AAU Nationals: Day Three

ORLANDO -- The action picked up at the AAU Nationals on Day three. J-Mychal Reese, Rodney Hood and Branden Dawson had big days, while Patrick Connaughton put together another strong outing.

Kadeem Jack, PF, New York Gauchos – He's headed to prep school, but I'm not completely sure why. The 6-foot-8, possibly 6-foot-9 big man, has the skills to play in college now. In Orlando, Jack showed an ability to run the floor with ease, while also blocking multiple shots and stepping out for mid-range jump shots. He's already talented, but he's a college weight room away from being even more effective.

TaShawn Thomas, PF, Houston Hoops – Over the course of the spring and summer, Thomas, a 6-foot-7 power forward, has made tremendous strides. He's a presence defensively, as he's quick off his feet, is a good athlete and contests every shot around the basket. A tough kid, Thomas that isn't afraid to mix it up inside for rebounds as well.

Rodney Hood, SF, MBA Hoops Elite – For the second day in a row, Hood, a 6-foot-7 wing, was the main scoring option for the MBA Hoops. Hood has great size for the position, has no problem getting his shot off and he has range past the three-point stripe. On Friday he had the mid-range game working, as he looked comfortable pulling up from 15 to 18-feet.

LaQuinton Ross, PF/SF, MBA Hoops Elite – It's been an up and down ride for Ross, a 6-foot-8 combo forward. On Friday, Ross had it rolling at times. His skill set is quite impressive and it's clear he's spent a considerable amount of time working on his mid-range game. In a big game against the Alabama Challenge he showed great touch in the paint as he dropped in floaters and pull-up jump shots.

Levi Randolph, SG, Alabama Challenge – Up against Hood and Ross, Randolph gave the MBA Elite crew all they could handle. His scoring package is impressive and over the past year he's improved the amount of ways he can score. His range has gotten deeper and he's confident shooting the basketball off the dribble out to the 21-feet. Alabama scored a pretty good one in Randolph.

Branden Dawson, SF, SYF Players – Known by many as the best rebounder in the nation, Dawson took a different route than normal to lead SYF to a victory over the Albany City Rocks. Dawson, a 6-foot-6 small forward, hit a pair of mid-range jumpers and a pull-up three-pointer from 22-feet. If Dawson's shooting ability continues, he's going to be one tough wing to stop at the next level.

Patrick Connaughton, SF, Middlesex Magic – Word is out about this 6-foot-5 wing from Boston. During a morning game he dropped 32 points and 11 rebounds. He tagged that with a 27-point, 11 rebound outing against the Atlanta Elite during a night game. Connaughton is a pretty good overall offensive player, as he's got a good-looking shot from long range, but he also mixes in drives to the basket, where he can finish with either hand.

Travis Trice, PG, SYF Players – When the SYF Players needed a big bucket it was usually this 6-foot lead guard that came up with it. Trice has continued to develop his lead guard skills and was dishing out assists at a high rate against the Albany City Rocks. Known for his shooting ability, Trice buried at least three triples and mixed in a few mid-range pull-ups. He was on top of his game on Friday.

B.J. Young. PG, Gameface -- Entering his senior year he's yet to be named all-conference but he may be an all-American anyway. Young hung 47 on the Long Island Lightning and didn't have a 3-pointer until the second half. There are guys who think they can get to the rim when they want and then there's cats like Young who know they can.

Rod Days, SF, Broward Bobcats -- This is a young man who has high major appeal but may find a better fit if he drops down a level. He makes open threes and possesses an athletic frame. At his size we'd like to see him do more on the glass and off the dribble.

Dorian Finney-Smith, PF, Boo Williams -- He's the same guy we've thought he is all along. A nose for the ball and a basketball IQ are why we feel confident with our evaluation. Long term you win with this guy. Once develops his game off the dribble he may even slide over to the small forward. He had 11 and 11 when we left after the third quarter.

Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut Basketball Club – An air craft carrier sized big man, Drummond stands 6-foot-10 and checks in at 240-pounds. For a guy his size he moves quite well and he's starting to develop a mean streak in the paint. Defensively he'll contest shots in the paint and he's turning into a pretty good rebounder. Going forward he'll need to continue to spruce up his post moves, but the nation's top rated prospect has a very bright future.

Tony Parker, C, Georgia Stars – Up against Drummond, Parker brought the best he had. In fact, Parker, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound center, gave Drummond his best effort. He was active and aggressive on both ends and fought for rebounds. Offensively he has a go-to jump hook and showed great touch around the basket. He finished with 20 points in the Stars loss to Connecticut Basketball Club.

Dajuan Coleman, C, Albany City Rocks – A physically imposing big man, Coleman has been known to have his way with the opposition in the paint. In this one, however, he didn't get a ton of touches inside. He did go and grab a few offensive rebounds and put them in for buckets. For a guy his size he moves well and he has a good set of hands. Overall he wasn't as effective as we've seen him in the paint. With that said, it's late in the period, so he deserves a pass.

Marcus Paige, PG, Martin Brothers 16's – Paige, a highly regarded 2012 lead guard, smoked a game-winning 3-pointer to beat Carolina Elite in the 7th place 16's game. Paige left a layup on the rim but stroked the big shot at the buzzer. Paige scored 23 points in the win and demonstrated complete command of his team.

J-Mychal Reese, L.J. Rose, PG, Houston Hoops – The impressive guard tandem for the Hoops have been together for quite some time and on Friday the two were up to their old tricks. Reese had his jumper working from three, but also mixed in a floater and showed he could create separation with ease. Rose, who went down with an ankle sprain, showed off his vision, feel and ability to get into the paint.

Marcus Paige holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia, Northern Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Kansas, Wisconsin and Clemson are looking.

Tashawn Thomas claimed interest from Colorado, Colorado State, Texas State, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Mount. St. Mary's, California, Memphis, Alabama and Santa Clara.

Branden Dawson's list sits at six schools – Purdue, Indiana, Marquette, UCLA, Michigan State and Georgetown. He said he plans to visit Purdue, Indiana, Georgetown and MSU in the near future.

L.J. Rose said the entire Big 12 along with Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Villanova, Georgetown, Connecticut, Harvard and Notre Dame are recruiting him.

Patrick Connaughton said Wake Forest, UCLA, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Clemson, Miami, Iowa State and Boston College have all jumped into his recruitment over the past few weeks.

Jerel Scott has turned himself into a pretty good three-pointer shooter. With time and space he was knocking down jumpers and made a few plays at the rim against the Albany City Rocks. Tavon Allen, a 6-foot-7 wing, buried a bunch of three-pointers for Connecticut Basketball Club. The 2010 product doesn't have the quickest release, but his shot was going down. Herdie Lawrence, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, had a big outing Friday morning. The Atlanta Elite guard has good speed and good-looking shot. Trey Burke, of All-Ohio Red, had a good outing against the Houston Hoops Friday morning. The 6-foot-1 guard can really score. If it's shooter with grades you fancy, cast a look Robbie Stenzel's way. He's a Patriot League bombadeer. Remy Abell is a mid level prospect with exceptional quickness to the cup. Kenny Kiminski hit the shot that sealed it for the Buckeye Ballers Friday night. Tomorrow he will make his announcement. Patrick Connaughton may have been the only senior wing this month who consistently posted his man up.

Head coaches for Dorian Finney-Smith were Seth Greenberg and Tony Bennett, as well as assistants from Florida, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Wake Forest. Iowa State, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Villanova, Purdue, Nebraska, Marquette watched Young score 47. Jonathan Holmes had Baylor, Georgia, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Illinois checking him out.

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