Boo Williams: Day 2 Rundown, Part I

HAMPTON, Va. – Steven Pledger's jump shot has fueled the Boo Williams machine. Meanwhile, Xavier Henry did his best Willis Reed impersonation as he shrugged off an injury and lead Athletes First.

Steven Pledger, SG, Boo Williams – It seems like every year Boo has a young man who raises his game up a level. Pledger has been that kid here. He's stuck a bevy of 3-pointers. So, why the jump? His body is tighter than it was during the season and his confidence level is soaring. His only offer to date is Hampton and the Pirates may have trouble stealing this treasure.

Torin Walker, C, Ga. Blazers – Smart kid, solid prospect. The trick for him is on a weekend where he doesn't have a true PG getting him the rock, becomes staying involved. Excellent instincts, size and appears willing to work. Needs seasoning but there's raw materials to mold.

Roger Franklin, SF, Team Texas – He's got the Chuck Hayes-mentality and approach. When his club mailed it in, he didn't. One of the top mid-range shooters you'll see in the class. Some will pick him apart and ask what position he, others will simply value what he does well and let him do his thing.

Daniel Orton & Xavier Henry, Athletes First – Henry, sporting a 2nd degree ankle sprain, played in his team's playoff win. He was smoking early and helped A.F. race out to the big first half lead. It's a severe sprain and he's definitely in pain but there was no denying him in the playoffs. Meanwhile, teammate Orton control the paint defensively and showed much promise with diverse post offense. Orton himself has a big contraption attached to his knee and won't have full range of motion for 2-3 more months.

Kenny Hall, C, Ga. Stars – Granted, he wasn't looking another big square in the eye, but he did put in work against Team NJ. Liked his approach and consistent post play; kid showed a hook and counter moves. The bar has been raised in the pivot. Will he keep up the efforts?

Tevin Baskins, SF, Gauchos – For a guy who we can't pigeon hole position wise, he sure is a nice player. He'll be a piece of the puzzle for someone. Love his energy, leadership instincts and presence on the court.

John Wall, PG, S.C. Ravens – This is the name that has the gym buzzing aside from the hometown Boo team, packs the most folks in the gym. Before the playoffs began, Wall went to the line 21 times against the Blue Devils; he made 20 of the free throws! The "if you can't guard him, foul him" strategy backfired.

Lamar Patterson, SF/SG, Team Final – A subpar first night and some soul searching led to a pair of rebound performances. When he plays with passion he's a Top 100 prospect who can get buckets.

Donnavan Kirk, PF, The Family – Speedy Walker's revolving door of big men rotated his way in the game we caught. More minutes yielded more production. What we liked was the ability to go get a board in traffic. Offensively he'll use the hook and create separation.

Doron Lamb, SG, Gauchos – Each time out does something that forces you to see a different aspect of his game. He's got an elite first step but what makes him particularly dangerous is his ability to change speeds.

Markel Starks, PG, DC Blue Devils – Poised kid who uses the bounce pass well. Should be a good deep shooter and solid runner of a team. Easy to see why the big boys like him. Smart kid, good hoop IQ.

Eric Smith, PG, Team Ga. Elite 16 – He's got a physical advantage now and uses it. Smith, against his peers, is tough to handle going to the rim and confident behind the line. Think a slightly bigger version of Arizona's Nick Wise.


Rivers Hits Game-Winner
Austin Rivers, CG, Team Stat 16 – He did exactly what good players do in end of game situations. Down one, Rivers was forced to give up the ball but trailed it, got it back and used every bit of the rim for a game-winning 3-pointer.

His first hoop of the game was a tough reverse in traffic and his last ended the contest. Frustrated by a lack of early touches, he kept his cool and it worked out in the end. High-major prospect for sure.

Jin Soo Kim is out 5 months with a torn labrum. …

La. Select 2011 SG John Issaic is a strong wing with a scorer's mentality. … In a morning game, Warriors guard D.J. Richardson had trouble getting a shot to go down. We like his versatility and overall speed; he simply couldn't purchase a hoop. … City Rocks sophomore Jamel Fields has a few different gears in his enough to go with a strong body. …

Mouptaou Tarou, a PF with the Blue Devils, is a new name. He'll be at Massanuttenn Military and he rebounds and runs with great passion. … Dan Jennings of the Gauchos has a habit of raising his level of play against better competition. While that's a good idea, we'd like to see the beast in him come out on a consistent basis. … Tristin Spurlock of Boo stroked 3-pointers all day. His shooting has improved significantly. …

Speaking of improved shooting, Terrence Boyd said he's been working on his stroke with Carl Henry (Xavier's father) and there's a noticeable difference. … Andrew Fitzgerald shed 42 pounds. He's more active and his energy level is exceptional. For a kid to make that kind of commitment at this stage in his career, it says a lot about the direction he wants to go. Fitzgerald and Dante Taylor are a tough inside combo. …

Torin Walker has offers from Georgia, Auburn and Florida State. … Kourtney Roberson is hearing from a host of schools including Texas A&M (brother played there), Louisiana Tech, Southern Cal, UCLA, Texas and West Virginia. …

David Brown from the Ill. Warriors is hearing from Drake, DePaul, Western Michigan and Wright State. … Andre Gillette has St. Joe's, Temple, Xavier and Virginia Tech keeping tabs. … Donnavan Kirk indicated that Miami is on him harder than anyone and Michigan State, Southern Cal and South Florida are chasing. … Glen Rice hears from Georgia Tech, Miami, Tennessee Tech and Clemson. …

Boo point guard Jontel Evans is a two-sport threat. Old Dominion, Hampton and VCU like him on the hardwood and Clemson keeps tabs. If he wants to be a hardwood guy the option will be there. … Pledger has an offer from Hampton and interest from Oklahoma, VCU, Michigan, Wake Forest, George Mason and Virginia Tech. …

"Man, I thought the Final Four was last week. Those dudes are huge."

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