D'Angelo Harrison, SG, Franchize All-Stars – He's been red-hot the entire first period and his scoring touch continued in Milwaukee. What was most impressive was Harrison's ability to start off his scoring in different ways. Some games he was hitting shots from the outside to begin the game, and other times he got after it off-the-bounce to set the pace early. With one game on the line, there was little doubt D'Angelo was getting the ball and he still got to the rim and scored through contact to earn the win. Pencil him in for 20-plus in every game because he'll probably get it.
Branden Dawson, SF, SYF Players – Dawson has always been one of the country's premier rebounders but the jumper he displayed this week makes him a downright scary prospect. He knocked down mid-range pullups, a turn and catch jumper from the baseline and a couple of three-pointers to boot. The rebounding and athleticism near the rim was also at a high-level throughout the event. It was easy to see why Branden was the 17-and-under MVP and SYF took home the title.
Julius Bilbrew, SG, I-Can All-Stars – His game grew on me as the event went on. Bilbrew can do a little bit of everything and showed scoring touch from the perimeter or the occasional acrobatic layup. He does a great job of utilizing angles to run his defender off of screens to get open for a pass. Not the quickest or most explosive, Bilbrew gets it done by changing paces and using his teammates to his advantage.
Darnell Harris, PF, Hurricane Rebels – While Harris loves to camp out on the perimeter, he also showed a bit of toughness by getting it done in the paint. He's still weary of contact with the ball in his hands, but Darnell attacked the glass, got loose balls and got putback after putback against Franchize. If he shows that kind of resolve on the glass in every game then he'll be one to watch in the next couple weeks.
Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Dream Vision 17's – Big time players step up in big time games and that is precisely what Shabazz did against the Franchize All-Stars. With his team down double-digits in the second half, Muhammad put Dream Vision squarely on his shoulders and outgunned D'Angelo Harrison (33 points) to the tune of 35 points. His jumper was working from everywhere on the floor and he also blew by defenders and got to the rim with ease.
Winston Sheppard, SF, Dream Vision 17's – His 13 points in the win over Franchize doesn't tell the story of Sheppard's tremendous game. He got after it on the glass, tracked down loose balls, defended with heart and scored in a variety of ways. The floater he used and his ability to score with both hands showed that his offensive repertoire is growing.
Marcus Paige, PG, Martin Brothers Select – Paige's overall feel for the game is great for a young point guard and his leadership shows through in a big way. He makes shots easy for teammates and can also set up his own shot by driving in either direction and knocking down a pullup jumper. Also loved the way he communicates on the floor and makes sure that everyone is on the same page.
Gary Harris, SG, D3 Heat – Showed why he is one of the best in 2012 by playing through adversity and still putting up numbers. After a cut above his eye, Harris quickly re-entered the game and got back to business by being very tough to defend. He scores the ball at all three levels and also showed off some passing ability as well.
Deonte Burton, SF, T.P. Elite 16's – It's hard to believe this guy is only going to be a sophomore in high school with the kind of frame he possesses. Strong, powerful and fast, Burton was an absolute terror playing up in the 16's and 17's division and can basically get to the rim when he pleases. His hands are so big that when he cradles a ball off-the-dribble he can easily palm it and finish with a dunk or finger roll. Adding a consistent jumper is the next step to the equation.
Austin Rudder, SG, Spiece Mo-Kan – Rudder went for 26 in an early morning contest and caught most in attendance off-guard. One to watch for Missouri Valley schools, Rudder is a tough and skilled two-guard that reads passing lanes, knocks down jumpers and has a great basketball IQ. He looked like a cornerback on defense the way he read passes for easy interceptions.
Austin Rudder has only heard from Missouri State and participated in their elite camp last month.
Virginia is the current favorite for Paul Jesperson and has recruited him the hardest while Notre Dame, Iowa and Boston College and Oregon State recently offered. Northwestern, Minnesota, Butler and Colorado State have also offered.
Austin Arians has been hearing from Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Bradley and North Dakota State. He has no offers to this point.
Paul Jesperson is a tremendous shooter at the small forward position but needs to get used to getting beaten up on the perimeter. The Seattle Rotary boys threw him off his game a bit when they started playing physical with him. To his credit, Jesperson was still useful as a passer and fought through contact off-the-dribble. Anrio Adams got to show off more point guard skills with Tony Wroten and Gary Bell missing the event. He showed well and had some good traits as a leader. And it doesn't hurt that he is still lethal from the perimeter. Evan Rocqamore gets overlooked a bit for Dream Vision but his defensive efforts and 16 second-half points in the win over Franchize will certainly not be forgotten. He is a tough and competitive dude. Austin Arians has received some buzz from the local Wisconsin scouts and he definitely deserves praise for his perimeter jumper. His size (6-6) and skill will warrant some mid-major looks. Of the many left-handed big men in the event, Adam Woodbury was far more comfortable and efficient using his right hand than the others. Emotion is the best and worst part of Bruce Barron's game. His constant banter rubs many, including refs and his own coach, the wrong way, but Barron is always intense and playing at full speed. Tanner Williams is surrounded by talent on the Martin Bros 16's, but he is arguably their best athlete. Williams played above the rim and was a terror in the open floor. Would love to see him produce more in the half court in the future.