Beachball Classic: Day Two Rundown

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – A couple of excellent shooters from the Class of 2011 got after the rims at the Beach Ball Classic. Damien Leonard (pictured), Myles Mack and Michael Taylor were launching jumpers Saturday afternoon.

Ari Stewart, SF, Wheeler: It's been a good season for him thus far. His shots are falling, confidence is where it needs to be and he's impacting games. He and Tahj Tate had 20 apiece. Stewart chipped in with 10 boards.

Kawhi Leonard, PF/SF, ML King: If you erase the 1-for-8 from downtown, then Leonard had an exceptional evening. He's big and can hoop inside. We know he's an able deep shooter who had an off night. He's caught in position limbo, which means he made a good choice in avoiding the Pac-10. A worker, it won't take him long to contribute at San Diego State. 23 points, 18 rebounds.

Paris Bennett, PF, St. Patrick: In the first half when Michael Gilchrist encountered foul trouble, Bennett found his mojo. He turned in the kind of game he'll be asked to play at George Mason. Bennett worked his way to 21 points and 9 rebounds. He's a guy that is best when he's in work mode. Nothing pretty or fancy, merely a blue-collar effort.

Kevin Thomas, PF, Pickering: Competitive guy who worked his tail off against Wheeler before fouling out. Every bit of 6-foot-7 with a nice ceiling for improvement. He had 15 points and only missed a single shot. The deal with this kid is if he grows, the big dogs will be there. He's got feel as a passer and excellent touch around the hoop. He'll start off as a big time mid level lock that must be followed closely because of his attributes and potential. Liked him a lot.

Myles Mack, PG, Paterson Catholic: The long term vision for him must come at the point which is a transition from his off guard slot. His single most effective tool now is the jump shot and his was dialed in against St. Patrick. Finished with 20 points and five 3s.

Damien Leonard, SG, JL Mann: He's got a license to tee it up and let it fly behind the arc. Generally, when it leaves his hand you feel like it's going in. The next steps as a prospect are the addition of strength and a middle game. He already moves well left to right into his shot. If he adds the shot fake and mid-range pull-up he'll be that much more effective. High-major perimeter threat. His 6-4 frame doesn't hurt either. He had 28 and connected on seven triples.

Michael Taylor, SG, Boys & Girls: Constant motion. Has the gait, mindset and ability to be a very successful shooter. Runs off screens, catch and shoot, he's an impressive young wing. Looks like a tough kid who values winning. There's a whole lot to like with this kid. Earned 21 points, five 3-pointers and had six assists. Yesterday we didn't know about him today, well, that's a different story.

Thomas Gipson, C, Cedar Hill: Pretty simple formula for the big fella. He stood his ground inside, scored when they tossed it to him and he converted 11 of his 16 chances for 22 points and 13 boards. Big kid, good size. Now we'll have him on the hard watching for the skill development.

Kyle Anderson, TBD, Paterson Catholic: This kid is going to grow and change so much in the next few years. A point guard as a youth, he could go that route. However, he's got a body that may actually grow out of the position and he could one day find himself cast as a point forward (aka versatile SF). He's an exciting prospect with tons of potential and upside. It'll be fun watching the pieces come together. Being tossed into a national setting at this level is an adjustment and learning experience that will help him get better.

Coastal Carolina's Cliff Ellis was front and center for Stacy Wilson of Mullins. … Bobby Cremins and Darrin Horn were in town watching Wheeler junior Phil Taylor. … Horn was there for Damien Leonard. … Villanova watched Michael Taylor. …

Stacy Wilson said Coastal Carolina leads SC-Upstate, Radford and Francis Marion. … Kudos to UConn. The Huskies are the only school that has reached out to Kevin Thomas. … Michael Taylor has heard from Villanova, South Florida, Central Florida, Oklahoma State, Siena and VCU. …

Stacy Wilson could earn a scholarship this week. Wilson's wing, a hybrid SF and SG in college, will walk out of this event with interest from plenty of regional lower tier programs. He hit for 25, including 5-for-6 from downtown. … Pickering wing Jonathan Tull is a Division I prospect. A few more games at the Beachball and maybe someone will take notice. … 13 & 7 for Richard Howell. …

Ouch. Elliott County, are you seated? Shot 4-for-33 behind the 3-point arc. … The Faulkner Bros. combined for 27 points. Evan Faulkner is a cerebral guard with grit. We'll bet he's a coach following his Radford career. Ethan is the lesser regarded of the pair but had a bigger impact today. He's a candidate for a lower level schollie as a point in a system oriented attack. …

Leonard shoots it with a high release which makes it tough to block shots. Won't have any problem getting his jumper off. … Cedar Hill's Shawn Glover, a Utah signee, wasn't particularly active. However, you can see the length and athleticism that attracted Utah this forward. Eight points, seven rebounds, 3 blocks. …

Don't be fooled. The St. Patrick team you see today won't be the same one you encounter at the end of the season. Once Kyrie Irving returns in mid-January after sitting out per transfer rules, the makeup of St. Pat's backcourt changes. Irving gives Kevin Boyle a dynamic scorer and steady handler. Take aim now because this team changes in three weeks. …

Head Coaches: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina; Bobby Cremins, College of Charleston; Darrin Horn, South Carolina.

Assistants: Coastal Carolina, Elon, College of Charleston, South Carolina, Villanova, Rutgers.


  • Mullins 65, Socastte 56
  • Cedar Hill 63, Elliott County 53
  • Boys & Girls 71, JL Mann 56
  • Wheeler 74, Pickering 68
  • ML King 56, Myrtle Beach 48
  • St. Patrick 64, Paterson Catholic 57

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