Easter Classic: Day One

The Easter Classic got underway yesterday in Las Vegas, but most of the top teams in the tournament don't start playing until Friday. However, a few prospects were on hand for the first day of the tournament...

With most of the better teams in the Easter Classic not playing until Friday, the one clear standout Thursday was Luke Babbitt. The 6-7 junior power forward from Reno (Nev.) Galena put on a show yesterday. He knocked down several deep threes, showing off a feathery touch. He then took his defender into the post and hit a couple very nice jump hooks. In a nutshell, that's why Babbitt is one of the top prospects in the country. His versatility will make him a very difficult matchup at the next level. He can take bigger opponents to the perimeter and smaller defenders into the paint.

Babbitt's teammate, Anthony Marshall, also had a nice showing yesterday. Marshall, a 6-2 sophomore shooting guard from Las Vegas (Nev.) Mojave, has a very good body and nice instincts. Unlike a lot of younger players, Marshall lets the game come to him. He didn't force any bad shots and made a couple nice passes. Marshall is a very good defender and he plays with excellent energy. It's a little early to project a level for Marshall, as we don't know if he's going to get any bigger. But he's on track to be one of the better two guards in the west for 2009.

The Utah Pump N Run team is always an enjoyable team to watch at these tournaments. They're very well-coached and they play the game the right way. They're very unselfish and play good team defense. Some of the top prospects on the team include Holton Hunsaker, Dalton Groskreutz, Nick Thompson, Taylor Brown and Ben Aird.

Victor Rudd, a 6-6 sophomore small forward from Sylmar (Calif.) High, is a very impressive young prospect. Rudd reminds us a bit of a young Trevor Ariza. He's got a great basketball body and he shows excellent instincts. Rudd is a very explosive athlete with solid overall ball skills. He figures to be a high major prospect.

We'll have more on the Easter Classic in the next couple days. Some of the players expected to participate include Malcolm Lee, Brandon Jennings, Tyrese Breshers and Elijah Johnson, among others.

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