Take 5ive: Dayton Targets

July is here and the chaos for college coaches has begun. Coach Gregory and his staff have been all over the country trying to fill the final two pieces to the 2008 recruiting class. Assistant Coach Billy Schmidt was front in center for the first day of the adidas It Takes 5ive Classic at 5/3 Arena on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Dayton Insider was also in attendance to see players who could possibly end up in a Dayton uniform before the summer is over. We will update you on several of these prospects and give an analysis of their performance at the inaugural adidas event. Pump–n–Run Elite from California came away with the title after holding off the exhausted Atlanta Celtics in the final game.

Delwan Graham – 6'6" SF (2008) – Dunwoody H.S. (Atlanta Celtics) – Delwan has impressed us all spring and summer with his non-stop motor. If there was one player that we have seen who separates himself from the other targets, it would be Delwan. He would be a monster in the A-10 and the evidence was there again this past weekend. Delwan matched up against Jrue Holiday (the nation's top SG in the 2008 class) in his first game of pool play and then matched up with 7'0'' Tyler Zeller (the nation's 5th best PF) the following game. He is versatile and not scared to mix it up with the big guys and quick enough and active enough to defend on the perimeter. The lefty has nice post moves and has also shown that he can step out and knock down jumpers from the perimeter. More than once Delwan put the ball in Zeller's chest and showed that he could score against one of the best big men in the country. He might be the most valuable player on a star-studded team due to his ability to set the tempo/pace with his energy and enthusiasm.

Ryne Smith – 6'2" SG (2008) – Whitmer H.S. (Ohio Gators) – Ryne is a great example of how recruiting has changed over the years. Ryne has not been heavily recruited by anyone so far this year but with a strong July he could go from a Low-Major kid to a Mid-Major steal or even play in a BCS conference. The kid can flat out shoot the ball from anywhere and would be a player who would come in and instantly spread the defense for his teammates to create. Ryne scored 35 in one game during pool play then had 25 points in a losing effort to the Ohio Basketball Club in bracket play. Ryne is at his best when he comes off of picks and can catch and shoot. He did however show that he is more than capable of putting the ball on the floor and create his own shot. That is not his strength but he can do it from time to time.

Lewis Jackson – 5'9'' PG (2008) – Eisenhower H.S. (Indiana Elite/Team Indiana) –Lewis spent the month of June working on what scouts label as his biggest weakness - his jump shot. His Indiana Elite team needed him at his best as they played this tournament without 4 of there top 7 players (Arizona commit Emmanuel Negedu, Kentucky commit DeAndre Liggins and reclassified 2007s Beas Hamga and Leonard Washington). Lewis still goes at 1 gear – fast – and that gear has yet to be matched on the AAU circuit. Lewis has stated to numerous scouts that he is waiting to make his decision and we feel this cannot be more accurate. He wants to play out the AAU season and then set up 5 official visits as school begins. If Dayton is still in need of a point guard when the time comes time for the visits they will be in the mix to land this lightening quick PG from Illinois. Dayton Insider saw Lewis play more than a handful of times during April and May and we were impressed that he was a pass first PG. Lewis however played a completely different role this weekend as he averaged over 16 points a game.

Paris Carter – 6'7" PF (2008) – Thornton-Fractional H.S. (Full Package Select) Dayton Insider was present to watch Full Package take on the Florida Rams, which just happened to feature Florida bound Kenny Kadji. When the two young men went head to head one would have thought that the future Gator would dominate as he had at least 4 inches on Carter. That was not the case as Paris showed that he had a knack of scoring around the basket. He led his team with 25 points in that game but it was not enough as Full Package lost in double overtime. Paris is not the most skilled player but he brings great energy and a bulldog mentality. He reminds us a lot of Nate Green and Keith Waleskowski when it came to work ethic in the post. He is a great defender and will challenge every shot that comes his way. I doubt Carter was on the Dayton radar prior to this adidas event, but I would imagine the staff will make a few additional trips to check out Carter as the rest of the summer unfolds.

Mario Hines – 6'8" PF (2009) – Garfield Heights (Ohio Basketball Club 16's) – Mario reminds us a lot of Devin Searcy in both his body and his skill. His skill level is advanced on the defensive end and shows flashes of brilliance on the offensive side – but not as consistently as we would like to see. Mario is extremely athletic and plays above the rim on both ends of the floor rebounding and contesting shots. His strengths are defending the post and rebounding. He runs the floor exceptionally and excels in transition. If we had to list a weakness it would be his ability to score in the post with his back to the basket. There is no doubt that we feel as he matures and continues to develop as a player he will become one of Dayton's primary 2009 targets to replace Charles Little and Thiago Cordeiro in the post.

Carl Jones – 5'10" PG (2009) – Garfield Heights (Ohio Basketball Club 16's) – What stood out to us more than anything after watching "Tae" is his poise as a floor general. The game moves a lot slower for him than it should and he sees the floor better than most. He is great when the ball is in his hands and finishes well around the rim -especially when you consider his size. Like his High School teammate Mario he also excels in the open floor which we feel is crucial to all players Dayton targets. He understands when to take shots and when to distribute which is testament to his superb feel for the game. It is difficult to point out any specific weakness in his game, especially on the offensive end of the floor, but as he develops he will need to learn how to defend and contain bigger, stronger guards.

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