MaxPreps Holiday Classic Recap

Abdul Gaddy, Jeremy Tyler, Brendan Lane and Xavier Johnson were among the top prospects at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in San Diego...

San Diego, Calif. The MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines featured some terrific talent in all classes. Here are my impressions on some of the top prospects in attendance…

Donte Medder, 6-1 PG Mesa (Ariz.) High. Medder was a bit below the radar because he wasn't out much this past spring and summer. However, he's clearly one of the top point guards in the West Coast class of 2009. Good size and frame, very good athlete and a true point. Terrific passer, with very good vision. Adequate shooter and should improve over time. Potentially a very good defender. Still needs to post a test score, but will be highly recruited as long as he's qualified.

Abdul Gaddy, 6-3 PG Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep. The top-rated point guard in the west doesn't have much to work with on his team, but he still managed to put on a show in San Diego. The truest of point guards, Gaddy's shot is solid to the stripe and he got to the rim frequently in the games I saw. But where he really shines is with his ability to get the ball to teammates for scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any high-level players around him and frequently he set up teammates only to have them miss open shots. Gaddy's body is maturing and he's added weight/strength since July. He figures to be an impact player from day one at Washington.

Brendan Lane, 6-9 PF Rocklin (Calif.) High. Lane has always had an excellent frame and he's now starting to fill out. Moves very well for his size, nice length and he's a deceptive athlete. Above average shot-blocker. Very good shooter to the stripe. Low post game is getting better, but he still needs to add more weight and strength before he'll be a force in the paint. May be able to play some five eventually and his versatility will be an asset at UCLA.

Niyi Harrison, 6-7 C San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep. Harrison has good size and athleticism, with a very good approach to the game. Physical inside, but shows a decent touch to 12-15 feet. Not yet a consistent low-post scorer, but shows a good feel and he should eventually become a very good player for Santa Clara.

Colton Christian, 6-6 SF/PF Bellevue (Wash.) High. Fairly bouncy forward with solid frame and decent offensive skills. Didn't see him enough to have a great feel for him, but looked like a potential mid major off one look.

Jeremy Tyler, 6-10 C San Diego (Calif.) High. A potentially dominating post player, Tyler's issues have everything to do with head and approach to the game. He's got the size, athleticism and skill level to eventually be a very high draft pick in the NBA. Where's lacking at times is in his emotional maturity and approach to the game. If he can learn to compete consistently, calm down on the court and just play to win, he can be a big-time player. But far too often he's taken out of the game by peripheral concerns. However, there's no denying his considerable upside if he can ever put it all together.

Dennis Kramer, 6-9 C Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon. Skilled face-up center with an excellent stroke to the stripe. Will likely have offensive skills to play the four in college, but I'm thinking he probably defends a five at the next level. Decent athlete, but good hands and feel for the game. Will likely be recruited at the high major level.

Derrell Swanson, 6-1 SG Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Lakeside. Only got one look at him, but Swanson was impressive in the one game. Nice shot, solid body, good athlete and appeared to have a clue about how to play the game.

Aaron Bright, 5-10 PG Bellevue (Wash.) High. Small point guard with a nice stroke and range on his shot. Fairly good quickness and passing ability. Will likely get looks at mid major level.

Kyle Caudill, 6-10 C Brea (Calif.) Brea Olinda. Caudill is a very big young post in the mold of an Aaron Gray type. He's clearly been working on his body in the last year and the results are starting to show in his performance. He's more nimble than you'd think and he's becoming a very effective low-post scorer. He's got a terrific left hand and prefers to finish with his left. He's also becoming a good shooter out to 15-16 feet. Will never be a high-riser, but his size, skill level and feel for the game will make him one of the elite prospects in his class.

Quintin Lilley, 6-2 SG/SF San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley. Lefty slasher with very good feel for the game. Bit mature, but strong and well put together. Makes good decisions, doesn't force things and a good passer.

Xavier Johnson, 6-5 SF Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral. Easily the best prospect at the event, Johnson has the whole package. Advanced skill level, outstanding feel for the game, a terrific basketball body and above average athleticism. He's one of the best passing freshmen that I've seen. Very unselfish and sees the court extremely well. At a young age, he can make every play on the court that you'd want from a player. He can knock down a jumper, finish at the rim, grab a rebound and lead the break, block a shot or find a teammate for an open shot. It will be a major upset if Johnson is not one of the very elite players in the country for 2012.

Brandon Ashley, 6-6 PF Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Great-looking young forward with length, very good athleticism, advanced skills and feel. He moves very well for a young big and his body has changed dramatically in the last six months. It's possible he's still growing. If he gets a little bigger, he projects as a potential elite prospect.

Richard Longruss, Jr., 6-5 SF Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Another very good-looking young prospect at O'Dowd, Longruss is a bit more mature physically than Ashley. He's got nice offensive skills for a young kid, but he's really impressive as a defender. Good length and excellent lateral quickness. He's got a chance to be a Luc Richard Mbah a Moute type, with the ability to defend multiple positions.

Matt Shrigley, 6-4 SF Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon. Decent body and athleticism, although not real long. But an excellent stroke to the stripe and a very advanced feel. Didn't force anything and made very good decisions. Has some bounce and should become a very good offensive player eventually.


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