Hoop Jamboree: The Wings

ST. LOUIS – The best wings in the building, Kentavious Caldwell (pictured) and P.J. Hairston, gave the Nike Hoop Jamboree plenty of pop.

Unfortunately at the Nike Hoop Jamboree, the injury bug bit some of the top backcourt players. For example, Marquis Rankin was well on his way to distinguishing himself as the premier point guard at the event until a nasty ankle sprain sent him to the trainer's table. Meanwhile, small forward Branden Dawson sustained an injury that while threatening to sideline him, he was able to fight through and emerge as the best backcourt board man at the camp.


Marquis Rankin, 2011 (N.C.) – Though he was able to only play in one session, it was a superior effort. Rankin has elite level speed, big time court vision and will be recognized this summer as one of the top players in his class at the position.

Naadir Tharpe, 2011 (Mass.) – If there was a better overall floor general at the event, we didn't see him. Tharpe had command of his team, was able to keep defenders honest with his jumper and showed increased maturity at his position.

Shannon Scott, 2011 (Ga.) – You can tell the guys who take pride in what they do on defense and Scott's one of those guys. A true team-first point man, he's the extension of a coach on the floor.

Tracy Abrams, 2011 (Ill.) – Of all the points in camp minus Rankin, he was probably best at getting to the cup. A check into his DNA would reveal an attacking, drive it deep point man. If he can balance scoring with finding guys on the drive and kick, lookout.

Shane Larkin, 2011 (Fla.) – The son of former major league all-star shortstop Barry Larkin, Shane is working on the transition from scorer to point guard. He's not there yet but he has the materials to make the conversion. A year from now he'll be a guy who can shoot it and a set up man rolled into a scoring lead guard.

Be On The Lookout For: Darrell Longstreet, 2011 (Wisc.), Shaquille Boga, 2011 (Mo.), Jabari Hinds, 2011 (N.Y.), Trey Burke, 2011 (Ohio)


P.J. Hairston, 2011 (N.C.) – An ace behind the arc, Hairston's scoring ruled this camp. He dramatically improved on last year's Hoop Jam performance and as a result was one of the three top overall prospects at the event.

Kentavious Caldwell, 2011 (Ga.) – Seems like he's only scratching the surface. Love the stroke, defensive ability and body type. Strong argument was made to be included among the handful of best players in the building.

Sheldon McClellan, 2011 (Tex.) – The Longhorns have a gem in this kid. He's excellent off the bounce, has tremendous size and a big ceiling. As much upside as any of the wing guards. Effortless at times.

Jabari Brown, 2011 (Calif.) – Since the spring he's grown into this position and looks comfortable. His best outing since April by far and he's had some good ones. Love his ability to get to the rim and shot is tracking better.

Carlton Brundage, 2011 (Mich.) – He's a tough customer off the drive and as a finisher. Simply put he's a scorer and that mentality permeates throughout his game.

Achraf Yacoubou, 2011 (N.Y.) – Started out faster than anyone behind the arc. One of the top marksmen in camp. Needs to diversify his arsenal but has the size, ability to keep rising.

Be On The Lookout For: Ladarius White, 2012 (Miss.), Myles Mack, 2011 (N.J.), Darius Perkins, 2011 (Fla.)


Branden Dawson, 2011 (Ind.) – No question who the best rebounding wing at camp was. Dawson's body was a big asset as he was relentless on the glass and very good from mid-range. Played through a hand injury and constantly impressed.

Deuce Bello, 2011 (N.C.) – The best leaper at camp played a good portion of the time looking down through the rims at the Simon Rec Center. An elite athlete, he's a rythym shooter who needs to round out his skill set but has a high ceiling.

Aaron Ross, 2011 (Ark.) – Seems to be making a position transition and has trimmed up his body so that he now resembles a small forward. More talented then he showed over three days. Can make jump shots.

Angel Nunez, 2011 (N.Y.) – Makes the list for what he can and likely will be down the road. His size is a major asset and he appears coachable. He's got the look and feel of a high-major prospect and could be a SF or SG in time.

Ky Madden, 2011 (Ark.) – What stands out about his game is his versatility. Not strong yet though you can see his basketball IQ, passing ability and upside. Impressed with him as a prospect.

Be On The Lookout For: Marcus Crider, 2011 (Ky.), Dezmine Wells, 2011 (N.C.), Mychal Ammons, 2011 (Miss.), Julian DeBose, 2011 (D.C.), Savon Goodman, 2012 (Penn.)

BY THE NUMBERS: Leading scorers P.J. Hairston (26.3), Myles Mack (24.0), Carlton Brundage (17.5), Shaq Boga (17.3), Achraf Youcoubou (16.5), Kentavious Caldwell (16.0), Devonte Smith-Rivera (16.0) … Big wing spans relative to size: A.J. English 6-8, Hairston 6-10, Hinds 6-5, Rankin 6-4, White 6-10. … Impressive reach relative to size: Branden Dawson 8-5,. Hairston 8-5, McClellan 8-3, White 8-5. …

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