After spending Friday in the Dallas area, we got up early Saturday morning and hopped into the rental car for roughly four hour trip down I-45 to Strake Jesuit High School in Houston for the second day of Rick Nelson's Texas Jamboree. With several big timers on hand, it was future Missouri Tiger Tony Mitchell's star who shone brightest as he rocked the house and sent notice that his sparkling play in Las Vegas during July was no fluke.
Tony Mitchell, F, Pinkston- 30 points, 11 rebounds, nine blocks and four assists don't even begin to tell the story of how dominant Mitchell was. He held his own personal dunk contest around the rim, shared the ball, and stroked a trio of NBA range threes because, well, he can. Missouri's Mike Anderson has to be salivating over the thought of placing Mitchell into his high octane system. Most impressive was how economical he was in racking up his numbers. Mitchell just needed 13 shots from the floor to do his damage.
Brian Williams, SF, Glen Oaks- He's built to play fast and has to be one of the premier skywalkers in the class of 2010. Signed with Travis Ford's Oklahoma State Cowboys, the 6-foot-4 wing likes to put the ball on the deck and attack from 15 feet and in. Hangs for floaters and short jumpers, locks up his man on the other end of the floor.
Jon Bohannon, PF, Lancaster- UTEP may have snuck into the DFW area and stolen themselves a guy who is going to be pretty productive on the college level. Standing around 6-foot-9, the skinny four man loves to spin off defenders to either shoulder and is a skilled finisher. He'll need to get stronger, but we loved his willingness to mix it up during a 26 point, double digit rebound effort.
Perry Jones, PF, Duncanville- The good news is that the fluid and athletic big man made three NBA level moves do to the high skill level involved. One was an impressive coast to coast drive and finish where he was weaving in and out of traffic and the other two were spinning jumpers from 17 feet. Bad news, those were his only three buckets of the game as he fought through foul trouble. Foul trouble aside, it's up to Jones to become more assertive and consistent if he wants to fully tap into his considerable potential.
Sheldon McClellan, SG, Bellaire- The headliner opposite of Jones in the much anticipated Bellaire vs. Duncanville nightcap, the future Longhorn struggled as well. We had him for six points and five turnovers on the night. The plus was that he made a tip to give his team the lead late in the game, grabbed a key rebound on Duncanville's last possession and he also looks to have improved his handling. But, shots weren't dropping and there were some questionable decisions.
Anthony Collins, PG, Westbury Christian- Mid level programs are going to want to get familiar with the 5-foot-11 floor general. Not particularly flashy, he prefers to make the smart, simple play and gets others involved with his ability to penetrate and pitch. Defends his position and will only enhance his standing if he can become more of a threat as a shooter.
Jarion Henry, SF/PF, Kimball- We list the near 6-foot-8 lefty as a combo forward because he plays the role of big man for his high school out of necessity. Long and lean, Henry always seems to be in the mix with deflections, tips, blocks and jabs at loose balls. He's a high level and fluid athlete whose stroke looks pretty good and he can handle some. Outstanding passer and easy to identify as a high level prospect but he needs to be careful not to let his emotions get the better of him.
L.J. Rose, PG, Second Baptist- Not surprisingly given his youth, a lack of strength remains an issue for Rose but his game is tight. Love the way he navigates ball screens and zone defenses with his heads up dribbling and alert passing. He changes gears, sees the floor and has become a dangerous jump shooter even if his release is a little low and off his right shoulder. He's more than backing up his billing as a potentially elite guy in his class.
Rasheed Sulaimon, PG, Strake Jesuit- If Rose is the top dog when it comes to Houston bred PG's in 2012, then Sulaimon can't be all that far behind him. A fine shooter who can bust jumpers off the dribble or off the catch from between15 and 22 feet, he's got some burst off the dribble. His feel for involving others is coming right along and he should add strength as he matures.
You'll notice that there was no mention of Strake Jesuit's potential big time freshman twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. As it turns out, Strake has a rule against freshman playing on the varsity, so it's J.V. ball for the Harrison's. Long term, it should do a lot towards keeping them hungry and focused. Derrick Rose dealt with a similar rule at Simeon High and it certainly didn't hurt Pooh's development.
St. Thomas took a tough overtime loss in a grind it out game. But, that didn't stop us from taking notice of their fine looking trio of sophomores. Christian Sanders is a skilled 6-foot-3 combo guard who can shoot from deep and involve others thanks to a tremendous feel. On the interior, 6-foot-9 Jeremy King is a long and slender big who is fluid in the open floor, swats shots and shows signs on offense. Finally, massive 6-foot-8 center Aaron Durley is a well built and physical insider who hits the glass and has soft touch to go along with good hands. All three will get looks from mid to high level programs as they develop. … L.J. Rose is far from a one man show for Second Baptist. We really like hard working and super athletic senior Mikhail McLean. A long 6-foot-7 forward, he's not bulky but he rockets off the floor for dunks, blocks and rebounds. As a bonus, he hit a few jumpers and he could be good late pickup for a mid level program in need of an athlete. …
Sometimes it just isn't your day, such was the case for Missouri bound Phil Pressey on Saturday. He looks to have hit the weights pretty hard but struggled mightily from the field making just 6-19 shots while we charted him (we did miss the first four minutes) to register 16 points to go along with nine rebounds. Most surprising, we weren't able to credit him with any assists. No worries here Tiger fans, Pressey has proven himself far too many times to worry about one off night. … 6-foot-5 senior wing David Kates of Kimball is a guy that some mid level programs in need of a slashing scorer should take a look at. He's skinny, but likes to make his way to the rim and gets the job done with floaters and short range finishes. If he can become more consistent from deep, he gets really intriguing. He made an incredible no look pass to an open teammate under the hoop for a game winning layup at the buzzer …
Given the amount of talent on the floor, it's quite likely that we missed spotting some assistant coaches. Those who we confirmed in the building included Texas State, Rice, UTEP, and UT San Antonio. We also spotted former Arizona player and Houston raised McDonald's All-American Jawann Mclellan. <
"He keeps playing like that he's going to have to open a new bank account."
Courtside observer while Tony Mitchell was going off.
Baton Rouge (La.) Glen Oaks 44 Houston (Tex.) St. Thomas 40 (OT)
Houston (Tex.) Second Baptist 59 Dallas (TX) Wilson 55
Houston (Tex.) Strake Jesuit Dallas 53 (Tex.) Pinkston 61
Houston (Tex.) Westbury Christian 59 Dallas (Tex.) Episcopal 39
Houston (Tex.) Jones 61 Lancaster (Tex.) High 69
Port Arthur (Tex.) Memorial Dallas 61 (Tex.) Kimball 63
Bellaire (Tex.) High 42 Duncanville (Tex.) High 39