WORCESTER, Mass. – The National Prep Tip Off featured most of the elite prep schools from across the United States. The event also gathered 19 of Scout.com's Top 25 post graduate players under one roof. Mix in Top 100 Michael Beasley (Scout.com No. 5) and you had the makings for an environment laced with high level players.
From an evaluation perspective, there was much to learn – always is when you're watching good players over and over. From a college recruiting perspective, the pickings were slim as most of the top level talent was accounted for. That's not to say a few didn't emerge but the elite 2007 talent at the event had been spoken for prior to anyone's arrival at Assumption College.
2007 STANDOUTS (SENIORS, POST-GRADS)
Craig Brackins, PF/C, Brewster – Native Californian has stepped up his game. At times he was the best player on the floor and he's a major impact kid for the Iowa State Cyclones.
Malcolm Grant, PG, Winchendon – There's just something about the way he took over his team and bailed them out in the first game. Villanova's multi-guard lineup suits him well.
Dorenzo Hudson, SG, Hargrave – He was more aggressive here than we've ever seen him. Virginia Tech's recruiting class is good but it looks great when he scores like he did last weekend.
Jeremy Hazell, SG, Patterson – The guard's prep team has tons of options but none like him. Over three games he showed off a Ronald Blackshear-like stroke that Seton Hall could use right away.
Justin Burrell, PF, Bridgton – Get out a Sharpie and write him in as a starter from Day One for St. John's. From a pure prospect standpoint, this guy's athleticism and explosiveness are superior measurables.
Michael Beasley, PF, Notre Dame – His first game out was, by his standards, a misfire. Nursing an injury and needing a big second game to save face he drummed up the usual 19 points and 12 rebounds. Not healthy but still darn impressive during stretches.
ELITE UNDERCLASSMEN (JUNIORS)
Troy Gillenwater, PF, Stoneridge Prep – The junior reminds us quite a bit of Brandon Bass at the same stage. He dropped 37 in one game and over the course of the weekend was the event's most consistent producer.
Devin Ebanks, SF, St. Thomas More – His versatility was on full display as he played every position from the point to some small forward. He's a big wing and of all the guys he played with as much intensity as any wing.
Emanuel Negedu, PF, Brewster – Props to him for being explosive AND energetic. If he can continue to expand his game he'll be all the more attractive this spring.
Jamine Peterson, PF/SF, Notre Dame – The reality is he didn't make a shot outside of 5 feet. The good news is that he made about 65% of them inside 5 feet. He impressed everyone in the building with his athleticism and commitment to dunking.
Greg Hill, SG, Bridgton – Want to heat up your own recruitment? Well, drop 23 points in the first half with over 50 colleges in the building and that'll go a long way. Mids and high-majors looking for a shooter will be inclined to take a peek.
Tirrell Baines, PF, Patterson – Credit him for playing with athleticism and bringing his lunch pail inside.
Chris Baez, SF, Lee Academy – Dunking and drilling 3s make gets you increased recruiting attention. He did both well.
Darryl Ashford, SG, New Hampton – The General is going to like his defensive IQ once he gets to Texas Tech. Though he didn't replicate his initial game effort he will be more highly regarded following the event.
Paris Horne, SG, Bridgton – Last year Keaton Grant was the big riser off the same team. Horne sounded his arrival with a loud weekend of stellar play.
Keenan Ellis, PF, American Christian – He's nearly 100% back from an injury sustained last summer. His touch on the perimeter was magnificent in the games we caught.
Gary Correia, PG/SG, Mount Hermon – When it comes to top available mid-major combo guards, well, his name is right there. He knocked down deep jumpers consistently and had the college guys buzzing.
Manuel Cass, PF, South Kent – UTEP snagged one right out from under the watchful eyes of Big East and Big Ten teams. This guy keeps getting better and better his length and athleticism are big time!