Real Deal: Day Two Checklist

<b>FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –</b> Greg Oden and Co. wreaked havoc on the field all day long on Saturday. While Oden was doing his thing, guys like Lance Thomas, Earl Clark and Alex Legion were going off as well.

Teams Evaluated – God Squad, New Heights, Illinois Warriors, Southeast Elite, Mid-State Ballerz, Birmingham Raptors, The Family, Memphis Pump ‘n Run. Playaz, Blessed IJN, Spiece Indy Heat, Team Texas, Spiece Elite, Arkansas Hawks.

2006 CHECKLIST

Greg Oden, C, Spiece: The most dominant defensive player in high school basketball was at it again. Against Team Texas he went for 17 points on just 6 shots and controlled the game without scoring. It's amazing to see good players pretty much stop in their tracks once they get near the bucket and he's in the game. Kids will miss shots out of fear when he's patrolling the paint. He's scary good and getting better.

Darrell Arthur, PF, Team Texas: Knowing he had little chance of scoring on Oden when matched up head to head inside, Arthur took his game out to the perimeter where he made shots and a few 3s to boot. On a night in which he played against a loaded Spiece squad, he managed to get 21 points on 9-for-17 from the field to go with 5 rebounds. Understand that he scored on Oden only when on the perimeter but had a stellar game nonetheless. "Slim Shady" is ultra-talented and his place in amongst the 5 best prospects in his class is safe by our count.

Lance Thomas, PF, New Heights: Like clockwork he turned in a 30-point, 11-rebound game in which he helped his team climb back into the game. He scored it a variety of ways, including from mid-range. He's still venturing out behind the line but his bread is buttered mid-range and in. Still, no one in the country gets to the line with the frequency Thomas does (7-for-7 today!). He's a consistent guy who punches the clock and always adds up numbers.

Jon Scheyer, SG, Illinois Warriors: Some things never change. This Top 25 standout, bad non-shooting hand and all can still let it fly with the best of them. The stroke is pure and if he can add some weight to that 6-foot-6 frame he'll be an excellent player at the highest level, allowing him to be stronger with the ball. His presence on the Warriors is a big reason why they'll play again on Sunday.

Thaddeus Young, SF/SG, Memphis Pump: His 17 points helped fuel a Memphis run that assisted in the destruction of The Family. Young shot 7-for-14 from the field and scored it in a variety of different ways. The game comes very easy for him and we'd like to see him shoot it a little more in some situations (his father and head AAU coach agree!). He's a rangy athlete who is thinking, according to dad, of maybe even playing some two guard and running a little point.

Earl Clark, SG, Playaz: When he plays and is on his game like he was on Saturday, a strong argument for Top 25 status in this class is in order. At 6-foot-8, he's legit on the perimeter and handles it like a smaller guard. The knock on Earl has generally been in regards to consistency so if he can replicate an outstanding Saturday he'll vault up the charts. He's very skilled and was making impressive plays with contact.

Wayne Ellington, SG, Playaz: Leaners, 3s, mid-range jumpers on the move, you name it and he's got it in the bag of tricks. He was good when we saw him but since we've seen him a ton you know there's an extra gear there that when he really needs it he'll make it happen. The real beauty of his game is the ease in which he makes difficult plays look not just easy, but effortless. On one occasion, he drove and lofted a floater over a few defenders that not too many kids in the class would attempt, let alone stick.

Armon Bassett, PG, Spiece Elite: How does 29 points on 10-for-15 from the field sound to you? His club needs him to make shots and score points and all he's done the entire weekend is put it in the basket. In his first playoff game he shot 5-for-8 from deep. The real challenge for him as a scoring point comes in getting everyone involved. He can do it, but this team asks him to be a point producer and he's done that too!

Richard Semrau, PF, Blessed IJN: The knock on Richard generally comes when you talk about his rebounding and toughness. Well, against the Playaz, this average athlete was hitting the glass to the tune of 11 rebounds. He had some problems scoring it but the effort on the glass was there. He's definitely getting stronger.

Demetrius Jemison, PF, Southeast Elite: It's a big weekend for this young man as programs evaluate him in a national setting. He's a hard playing inside guy who eventually wants to add some small forward to his game. For now, his comfort zone is the blocks. "I'm working on my ball-handling and my jump shooting is getting better," Jemison said. Against the Warriors he was aggressive inside and finished strong.

Ramar Smith, SG, The Family: The Detroit crew was uncharacteristically without much punch to their game in a loss to Memphis. But, Smith had his offense, in particular his stroke, going early. In fact, he was The Family's best offensive player in both halves but it wasn't enough and when frustration set in, he got the double tech and had to watch the last few minutes from the bench.

2007 CHECKLIST

Alex Legion, SG, Michigan Hurricanes: In watching one of his games out of the corner of my eye, it was impossible to ignore what he was doing. Using an athletic body and a deft touch from the perimeter he got every shot he wanted. Not only can he score and be athletic, but he's got a feel and poise about him that you don't often see in players this young. Plus, he'll always be credited for engineering an upset of EBO in pool play.

Aaron Johnson, PG, Illinois Warriors: Honestly listed at 5-foot-7, he's been tabbed to hold down the fort with Sherron Collins back at home. Johnson is a strong, confident ball handler who can use his speed and quickness to get into the paint. The little dude gets by people and projects to be at least a solid mid-major prospect, especially if he can find range on his jumper.


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