Nike MDC: Day Two

NASHVILLE, TN – Similar to the first day of the Nike Memorial Day Classic, the second day of this tremendous event was all about match ups. Al-Farouq Aminu found himself going up against another big time player in Ed Davis, Jeremy Tyler and Alex Oriakhi faced off and Willie Warren and Xavier Henry went toe to toe in the quarterfinals.

Ralph Sampson III, PF, Georgia Stars – His performance yesterday warranted another look and there's no doubt about it, Sampson has made the transition from prospect to player. The 7-footer looked great in his morning game against the Charlotte Royals. In that contest Sampson knocked down a few jumpers, swatted some shots and gave J.T. Thompson the type of facial that he's used to giving out. Later in the day against Boo Wiliams, he reciprocated his performance against some quality big men from Boo Williams.

Tanner Smith, SF, Georgia Stars – The Stars wouldn't be nearly as good without Smith. He might be the straw that stirs the drink for the team from Georgia. Smith is versatile, can play multiple shooters and showed deep range on his jump shot in the early morning game. We love his knowledge of the game and ability to lead.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Georgia Stars – There's a reason Aminu is ranked as the top wing in the class of 2008 and he showed exactly why against Boo Williams. The smooth 6-foot-8 combo forward split double teams, pushed it on the break and always seems under control going to the basket. He's creative at the rim and handles the ball well for his size.


Warren leads team to final four
Willie Warren, PG/SG, Team Texas Elite – There's no doubt about it Willie Warren has legit combo skills. He can handle with either hands and isn't afraid to fire away from deep. At times he becomes somewhat of a volume shooter, but when he's on look out. The 6-foot-3 guard was certainly on today. He went for 31 points against Athletes First in the quarterfinals and also made the play of the day. The talented athlete nearly jumped over Xavier Henry in what is being described as one of, if not the best dunk of the spring.

Ken Gabriel, SF, Charlotte Royals – The Kings Mountain (NC) Hope Christian standout played primarily on the wing this weekend and he looked pretty good doing so. He drained a few triples from the wing and buried a 15-foot step in jumper. His handle continues to improve and he's showing more confidence playing on the perimeter.

Scott Suggs, SF, St. Louis Eagles – The arsenal he busted out today was quite impressive. He loves to take guys off the bounce and proved that by draining a few step in jumpers. He can also get to the cup and finish. His three-point stroke is one to envy as well. The best play he made today was when he hit his defender with an in-and-out dribble leading into a 18-foot jumper.

Ed Davis, PF, Boo Williams – It was fun to watch him and Al-Farouq Aminu battle in the opening round of the tournament. He finished with 19 points in the contest and proved why he's ranked so highly by many. He has a variety of post moves including a nice jump hook and he's capable of hitting 12-15 footer jumpers on a consistent basis. The 6-foot-8 PF always seems to be under control in the paint and hangs around the offensive glass for easy tip ins.

Ty Walker, C, Boo Williams – By no means was Ty Walker dominant this weekend, but he deserves some love. He knocked down a few deep jumpers including a three-pointer. He also made a big impact on the defensive end against the Georgia Stars. The team from Georgia had a handful of guys at 6-8 or taller and Walker was swatting shots left and right. We'd like to see Walker expand his offensive game and be more aggressive with the ball, but he continues to improve and is showing more confidence.


Dunigan Dominates!
Michael Dunigan, C, Meanstreets – He's big, strong and plays with a nasty streak on the court. He knows how to position himself in the paint and did a great job at sealing defenders off. He struggled to finish today, but he showed some developed moves and the ability to snag out of the area rebounds.

Murphy Holloway, SF/PF, South Carolina Ravens – He did it all for the Ravens in their last pool play game. He's a bouncy, athletic combo forward that plays hard and gets boards. The southpaw got a bunch of tip-ins and is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers.

Xavier Henry, SF, Athletes First – As good as Henry was yesterday, he was even better today. His stroke is pure, he handles the ball well enough to play some point-forward and he even showed off some nastiness when he went baseline and threw down a sweet dunk. His match up against Willie Warren was fun to watch, as he finished with 30 points. He was, however, on the receiving end of a disgusting facial from Warren.

Jamal Franklin, SF, California Supreme 16's – This 2009 product has a great looking stroke from deep. He hit four threes in the game we watched and finished with 18 points. He's not bad off the bounce either, as he hit a nice step in jumper as well.

Malik Smith, PG, BABC 16's -- While Pressey was the main ball handler for BABC, Franklin looked every bit a high-major point guard as well. He has a good handle, a smooth jump shot and the ability to get to the rack when he wants.

Alex Orakhi, PF, BABC 16's – Up against the best freshman big man in the country Orakhi more than held his own. At 6-foot-9 Orakhi has a very solid build and plays extremely hard. In the game we watched he snagged a few offensive rebounds, got some put backs and scored off some nice post moves.


Pressey Surprises
Phil Pressey, PG, BABC 16's – Easily the biggest surprise of the day was this 5-foot-7 quick and elusive point guard. Playing with possibly a broken toe, Pressey impressed us with his ability to handle the rock and blow by defenders. He also finished in the paint over much big defenders and showed great court vision. Don't leave him open from deep either, as he hit four triples in the game we watched.

Kendall Marshall, PG, Boo Williams – The second day of the Nike Memorial Day Classic was big time for Marshall. The 6-foot-2 lead man ran the team well and displayed a sweet looking stroke from deep. Marshall is quick, has a high basketball IQ and has already developed a nice mid-range jump shot. He does a lot damage from behind the three-point stripe too. Marshall stroked a bunch of three pointers against the Georgia Stars in the opening round of the tournament and against the New York Gauchos in the quarterfinals. Remember this name, as he'll likely be one of the best point guards in the 2010 class.

Jeremy Tyler, C, California Supreme 16's – Blessed with long arms and a solid frame, Tyler is a special player that will be getting a lot of print throughout his high school career. He runs the floor well, snags rebounds and dunks it if he gets it close to the rim. We love his athleticism and saw him go on a nasty streak for a stretch against BABC.

Just a day after Xavier Gibson's AAU coach said they planned to hold him out until NBPA Camp, the 6-foot-9 PF hit the floor. Apparently Gibson decided last night at 1 a.m. that he wanted to play today and he's led the Georgia Blazers into the semi-finals.

Ralph Sampson is hearing from a variety of schools including Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, California and Clemson. Recently he took a visit to Minnesota and the Golden Gophers offered a scholarship. The Bulldogs have offered as well.

Tony Woods has his list down to five. The Georgia Stars big man is looking at Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Connecticut and Kentucky.

Known as one of the betters shooters in the class of 2008 Matthew Humphrey has developed a nice school list. He's hearing from Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa and Duke.


Suggs has plenty of interest
Scott Suggs is going to have plenty of options when it's time to make his decision. Florida, Clemson, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Wisconsin and Saint Louis have all offered.

John Brandenburg listed seven schools. Missouri, Virginia, Stanford, Wisconsin, Florida and Indiana have all offered. UCLA is also keeping tabs on him.

Murphy Holloway said he's hearing from Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Kansas, West Virginia, DePaul and Auburn. Florida and West Virginia are the only ones that haven't offered.

Kendall Marshall is already hearing from a host of high major schools. North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, Georgetown, Villanova, Virginia, Ohio State and Florida have all shown interest in the talent freshman guard.

"Good flop baby. Good flop. We'll take it. Thanks Mr. Official" – Willie Warren's mom said after her son clearly flopped and sold the call to the official.


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