Cartier Martin, SF, Houston Select: Clearly one of the big movers and shakers of the weekend. Martin proved his worth for the second straight day. He has all kinds of offense, stays active and gets his hands on a lot of loose balls. The guy makes plays. The college coaches raved about him.
Vakeaton Waffer, SF-SG, Arkansas Wings Red: After torching the Georgia Stars on Friday night, Waffer was up to his old tricks again on Saturday. Probably the surprise of the tournament, Waffer scored via athleticism, jumpers and energy. The kid has arrived and he's pieced together a nice weekend.
Grant Gibson, CG, Bloomington Red: Mid-major alert: this is one of the best shooters in the tournament. This guy is capable of going on big runs. Though his team lost, he had a terrific first half against Texas Platinum. When he's got it going from downtown it's a thing of beauty and he handles it fairly well.
Phillip Thomasson, SF/PF, Fort Worth Lions: Even opponents were raving about his skills and savvy. The guy understands the game, plays with intensity and is a versatile offensive player. Plenty of schools were sniffing around but he's committed to Colorado State and quite happy about it.
Tyrone Nelson, PF, Houston Superstars 3 Stripes: The consummate rebounder-rejector. He's long and lean and runs like the wind. It's not uncommon for Nelson to block a shot, put it on the floor and finish at the other end. He stays active and is a good looking high-major prospect.
Mohamed Abukar, PF, So Cal All-Stars: After watching him multiple times in two days, it's hard not to like him. There's no doubt that his hook is his ability to shoot the basketball. He's accurate from middle-to-deep range and plays hard. Probably just scratching the surface. Absolutely in need of strength and weight training, but he's a good prospect. He has an offer from Georgia and will visit there. Kansas is interested but there is no offer.
Tack Minor, PG, Houston Hoops: 27 points against the So Cal All-Stars was one of the morning highlights. Minor did a lot of damage from downtown in this one as he banged at least 4 triples. The power guard was responsible for one of the more remarkable plays of the spring when he drove between two defenders for a reverse layin. When he wants to he can really pass.
Ndudi Ebi, PF, Houston Hoops: Hit for 25 in the game we watched against the So Cal All-Stars. He's earned the right to be referred to as an elite player. Plays hard and smart at both ends and is a big time shot blocker.
Stephen Floyd, SG, Houston Superstars Elite: Often times 8 am games can be tough to sit through. Not for Floyd. He hit atleast 5 3s in the morning game. Loves to spot up and while others were dragging through the early morning assignment he thrived.
Paul Milsap, PF, Louisiana Select: He's a terrific mid-major forward who just might play himself onto the cusp of a higher recruitment should he continue his stellar spring. Rebounds well, stays active and is skilled as a scorer. Nice body, great attitude and steadily improving.
Brandon Bass, PF, Belmont Shore: Picture Cincinnati recruit Eric Hicks. Now picture a guy slightly taller and you have Bass. He's a beast because he's ultra athletic. At 6-7 he's a tad short for a true power forward role but that's how he plays with power, speed, muscle and athleticism. If he develops a perimeter game we are talking about another level. Right now he's a great college basketball prospect who will get things done.
Lee Humphrey, PG, Tennessee Travelers: Point guards are scarce this year and Humphrey is on the cusp of receiving some high-major attention because of his Saturday performances. A lot of big schools will make a trip to see him because 1) he can really shoot it deep and 2) all the point guards in this class will receive 2 and 3 looks from schools seeking help at that position.
Chris Daniels, C, Texas Platinum: Intriguing prospect who is 6-9+ and probably growing. He blocks a lot of shots and plays well in spurts. He may look into spending a year at prep school after next season but he's a nice talent.
Daniel Gibson, CG, Houston Hoops: He's big (6-3), smart, skilled and athletic. No disrespect to the other contenders but this very well could be the best guard in 2004. Yes, he's that good. He made three ridiculous finishes of drives on Saturday that pros would be proud of. He had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the game we watched against So Cal.
Marcel Jones, SF, So Cal All Stars: One of the underclassmen who took his game to another level this weekend. There might be another player in the event who made as many medium-range jumpers as Jones did this weekend. Not to be thought of as a one dimensional player, he extended his range to downtown and put it on the floor more than he did in recent games.
Kalen Grimes, PF, St. Louis Eagles: Against the Houston SuperStars, he tossed in a 14-point half. The kid is big and strong and can be dominant at times. If he brings it all the time the sky is definitely the limit. Has the ability to dominate the glass and score at will in the paint.
Re'Sean Dickey, PF, SC Ravens: Didn't see much of him but the reports were filtering in throughout the day. The consensus is that he's one of the best sophomore bigs in the country. He's having himself a fine spring.
DeMarcus Nelson, CG, Belmont Shore: Clearly one of the elite underclassmen here. The guy can score in a variety of ways. He can stick 3s but also likes to drive it all the way to the rim where he's strong. A QB in football, he's a tough matchup on the perimeter. Athletic and smart, he can also pass the ball.
NOTES – Jerry Wainwright, the new Richmond coach, was seen in the gym everytime a Texas team was in action. As we said yesterday, Wainwright built a winner at UNCW with Texas kids. ... Word on the street was that UNC could not watch Ndudi Ebi at all because they used up all of their evaluations on him this spring. ... Did you know Tack Minor can bench press 265 pounds? ...
Two of the best shooters we saw on Saturday were Blake Ahearn of the St. Louis Eagles and Ben Rand of TABA Team Illinois. ... Xavier has offered Nick Brooks of Bloomington Red. Notre Dame, Iowa and Illinois are among a host of schools taking a look at him but we don't think any have offered to date. Brooks was a late arrival to the tournament... One-time Tennessee commit Dez Willingham is said to be hearing from Mississippi State, Stanford, Baylor and Kansas State to name a few. ... We didn't see him prior to his team getting eliminated but Emerald City's Ryan Appleby was drawing solid reviews at the point. ...
Tack Minor: Kentucky, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Texas, LSU and more. Minor says most if not all have offered.
Randall Falker, PF, St. Louis Eagles: Purdue, Northern Iowa, Butler, Wichita State, Cornell, Princeton.
Daniel Gibson (2004), CG, Houston Hoops: Texas, Kentucky, Arizona. He averaged 27 a game as a junior.
Lee Humphrey: Florida, Louisville, Purdue, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia Tech.