In games taking place at the same time, on courts lined up one after the other California Supreme bested Boo Williams by one at the buzzer in a double overtime thriller while I-5 Elite beat the Albany City Rocks at the buzzer (in overtime) and Each 1 Teach 1 survived yet another overtime thriller with a two point win over the Arkansas Wings. The only non overtime quarterfinal was won by Louisiana Select over Baltimore Elite in a two point game that didn't get decided until the final five seconds. Wow!
As if that wasn't enough, the day allowed us time to drop in some action in both the 15 and 16U divisions.
Terrence Jones, PF/SF, I-5 Elite- It's been a huge spring for the highly versatile and skilled forward from Portland. Point blank, the kid is a winner who causes mismatches whenever he's on the floor. The lefty can handle, passes at a high level, knocks down some perimeter shots and is dangerous in the post. He's already got two state titles under his belt on the high school level and he'll be looking to add a major grassroots crown on Monday. His runner at the buzzer in overtime of I-5's win over the City Rocks crawled around the rim for a good two seconds before dropping through the net and setting off a massive celebration for the crew from Portland.
T.J. Taylor, SG/PG, Team Texas- Oklahoma scored themselves a solid recruit in the Texan. A solidly built combo guard, he isn't flashy, but he's certainly effective and contributes all over the floor. He's got the strength to absorb contact and finish on nifty drives and floaters in the lane, is capable of getting after it on defense and knocks down just enough jumpers to keep defenders honest.
Jordan Latham, PF, Baltimore Elite- Will Barton and Josh Selby had big days again and are going to get lots of headlines, but don't sleep on Latham. An athletic insider who has added some muscle mass, he gets off the floor quickly to convert on slams, drop in jump hooks and snare rebounds with two hands well above the rim.
Brandon Knight, PG/SG, E1T1- Pushing the 40 point barrier in the quarterfinals, Knight did what he does best all day. Using his superior speed off the dribble, he attacked defenses in straight lines and scored on a dizzying array of pull-up jumpers from three, strong finishes at the cup and all points in between. A very capable playmaker and defender, he did jack some shots at times. Thanks to his added strength, he's capable of bulldozing anybody who gets in his way when his speed and ability to change directions on the fly fail him.
Tobias Harris, PF, Albany City Rocks- A self described face up four man, Harris brings a wealth of skill and savvy to the offensive end of the floor. He plays the angles, anticipates rebounds and is extremely dangerous in the high post. When he decides to mix it up, he's got an underrated ability to finish and draw trips to the line despite what a relatively lean build.
Andre Dawkins, SG, Boo Williams- Few, if any, players in the class of 2010 are armed with a more structurally sound and effective jumper than Dawkins. Not only does he smoke jumpers from deep, he hits them in clutch situations. His three in the final seconds of a first round playoff game moved Boo into the quarters where he put together a masterful 34 point outing in a gut wrenching loss. A big time athlete, his leaning one handed jam during the final minutes of a double overtime thriller had to be seen to be believed. As his game off the bounce catches up to the rest of his skill set, look out.
Gary Franklin, PG, California Supreme- The thing that Franklin really looks to be understanding is that can always find ways put the ball through the net. With that in mind, he's become much more proficient as a distributor and has really developed as a leader on the floor. He'll still launch a head scratching 24 foot set shot from time to time, but they are a lot easier to swallow when he's doing so much to lead his team and they are winning with consistency in tight ballgames.
DeMarcus Harrison, SG/SF, Carolina Ravens- He's got length, a stroke that is good to the three point line and high level athleticism. Mixing in a few drives, Harrison also showed more ability to score off the bounce and through contact than in past viewings. As he adds confidence and consistency, there's plenty of room for him to grow as a prospect.
Kendall Marshall, PG, Boo Williams- After a rough stretch during the afternoon, he showed some serious onions during Boo's quarterfinal loss. His jumper is being delivered much quicker and with a higher release point. Speaking more specifically, he's mastered two particular skills that we wish more point guards would focus on. One, he advances the ball with the pass instead of the dribble as well as anybody in the country. Two, he comes to hard jump stops in between 10 and 17 feet and looks off defenders before burying mid range jumpers.
Gerard Coleman, SG, BABC- He and his team lost a tough one to Baltimore Elite in the first round of the playoffs and nobody took it harder than Coleman. A natural scorer,he combines athleticism and crafty shot creating off the bounce. When the jumper is falling, he's a load on the offensive end and clear high major talent.
James McAdoo, PF, Boo Williams- A studly hybrid four man, the work McAdoo has put in developing his body is clear. Much more physical on the interior than even just a few months ago, he's ripping down boards on both ends and finishing through contact and above the rim. While he's got the skill to put in work facing up out to 15 feet, it's his growing focus on setting up inside first that is really serving him well. During some rough stretches, he was the entire offense.
Angel Nunez, SF, Gauchos 16's- While his team didn't have quite enough in the tank to pull off a tightly fought battle with a solid Arkansas Wings squad, this lengthy wing was electric at times. A fine handler with near 6-foot-7 size, Nunez is quick off the dribble, can finish above the rim, shows some skill as a passer and shoots a pretty high arcing shot when he sets his feet and gets a clean look at the hoop. Quick and agile for his size, he's bonafide high major prospect.
Rod Days, PF/SF, Team Florida 16's- A superb run and jump athlete who can sky above the tin and finish with slams, Days shows plenty of promise. He hustles from one end of the floor to the other, is quite quick along the baseline and looked good while knocking down a few medium range jumpers. The skinny athlete is already drawing long looks from high majors and deservedly so.
Austin Rivers, PG/SG, E1T1- We wrote on Saturday that things could get ugly once he and Knight got on the same page and it was something to see during those stretches that they did on Sunday. Before fouling out in the quarters, Rivers pushed the 30 point mark and crushed one Arkansas Wings defender so badly with a hesitation, crossover, floater combo that was so nasty anybody watching needed ice for their ankles. A big time scorer, his skill with the ball in his hands is without question. Now, it's just a matter of working on shot selection and getting the big guys involved just a little more.
Aaron Ross, PF/SF, Arkansas Wings 16's- Being cautious, we're still going to list Ross as a combo forward. However, the early Arkansas commitment played exclusively on the wing Sunday and looked quite good doing so. He rained in pretty looking jumpers from beyond the three point line, used his strength to finish drives and dominated for long stretches on the offensive end.
Isaiah Austin, PF, Team Texas Elite 2012- We were able to drop in on his afternoon game just long enough to verify what we learned a few weeks ago at the Jayhawk Invitational, this kid is a potential big timer. Incredibly long, agile and skilled for his size and age, his size changes the game even when he isn't directly involved in plays. As he learns to compete on every play and adds strength it's going to get ugly for those looking to slow him down.
Nerlens Noel, PF, BABC 15's- It's good thing that this toothpick skinny insider was inside hooping because one of the stiff breezes of the afternoon's thunderstorms could have blow him away. Lack of bulk aside, this youngster can run, has terrific hands and already scores with a pretty good amount of skill on the interior.
Next weekend Harrison Barnes will be in California for the Pangos camp. While he's on the west coast, Barnes told us that he'll be fitting in unofficial visits to both UCLA and Stanford. … Today will be the last time that we list South Carolina wing DeMarcus Harrison under our 2010 checklist. According to South Carolina Ravens program director Dion Bethea, the 6-foot-4 wing has completed paperwork to enroll at the Christ School in Arden, N.C. and will be reclassified as a member of the class of 2011. …
It's with extreme caution that we list anybody from the class of 2013 in any of our reports, but it's impossible not to notice the advanced size and perimeter game of Houston Defenders twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Joining them as an advanced 2013 talent on that squad is 6-foot-6 combo forward Derek Griffin who is already a very high level athlete. … Yet another young big man catching our eye was Darion Atkins of Team Takeover's 16 and under crew. A lean and agile 6-foot-8 power forward, Atkins can motor up and down the floor, moves fluidly in the lane and did an outstanding job on the glass while we watched. Would have loved to have seen what he could do with a few touches on the offenisve end. … We're pretty sure that west coast high majors are going to keep a very close eye on the development of Friends of Hoop newcomer John Gage. New to the grassroots circuit, the slender and skilled 6-foot-9 forward was much more aggressive on Sunday after a quiet day on Saturday. He lacks strength and is adjusting to playing against guys who are as big and athletic as he is, but he's got a picture perfect stroke to the three point line, moves extremely well and looks to have a very high basketball IQ. …
There's no secrets when it comes to what Team Texas PG Phil Pressey can do while running a team. However, it's hard not to be encouraged by the steps he's taking on the defensive end where he's learning to use his exceptional quickness and fast hands to cause major problems when he really locks in. … While they don't feature any "star" players, the Arkansas Wings 17's group is an awful lot of fun to watch. They scrap, play together and employ a frenetic style on both ends that is similar to the one that Mike Anderson's Missouri squad used to work their way into the Elite 8 during the NCAA Tourney. It's hard not to enjoy watching them play and they are going to attract a lot of regional coaching staffs come July. … I-5 Elite PG Kenny Acker is positioning himself to have a very interesting July. A speedy ball handler who doesn't make very many mistakes, the six foot floor general is establishing himself as a priority mid to upper mid level prospect who is going to draw some looks from BCS conference programs. There's little that he does that doesn't have a purpose and he's emerging as a sleeper prospect. …
Thanks to his bucket at the buzzer -- courtesy of a GREAT look from Keith Shamburger -- athletic wing Clifford Sims moved California Supreme into Monday's semifinals. A super energy guy, the 6-foot-4 wing is a high level athlete who has some serious fight and scrap in his game. Cali Supreme went small and quick to claw their way back into their quarterfinal game against Boo Williams and his effort level didn't go without notice. … Perhaps the dunk of the weekend was thrown down by Josh Selby who rose from just outside of the lane off of one foot and posterized a BABC defender while hammering home a powerful right handed jam while being fouled. The dunk sent fans dancing onto the court and changed the momentum of the Baltimore Elite crew's comeback win against BABC. …
Team Texas wing Ricky Scott rattled off a school list that included Texas Tech, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas State, Memphis, SMU and others. … Gerard Coleman is listing Clemson, Providence, Connecticut, Louisville and Marquette. … Jordan Latham mentioned Xavier, Marquette, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Arizona as those most involved with his recruitment. … Versatile Boo Williams wing Brian Richardson mentioned Clemson, Arizona State, UNC Wilmington, Auburn, South Carolina, Virginia and Missouri as suitors. …
Atlanta Hawk and Portland native Thomas Gardner was on hand Sunday to cheer on Portland based I-5 Elite. Also dropping in to catch the Mac Irvin Fire during a consolation game was Miami Heat forward Shawn Marion.