Pitt, Fayetteville: What We Learned

Ever see "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray? That's what the spring traveling team season can resemble for a recruiting analyst. Like Murray, with each passing day we do learn something along the way. Meet Tony Wroten!

Dave Telep's Thoughts From Fayetteville …

Instant vs. Delayed Gratification – Anyone who watched John Henson last weekend had to come away with the same thought: wow! Until he ran out of gas against the up-tempo Gauchos on Sunday, Henson might have been the story of the weekend. A continually developing prospect, he's never been the "now" recruit but always been the "down the road" guy.

Times are changing and so is his game. He's made the conversion from prospect to player and he's the reason why you fall for guys who have physical markers of improvement. Then you move quickly when they begin delivering on the promise. Sometimes it doesn't happen as quickly as the general public would like but when the "light goes on" it's a beautiful thing.

Boynton Is That Guy – In every class there's a kid with the stones to take the shot at the end of games. Lots of kids think they can take big shots, fewer rise to the occasion and even less make the play. Kenny Boynton is "Mr. Big Shot" after sticking a 3-pointer to beat the Gauchos. Beyond the shot here's the biggest thing we've learned: he's a great teammate.

Typically guys who take a high volume of jumpers – like Boynton does – alienate teammates. That's not the case with Kenny, who also happens to be a classy kid. There's been little turnover on his AAU team and those are the easiest programs to up and head for greener pastures when disgruntled. Lots of observers, including myself, wondered if others would want to play alongside him in college and that answer must be yes: he's good and he wins!

Welcome, Tony – Truth? His performances were memorizing. We kept going back to marvel at the natural talent of Tony Wroten. Just a freshman, this 2011 wing has legitimate star power and he's not going to need any hype machine to advance his profile. He's a real player and it's not going to take long for everyone to figure that out in a big way.

Feel or Science? – We believe you can use statistics, data and studies to learn about recruiting and the trends and profiles that go with it. You can't apply those measurables all the time (if you could recruiting would be a science) but they can help on occasion. However, every now and then "gut feel" takes over. J.P. Kulhman, a slightly built guard from the Jacksonville Lee Bulls has a quality you can't wrap your brain around but its there. We'll see. For the numbers junkies: he went 26-4 last year and averaged 18 points but who's counting?

Shooter Alert – We told you about Boynton but we'd be remised if we didn't mention other guys who won't be affected by moving the 3-point line back. Marshall Henderson (2009), Kuhlman (2009), Drew Barham (2009), Marquise Horne (2009) and David Brown (2009).

Real Deal Was The Real Deal -- A scan of the gym on Sunday morning showed that Derrick Favors, Lance Stephenson, Kenny Boynton, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb were each playing at the same time. Those are 5 Top 10 prospects in their respective classes in the same building, on different courts. That's big time talent. Mix in Demarcus Cousins, Wroten, Henson and a slew of others and there was elite talent in town.

Evan Daniels On The Pitt Jam Fest …

Kelly A Rock Star? – The Pitt Jam was the culmination of a four-week stretch, where we saw Ryan Kelly in three different events. Each time out the Raleigh (N.C.) Ravenscroft standout improved and if he continues to play like he did this past weekend he should make another jump in our rankings. Kelly has simply stepped up his game and is playing with more confidence and readiness to take and hit big shots.

Plumlee Deserved The Jump – Mason Plumlee catapulted in our latest 2009 rankings up to No. 20 and he certainly proved that the rapid rise was warranted. The talented 6-foot-11 power forward has good moves inside, is a capable handler and knows how to use his body around the rim. His play even caught the eye of The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy as he did a feature on the future Duke star.

Oh, Canada – Tristan Thompson is known as one of the best prospects in the country, but Grassroots Canada also has another very talented class of 2010 point guard in Cory Joseph. The Ajax (Ont.) Pickering standout had a huge game against the DC Assault 16's in the semi-finals at the Pitt Jam Fest. Assault tried Tyler Thornton, Eric Atkins and even a few other guards on Joseph, but they struggled to contain him as he's extremely quick, has a great feel for the game and can really shoot it.

2010 PGs Assume Spotlight – We knew that the 2010 class had some pretty good point guards, but we didn't realize it was this loaded. In Pittsburgh alone we saw Cory Joseph, Tyler Thornton, Eric Atkins, Tony Chenault, Willis Nicholson, Markel Starks and Josh Selby all have big impacts on their teams. At this point Kendall Marshall is ranked as the top lead man in the sophomore class, but there's not much room for error as there is a lot of talent in this crop of point guards.

New Cook In The Kitchen – Quinn Cook, of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha, can flat out play. The class of 2011 product was terrific in the 15's semi-finals against the Ohio Basketball Club. Although the game got out of hand early on, Cook did his best to keep it respectable. He's a talented floor general that fearlessly attacks the rim and is already capable of adjusting his shot and finishing with contact around the rim. We expect Cook to be on the menu at a ton of high level campuses.


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