The 2002 Dream Classic was held yesterday at Azusa Pacific. While there were a few changes from the original lineup, Event Director Dinos Trigonis put together a solid field and there was plenty of talent for fans and college coaches to check out. Here's our take on some of the notable players who participated.
Curtis Allen, 6-4 SO SF Palos Verdes (Calif.) Rolling Hills Prep. Allen was the best prospect we saw all day and it wasn't close. A lefty with a smooth stroke and a terrific body, Allen went for thirty-one in the game and made it look easy. He can shoot the three or mid-range and has excellent body control when he gets inside. He's only a soph, so he obviously still has stuff to work on -- dribbling with his right hand, for instance -- but he's got a chance to be one of the elite players in the country. We spoke with Curtis after the game and he told us that Syracuse, USC and UCLA have all been to games this season to watch him play.
Derrick Williams, 6-3 JR SG Los Angeles Price. Another lefty, Williams showed a pretty nice outside shot and the ability to slash to the hole. He's got some explosiveness and he's good in transition. Needs to work on his handle, but has a chance to play at the mid-major level.
Ralph Miley, 6-1 SO PG Downey (Calif.) Calvary Chapel. A prolific scorer with a feathery outside shot, Miley has a chance to be a big-time player. He's got a good feel for the game and scores in a variety of ways. He is slender, and there's some question about how much weight he'll be able to add, but he figures to be drawing high major interest in a couple years.
Richard Chaney, 6-4 SR SF Los Angeles Verbum Dei. Chaney continues to diversify his game, as he showed an improved shot off the dribble yesterday. Previously, he's seemed to play for the three or the dunk, with not much in between. But we've been impressed with his progress in the games we've seen this year and believe he has a significant upside. He does need work on his ball handling, as he can struggle when closely guarded.
Khalif Ford, 6-0 JR PG Diamond Bar (Calif.) High. Ford struggled in yesterday's game, forcing the action at times and committing several turnovers. He also had difficulty finishing inside and getting separation for his outside shot. We've seen him better, though, and we heard he may have had a bad ankle. We plan on watching him again in the near future to see if this game was just an aberration.
John Haywood, 6-6 SR SF La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat. Haywood has signed with Loyola Marymount and we think the Lions have themselves quite a prospect. A big, strong wing who can shoot it ok and is willing to do the dirty work as well. Haywood will rebound and defend, and he played a very nice game in an overtime win over Diamond Bar.
David Burgess, 6-10 SO C Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge. Burgess just keeps getting better and he was impressive yesterday. His body has toned up a bit and he was moving better against Mission Viejo. He's a pure five man and he doesn't try to do anything he can't do. Good hands, a big frame, long arms and post moves that are coming along nicely. A high major player down the road.