Here's our take on some of the prospects at the PowerAde Holiday Prep Classic.
Lorenzo Wade, 6-5 SR SG Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne. Showed once again that he has as good an upside as any player in the West Coast class of 2003. In a match-up with Oak Hill Friday night, Wade was the best prospect on the court. He scored from inside and out, rebounded, blocked shots and made several excellent passes. When he gets serious about defense, and gets in a stance, not too many guys will score on him. Academics are reportedly a concern, so he may end up at a prep school next year. But 2-3 years from now look for him to have a big impact at a high major program.
Mark Hill, 6-5 SR PF Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Hill has lost weight since the summer and it's helped his game considerably. He's got a nice stroke out to about twenty feet, quick feet, good hands and he's an excellent passer. He put on a show Thursday night -- finding people all over the court, snatching rebounds and abusing guys inside. Mid majors should be all over this guy and, possibly, some high majors as well.
Antonio Porch, 6-6 SR SF Denver (Col.) Denver East. Porch showed an improved outside stroke throughout the tournament. He's still very slender, and needs to get stronger, but he's also long and a fairly good athlete. Better catching and shooting than off the dribble. He will rebound and competed well in the games we saw. A good prospect at the low to mid level.
Quentin Thomas, 6-2 JR PG Oakland (Calif.) Oakland Tech. Thomas had some great and not-so-great moments in the tournament, but we think he'll be fine in the long run. He's got a great body, good quickness, great vision and feel, and a solid outside shot. Oakland Tech is a very poorly coached team. We think Thomas will cut down on any bad habits -- jumping in the lane, poor defensive technique -- once he gets some real coaching.
Bryce Taylor, 6-3 JR SG North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. Taylor looks a little better physically than he did in the summer -- slightly more toned and trim -- and he showed that he's among the top scorers in the west. He's a great shooter, who can rain threes all day long, but also hit the mid-range shot. He's ok at creating his own shot, but better coming off picks. Defensively, he still needs to work harder. In fact, the rest of his game -- other than scoring -- could use work. However, he's very, very good at that one thing and he figures to draw lots of high major attention because of it.
Kashif Watson, 6-2 SO PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. The younger brother of Tennessee freshman PG C.J. Watson, Kashif is quite a prospect himself. In fact, he's better than C.J. was at the same stage. Kashif has a great bball body -- strong, wiry and long -- and he's a more explosive athlete than C.J. He's also a more aggressive and confident player as a sophomore. Kashif has a solid outside stroke. He is explosive and quick, with the ability to play the passing lanes well on defense. His decisions and skills need refinement -- handle is just ok, doesn't use his left, gets out of control at times -- but there is a big upside here. With continued improvement, a likely high major player.
Lamar Falley, 6-3 JR PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Durango. Falley is probably more of a combo than pure point right now, but there's no denying that he's extremely talented. A very good shooter -- off the catch or dribble -- Falley is very smooth with the ball. He doesn't have a particularly great bball frame, and he's a good, not great, athlete. However, he is very skilled at the offensive end. Played off the ball for Durango, but showed the ball skills and feel to probably end up at point guard. He has a little too much junk in his game at this stage but, with coaching, should be a very nice prospect in a couple years.