Las Vegas: Day One, Part A

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Day one in Las Vegas is in the books. Josh Smith, Terrence Jones and Joe Jackson were among the top players of the day.

Terrence Jones, PF, I-5 Elite – Playing against D-One Sports in the GBOA Challenge, Jones, a 6-foot-8 face up four man, pretty much scored whenever he wanted. He calmly sank a number of three-pointers in the first half, including one well behind the three-point line, but he also attacked the rim, aggressively went after rebounds and blocked shots. He seems to improve every time out and has earned a bump in our next rankings.

Josh Hairston, PF, DC Assault – He's not the tallest post prospect around, but what Hairston lacks in size at 6-foot-7, possibly 6-foot-8, he makes up for with his effort and motor. Around the basket he's aggressive and tries to snag every rebound in and out of his area. Offensively he's begun to develop a nice face up game too. In his game we took in at GBOA he faced up the opposition for jumpers on four occasions.

Devon Collier, PF, New Heights – Over the past few months we've been a little worried about this 6-foot-8 power forward's knees, as they have been giving him trouble here and there. On Thursday he played through it and played extremely well in a match up with the Texas Bluechips. Inside Collier was aggressive, especially in the second half as he posted on the block hard and made quick, strong moves to the rim.

Ashton Pankey, PF, New Heights – To go with Collier, New Heights also has Pankey, a 6-foot-7 power forward, to do work in the post. When Collier wasn't scoring often times it was Pankey, as he received a number of dishes that led to dunks, but also worked very hard to snag rebounds that would eventually lead to put back opportunities. Pankey has great hands, runs the floor well and plays with some intensity.

Joe Jackson, PG, Memphis Magic – Up against Josh Smith and Tony Wroten, Jackson refused to go down easy. Seattle Rotary had the Magic down by double digits, but the scrappy floor general fought back and made it close down the stretch. Jackson's speed, athleticism and ability to finish at the rim are all top notch and are part of what makes him a special player. He was unstoppable when he attacked the rim on this day.

Jelan Kendrick, SF, Memphis Magic – If it wasn't Jackson scoring for the Memphis Magic, it was probably Kendrick. This 6-foot-5 wing has a unique game where he's capable of playing the one, two and three. He's a solid athlete, has a good-looking stroke on his jumper and can pass with the best of them. To go with all of that, Kendrick gets to the rim very well and usually finishes once there. He's had a big summer, and it appears it will continue in Las Vegas this week.

Josh Smith, C, Seattle Rotary – This was by far the best effort we've seen from Smith in quite some time. Last week at the Peach Jam he looked uninterested at times, but on Wednesday in Las Vegas it was a much different story. Smith was aggressive and physical inside as he used his body to bully his way threw defenders to the basket. He also showed an ability to hit jumpers to 15-feet. But it wasn't just his offense that impressed us. Smith was quite active blocking shots and rebounding on the defensive end.

Branden Dawson, SF, SYF Players – As he has played all spring and summer, Dawson was solid in SYF's match up with the Compton Magic. The 6-foot-5 wing is a terrific rebounder on both ends of the floor and gets a lot of buckets off of offensive rebounds. In this one he also knocked down a three-pointer, despite not being known for his long range shooting. A high major prospect, Dawson is a guy that has progressively gotten better over the past year.

Tony Wroten, PG, Seattle Rotary – It's not often you watch a kid of Wroten's caliber and he's able to take over a game just based on his passing ability, but that's exactly what this 6-foot-4 guard did. Early on he was attacking the rim and trying to score, but as the game wore on he became more unselfish and began tossing out assists left and right. His vision is terrific and it's clear that he knows how to set guys up. Going forward his jump shot needs to become more consistent, but there's not question that Wroten is one of the better guards in the 2011 class.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Dreamvision – In front of a big group of head coaches, Muhammad did plenty to show why the attention is warranted. The 6-foot-4 lefty was especially tough to handle on the glass, as he aggressively went after boards. Offensively he seemed to score at will, whether it was spot up jumpers, drives to the rim or finishes in the open court. He's a talented looking prospect, as he's got long arms, a great frame and solid athleticism.

Jordan Price, SF, Atlanta Celtics 15's – Maybe the biggest surprise of the day came from Price. We'd heard he was good, but we didn't realize he was going to be this good. The 6-foot-5 2012 prospect played some on the ball, but we think his future position will be out on the wing. He's got a tight handle, a strong frame and above average hops. Around the rim he uses his body very well and he's already developed himself into a terrific finisher at the rim.

William Goodwin, PF, Atlanta Celtics 15's – While Price was doing damage from the perimeter it was Goodwin, a 6-foot-7 power forward, that was getting after it in between the blocks. A strong, physical guy, Goodwin was aggressive in the paint, whether he was going after rebounds or looking to score on the block.

Terrence Jones claims scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, USC and Kansas. He said Washington, Oklahoma, Connecticut, USC and UCLA are the five schools coming the hardest.

Shabazz Muhammad said he has offers from Wake Forest, Louisville, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Kansas and San Diego State. UCLA, UNC and Indiana are also recruiting him. He's planning to visit Ohio State in the near future.

Jordan Price has early scholarship offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Michigan. He also has interest from Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina.

Brandon Kearney has offers and has already visited Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Syracuse, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma, Miami, DePaul and Kentucky are also showing interest.

Devon Collier said Villanova, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Seton Hall, Providence, Memphis and Xavier are the schools showing him the most attention.

Ashton Pankey list Miami, USC, Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky, Rice, Houston, Connecticut, George Mason, Siena and St. John's as the schools involved in his deal.

Keala King said Harvard, Stanford, California, Arizona and Arizona State are the schools showing him the most attention. He said Michigan and Kentucky are also in the mix.

Nigel Williams-Goss is just an incoming freshman, but he already has a pretty good reputation building. He's not going to ‘wow' you with athleticism, but he's skilled and can do something off the bounce. Jayvaughn Pinkston is a tough kid. He gets a lot of work down inside and is very physical on both ends of the floor. Gary Bell has the chance to be a pretty good player. He's got a strong frame and a pretty good-looking jump shot. Adonis Thomas has a great frame. He's still developing, but he has all the tools to be a major wing player one day. As usually Gary Franklin buried a number of three-pointers in the game we took in, but he also struggled with pressure at times. His handle needs to get a little tighter. Stephen Holt is a steady lead guard that coaches can trust with the ball. With that said, we'd like to see him be more aggressive at times. Garrett Jackson, of I-5 Elite, continues to improve. He plays hard and has improved his jump shot. Jordan Railey is another good one for I-5 Elite. He's got some tools, as he blocks shots and even faced up for mid-range jumpers today.

The Atlanta Celtics versus Dreamvision 15 and under game drew a massive crowd of coaches. Among the head coaches in attendance were Jeff Capel, Roy Williams, Kevin O'Neill, Bill Self, Rick Barnes, Ben Howland, Norm Roberts and Matt Painter.

Matt Painter and assistant coaches from DePaul and Michigan were caught watching Derrick Rose All-Stars 15's team, which has Steve Taylor and Malcolm Hill-Bey.

Apparently 62 coaches were at the Henderson International School for the Memphis Magic/Seattle Rotary contest. That list included numerous head coaches.


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