Glen Rice, SG, Georgia Stars – We touted Rice's offensive skills yesterday, but today he took it to another level. The Stars opened up their offense and let Rice attack the basket. By the end of the game, he had dropped in at least four floaters, had a few strong finishes and mixed in a three-pointer. We didn't insert Rice in our Top 100, but he's certainly playing well enough to be on that list.
Tommy Mason-Griffin, PG, Houston Hoops – Word out of Arizona a few weekends ago was that T.M.G. had stepped up his game. After seeing him against Memphis YOMCA we agree. He's developed a very strong handle and overall makes smart plays with the basketball. On three of four possessions he got Jamel Fenton wide open three-point looks and all three of them led to points. He's one of the best available PG's and schools are going to start making him a priority recruit.
Lakeem Jackson, SF, Charlotte Royals – Jackson's strong play continued on day two. He attacks the rim hard and has a unique ability to adjust his shot with ease. The 6-foot-4 wing uses low, but quick dribbles to begin his drives and likes to throw his body into defenders to clear a path. Going forward we'd like to see him develop his jumper, but it's hard to complain about how he's playing in Nashville.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Birmingham Storm – When his teammates keep him happy, he's tough to stop. Take the first half of the Storm's game against the Georgia Stars for example. He was getting touches on the block and dominating the paint with strong post moves and solid footwork. In the second half, he didn't see the ball much, so he moved away from the basket and wasn't nearly the impact player he was through the first two quarters. The moral of the story is when Cousins is motivated and wants to score, he can completely take over in the paint.
David Brown, SG, Illinois Warriors – D.J. Richardson receives majority of the attention for the Warriors, but Brown is certainly deserving of some ink. The 6-foot-2 guard has a strong build, shoots the ball with success and even showed he can finish at the rim with his off hand.
Xavier Henry, SG, Athletes First – His team need every one of his 20 points to knock off Boo Williams in the quarterfinals. After a slow start, Henry got the jumper working, attacked the rim and got to free throw line. Among his best moves was a two-dribble pull-up he hit on the right wing. Whichever school he decides on will be getting an elite level scorer that is among the toughest prospects to guard in the nation.
Durand Scott, SG, New York Gauchos – Throughout the spring Scott has been impressive, but his outing against the Illinois Warriors in the quarterfinals was one of his best efforts we've seen. After the ‘Chos blew a comfortable lead and the game was tied, Scott took over by scoring at the rim and getting to the free throw line. He seems quicker than last year and is extremely tough to stop when he penetrates the lane looking for buckets. He finished with 27 points.
Vander Blue, PG, Illinois Warriors 16's – An 8 am game couldn't slow the recent Wisconsin commit. Playing alongside Anthony Johnson, Blue handled the point guard responsibilities and made it tough for the Arksansas Wing defenders. He used his quickness to get in the lane and once there dropped in floaters and made a few athletic plays at the rim. Driving and kicking to open teammates was also a focus for Blue, as he hooked up teammates with wide-open looks throughout the contest.
Wayne Martin, PF, Memphis YOMCA 15's – This fluid, run and jump athlete put on an impressive display against the Georgia Blazers Sunday morning. The 6-foot-7, 185-pound forward scored on the block, swatted shots and showed off his hops by throwing down a nasty tip dunk in traffic. The Memphis area has been putting out some quality talent the past few years and it appears Martin is next in line.
Hunter Mickelson, C/PF, Arkansas Wings 15's – To go with Ross inside, the Wings also have this 6-foot-9 big man. Although he currently lacks strength, it didn't keep Mickelson from posting hard and as low as possible. The Jonesboro (Ark.) Westside standout plays hard, has nice touch around the hoop and is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers.
Kevin Ware, PG, Georgia Stars 15's – Over the course of the Stars' double-overtime match up with the SYF Players, Ware showed that he's a dynamic point guard with the skills to be a high major player. He has great size (6-foot-3) for the position, breaks down defenders with ease and is a high level athlete. The Stars continued to pump out top-level recruits and if his performance on Sunday was any indication it appears he'll be one soon.
Apparently Anthony Johnson had a big first half in his morning game. He went for 17 points. Johnson and Blue make a heck of a backcourt, especially on the 16's circuit. Their squad will play in the semi-finals Monday morning.
The Arkansas Wings 15's squad is absolutely loaded. To go with Ross and Mickelson they also have a nice pair of wings. David Rivers, of Little Rock (Ark.) Hall, is a 6-foot-5 wing that shoots it well, while Kyle Madden, of Lepantio (Ark.) EPC, is a long, wiry 6-foot-5 wing that attacks the rim.
We did see him earlier in the day, but apparently Keith "Tiny" Gallon was absolutely dominant in the quarterfinals against Team Florida. The word circulating the gym was that he threw down a few nasty dunks and made some big time moves.
The semi-finals will get underway Monday at 8 am. In the 17's division the New York Gauchos will take on Houston Hoop, and Playground Elite will match up with Athletes First.
Tommy Mason-Griffin said Memphis is the most recent school to get involved. He also claimed scholarship offers from South Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas. He dropped some high school news on us as well. The 5-foot-10 lead man will be playing at Oak Hill next season.