AAU State:Dayton Targets Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of Dayton Insiders evaluation of players that we came away impressed with at the Ohio AAU State Championship. In part 1 of a 2 part series we will take a look at the class of 2010. This class could be one of the strongest that Ohio has had in quite some time. What makes this class unique is that it is not only talented but deep.

Dayton Insider was in attendance at the Sports Plex in Sharonville, Ohio and these are the players we feel the UD staff should watch out for in the future.

Juwan Staten – 5'9" PG (2010) – Colonel White H.S. (All-Ohio Red 15s) – Impressive! There are few players in this class who can score like Staten. He scores going to the rim, from behind the arch and, more impressive than anything, he can score off the dribble with a mid-range pull-up game. Staten creates great separation from his defender with an ultra-quick step-back to a pull-up jumper – a move that is virtually unstoppable when he is in rhythm. Although when watching Staten, his scoring stands out, the aspect of his game which has impressed us the most over the years has been his growth in the understanding of the game. He may have the best basketball understanding in the entire Class of 2010.

Adrian Payne – 6'7" F (2010) – Jefferson H.S. (All-Ohio Red 15s) – Payne is a long and athletic forward who has the potential to be a superstar. The Dayton youngster runs the floor well for a big guy and finishes plays around the basket. He uses his length to alter opponent shots but has a tendency to try and contest everything. Although some may see this as a negative, we love his aggressive attitude on the defensive end.

Kenny Knight – 6'6" F (2010) – Northwest H.S. (Queen City Prophets 15s) – As we stated in our previous evaluation of him, he scores well and rebounds well for a young prospect – there is no doubt about that. He needs to develop his perimeter skills to play at the wing spot – right now he is a true power forward – and an exceptionally athletic one at that. There is no question on the talent this kid is. Clearly one of the Top 5 players in the class based on talent alone – he can flat out get it done when he wants.

Jordan Hicks – 6'3" WF (2010) – Lakota West H.S. (Queen City Prophets 15s) – Hicks is exceptional at getting to the rim and does so with an unmatched strength at this level. He plays hard all the time, gets it done on defense and has shown the ability to knock down jumpers. This was another solid weekend for Hicks who is one of our favorite players in the Class of 2010.

Allen Payne – 6'5" WF (2010) – Winton Woods H.S. (Queen City Prophets 15s) – This was a better evaluation of Payne in the fact that since he was playing up an age group (the whole 15 and Under team was combined with the 16s to participate in the 16 and Under State Tournament) he was able to play more of his natural position on the wing (forward). To develop into more of a wing guard, Payne will need to improve his ball handling skills. Payne has a high skill level, especially on the offensive end of the floor and rebounds remarkably well for a wing. When you get a chance to watch Payne, the thing that stands out the most is how easily the game comes to him – his game is smooth.

Jordan Berlin – 6'1" PG (2010) – Wilmington H.S. (Cincinnati AAU) – This heady point guard has the ability to run a team. What impressed us the most was the ways that Jordan could score. He can knock down the 3 from all over the perimeter. He showed on a consistent basis that he could score off the dribble as he hit runner after runner against Juwan Staten. Jordan also created for his teammates when necessary. This young man was a very nice surprise and will be an asset to any D1 program.

Joe Staley – 6'1" PF (2010) – Chaminade-Julienne H.S. (Cincinnati AAU) – It comes as no surprise that this coach's son has a great understanding of the game. He is extremely undersized for his position (power forward) but still finds ways to score against bigger, more athletic defenders. You ask how? Well, he uses his body well, utilizes fakes and plays with an unmatched energy. We have not seen too many players if any work harder in the post then Joe all Spring.

Kevin Gray – 5'10" WG (2010) – Reynoldsburg H.S. (All-Ohio Red 15s) – This kid can flat out play. Not sure what level (college) he will end up, but since we started watching Kevin as a 4th grader he has always been one of our favorites. Kevin continues to improve his game year after year but he will probably have a size issue when it comes to college basketball. One thing that you cannot question is his passion for the game and that could take him a long way.

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