JaMychal Green, PF, St. Jude – The Urspring Basketball Academy threw five guys 6-foot-8 or taller at Green, and although Urspring got the win, none of the five could handle the talented big man inside. He fought for position, showed off his skill on the block and threw down one of the best dunks we've seen this year. He started on the block, spun baseline and rose up on Urspring's 7-footer and threw down a nasty one-handed slam. He finished with 26 points for the game and a handful of blocks.
Ray Willis, SF, Westlake High – Despite being listed as a point guard in the event program, Willis' best position is on the wing, as he has a scorers mentality. Most of his buckets came in the paint, as he has an effective floater and used his length to finish around the rim. At 6-foot-6, he has good size and it helps him see the floor and block shots. Without Willis, Westlake wouldn't have had a chance in this game, as the talented wing finished with 35 points. Going forward we'd like to see his decision making improve, but it's clear that he is talented.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Norcross – With the number one spot seemingly up for grabs, Aminu decided to throw his name up for discussion. The 6-foot-9 wing put on a show in Norcross' blow out win against Westlake Prep at the ASIC. He did a little of everything, including knocking down a few jump shots, however most of his buckets came off smooth drives or post finishes.
His best move of the day was a coast-to-coast play when he went in and out twice into a cross over and proceeded to get the bucket and a foul. His one handed slam in traffic wasn't bad either. The bottom line is, when Aminu has it going there aren't many in the 2008 class better. With a bunch of talented wings on hand at this event, it'll be interesting to see if he continues to dominate the competition.
David Loubeau, PF, Westlake Prep – This certainly wasn't his best game, but we definitely liked what we saw out of the Texas A&M signee. At 6-foot-8 he's long, athletic and attacks the glass. He finished around the rim and got a couple of And 1 calls. Loubeau also had his mid-range game working, as he knocked down a handful of jumpers from 12 to 18 feet.
Jared Swopshire, SF, IMG Academy – Although his squad fell to Kathleen, Swopshire went off for 34 points. He got his buckets a variety of way, but mostly off of moves at the hoop or put backs. He's not a great athlete, but understands the game and his strengths. He managed to hit at least a pair of mid-range pull up jumpers as well.
Kevin Foster, PF, Kathleen – Throughout Kathleen's match up with IMG Academy, Foster was active on the glass and in the paint. The 6-foot-6 bouncy four man uses his athleticism to block shots an get buckets around the rim. For the game he went for 27, as he led Kathleen to a victory.
Solomon Hill, SF, Fairfax – We were tipped off by a college coach on this one and boy was he right. This 6-foot-6 wing is versatile, has an incredible feel for the game and above average athleticism. To go with his strong handle and ability to see the floor, he showed off range on his jump shot when he buried back-to-back threes in the first half. This is a high major prospect with plenty of potential.
Justin Raffington, PF, Urspring – The team from Germany brought this 6-foot-9 big man off the bench and he certainly made his presence known. Just a sophomore, Raffington is long, runs the floor and swatted a handful of shots. He also stepped up when needed the most, as he buried a 18-foot jumper just before the buzzer sounded giving Urspring the victory over St. Jude.
The stage is now set for Renardo Sidney and Jeremy Tyler to meet Thursday evening. Sidney, ranked No. 2 in the 2009 class, and Tyler, who is ranked No. 1 in 2010, will meet up at 9 PM. This could be one of the better match ups of the year!
For its first year in existence the Amare Stoudemire Invitational Classic is loaded with talent and has a great crop of wings. It's going to be fun to see how the likes of Aminu, Hill, Swopshire, Willis, Jordan Hamilton and Aaron Moore match up with each other.
Apparently getting designs shaved into your head is the new fade, as a host of players were sporting fresh cuts on the court today, including two of the best prospects in attendance. Aminu had a small design etched into his head, while Hamilton was sporting a giant star on his dome.
Renardo Sidney is a hotly pursued prospect. After his game he made it clear that he was wide open at this point. He did, however, mention USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Florida, Texas and UAB as the schools involved.
"They can't guard me," – Ray Willis mouthed this comment to a handful of his supporters in the stands.
We didn't spot any head coaches in the building, but a bunch of assistant coaches stopped in to check out the talent. We spotted Connecticut, Arizona State, Jacksonville, UNC Greensboro, Syracuse, Georgia Southern, Florida International and Missouri in the gym.