Young Guns: The Post Players

TDD's Steve Clark spent the weekend following some of the top young players at Boo Williams including some of the best young post prospects in the country. Check out his recap and notes on those prospects who caught his eye.

David Wear and Travis Wear
Class of 2009
California Hoops 16U

Both of these players epitomize the new age look of the combo forward (PF with SF abilities) which has been utilized by so many power programs in recent years. Both play at about 6'8 and between 225-240, and are smooth as can be. As freshman they were directing the offensive and defensive traffic, barking out commands while anchoring their team's zone defense. Both seem to glide around the court with poise while making it seem almost effortless. After a while opponents would concentrate their defensive efforts on the duo, but neither seemed to be rattled. They can both handle the ball inside and out and they have the skills to be considered high major elite prospects and will be a force to be dealt with for all four years of school.

Al Farouq Aminu
Class of 2008
Georgia Stars 16U

If you're looking to hear the word potential here, well you're going to love Aminu. With many young players the "p word" gets bandied about to describe a player who has ability, but has yet to harness or refine it in any discernable way. Not on this one. Aminu was, by far, the most skilled of the athletic big men we observed. He's already got all the moves around the basket, and at the tender age of 15 he's already got the refined post game that some college big men lack. All weekend he announced his presence with authority on both ends and he demonstrated all the important qualifications of a top shelf big man, whether it be ability to absorb contact and still make the bucket, he's a difference maker on defense with tons of blocks and shots altered and he rebounds the ball so well. He's got high major written all over him.

Alex Oriakhi
Class of 2009

For most young players, getting burn at the 17U level is oftentimes a humbling experience. Going up against top shelf juniors and seniors usually shows a young freshman or sophomore just how far he has to go with his game. In this case, Alex not held himself well going up against Mr. Intensity himself, Gary Johnson, but he actually showed the older Johnson a thing or two on both ends of the court. Already measuring out at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, Oriakhi is a young stud big man with long arms that enable him to be in or around the action whenever he's on the court. He runs the floor like it's going out of style and he grabbed so many rebounds during the game that we lost count. The best thing about Alex though is when you look at his game, you already see such an advanced understanding of angles and how to play smart, physical basketball, that when you combine that aptitude and physical dimension, you're looking at another high major elite talent. What a warrior.

Ed Davis
Class of 2008
Boo Williams 17U

This was my second time seeing Ed, and boy, has the light turned on. I initially saw him earlier in Richmond when he was a timid young big man that showed a lot of tools, but just didn't seem to want to assert himself. Now, after two weeks of high level training with Boo Williams, Ed is playing with an aggressive and high flying ability that's it like watching a completely different player. He's got a wingspan that seems like it goes on forever and when we saw him, he was flying around the basket, getting a number of rebounds, while finishing around the basket in style. All in all, Ed is really starting to show more and more of the ability that has many analysts thinking he's going to be a major recruit for a lot of ACC schools.

David Hainey
Class of 2008
Metro Hawks 16U

As with many young players, there are going to be a good numbers of peaks and valleys with their level of play. But, if there's one word I would use to describe David, besides "really tall" and "active on the interior" (ok those are more than one word, but you get the idea), it would be this-CONSISTENT. Every time down the floor, David showed a solid understanding of how to play help defense and also how to pass the ball really well. Even though his team didn't look for him much on offense (due to the team being very guard oriented) David got his hands on so many rebounds and made so many great passes that led to easy buckets for his team that he seemed to standout without filling up the points column. He's such a fluid athlete and when you combine that with a real desire to compete, he's another one to look out for in the class of 2008.

Justin Davis
Class of 2008
Georgia Elite 17U

While it would be unfair to compare this kid to Greg Oden, the fact is that like Oden he looks like a player who is much older than he really is. Hailing from Africa, Davis has a body that looks like it's been chiseled out of granite, he's so strong up top and tall (6-foot-8 and still growing according to his coach) that he was able to get by on sheer athletic ability to grab rebounds and score some easy buckets. He's still pretty raw when it comes to good low post moves, but the kid showed a real love to be coached, which combined with just some amazing athletic ability is going to bode well for Davis to grow into a big facing the basket type of PF/C for wherever he goes to college.

Todd O'Brien
Class of 2008
New Jersey All Stars 17U

One of the more memorable players of the weekend, O'Brien just plays with the kind of take no prisoners attitude that you love to see out of a big guy. As one scout put it, "that guy is an enforcer inside". He doesn't mind throwing your body around if it's in his way of getting to "his" rebound and he'll let you know if you come to close into his kitchen down low. What's more is that he actually demonstrated a pretty good all-around game as well. He's not the over the top elite athlete that other guys are, but he's no slouch either, and when you combine that with just a real comfort level that he seemed to operate in down low, you see a player who's going be one of those Top 30-50 players in his class when it's all said and done.

Anale Okolaji
Class of 2009
Metro Hawks 15U

I know some of you are probably saying. Something about scouting a kid in the class of 2009. There's a long time between now and then. In fact I wasn't even going to watch this team in action, but circumstances worked out that I got a peek at Okolaji. And it was worth the price of admission. Already playing at around 6-foot-7 and weighing in at a very solid and defined 230, Anale already demonstrates all the tools of a player who knows the fundamentals and who knows how to play around the basket. He demonstrated a real nose for the ball and he just seemed to make a lot of things happen when he was in the game. Best thing about him is his defense though, he didn't play a whole lot of minutes, but he had over 5 blocks for the game, and that doesn't happen just by accident. Really reminds me of Shelden Williams in that he always seemed to block the shot right to a teammate so they could start the fast break.

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