Next Level Ballers: Final Day

The Texas Blue Chips came home with a title at the Next Level Ballers with a victory over K.C. Pump 'N Run in the championship game. Eric Frederick stepped up in Dallas over the weekend and was a key factor in the team's success.

DALLAS – It signified the final day that kids could play in front of coaches until July. One guy who really took advantage was Marcus Denmon, who has taken a back seat to teammate Travis Releford in terms of accolades. However, at the end of the tournament, it was Eric Frederick and the Texas Blue Chips who were the last ones standing.

Willie Warren, SG, Team Texas – It's a near complete transformation for the talented wing. He went from a guy who jacked up almost everything last summer after coming back from an injury to someone who plays a more controlled game. He's still an explosive scorer who can go for 30-plus on any given game, but he's also passing the ball and defending. Was 7-of-15 from the field and finished withy 24 points in a morning game, but drew a huge charge with seconds left that won the game.

Rotnei Clark, PG, Team Texas – OK, we're officially listing Clark as a point guard now because he has proven he can run a team. He still needs to continue to work on his decision-making and cut down on his shots when he's in charge of the team, but he's become a more complete player. Was held in check in the morning, but erupted in an afternoon contest. Continues to showcase the fact that he can put it on the floor and finish in the paint.

Eric Frederick, F, Texas Blue Chips – The versatile forward can step out and make shots, but he can also get in the paint and mix it up with the big boys. He plays with intensity and he finished with 18 points in a win against YOMCA in the semifinals.

J'Mison Morgan, C, Urban DFW – The big man has turned himself into one of the most sought-after guys in the country because of his size and skills. He is a true center who can score in the post. His body still needs some work, but he's certainly a guy who could be an impact guy at the next level.

Travis Releford, SG, KC Pump ‘N Run – Talk about smooth. All you have to do is look at this kid and that's the word that comes to mind. He's long and really takes pride in defending. His shot is still suspect, but he's been assertive in getting to the basket and attacking the rim. He had 15 in a semifinal win over Urban DFW.

Marcus Denmon, G, KC Pump ‘N Run - He may have improved his stock as much as anyone in the entire tournament. Shot the ball extremely well and has the quickness to break guys down. The 6-foot-3 guard is the ideal complement to Releford. He just needs to work on making better decisions with the ball in his hands.

Xavier Henry, SG, Athletes First – He had double-figure rebounds by our count and also scored 14 points in the first half in the morning setback to Team Texas. Was mixing it up by getting offensive putbacks and also shooting the three. His length and athleticism allows him to get a lot done on both ends of the court. However, he struggled in the second half with just a lone bucket.

Kyle Hardrick, PF, Athletes First – He's a beast on the glass and has a terrific set of mitts. Catches everything near him, whether it's a rebound or even an errant pass. He runs the court well, blocks shots and is capable of developing into one of the best big men in the country because he knows his role and does a lot of dirty work.

Leslie McDonald, SG, YOMCA – He finished with a quiet 20 points in a loss to the Texas Blue Chips in the semis. He's a silent assassin – as he is able to lull defenders to sleep and then all of the sudden, he goes into attack mode. Had a terrific tournament and is one of the elite players in the Class of 2009.

Nolan Dennis, SG, Dallas Mustangs – Talk about a can't-miss kid. Dennis is smooth, athletic and extremely efficient. He can shoot the heck out of the ball from long range, makes pull-up jumpers and can get above the rim and finish alley-oops with ease. He'll need to become more assertive and get a little tough physically on the defensive end, but all the tools are there to become a star.

Marshall Henderson, G, Dallas Mustangs – He looks about 12 years old, but he's definitely someone to keep an eye on. The L.D. Bell High guard can really shoot it and is unflappable. Looks are certainly deceiving as this tough guard has a great feel and found a way to slice to the basket despite his thin frame.

The most prominent head coaches in Dallas this past weekend included new Kentucky head man Billy Gillispie, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Georgetown's John Thompson III, Marquette's Tom Crean, Kansas' Bill Self, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, Oklahoma State's Sean Sutton, Missouri's Mike Anderson, Alabama's Mark Gottfried, Arkansas' John Pelphrey and Ole Miss head man Andy Kennedy. … One of the rumors that quickly made its way through the gyms in Dallas is that LSU may hire Greg Monroe's high school coach in an effort to keep the talented big man home.

Rotnei Clark said he has offers from Oklahoma, Arizona State, Marquette, New Mexico, Arkansas, Tulsa, Washington State, USC and Gonzaga. His father recently was hired by Oral Roberts as the director of basketball operations, but Clark said he's still wide open. … Releford said that Missouri and Kansas are the two schools who have been the most aggressive in pursuit. … Marcus Denmon said that Creighton and Kansas State have offered while Texas, Missouri, UNLV and Arizona have expressed interest. … Nolan Dennis mentioned Texas, Georgia Tech, UConn, Kansas, Georgetown, Marquette and Oklahoma State.

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