Nick Faust, Baltimore Elite – It was pretty evident who the best player in the gym was on Friday night. And it took one half of basketball to figure it out. The 6-foot-5 wing had it rolling in every possible way. He scored with drives, pulled up from deep and attacked with pull-ups. Sporting the same jersey this his cousin Will Barton wore for Baltimore Elite, Faust played the role of a must-get high-major player quite well.
With the July evaluation period around the corner, don't be surprised to see his offer list double or triple.
"My goal is to get better and better," Faust said. "I want to look at those lists and see my name mentioned there with the top 25 players in the country."
Andrew Andrews, ICP – The speedster guard was one of the nice revelations from the opening night. Consistency needs to become his ally going into the July period. He's tough to stop because of his speedy first step. The Northwest Panthers have a strong, and quick, backcourt and Andrews had little trouble penetrating through the defense en route to 19 points. He's a hot target for West Coast Conference teams, his coach says.
Brett Kingma, Friends of Hoop Seattle – Shooter supreme here, folks. When he gets the ball, the 6-foot-1 guard is looking to toe the three-point line an fire away. Dripping with confidence, the skinny senior-to-be thinks every shot he's tossing up is going in. He said BYU is his top school and after watching Jimmer Fredette fire it up for Dave Rose last year, it's easy to see why the Cougars like Kingman and why Kingma likes the Cougars.
Hikeem Stewart, Friends of Hoop Seattle – Athletic, herky-jerky, floater, sound familiar? He's the younger brother of twins Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart. The younger Stewart may be a better shooter than his big brothers were at the same stage.
Kevin Johnson, California Supreme – When he wants to play, the big-bodied bully is a big-time match-up problem. Blessed with great strength and the body of a bouncer, Johnson pushes guys around with ease. He's going to score with brute force. Johnson pumped in 19 points in a loss Friday night. Here's the catch: that effort level is not always there.
Davonte Lacy, Northwest Panthers – Ask Lacy about his roots, and you immediately see nothing but teeth. The class of 2012 prospect smiles from ear to ear and proudly professes his citizenship to Tacoma.
He makes no bones about that.
"We know the best players are coming from the 206, up in Seattle. That's where the NBA players are coming from," Lacy said. "But we are coming up in the Tac. You might as well stop on by in Tacoma when you are here if you are a college coach. We have tradition down in Tacoma now. Isaiah started it. Abdul and Avery just helped build on it."
"It all started with Isaiah," Lacy said. "He kind of raised the bar. He made it what it is now. We have a new gym now and I want to be able to be the guy that helps put a big, gold ball in the lobby of the gym."
Lacy is falling in line as a Division I prospect. He was the best player when it mattered on Friday night against ICP, the talented host tournament team.
Lacy scored 16 of his game high 24 points, including three big buckets late in the second half.
Landon Lucas, Northwest Panthers – The reviews so far this grassroots season have been good for the long-armed, strong-legged prospect from Portland. He's a load on the low blocks and he's a work the angles rather jump over people type of post player. He did, however, struggle with a strong post and took his time trying to figure out his offense. Chalk up his first game effort as a ho-hum performance. He said the entire Pac-10 is involved while Texas, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Florida, Vanderbilt and Florida State are involved.
Stuart Wesonga, Richmond Bad Boyz – He's the reason why these types of events are fun to cover. The 6-foot-6 power forward from San Marin (Calif.) High School just out worked, out hustled and out did everyone on the floor to the tune of 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks. He knows his level and is looking hard at the schools where he can have a good college career. Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Weber State, UC Davis, Pacific, Saint Mary's, San Jose State and Montana are all in the mix, Wesonga said.
Daquan McNeil, Baltimore Elite – Prospect alert. The 6-foot-2 guard from Carver High School looks like the next high-major guard from the Charm City. He's good with the ball, strong to the rim and wired to score.
Class of 2012 guard Devon Bookert is moving from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle this summer and playing with the Emerald City Pioneers, the 6-foot-3 guard should find offers from Big West, Big Sky and maybe some WCC schools waiting for him come fall.
Donald Gaddy, Abdul's little brother, sank a pair of free throws to send his Northwest Panthers team into overtime against ICP. The freebies with 4.6 seconds helped the Panthers pick up a hard-fought win. Gaddy, a class of 2012 guard, has some similar traits to his brother. Portland State, Portland, Seattle and Washington State are in the mix.
Rising senior post Austin Kuemprer did a good job of defending Landon Lucas on the low post and used his strong base to keep an even stronger player from moving him off the post. Kuemprer won't wow you with athleticism but he's a guy that has a good enough skill level to be a four-year program guy for the right high-major. The mid-level schools in the West have to love Kuemprer's value at their level.
Baltimore Elite guard Sam Cassell is a guy to watch for the mid-level schools. He's a long 6-foot-3 guard that can play both guard spots. He's at his best as a slashing scorer.
WCC schools will be working hard to get a guy like Nate Sikma on their roster. The class of 2011 forward from Friends of Hoop is a tough guy down low, smart in his own space and he doesn't hurt that his dad, Jack, earned his living in the NBA.