Nino Williams, SF, Mo-Kan Elite- Once playoff time rolled around the future Kansas State Wildcat took his game to another level. He hit threes, dunked in the lane and crashed the glass. Give him credit for working hard to develop his perimeter game. Should a scholarship open up in Manhattan, there's still a chance he ends up in purple next season. If not, look for him to prep at Brewster Academy.
TaShawn Thomas, PF, Houston Hoops- Hoops coach Marlo]and Lowe told us that this lean 6-foot-7 insider from Killeen (Tex.) High has no idea how could he can be and he's right. A fluid athlete who moves like a wing, Thomas runs the floor, gets on the glass and uses his quickness in the lane. Looks to have some touch to 12 feet and will get looks from mid to high major level programs this summer.
D.J. Jackson, PF, Pray and Play Players- You won't see many guys who play with as much emotion as this 5-foot-11 point guard. A terrific on the ball defender and quick driver, he's got his game headed in the right direction. How well he shoots from the perimeter could play a big part in his recruitment.
Jalen West, PG, Louisiana Select- He's not the biggest guy around (generously listed at 5-foot-10) but he's got a ton of heart and is a leader on the floor. Uses his quickness to get into the lane and create for himself and others and is a pesky defender.
Antwan Space, PF/SF, Urban DFW Elite- A long 6-foot-8 combo forward, Space has some serious tools at his disposal. He can handle, is an elite level athlete and has exceptional body control. He's not yet ready to play on the perimeter full time, but he does have a future out there. Once he develops a little consistency and irons out his mid-range jumper, he could be a very high level guy.
Thomas Gipson, PF, Team Texas Elite- A rugged 6-foot-6 post player, he went man's game during a Saturday afternoon tilt. Uses his strength to seal and hold off defenders, tries to tear the rim down and uses strong hands to secure rebounds. Mid level programs will go all in on him while high majors are deciding if he can overcome his lack of height.
Willie Cauley, C, Mo-Kan Elite 16's- He's every bit of 6-foot-10 and plays even bigger than that because of his long arms. Still very thin, he needs to add bulk but runs the floor and disrupts opposing bigs with his length on the defensive end. He's still a work in progress on the offensive end but already has soft touch and can knock down face-up jumpers from 10-12 feet. Hailing from tiny Spearville, Kan., he's already getting plenty of high major love and deservedly so.
Dominique Wilson, PF, KC 76'ers 16's- The third of the best trio of big men prospects that the state of Kansas has produced during in quite some time – Cauley and Perry Ellis are the others – Wilson is a springy 6-foot-8 dunker and shot rejector. His lean frame is starting to fill out and he's got a solid skill set and a great set of wheels to get from end to end. May be on the move to a prep school next season.
Tre Payne, SG, OK Spirits 16's- A solidly built 6-foot-3 perimeter player, Payne loves to use his strength and athleticism to get into the lane. While he's at his best bullying defenders off the bouce, he's a more than respectable jump shooter and a tough competitor.
Sean Young, C, Team Impact 16's- The class of 2012 has size galore and we can't turn around without spotting another big with potential. A slender 6-foot-9 kid from Bixby, Okla., Young runs the floor, has super hands and is quick to the rim for dunks. Once he adds strength he could blossom and is worth on the mid to high major level.
Prince Ibeh, C, Top Achievers Pistons 16's- He's not a deluxe athlete, but at 6-foot-10 with long arms he doesn't really need to be. Runs the floor pretty well, blocks lots of shots and rebounds his area. What sets him apart at this point is that he's got a high skill level and deft touch. The mechanics on his jumper aren't exactly textbook, but he swishes 17 footers with regularity and could eventually be a threat to play pick and pop or with his back to the basket.
Keith Frazier, SG, Houston Hoops- We first spied Frazier as an 8th grader running with Dallas Showtyme at the 2009 Real Deal in the Rock. Now balling with the Hoops, the 6-foot-4 and growing wing is a flat out scoring machine. Handles the ball to create space with either hand, smokes pretty jumpers all the way out to 22 feet and has the athleticism to finish amongst the trees. He's as complete a player as a freshman SG could possibly be and still has loads of upside. An elite level prospect and quite possibly the best guard in the state of Texas, regardless of class.
Semi Ojeleye, SF, Mo-Kan Elite 15's- A well built 6-foot-5 winger, he plays the game with passion and is a bull on the glass who gobbles up offensive rebounds and converts for easy score. His jumper looks pretty good, he can handle the ball a bit and he's an outstanding passer.
Nick King, SF, Memphis YOMCA 16's- Already 6-foot-6 with a lean/wiry strong frame, this southpaw from Memphis (Tenn.) East oozes potential. Handles the ball on the break, has excellent body control in the lane and can already bang home jumpers from 12 to 17 feet with consistency. The city of Memphis is producing a ton of talent lately and he's going to be watched by high level programs.
Khadre, Lane, SF, Spiece Mo-Kan 14's- Slated to attend Lawrence (Kan.) Seabury Academy next year, he has a chance to be an impact freshman. Freaky athletic for his age group, he already takes defenders off the dribble and dunks on them with authority and can hit the three. Obviously, he's very young and it's too early to project his future but he's a nice looking young player.
Currently committed to Florida State, athletic and strong 6-foot-4 wing Marc Brown of Dallas (Tex.) Wilson informed us that he's leaning towards re-opening his recruitment. A member of the class of 2011, he says that he should make his decision on whether or not to back off of his commitment within the next week to 10 days. He's running this summer with the Texas Blue Chips.
At 6-foot-7, Perry Ellis is working to expand his skill and game while facing the basket. While he's working on that, his bread and butter remains his super quickness and agility that allows him easy opportunities at the rim. He really revved up his game late Saturday. … We're not sure whether he projects more as a point or a two so we'll call Team Texas Elite's A.J. Price a true combo guard. He's a speed merchant who gets to the rim and has a serviceable jumper to boot … A strong 6-foot-4 lefty, Grandview (Mo.) High's Tyler Rambo combines with Nino Williams to give Mo-Kan Elite a tough pair on the wing. He excels in transition, makes plays around the rim and backs up his trash talk on the floor. … A year young for his class, RonQuis Lewis of Team Impact is likely going to head off to a prep school and reclassify to the class of 2012. If not, he'll team with Tre Payne on a very good Putnam City (Okla.) High team. At 6-foot-5, he's a ball handling wing with athleticism, a good feel for the game and a serviceable jumper. …
A senior at Houston (Tex.) Wheatley, 6-foot-7 Ashton St. Jules is hoping to be granted an extra year of eligibility. If not, he's likely heading to a prep school and there's a chance he could get qualified by the end of the summer. He's long, bouncy and has some talent as a combo forward. His teammate on the All 4 Sports Dream Team, Alonzo Stafford of Houston Sterling is an available 6-foot-5 small forward who can go as well. … Finally, with L.J. Rose out with a broken foot, talented sophomore J-Mychal Reese is getting the opportunity to run the point fulltime for the Houston Hoops. An athletic 6-foot-1 prospect, scouts have wondered if Reese was more of a one or a two. Based on his play in Frisco, it looks like there's no issue in listing him as a point guard. …
"He talks just as much trash as I do. But, he's not mean about it like I am."
--Team Texas program director and Next Level organizer Wes Grandstaff talking about his 7th grade son Austin, a 6-foot-2 combo guard who already towers over his dad. .