Vegas: Day Three, Part B

LAS VEGAS – Day Three in Vegas gives us more of the Roger Franklin experience plus a peek at two Australians bound to make some noise in the States.

Jon Hood, SF, Nashville Celtics – With some guys, it takes you longer to appreciate what their games are about. For us, Hood took time to break the ice. However, once we got a handle on him he's turned into a reliable, up lifting kid to watch. His first game included an alley-oop catch off an in-bounds play, a 3 off a curl, a pair of mid-range jumpers and 16 first half points. He finished with 20 in a blow out victory. He's headed for a productive career at UK.

Angus Brandt & Rhys Murphy, Chicago Elite – The Aussies have been in the States less than a month but they're squarely on our radar. Brandt is the insider with great touch. He's a mixture of post ups and face ups and the package is high-major. Ditto for Murphy. He's a high jumping 6-foot-7 wing man who can stroke it deep. These kids were major unknowns prior to the start of the month. Brandt is headed to Lake Forest Academy and Murphy will be at Lee Academy. You'll hear plenty about them in the near future.


Murphy Is A Sleeper
Roger Franklin, SF, Team Texas – If there's a more reliable or coachable youngster in the Class of 2009 we've yet to encounter him. Franklin put 25 on Team Odom and he did it in the post, behind the line and in transition. Toughness exudes him and while he's prone to a few too many heat checks behind the arc, his hard-charging play earned him the right to a handful of extra pulls. The more we see him the clearer it becomes: he's Chuck Hayes.

Bawa Manuri, C, Nashville Celtics Green – At 6-11, all the high-majors have been dropping by to see him. What they wind up finding out his that he's got a chiseled frame and legit size. He's going to be lacing them up for a big school. What he really needs is more reps so finding a fit where he can get a lot of minutes would be best. If that means C-USA instead of a bigger league, that might be the best option for playing time and personal development.

Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley, NW Panthers – Like sharks in the water, it was a feeding frenzy. A team minus prospects from Texas was no match for this pair. Bradley was in Dwyane Wade mode, getting his hands on a lot of steals. Meanwhile, Gaddy surgically dropped dimes and the pair advanced to the next game without incident.

Perry Jones, C, Team Texas – For Jones this is new territory. It's his first event with this club and that means he's not overly familiar with the crew. He sports a great body and significant long term potential. If you like him now, wait until next year. Tough spot to evaluate him in since the surroundings aren't what he's used to and his team has an established pecking order.

Meyers Leonard, C, Rameybasketball – High-major coaches are crowding his games for a reason. Size and an obvious skill set define his game. Leonard has tremendous touch for a kid his size. He's not ready to produce big numbers each time out just yet. However, a year from now he'll have a significant impact on the circuit and we're big fans.

Drew Barham sports a stroke that appeals on multiple levels. He's a mid-major weapon who because of his efficiency behind the line and academic credentials is receiving higher looks. … Jordan Hamilton pumped in 16 to help Team Odom edge Roger Franklin's crew in a great game. … Props to undersized four man Josh Brinkley of Petersburg Elite. He's got a motor and live body. …

Cadarian Raines will play his best ball at Virginia Tech. After a season in the weight room he'll be a strong contributor for the Hokies. … Cory Stern, a forward with the Northwest Panthers, uses his body as a battering ram. He'll be a good player at the mid-major level. … Bennie Seltzer at Indiana is a brave man. Two days in a row he sported the candy cane striped Indiana warm-up pants. Daring doesn't even begin to describe this fashion maven. …

Drew Barham has offers from Belmont, Southern Illinois and Miami-OH. Stanford is looking along with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. … Casey Prather relayed that Vanderbilt was on him the hardest followed by Virginia. … Givon Crump is looking at West Virginia, UCLA, Arizona State, California, South Florida and DePaul. … Gonzaga, Xavier, Long Beach State and Cornell have called on Rhys Murphy. …

Will Clark is hearing from SIU, SEMO and Tennessee State. … Keith Pickens likes Tennessee State, Evansville and Austin Peay. … Roger Franklin has Arizona, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan State and Oklahoma State chasing him hard. … Cory Stern has offers from Santa Clara, Portland, Wyoming, TCU and Colorado. …

Vanderbilt sent its full staff for junior Casey Prather. … Toledo head coach Gene Cross watched committed big man Devin Russell and he's a good one. … Meyers Leonard was watched by head coaches from Illinois, Missouri, Florida and UCLA. … Oregon State and Gonzaga sent head coaches for Brandt and Murphy. … Stanford and Washington State watched E.J. Singler. …

Head coaches from Arkansas, Oklahoma, A&M, Baylor, Indiana and Oklahoma State watched Franklin mid-day. … Miami and SMU sent head coaches for Manuri in the evening. … Hard to fathom but Lorenzo Romar was the lone head coach there for Gaddy and Bradley. John Calipari was traveling and arrived later in the game. Other head coaches were down in Orlando. … Whether is West Virginia or Vegas, Rutgers has been fervently tracking Kyrie Irving. …

There's quite the rumor spreading around town this week. Colin Borchert was mentioned as being close to committing to Maryland. Sources told Scout.com that not only was this not true but that the Terps' pursuit of Borchert was in its infancy stages. Do not expect a commitment anytime soon as we were unable to verity an official scholarship offer to date. … Gaddy wants to narrow down to five after this event ends. …


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