Tom Topping's event in Florida – spread out over two days – may have been the launching pad for the career of one of the elite freshmen in the nation.
On Sunday, the members of the Classes of 2009 and 2010 laced them up at the North Greenwood Rec Center and it didn't take long for the cream to rise to the top.
Minutes into game action Sunday morning, 2010 wing James Bell chased a rebound above the rim, drained a 3-pointer and laid the groundwork as the day's top performer.
While surely one must temper the excitement for a player who has yet to score a bucket in the high school ranks, Bell has all the trappings of a big time prospect. He's enrolled at powerful Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day.
Put back dunks and long 3-pointers aside, Bell's defining moment came at the defensive end. As a breakout ensued and an opponent raced down court for what appeared to be an easy lay-up, Bell had other ideas. He chased down the would-be-scorer and from out of nowhere erased what had all the trappings of an uncontested bucket.
Write the name down and start paying attention because this is one of the best 2010 prospects we've seen in our travels and watching him along the journey from prospect to player should be interesting.
Adam Jones, PF – At 6-foot-6 nothing's set in stone in terms of his future until we see him get bigger. Having said that, Jones is one to watch. Already he's got a face-up package that is intriguing. We hope he can get into high school and expand his offensive game in the paint to compliment his other capabilities. This young man was one of the day's standouts.
Dexter Fields, SG – You can spot a natural scorer a mile away and this is one of those guys. He supposedly got 15 points a game as a freshman so that tells you what you need to know about his ability. Kind of has that compact scorer's frame at 6-1. Scorer's are a little like receivers in that they tend be a little flashier than the rest; Fields was, to the best our knowledge, the only camper with bright red sneakers.
William Green, PF – Like we said before, when it comes to young posts you want to see all of them get bigger and with Green that could be his long term determining factor. Having said that, he's a young man who chases traffic rebounds, uses a longer than average and will block shots. He's a good looking player with room to get bigger and better. The lefty belongs on the radar.
Props to Altavious Carter. The 2009 forward broke his neck in a car accident last year and while he's not fully rehabbed he was out there hooping and looking good. He's intent on coming back strong and his athleticism is his calling card. … 2009 PF Jameel Marshall is an undersized power forward who is likely to draw mid-major attention at the start. He's got soft hands. …
2009 wing Evan Jones knows he's a little undersized for a shooting guard and not there yet as a point. To balance those facts out he's got excellent grades and a great attitude. The might have meant more to this young man than anyone else and we determined that by how hard he played and his intensity. One of the best shooters here he's a ball player and the game matters to him. …
2009 wing Darren Stewart is a slasher with a little perimeter to his package. He's not nearly as athletic as Hassan Adams but his gait is quite comparable and his approach to working the baselines is similar. ….