event.
Brandon Evans, SG, D-One Sports: Just a sophomore, he's tip dunking what he can and is put together. He's the owner of a funky looking jumper that he'll need to tighten up but he's got plenty of athleticism and plays with energy.