Real Deal: Day 2 Rundown

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – So many good players it was tough to single out a handful. Kenny Boynton may have done the most for his team in terms of securing a win. Freshman Tony Wroten stepped up and showed that he's the real deal.

Kenny Boynton, SG, Team Breakdown – After a first half that didn't go his way (4 points) and having to deal with a laundry list of trash talk and grabbing thrown at him, Boynton stepped up like the stud he is. Single-handedly he carried Breakdown past Stephenson and Co. Boynton's deep stroke came back and he finished with 25 points and the win. He heats up faster than most and when it's rolling get out of the way.

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Birm. Storm – He's worked his way to good numbers here. Memphis has the best players in C-USA but eventually the Tigers are going to run into a physical match in Cousins as UAB's highest-profile recruit is a real gem.

Karron Johnson, PF, Building Champions – The contest versus breakdown set up well for him: it was physical. He did two things we aren't sure any other PF in his class can match. First, his follow dunk in traffic was high level. His spin in the post – with speed, strength and power – is not a move most elite high school posts can execute.

Williams Earned His Hoops
Shawn Williams, SF, Tex. Select – This kid will be a good player in college. His motor was running in the morning and Williams worked around the hoop for buckets before straying outside where he can shoot it. He's diversifying his offense, which is smart. Average athletically, its wise to increase his versatility and he deserves the credit for working. He had 24 in the opener.

Lance Stephenson, SF, Building Champions – His physical and consistent approach to the game is something that must be respected. He wants to win and there's no faulting him for working his tail off. Where he has to improve is channeling his emotions. He's an energetic player but he doesn't feed his team with energy when he's distracted. Supreme talent with room to improve the body language aspect of his game. If he puts the pieces together the end product will be scary good.

Derrick Favors, C, Atlanta Celtics – Long time observers will tell you Saturday wasn't his best outing. Frustrated a good portion of the games, Favors found lids on a lot of baskets. In a playoff win, sophomore Josh Smith leaned on him and at one point might have had Favors on the ropes. It wouldn't last long. When it came time to win, Favors went to work at both ends and iced it for the Celtics. Without a high-level point guard (Trae Golden is injured) to feed him, sometimes he isn't involved enough. To his credit, he played through frustration and rose to the occasion (despite cramping) when the time came.

Peyton Siva, PG, Rotary Select – Not many PGs throw alley oops AND catch them. This one does! Kind of a hybrid point man with a penchant for scoring, Siva says he relishes the leadership aspect of the position. A Top 50 player, he plays full tilt and won't shy away from pressure situations.

Nick Russell, CG, Dallas Mustangs Blue – He's a name we've been hearing whispers for a few months. Russell prefers to play the point but is more accurately described as a combo. He'll get by guys and although he didn't shoot it deep, you can see the ability at least from mid-range. Guys like him usually have a decision to make in terms of picking a spot and rolling with it. Collegiately we see him as more shooting guard at this stage.

Between Russell (combo), Nolan Dennis (shooting guard) and Marshall Henderson (shooting guard), the Mustangs have plenty of scoring options but nothing inside. Henderson was an ace in the game we saw and he'll adjust well to the new line. Dennis' confidence is up and he fared well in the morning.

Jeronne Maymon, SF/PF, Wisc. Gaters Elite – They put the ball in his hands and by doing so you get a feel for his versatility. He's difficult to cast in a role because of his uniqueness. Though he shots the ball from the palm of his hand he seems reliable to mid-range. He competes and finds ways to use his athleticism. He's a unique forward and there isn't one set way to slip him into a game plan. He belongs in our Top 100 heading into the summer.

D.J. Cooper, PG, Meanstreets – The Hales Franciscan point man is easy to like and respect. He's not big but like the many Chicago point guards before him, he's tough. There will be a long line of mid-majors trying to sign him.

Doron Lamb, SG, Gauchos – Even against the older kids he's right in the mix. Love the floater, feel the change of speeds and respect his ability to find the bottom of the net.

Harrison Barnes, SF, All Iowa Attack -- When you're in the information business you need good sources. A select handful of elite sources swore by Barnes and his improvement this year. Those proprietors of information just became even stronger because they were right on the money. Barnes added weight to his frame and is rounding out his skill set. A true SF, credit him for knowing his range (18 feet) and playing to his strengths.

DeShaun Thomas, SF/PF, Spiece – His club got whacked and the day didn't start well as he airballed his first 3-pointer. However, he got the stroke back on track and put it together for a solid game. He's had so much attention so early that it often times becomes difficult (or unfair) to live up to the advance billing.

Wroten Steps Up
Tony Wroten, G, Seattle Rotary – There are good guards and then there are special ones and Wroten has a chance to be the latter. The kid has serious rise and explosion. He's also been blessed with vision and passing ability. He's so talented we can't figure out what his best position may be. Plus, he's got a killer competitive side to him. If you start a list of 2011 elite players, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use his name first. Right now his shot could use some arc but we're talking about a freshman with ridiculous talent and a major league upside.

LaQuinton Ross, SF, MBA – He won the battle but lost the war against a peer. At this point Ross is the better prospect with a bigger ceiling and more developed skill set than LeBryan Nash. The Dallas Mustangs won the game and Nash was strong in the second half. Ross owns strong body control and a significant SF upside. Nash, however, has distinguished himself and shown improvement with his outside package since debuting last summer. By the way, sometimes we take it for granted these kids are merely freshmen!

Lots of head coaches – with access to private planes – are venturing back and forth between the Real Deal and the Old School Shootout in Conway, Ark. Big boy recruiting means multiple trips back and forth and makes for quite a long for some of America's biggest basketball CEO's. …

Trae Golden's ankle injury may be the blow that prevents the Celtics from winning the Real Deal. …

The Dan Jennings roller coaster was moving along in the morning when his inside presence was accounted for and he had a nice game in the paint. … The best shooter these eyes have seen in two days: Marshall Henderson. A poll of college coaches was nearly unanimous in his favor. …

The Celtics Terrance Shannon is a slightly undersized but definite live-bodied power forward. He's an athlete with a big motor. … Josh Smith made a pair of clutch free throws with the game on the line to win it for Rotary. In an era where bigs are chastised for their flounderings at the line, he calmly stroked the game-winners. … Mfon Udofia is a likable guy. He's got tremendous grades, strong character and he's a solid player. …

Tevin Baskins received a call from Florida this week. Auburn offered too; Rutgers and Clemson are coming strong. … Christian Watford has offers from Memphis, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. … Drew Kelly is being recruited by Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Belmont and Morehead. South Carolina, Iowa and Minnesota are keeping tabs. …

Nick Russell claims offers from Iowa, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Duke is looking. … D.J. Cooper hears from Kansas State, Missouri, Valpo, Dayton, Bradley and UIC; he's awaiting offers that will certainly come. …

Nolan Dennis' unchanging school list: Texas, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA, North Carolina and "so many more I can't even say them all." Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon was following him hard. … Fred Gulley lists offers from Missouri, Arkansas, Virginia and Tulsa. Baylor, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and Xavier are looking at him. … J

osh Smith, a sophomore, said UCLA is tracking him the hardest. Georgetown, Duke, Syracuse and every Pac-10 is interested. … Mfon Udofia has offers from Miami, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Arizona and Florida are looking. … Jeronne Maymon has offers from Baylor and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Iowa and Kentucky are looking. …

"I don't think he's in that first cut but he's definitely in the next group (of point guards). When guys start committing we'll surely see (him move up lists)."

  • College coach who watched Eric Bledsoe in his 14-assist game

    Mike Krzyzewski watched Nick Russell in the morning. … Nolan Dennis drew Mark Turgeon, Roy Williams and Marquette's Buzz Williams. … Derrick Favors played in front of Mike Krzyzewski, Sidney Lowe and Leonard Hamilton with assistants from Georgia, Auburn and a host of schools intermixed in the crowd. … Washington's Lorenzo Romar was dogged in his pursuit of Tony Wroten and Peyton Siva on Saturday. …

    This one is a bit odd. Only one head coach was in the building for Favors last game of the night: Georgia's Dennis Felton. … Harrison Barnes played his first playoff game with Iowa State's Greg McDermott looking on. … Kansas coach Bill Self watched Lance Stephenson in the afternoon. …

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