Greg Monroe, PF – The Greg Monroe of last summer showed up for the first game of the day. In the first half he was effective on the defensive end swatting shots and dominating the paint. In the second half he began asserting himself more on the offensive end, using pump fakes and spins to get open looks and easy buckets. He also helped get teammates open looks and showed an ability to make the extra pass and see the floor. One area we see that needs improvement is his right hand. It's not bad by any means, but often times has the ball roll off the rim when he goes up with the right.
Majority of his buckets came off strong drives to the rack. He knows how to use his body and is great at making adjustments at the rim. His jump shot was falling too, as he stroked a number of off the dribble step backs. Evans seems to have the competitive spirit back that he was seemingly missing during the spring. By far the most productive performance we've seen by any kid this spring.
Devin Ebanks, SF – As good as Evans was today, Ebanks wasn't too far behind him. While Evans did his work going to the cup, the Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More standout got majority of his 34 points off of jump shots. The 6-foot-8 junior showed he's comfortable shooting off curls and off the dribble. His mid-range game was working too, as he stepped in for a handful of two dribble pull-ups. He ran the floor well today as well and was great at finishing around the rim.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF – Aminu finished with a relatively quiet 15 points and 15 rebounds. Most his points were scored around the basket, as he was able to secure some put backs. Twice he utilized a spin move to get off an open jump-hook. With so many stars on each team, it's hard for kids to get a ton of touches, but we'd like to see him be more aggressive offensively.
Willie Warren, SG/PG – In the first half, Warren struggled to get anything going, and after the game he admitted that he was still trying to get used to playing with so many guys that can take over a game. By the time the second half rolled around, Warren became more assertive and began attacking the basket. In a five-minute time span he had a trio of strong finishes at the rim, with two being "and 1" finishes.
During his night session game, Warren dialed in from downtown going 5 of 6 from three-point range and finishing with an efficient 23 points. It's clear that he's been working on his point guard skills, as he handled the ball well. His spot in the top 25 should be secure if he finishes the summer like he finished the second half.
Jrue Holiday, SG – This combo guard does so many things well and clearly knows the game in and out. What impresses us the most about him is his ability to stay under control. He could be attacking full speed, but is still capable of pulling up, switching hands or adjusting his shot. His passing ability was on point during the evening session as well. He finished with 20 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds in a lopsided loss.
Scotty Hopson, SF – Hopson is known as a big time athlete, but the 6-foot-6 wing has so much more in his game. In the evening session he drained a pair of three-pointers off the dribble and one off the catch. He also hit a sweet floater and a mid-range pull up on his way to 20 points off 9 of 14 shooting.
Leslie McDonald, SF – This smooth wing should rank as one of the tops at his position in the class of 2009. With his size (6-foot-5) he's able to get his effective jumper off against defenders. He loves to come off curls, and has a consistent jump shot that extends past the three-point line. He's a better athlete than given credit for and loves to get out on the break. Unlike many elite talents, he's extremely unselfish and is an efficient passer. In his opening contest he finished with 15 points, 6 assists and zero turnovers.
Deshawn Painter, PF – The first two days haven't been great for Painter, but he's certainly shown that he has the tools to become a productive player down the road. His length and athleticism causes problems for the opposition. We also like the fact that he can step out and knock down jumpers out to 18-feet.
Following a solid effort in his first game, McDonald rattled off a good-looking list of schools. He claims scholarship offers from Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi, Georgetown, Louisville and Alabama. He said North Carolina is involved too.
Willie Warren opted not to give a list of schools. He said he's just feeling out the process and looking forward to attending Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill.
"I guess those workouts with [Andre] Iguodala have helped." – Reggie Evans said, while watching his brother, Tyreke, torch defenders in the opening game.