Brad Beal, SG, Stl. Eagles: When two guys start woofing at each other, something's got to give. Shabazz Napier and Beal traded verbal jabs but it was Beal who delivered the blow on the court. Napier, who was terrific Friday night, tried chirping at Beal and what he got in return was an elite player defending him with intensity. Beal switched onto Napier and knocked him off his game. On offense, Beal was equally impressive. Beal went for a big number and apparently was even better in an earlier game.
Ben McLemore, SF/SG, Stl. Eagles: Since our friend Eric Bossi first wrote about McLemore, there's been a buzz. On Saturday, we saw first hand what the fuss was about. McLemore's laced with athletic ability and potential. At 6-foot-5, he's got an easy way about him. McLemore has a smooth demeanor, sound perimeter game and plenty of athletic ability. He lived up to the advanced billing.
Scottie Wilbekin, PG, Team Fla.: The college coaches are going to love him. He does everything to enact winning and showed that he's improved since last season. He's got quick hands, a high GPA and he's a competitor. Gelaun Wheelright's a good player and Willbekin went right at him. Heading into the spring, we would have pegged him to be a standout mid-level player but with the entire package, he's a guy that will draw attention across the board and the bigs will need to see him.
Levi Randolph, PG, Ala. Challenge: Definitely gotten bigger and improved his game since last year. A legit high-major guard, Randolph could be a combo and has feel and talent. His stroke is simple and pure. Good enough to be a guy that could play for anybody.
Sidiki Johnson, PF, Metro Hawks: Johnson has arms that allow him to play bigger. He's the type of forward that wants to face and attack you. Definitely a guy that has the ability to be an excellent rebounder and with his overall ability, he should impact games from tip to the final whistle.
Julian Royal, PF, Southern Kings: Like Johnson, he prefers to face and attack. However, he had his best half when he went into the paint and went to work. Guys are comfortable in different areas and while we think he has face up four game, his inside ability is strength.
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, BABC: Jim Boeheim might as well coach a few more years when he's got guys like this coming into the program. Carter-Williams filled out since the last time we saw him. His length is tailor-made for the Syracuse attack. The long arms will make him a disruptor on defense. His deep jumper is still coming along but there's lost to like.
Maurice Harkless, SF, Gauchos: There's been a lot of buzz about him and he's a guy with talent and a frame that needs to fill out. We'd like to see him balance his game out and play without the ball. There's talent there and he's capable of ramping up the intensity.
Alex Carr, SG, Birmingham Storm: He's what these weekend's are about. Carr didn't have so much as a letter before the weekend began. Granted, we only saw him once but our first look revealed a mid-level shooting guard with confidence and a stroke. He went for 30 in the game we watched. Someone, anybody, please drop this guy a note. Teammate Jalen Houston is buzz worthy as well on the mid-major level.
Jamal Ferguson, SF, Boo: Here's a testament to the fact that you don't have to put up a lot of shots to look good. A member of the Maury state championship team, Ferguson's strength is that he's a good overall basketball player. He's got a respectable perimeter game, outstanding motor and definitely knows how to play. He'll have a high-major ceiling.
Justin Anderson, SF, Boo: When he starts off attacking the rim instead of settling for jumpers, his game takes on a new meaning. On Saturday, his drives led to dunks and tips at the rim. In turn, it opened up things for his jumper and gave him confidence. When he's got confidence his shot has more arc and a better chance to go in.
Devonte Pollard, SF, Jackson Tigers: He's got the look of a prospect. Pollard is wiry and long. Though not an elite leaper like Travis Outlaw, he has the same gate and body style. He looks like he's growing into his game and is a high-major prospect.
Team USA won in dramatic fashion over an Enes Kanter-led international squad at the Hoop Summit. The squad overcame a 12-point 4th quarter deficit. Harrison Barnes scored 27 points and Jared Sullinger was outstanding before fouling out. High-level players, big time game and revenge win for the U.S.
Larry Savage played with more energy today than we saw during the high school season. … Metro Hawks junior Michael Taylor will be one of the top scoring threats out of his area. The stroke is admirable. … Quincy Miller had enough. D-One Sports needed a spark so he went out and got 45 points and delivered his club a win. … Cal Supreme's Ryan Anderson looks like a mid-level four-man with a face up game. … Houston Hoops sports a ton of young players. 2013 wing Keith Frazier has game as does 2012 wing Rasheed Salaimon. … Team Florida's Alain Chigha was a surprise. The sophomore played with energy and also made his perimeter shots.. …
Dorian Smith has Virginia, Xavier, Old Dominion, VCU, Clemson, Cincinnati and Marquette chasing him. … Junior Jamal Ferguson hears from Georgetown, Xavier, Virginia, Virginia Tech and ODU. … Sophomore Omar Calhoun has West Virginia, Louisville, Florida and Pittsburgh on his early list. … Michael Taylor lists South Carolina, Pitt, Seton Hall, Indiana, Maryland, St. John's and Rutgers. … Keith Frazier indicated that Baylor was already on him with intensity. …
L.J. Rose talked about North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico and LSU. … Levi Randolph listed Vanderbilt, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Virginia. … Julian Royal said Georgia Tech, Georgia, Ohio State and Virginia Tech were on him the hardest. Maryland, Wake Forest and Clemson were on his list. … Wing Rasham Suarez hears from Chattanooga, Kansas State, Tennessee, Florida State and West Virginia. … Wilbekin has offers from Central Florida and FAU. Florida, FSU, Virginia and Maryland are interested. … McLemore likes Missouri and Kansas. … Roosevelt Barnes prefers Butler, Southern Illinois, Indiana State, Missouri State and Illinois State. …