Prep Tour: Hargrave Military

<b>CHATHAM, Va. –</b> Tucked away off Route 29 in Southwest Virginia is one of the elite prep powerhouses in America. Under the direction of Kevin Keatts, Hargrave has assembled a serious collection of talent led by Shane Clark.

Kevin Keatts preaches toughness at Hargrave. Heck, he'll even get out and get involved in contact drills with his guys. An intense teacher, Keatts is very much hands on. On Tuesday, his intensity landed him in the emergency room.

During a drill, Keatts was on the losing end of an inadvertent elbow. The coach exited stage left and went to the hospital where his hands on approach was rewarded with 9 stitches above his right eye.

Keatts has the situation at Hargrave rolling so well that practice never missed a beat. Assistant Chris Zupko stepped right in sweated through his t-shirt and Keatts left with zero interruption or fanfare from the players. The team just kept working.

During the workout, which was observed by six colleges and three head coaches, Bilal Benn was the star of the day. The Philadelphia native is hoping to increase his recruiting attention and land himself at a place where he can improve. So far so good as Benn, a former Siena commitment, is hearing from all levels of programs.

While Tuesday was Benn's day, this is likely to be Shane Clark's team. The one-time Villanova commitment is a 6-foot-7 small forward who checks in at No. 46 on our post-summer list. Head coaches from Florida, Villanova and a few others have stopped by to see him already.

While Clark is a bonafide Top 100 recruit, this isn't the most talent Keatts has had in the program but the mix looks right. This squad is going to get out and run and race you to 100 and they've got the depth to do it. As many as 12 kids could sign Division I scholarships this year off the squad.

Two prospects are already committed. East St. Louis native Tommie Liddell is headed to St. Louis. His role on this team is going to be making some jumpers and running the show at the point, a position transition that he's in the midst of making for this team.

A.D. Vassallo committed to Richmond last year and decided that an extra year of prep ball would only help him get better. The native of Puerto Rico should play a big role in scoring points on this team.

Sam Young is probably the hottest prospect on this team right now. P.J. Tucker might have begun a trend in college hoops where at the highest level, coaches are looking for toughness and are willing to accept undersized forwards more willingly.

Young is a warrior who excels in the paint. He's got bounce, athleticism and he's on audition right now at Hargrave and so far the reviews have been excellent.

Remember Jerome Johnson? The same young man who was ticketed for DePaul and then Clemson late last spring? Well, he's popped up at Hargrave and he's checking out his options too. Inside he'll be joined by Renard Fields, a low to mid-major recruit who dunks what he can and gets on the glass.

Takayo Siddle will get some burn at the point, Matt Estep will launch them from downtown and wing Joe Alexander is a big time athlete with upside.

Hargrave always plays a strong schedule. The scrimmage Oak Hill in Mouth of Wilson October 19 and they'll be ready. The question is: can teams match the depth that Hargrave has?

Colleges In Attendance 9/14 Georgia, Maryland, Radford, Georgetown, George Washington, Pittsburgh.

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