Keith Appling, SG, Mich. Mustangs: When you net 49 in the state title game and the program you commit to play for is coming off the national title, there's always going to be a buzz. On Saturday, Appling delivered the goods. The boys from Team Philly are a seasoned crew and Appling hung 36 points on them. Plus, for a guy who's not reputed to be a shooter, the jumper was on the mark this time. The strength of his game is getting in the paint and finding the rim. Down the stretch, he got to the goal at will. As is the case with Appling, there was another big moment. He got a board, sliced his way to the other end, rose up and crushed a dunk over a defender. It was a winning player by an elite level guard to seal a victory.
Jereme Richmond, SF, Mac Irvin Fire: With his body cramping up, Richmond headed for the sidelines in a playoff game. He missed the entire third quarter and kept telling himself "eight more minutes." Well, in the final stanza Richmond's mid-post game was silly good. He has few peers in that area and is super at raising up and hitting jumpers in the post. Richmond finished with 26 points but his club lost in the final seconds. We didn't see the game but heard the buzz about a morning effort in which he completely took over. Good weekend for a Top 10 prospect.
Meyers Leonard, C, Mac Irvin: Playing with his new AAU team has given him a confidence and toughness boost. However, he's still learning how to harness the talent each time out. Leonard is beginning (he's not there yet) to feel himself as a prospect, which is a good sign. In the early contest we watched he was active as a rejecter, made a face up and was vocal. Later in the day, things didn't work out so well as his coaches deemed him not ready to play and his minutes were sliced. Leonard has Top 25 talent, that much we are convinced of. Is he a Top 25 player or prospect? Not yet. The ball's in his court and how good he can be is a question only he can answer.
Will Spradling, PG, K.C. MoKan: If you're not the fastest or the biggest guy, you've got to come with other options and Spradling has an assortment. He's got a bailout runner, a baseline floater and the toughness to make it all work. With eight seconds left against Mac Irvin, Spradling straddled the line and knocked down the two most important free throws of the contest.
Vander Blue, SG, Ill. Warriors: Going to bring another dimension to the Badgers attack. His game is predicated on size and the ability to get in the paint. Once he's headed toward the goal, Blue is a good creator for himself and good enough passer to be versatile. You can throw him alley oops and he'll be a strong option in the Big Ten. Good high-major wing with combo capabilities in time.
Brandon Spearman, SG, Ill. Warriors: Vastly improved since last year he's a lock mid-major who will certainly gain his share of high-major admirers. Competitive, talkative and savvy, Spearman is a winning oriented guy. He's a good player mid-range and in.
Jameer Hanner, PF, Team Philly: Gotta love those long guys with big wing spans. The 6-7 power forward brought the 8 a.m. energy to his squad. Looks like he can run all day and rebound in traffic. Good mid-level player.
Ralph Hill, PF/SF, CBIZ: In him the Flyers see the potential to play some small forward and an undersized four man with a solid hoops IQ.
James McAdoo, PF, Boo: If it was your first time watching McAdoo you might have wondered if he was right or left-landed! It was bright and early when we caught his act and he was getting bucket. He attacked the mismatches and went for 20+ in his first game. Later in the afternoon he caught our attention again. No big surprise here as McAdoo is one of the elite players in the 2011 class. Nothing flashy and he draws little overt attention to himself. He's fundamentally sound, a major producer and reliable in any setting.
Ryan Taylor, SF/SG, Spiece Fast Break: The U of L commit has bounce and he did it a few different ways in the morning. With a little fire in the belly he showed range, solid athleticism and a slashing style.
Michael Chandler, C, Spiece Fast Break: Another high ceiling guy in the parade of young bigs we watched on Saturday. Chandler looks young and room to grow his game in a large frame. A good sign is that he's already chasing rebounds out of his area.
Nnana Egwu, C, Illinois Wolves: A few seasons ago he was wandering the halls at St. Ignatius and was asked to try out for the hoops team. Well, it hasn't taken long for that conversation to pay dividends as big schools are beginning to ask him to join their team. He was the aggressor against Amir Williams and looked improved in the two games we watched. The bespectacled big's size catches your eye and the mid-range jumper and blocked shots hold your attention.
Amir Williams, C, The Family: He's pushing 6-10 and his coach said don't let the young innocent looking big man fool you. Definitely needs to be more assertive on offense but the raw materials are there. For now, he takes good care of his area.
Dee Davis, PG, Indiana Elite 16s: If you're comfortable with sub six-footers at the point, then Davis is a kid you'll definitely enjoy watching. He sports a defensive back's mentality and toughness. Wants the ball when it counts and his quickness is a calling card.
Jacob Williams, SF, Illinois Wolves: After sitting out last season per transfer rules, Williams has much to prove over the course of the summer. His first step is decisive and quick. His tools at the small forward position will get coaches in the gym and give him a chance to showcase his abilities.
A.J. Hammonds, C, Indy Heat 15s: This guy is just scratching the surface. He's 6-foot-10, doesn't get a ton of touches but knows what to do with it when he catches around the goal. Like the fact that he's willing to go out of area for rebounds. Should be an elite high-major big man.
Hanner Perea, PF, Indiana Elite 15s: This native of Columbia is long and athletic. We only caught a glimpse. However, he put it on the deck, attacked and hammered home his point.
Dejuan Marrero, SF, Indy Heat 15s: This is a loaded squad with no less than three kids who are tracking as high-major prospects. Marrero is a live-bodied three man who competes and can wear it out from mid-range. His running mate Raphael Davis, a shooter with a burst, ain't too shabby either. This team is laced with young talent. No big surprise that they seemingly take turns in the limelight.
You don't have to worry about playing time on Team Philly. Lonnie Lowry, a player's coach, only brought six guys. … Travis McKie brought great energy in Boo's first game. He was efficient with his offense and had good energy. … The Family's young team is propelled by the scorers mindset of wing Carlton Brundage. … Indiana Elite sophomore Austin Etherington has size, savvy and a stroke. …
Mac Irvin's 15-and under team is mainly 8th graders. The guy is Tommy Hamilton, he's 6-8, shoots 3s. We certainly aren't your homebase for hyping pre-high school kids but this is one you're going to need to know. His father was a 7-foot legend from Chicago. … Tony Wroten connected on a pair of game-winning free throws for Rotary. … George Marshall, a 2011 point man, is the fuel for the young Warriors engine. Well built, he looks like he can get it behind the line and going to the rack. …
Team Florida Elite has a pair of young players with mid level potential. The biggest ceiling belongs to 6-6 power forward Kasey Wilson who's tough and has touch. Reshawn Rembert, a shooting guard, is a good athlete with a player's body. … Aside from having a compact stroke, Spradling is almost always ready shoot when it swings his way. He catches and gets his shot up very quickly. …
Chasson Randle can get to the rim and finish. The next step is developing a commanding presence at the point. … Spiece MoKan's Frank Williams made at least five 3-pointers. Presently he doesn't have any offers. This weekend should remedy that situation. …
John Manning has George Mason, Virginia Tech, Georgetown and N.C. State tracking him. … Jameer Hanner hears from Georgetown, William & Mary and Temple. … Juanya Green gets steady contact out of Villanova, Temple, Maryland and St. Joseph's. We think a few have offered already. ...
Amir Williams has an offer from Michigan plus interest from Notre Dame, UCLA, Michigan State, Miami and Oklahoma. … Brandon Spearman said Dayton is on him the hardest with offers from Nevada, Baylor, Illinois State, Valpo and Iowa State. Xavier is looking. … Kyle Cain is likely to do a prep season. Southern Illinois and DePaul are knocking on his door. …
Jacob Williams is entertaining interest from Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa State and Oregon. … Frank Williams is getting hit up by Wichita State, Drake, Creighton, Iowa State, Oregon State and Missouri State. … Sophomore Austin Etherington hears from Butler, Indiana, Purdue and Northwestern. Xavier took the plunge and recently offered. …