We started off the day by watching the Las Vegas Top Prospects destroy a team from Puerto Rico. Senior point guard Marcus Lawrence, junior small forward Billy White and sophomore power forward Luke Babbitt are each outstanding prospects for the Las Vegas squad.
Lawrence controlled his team beautifully and demonstrated why he's the top point guard in the west for 2006 and an elite player nationally. Lawrence is one of those very rare commodities these days -- a point guard with skill who knows how to play the game. He'll knock down open shots when he has the opportunity, but his game is all about getting the ball to his teammates, running the show and flawless decision-making.
In terms of upside, Billy White, 6-6 JR SF Las Vegas (Nev.) Green Valley, is among the most interesting prospects in the west for 2007. He's got a classic wing body and he's very explosive. He's still learning the game and sometimes looks like he doesn't even know how good he can be. He's a very good ball handler for his size and he can make plays all over the court. With continued development, White has a chance to be one of the top prospects in the country.
Luke Babbitt, 6-7 SO PF Reno (Nev.) Galena, is an extremely precocious young forward who can play equally well in the post or on the perimeter. He's not a great athlete, but he's got such a good feel for the game, and a high skill level, that he projects as an elite prospect anyway.
Matt Bouldin, 6-5 SR SG Highlands Ranch (Col.) Thunderridge, was very good yesterday in front of coaches from Gonzaga, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Cal, among others. Bouldin's high skill level and exceptional feel for the game are his best attributes. He's got a pure stroke, excellent vision and he's the best passer among the shooting guards in the west.
Drew Gordon, 6-7 SR PF San Jose (Calif.) Mitty, is a great-looking young prospect. He's got a terrific frame and he moves extremely well for a young post. He showed off the beginnings of a nice little hook shot yesterday and he's going to be an outstanding scorer in the low-post eventually. With continued development, an elite prospect nationally.
Jerryd Bayless, 6-2 JR SG Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's, is an outstanding athlete with the ability to get his own shot at anytime. Where Bayless struggles is in his decison-making. He had ten turnovers in the game we watched yesterday and most of them were of the careless variety. He has a very bad habit of jumping in the air every time he penetrates and often gets caught with nowhere to go. His approach to the game is definitely that of a two-guard -- he doesn't have the mentality to play point -- but we think he can flourish at the two in college, once he gets some coaching.