Jayhawk Invitational: Day 1 Rundown

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Playing on the same court his father Carl starred in during his college years, Xavier Henry had it rolling on Friday night. But, the 6-6 lefty's 36 points – 28 in the second half – weren't enough as Athlete's First fell to a game KC Pump ‘N Run squad at the Jayhawk Invitational. Henry wasn't the only one who had it going on Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

Dominique Morrison, SF/PF, KC Pump ‘N Run- The 6-6 forward is all about economy and getting the job done near the hoop and facing up. Armed with a sweet jumper to the three point line and plenty of old school ability near the rim, he's going to draw a lot of looks around the Midwest this summer.

Verdell Jones, PG, Ft. Sooy No Limit- From a skill and ability standpoint, there's no question that "Lil V" has high major capabilities. He's an excellent setup man who really sees the floor and can advance the ball with the pass for easy hoops. His team relies on him for buckets and his slender frame takes a beating around the hoop. It's been said before, but additional pounds could make him very dangerous.

Jordan Taylor, PG, Howard Pulley- You have to value a guy like this. Well aware of what he's going to be playing for on the next level, he's already done some serious work to get his body in shape for the Big Ten grind. The future Wisconsin Badger drives to the hole with his right or left, is a head up dribbler and looks comfortable knocking down 20 footers or setting up teammates.

Scott Suggs, SF, St. Louis Eagles- Even though he didn't knock down as many shots as he would have liked, it was nice to see him looking to score. His jumper is smooth and he's got easy range to 21 feet. Probably the most attractive part of his game is his feel for scoring and setting up others from midrange and off the bounce. Like Verdell Jones, he's a guy who will blossom with added strength.

Darian Norris, SG, Las Vegas Prospects- Compact and strong combo guard looks pretty comfortable off the ball and he's got an accurate shot to the three point stripe. Was drilling jumpers at a nice clip early and provided his team with operating room. Takes good care of the ball and uses his powerful upper frame to create separation.

Xavier Henry, SG, Athlete's First- Seriously, there can't be many better two guard prospects in the country better than Mr. Henry, regardless of class. He put in 36 – 28 in the second half- on 13-27 from the floor and made things interesting as he tried to lead Athlete's First to a late comeback over KC Pump ‘N Run. We've always known he could shoot it from deep, but the 210 pounder is much improved off the dribble and has learned to use his powerful frame to post up smaller guys and make a living from the free throw line when his shots aren't falling. There's zero question that he's a big timer.

Kyle Hardrick, PF/C, Athlete's First- Early on the future Sooner looked like he was on a rebounding tear for the ages. Although he slowed down a little, he still put together a double-double and made the most of his touches. He's not a leaper, but you have to love the way he uses the glass from all angles on shots from four to 10 feet.

Anthony Marshall, SG, Las Vegas Prospects- A solid bodied winger with wide shoulders, he's not fancy….just solid. Will knock down some open looks, finds teammates off the bounce and plays with patience. His future looks bright and he'll get evaluated on all levels.

Rodney Givens, SG, KC Pump ‘N Run 15's- Ok, we'll go ahead and tag this smooth looking young combo guard with the gunner label. But, that's not a bad thing. The 6-footer gets his jumper off quickly and with a great deal of accuracy to 21 feet. He's young and growing, but adding some more ball skills will make him a load down the road.

Ok, these next three guys are still young. In fact, none of them have played a high school game at this point. But, it's safe to say they're all going to draw attention as freshman next winter. 6-5 combo forward Marvin Singleton from Minneapolis is athletic and skilled. Meanwhile, long and lean Christian Kirk from Springfield, Mo has been hailed by some in the Midwest as the next Tyler Hansbrough, with handles. That's a mouthful, but the youthful 6-7 forward does have a nice jump hook and will dunk on defenders in a heartbeat. Looking for a feel guy, then look no further than Arizona prodigy Matt Carlino. A 6-2 southpaw with a crisp jumper, Carlino plays with the poise and moxy of a much older guy.

He's not going to wow with his scoring prowess, but St. Louis Eagles big man John Brandenburg is emerging as a top tier big man. He runs extremely well, blocks shots and is willing to mix it up in the lane. … Making an appearance with the Eagles this weekend is intriguing, but raw, big man Abel Tillman from Berkeley High just outside of St. Louis. The 6-7 big man has long arms, terrific hands and he tries to dunk anything within 10 feet of the rim. … Before his buddy Givens got it rolling from deep, strong 5-11 freshman shooter Rico Richardson drilled home four or five quick jumpers for the KC Pump and Run 15 and under squad. Perhaps more impressive is the youngster's willingness to put the clamps on defensively. …

Credit Olathe (KS) South product Denver Holmes for getting down and dirty with Xavier Henry early. The 6-4 SG made Henry work hard for buckets and provided some early offensive pop for KC Pump ‘N Run on sweet baseline jumpers. A sneaky athlete who doesn't hesitate to attack the rim for a jam, he's got twin brothers (Nick and Caleb) who play D1 hoops at Yale and he's working his way onto the mid major radar. … Last year Daniel Orton was a slender big guy with potential. Now the sophomore from Oklahoma City has grown to 6-10 and he's a hulk around the post capable of tossing opponents 10 feet with a simple shoulder or elbow. …

Scoring whiz Marcus Denmon saw several jumpers rattle in and out early. Undaunted, the 6-3 scorer pumped in 13 straight during a key second half stretch for KC Pump ‘N Run. … Most impressive play of the night? Pump ‘N Run's 6-8 big man Steve Moore racing down the court to catch up with and swat Kyle Hardrick from behind on what Hardrick thought would be an easy open court dunk attempt. ..

"That dude's got a shovel instead of a spoon in his kitchen!"

  • One courtside analyst describing a hulked up Daniel Orton.

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