Ethan Jacobs, C, Spiece – Despite not playing a ton in Spiece's blowout win over the Georgia Blazers, Jacobs, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound big man showed some ability. His size and ability to get up and down the floor makes him a guy that schools in the Horizon League and Mid-American Conference should peak at. We didn't see much offensively, but he blocked a fair amount of shots.
Desmond Simmons, PF, Drew Gooden Soldiers – At 6-foot-7, Simmons, a power forward, is active, athletic and has the ability to face up defenders and knock down jumpers. He's capable of putting it on the deck for a few dribbles, but primarily scores off jumpers or put backs on the offensive glass. His frame is solid, and it looks like he'll be able to add some strength to it pretty easily.
Andre Stringer, PG, Jackson Tigers – Small in size, but built strong, the 5-foot-10 guard gets every ounce of talent out of his frame. Where Stringer really gets it going is from three. He's got deep, deep range on his jumper and when he shoots it off the catch he's knocking them down at a good rate. He's quick and tough to keep in front, but because of his size he doesn't have many attempts at the rim. He sees the court pretty well and has the look of a high major point guard.
Will Barton, SF, Nike Baltimore Elite – In the first half against Louisiana Select Barton was getting buckets by attacking the rim and getting out in transition. The second frame he got hot from long range and buried at least five three-pointers. During the win he dropped 30 points, and showed just how versatile he is. Barton, a 6-foot-6 wing, has great vision, nice touch on his passes and is a quality defender that uses his length to his advantage. Clearly not a one hit wonder; Barton wowed the crowed at his night game and seemingly scored at will. His stock is on the rise!
Jon Graham, PF, Nike Balitmore Elite – Graham is much improved since last June, when we last saw him. It appears that he's grown an inch and he seems more active inside. The 6-foot-8 power forward worked the glass hard for offensive rebounds and put back opportunities. He's calm when he gets it on the block and makes quick, direct post moves. Defensively he got his hands on some shots and aggressively tried to snag every rebound in his area.
DeShaun Thomas, PF, Spiece – We've seen Thomas play primarily inside and we've seen him play more of a face up role, and he can be effective doing both. With that said, if he combined the two more, he would be virtually unstoppable offensively. Inside he uses head fakes and the ability to finish with either hands to score, while on the outside he's got a solid handle, can create space and has range on his jumper.
Brandon Peters, SG, Houston Hoops – It's pretty amazing what Peters can do at just 6-foot-1. The Houston (Tex.) Yates standout has major hops and loves slashing to the basket. Although small in height, he likes to draw contact and in the air and has no problem finishing with it. We only saw him shoot a few jumpers, one from three and a few from mid-range.
Reggie Smith, SG/PG, Mac Irvin Fire – There's not many times that a team's highflying act is led off by a 6-foot-2 guard. But like Peters, of the Houston Hoops, Smith is a guy that attacks the rim aggressively and finishes well above the rim once he gets there. In their loss to Houston Hoops, Smith showed an ability to adjust his shot and finish with contact.
Smith, however, is more than just a high flyer. Throughout the day Smith attacked the tin and used his strength and superior athleticism to finish once in the air. We haven't seen him shoot it much, so we are guessing that may be an area for improvement. Either way he's got a chance to be a high major player.
Isaiah Epps, PG, Playaz – Led by Epps the Playaz made it to the Gold Division tournament and through their first half against E1T1 Elite they were looking good because of Epps' ability to shoot the ball. He's a solid shooter to 22-feet and he showed that as he buried a handful of pull jumpers. The southpaw has good, not great speed, but a solid handle and a nice floater in the lane.
Brandon Knight & Austin Rivers (2011), PG, E1T1 Elite – You'd be hard pressed to find a better guard than either of these two in the country, so throw them on the same team and roll out the balls and you've got yourself a fun tandem to watch. Rivers hit a handful of threes early on, then Knight took the baton and buried at least four in the second frame. Both guys are great leaders, can go off the bounce for buckets and have no problem getting in the lane.
Brad Beal, SG, St. Louis Eagles – Solidly built, Beal, a 6-foot-3 scoring guard, had it working to the tune of 24 points in his morning game. The form on his jump shot is picture perfect and he drained at least three three-pointers. When he attacks the rim, he uses great body control and knows how to use his frame to shield defenders. The hype on him has been well deserved.
Marquis Teague, PG, Spiece – Over the past three months we've seen Teague a handful of times, but this was by far his best effort. Getting in the lane seemed easy for him, and once he was there he either drew defenders and tossed out assists or dropped in a floater in the lane. Quickness, ball handling and body control are all strengths for Teague, and he had all three on full display against the Georgia Blazers. Did we mention he knocked in a pair of pull-up jumpers? Shooting is supposed to be his weakness. Against Boo Williams, he had the dunk of the day, as he sized of 6-foot-5 Justin Anderson in transition and hammered on him with authority.
Kentavious Caldwell, SG, Georgia Blazers – Making deep three-pointers is what this 6-foot-5 wing appears to do best. His size and length is great for the two spot and he can heat up from deep in a hurry. He doesn't put the ball on the deck much, but he did knock down a step-in 22-footer and had a left-handed finish at the rim.
Nick Johnson, PG, Drew Gooden Soldiers – Word got out about this 6-foot-1 lead guard yesterday, and in his morning game he was nothing short of stellar. His ball handling may need some tightening, but his approach, feel and vision are all top notch. Form on his jump shot looks good and he's a sneaky good athlete that finishes well once he gets to the rim.
Johnny O'Bryant, C, Jackson Tigers – After a relatively quiet first half, O'Bryant woke up and showed why many recruiting gurus are so high on the 6-foot-10, 220-pound big man. Active, aggressive and athletic are three words to describe his game. He posts on the block hard, and makes quick, precise moves once he gets the ball inside. While he did most of his scoring near the basket, he has a face up jumper in the arsenal as well.
Michael Gilchrist, SF, Team Final – Arguably the nation's top sophomore leaves his handprint on the game in so many ways. At 6-foot-7 he's got great size for the wing spot, and is capable of playing in the paint or stepping out and attacking from the perimeter. His length is a plus, as is his athleticism.
The St. Patrick standout loves to cross right to left and finished with a thunderous slam using the move late in the game against Houston Hoops. Scoring isn't a problem, as he's wired to get buckets whether he attacks off the bounce, spotting up for jumpers or working the paint for put backs.
Ladarius White, SF, Jackson Tigers – For a freshman, White has an impressive skill set. Although he spent some time playing on the ball, he has the look of a future high major wing. He's got solid form on his jumper, and he proved it's true to at least 22-feet.
Trenell Bell, PF, Meanstreets 15's – Already standing 6-foot-7, Bell is fairly aggressive on both ends. Inside he's capable of half hooks with his right hand and on a number of occasions he bodied up with a defender for a bucket. His length caused problems for the opposition, and he proved to be a talented rebounder in and out of his area.
J-Mychal Reese & L.J. Rose, PG, Houston Hoops – For playing 17's as freshman these two are very impressive. Reese, a 6-foot lefty, uses hesitations and head fakes to keep defenders of balance and has a solid handle. Rose, who stands 6-foot-1, shot it better on this day. Like Reese, he handles the ball well and showed a nice mid-range game, as well as an ability to knock down deep jumpers consistently. With these two in their program and playing up in the 17's division, the Hoops will be steady at the guard position for quite some time.
Jordan Latham, a 6-foot-9 big man, was committed to Xavier. But since Sean Miller is off to Arizona, Latham has opted to open it back up. He's already heard from a number of high major programs.
Michael Taylor, of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Boys & Girls, is a 6-foot-2 combo guard that is wired up to score. He knocked in some threes and worked out from mid-range before heading to the bench with a technical foul. Darren Daniel, of the Georgia Blazers, is a D-I prospect. He shot the ball fairly well on Saturday. Daniel's teammate, Tim Dixon, has the look of a promising high major prospect. He's already 6-foot-10 and runs the floor extremely well.
Jabari Brown, a combo guard out of Oakland (Calif.) Salesian, played pretty well in the Oakland Soliders game against the Jackson Tigers. He uses his strong frame well and attacked the rim. Eighth grader Alex Foster has a bright future ahead of him. Already a 6-foot-7, possibly 6-foot-8, power forward, Foster, who plays with Meanstreets 15's, can score inside and has a nice set of hands.
Markel Brown, a 2010 standout at Alexandria (La.) Peabody, has high level hops. He plays a slasher role and likes to finish well above the rim. Brown's teammate Ricardo Gathers is a 6-foot-6 well built freshman that gets up and down the floor and clears space with his wide frame. He's one to keep an eye on for the future.
Jordan Latham is out for a few weeks. He did a MRI on his knee last week. Freshman Jaylen Beckham is one of the primary reason Hoop Dreams made it out of pool play in first place. Tamron Manning a freshman as well, was a big help too.
Meyers Leonard was back at it on day two. The athletic big man had the right jump hook working on Saturday. Leonard's teammate Jereme Richmond is one of the best wings in the country. He's got the full package, as he's athletic, can shoot it and attacks well off the bounce.