Cory Joseph, PG, Findlay Prep – There is no doubt about who was the top player during the first day of the Marshall County Hoopfest. Joseph, a 6-foot-3, floor general stole the show, as he lit up Christ School with 22 points (9-for-14), seven rebounds and seven assists.
Joseph seemingly can do it all. Offensively he's developed a great mid-range game and loves pulling up for 15 to 18 feet jumpers with defenders draped on him. Although his ability to score is impressive, he still creates for his teammates, defends and rebounds from the guard spot. Joseph is making a strong case for a slot in the McDonald's All-American game.
Tristan Thompson, PF, Findlay Prep – Although this wasn't Thompson's best game, he still managed a double-double scoring 16 points and snagging 10 rebounds. The lefty did his damage around the rim and was efficient shooting 8-for-13 from the field. The Texas signee ran the floor well, showed off a nice set of hands and had no trouble scoring when he got the ball inside.
Godwin Okonji, C, Findlay Prep – Over the past two years Okonji has made drastic improvements in his overall game. Even since two months ago, the 6-foot-9 big man has made changes in his game. In just 18 minutes of action, Okonji scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He maneuvered well around the rim, aggressively hit the glass and showed nice touch in the paint.
Douda Soumaoro, C, Our Savior – Matched up against one of the top prospects in the 2012 class – Isaiah Austin – Soumaoro played a competitive and aggressive brand of ball. A 6-foot-9, 200-pound big man blessed with long arms, Soumaoro finished around the rim, ran the floor and even stepped out and hit a pair of mid-range jumpers. Soumaoro finished with 15 pounds and 10 rebounds in the 10-point loss to Grace Prep.
Anthony Hickey, PG, Christian County – One of the big surprises on Friday was this 5-foot-10 floor general. Hickey is a tough, hardnosed lead guard that facilitates the offense, creates looks for his teammates and defends very well. His handle is solid and he sees the floor pretty well. He's also equipped with consistent floater that he loves to drop in when driving the lane. Hickey has the potential to be a mid-level point guard. He went for 10 points and three assists.
Nick Johnson, SG, Findlay Prep – This combo guard started off by attacking the rim and worked his way away from the basket as Findlay's game against Christ School wore on. The 6-foot-3 athletic combo guard finished 7-for-15 from the field and knocked down a pair of three-pointers during his 17 point, seven rebound outing. Johnson is a solid athlete and is quite creative around the rim. His best move of the day was a nifty up and under move that wowed the crowd.
Tony Kimbro, SF, Christ School – The Kentucky native made the most of playing in his home state. With his mother looking on, Kimbro, a 6-foot-5 wing, went 5-for-7 from three and scoring 22 points and grabbing five rebounds in the loss to Findlay Prep. The southpaw spotted up for deep threes, attacked the rim and created scoring situations for his teammates.
DeJuan Marrero, SF/PF, Bowman – It's hard not to enjoy watching Marrero play. The 6-foot-6 combo forward plays with tremendous passion and aggression. He has a nose for the ball and seems to be around every loose ball and rebound. Majority of his work was done in the paint, but he did knock down a three-pointer and took a rebound coast-to-coast for a finish. Marrero finished 9-for-14 for 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Jevon Thomas, PG, Our Savior – There's a lot to like about this underclassman lead guard. Thomas has a nice bag of tricks that consists of a solid ball handling, court vision, speed, athleticism and an ability to get to the rim. There's a chance he'll reclassify to 2013, but at this point we'll list him with the sophomore class. The 5-foot-11 floor general went for 13 points and six assists against Grace Prep.
Isaiah Austin, C, Grace Prep – After his game against Our Savior the 7-foot big man admitted he didn't play well. In fact he said he played "terrible." Regardless of his bad outing, Austin has a lot of things going for him. His size and tremendous length are factors on the defensive end, as he managed to block a handful of shots. Offensively he has some ability, but he didn't show it Friday night. Consistency and effort are two areas that he needs to continue to work on as his high school career continues.
Nick Banyard, PF, Grace Prep – With Austin struggling, Banyard tried to pick up the slack. Offensively he was efficient going 4-for-6 from the field and finishing with 11 points. We were especially impressed with his ability to score from mid-range game, as he dropped in a pair of 15-footers. The 6-foot-7 power forward also showed off a jump hook over his left shoulder. Going forward we'd like to see him hit the glass a little harder, as he has the tools to be a talented rebounder.
Isaiah Austin was hesitant in saying schools involved with his recruitment. According to his high school coach Ray Forsette, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma have all offered. He said most of the Big 12 is in the mix as well.
Nick Johnson said he's not paying any attention to the recruiting process right now. He did mention offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State, Washington, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Gonzaga. Kentucky, Louisville, Oklahoma and Connecticut are also recruiting him.
A handful of college coaches normally make the trek to the Marshall County Hoopfest. This year was no different as North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Ball State, Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay and Indiana. Tom Crean was the only head coach in attendance.
Franklin Milian had a big game for our Savior. The 6-foot-3 wing was 10-for-13 from the field and dropped in 29 points. If you give Christian County wing Donovan Kates time and space he can really shoot it. He dropped four deep jumpers in Christian County's win over Althoff Catholic. Kates finished 7-for-11 from the field and went for 23 points. Shaquille Wilson is an intriguing 6-foot-4 wing. The Christian County standout went for 13 points in C.C.'s win. Matt St. John, a 6-foot-8 big man, scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a loss to Bowman Academy. He's got soft hands and good touch around the basket. Jabari Brown had a quiet 14 points. He doesn't force the issue and uses his body very well when attacking the rim.
"He's so long he could give us both hugs at the same." -- Another recruiting analyst on Isaiah Austin's extreme length.