The high school basketball season has either started or is just around the corner all over the country. In preparation, Brian Clifton and the crew at D-One Sports hosted their first ever combine over the weekend on the campus of Westchester Country Day in High Point. Unlike many Fall exposure camps that feature large numbers and loosely organized games, the D-One combine brought in a smaller group of around 25 players from the region looking to focus on skill development while playing shorter rounds of games.
Featuring some well known guys like Quincy Miller, J.T. Terrell, Deuce Bello, Damien Leonard, Melvin Tabb and Kyle Wiltjer the combine also brought a couple of new guys into focus and served as the coming out party for Stargell Love.
Stargell Love, PG- Programs across the country are starving for point guard prospects and Love had it going at a very high level. Strong, quick and explosive off the floor, he's a threat as both a penetrate and dish guy or a scorer who can make one on one plays late in a possession. He loves to shoot pull-up jumpers and has easy range to the three point line. His speed puts immense pressure on defenses. He's always showed flashes of ability, but Love has really put his entire game together and was the weekend's top performer.
DuVaughn Maxwell, SF/PF- If the intensity, production and effort this long armed and athletic forward showed when there weren't any coaches in the gym is any indication of what he is capable of, then he's being woefully under-recruited. A fierce competitor, he refuses to surrender buckets and will go as far above the rim as he needs to in order to erase dunk attempts. Offensively he attacks the rim but has the mechanics to be a respectable jump shooter and perhaps a full time wing as he works on his ball handling skills. It's impossible to watch him play and not smile.
J.T. Terrell, SG- By now, Scout.com readers know the drill when it comes to the future Demon Deacon. An explosive one on one (and even one on two) scorer, Terrell puts defenders on their heels with his patented hesitation dribble and crossover before exploding into deep jumpers. He's added some bulk making him an even better finisher around the rim. Looking ahead, learning to become a little more economical with his dribbling and how to use screens to his advantage will make him a more complete player and even more dangerous weapon.
Melvin Tabb, PF- Headed to Wake Forest with Terrell, Tabb has been doing some work in the weight room and looks great from a physical standpoint. Big guys kind of get lost in workout settings like the combine, but he still set screens, got on the glass and did a solid job of scoring the ball. Sometimes, big guys will really force things due to a lack of touches but Tabb managed to avoid falling into that trap.
Kyle Wiltjer, PF- We already knew that the 6-foot-9 forward from Portland was highly skilled. However, getting to see him do intense skill work only enhanced what we thought about him. In the post he broke out just about every move one could imagine while demonstrating textbook footwork and finishing with either hand. As a face-up guy, he's lethal with the jumper and an outstanding passer out of the high post. He's getting stronger, works hard and has super hands. Ranked #22 in his class by Scout.com, he more than justified his lofty status.
Anthony Fields, PG- A native of Detroit who has made the move to Winston Salem's Quality Education Academy, Fields is one to watch. Playing at top speed, he's a blur with the ball and uses a deft handle to navigate traffic and deliver to teammates. He plays hard, explodes into his jumper and we were very impressed with the dedication he showed during skill work.
Damien Leonard, SG- He was only in attendance on Saturday, but the South Carolina wing was highly productive during his one day in camp. A lengthy shooter who is starting to add some much needed strength, he had it cooking from between 15 and 22 feet while draining jumpers off the catch and dribble. He also attacked a little more than usual off the dribble, next the future high major needs to work on his off hand.
Deuce Bello, SG- Standing 6-foot-4, the skinny wing is as exciting a finisher as you will find in the country, regardless of class. He soars to the rim for jams with a high degree of difficulty and tirelessly runs the court. Over the weekend, Bello showed that he's taken some positive steps towards bringing his ball handling in shooting skills up to the level of his leaping. He's a work in progress, but a clear high major who is doing the right thing by focusing on skill development.
Andrew White, SG- A product of Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale, the 6-foot-4 wing made quite an impression. The owner of a prototypical wing body type, he's long and slender with plus athleticism. While the athleticism is nice, his jumper is even better. He can beat you from deep, but where he really shined was as the best pull-up/mid range jump shooter in attendance.
Dezmine Wells, SF- Wells celebrated his commitment to Xavier by launching an all-out assault on the Westchester rims. A powerful athlete, he's got an extra burst and is a much more crafty offensive player than he gets credit for. A super competitor with personality, he'll have an opportunity to be an instant impact guy for Chris Mack's program.
Tyler Lewis, PG- There were some times were the slender 5-foot-10 floor general struggled with his finishing, but that will change as he gets stronger. What's more important is that the sees the floor and passes the basketball at an extremely high level. A dangerous shooter from deep, he's still growing and there wasn't a kid in attendance who didn't love playing with him.
Rodney Purvis, PG- Considering that he hasn't even started his high school career, this is an impressive young man. Solidly built, he uses his speed and explosiveness off the dribble to attack the rim at every opportunity. An athletic and creative finisher, he will share the ball as well. Just when courtside observers asked about his jumper and mid-range game, he unleashed a flurry of floaters and sent a game to overtime with a pretty pull-up three pointer at the buzzer.
With his left wrist still in a cast, 6-foot-8 forward Quincy Miller attended the combine but did not take part in games. He did, however, participate in most of the skill drills and looked very good doing so. It should also be noted that his sideline trash talking skills are on par with his on the floor ability. … At scout.com we are very careful not to go overboard with young players or put too much into early and pre high school performances. However, it was tough to not notice the combine's three promising class of 2014 performers. North Carolina point guard Eric Johnson demonstrated a terrific feel while another NC kid, wing Theo Pinson, flashed athleticism and all around game. Making the trip in from Ohio, 6-foot-7 power forward Tyler Herron showed flashes of potential as well. … 2012 wing Tyler Brunson has some tools to develop into a solid wing player. He's a pretty fluid athlete, runs the floor and is capable of knocking down shots. As he adds strength and plays with more confidence, things will come together for him quickly. … If basketball doesn't work out, we'd love to see what Ravon Harris could do on the football field. The well built 6-foot-4 wing hits the floor with a strong safety's mentality and attacks the rim. On Sunday, the junior also knocked down some jumpers and showed potential as a physical defender.
The Quality Education Academy is loaded. In addition to Stargell Love, Quincy Miller and Anthony Fields, they had 2011 players Ryan King, Dietrick Baker and Dom Pointer on hand. A slender 6-foot-7 lefty four man, King is a smooth athlete who glides into the lane and finishes with dunks around the rim. Baker is another slender, athletic four man who can really run the floor. Additionally, he puts the ball on the floor and has the quickness to take big men off the bounce and he loves attack along the baseline. Standing 6-foot-5, Pointer is one of those super energetic and hard working wings who just gets it done. He gets loose for transition dunks, hits the glass, plays good defense and does whatever his team asks of him. … Deuce Bello isn't the only player at Westchester. Junior teammate Ike Nwamu is a division one prospect as well. A powerfully built 6-2 guard, Nwamu spent some time terrorizing the rims himself. He also played good defense and knocked down some timely, and high arcing, jumpers over the course of the weekend. …
We mentioned in the intro that there was a focus on skill development and we mean it. Each day started with a few hours of meaningful skill work led by Portland based trainer Jason Fawcett. He not only put the players through positional skill drills, but he also focused on situational settings. In fact, the last hour on Saturday was spent working on team situational settings and how to approach different late game scenarios. …
Stargell Love has Baylor, Marquette, Mississippi State, Auburn and Mississippi among others interested. UCLA placed a recent call inquiring on him as well. He hasn't yet set any visits and whether he'll sign early or during the spring is to be determined. … DuVaughn Maxwell is being courted by Longwood, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, George Mason and VCU. Andrew White is drawing preliminary interest from many of the same schools recruiting Maxwell. Additionally, White is already an accomplished traveler after attending Elite camps at Charlotte, Duke, Marquette, Richmond, VCU and Virginia Tech over the summer. Tyler Lewis reported offers from Virginia Tech, Auburn, Charlotte, Richmond, Appalachian State, VCU and High Point. Wake Forest and South Carolina are among the schools keeping tabs. … Finally, Kyle Wiltjer has a long list that includes, California, Gonzaga, Washington, Washington State, Kansas, Harvard, UCLA, Stanford and many, many others. …