Young Guns: The Wings

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

Xavier Henry
Class of 2009
Athletes First 17U

Some guys just have that look. The look that screams "I'm a high major athlete, who has been born to play the game of basketball". Past examples include 2006's Gerald Henderson, former Duke great Grant Hill, and former Blue Devil Corey Maggette. In the same mold, Xavier's stature and game proved to be of made of the stuff that has propelled several top prospects to the national top five rankings. Measuring out at a legit 6-foot-6 with an absurdly chiseled physique, Xavier routinely proved there isn't much he can't do on the court. Bringing the ball up the floor, showing any move you want, passing the ball, shooting stroke, just everything about him is high major elite. He's everything that you want a slashing forward to be and then some, and he's going make his college coach REALLY happy once he gets there.

Olu Ashalou
Class of 2008
Georgia Elite 17U

Duke fans probably still have him fresh in their minds, but try and remember Tasmin Mitchell of LSU. That was the first comparison that arose around the gym when watching Olu in action. The only difference is that he's a better ball handler, and seems to take tremendous pride in expelling all his effort when battling for rebounds and on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively he's the kind of player that every program covets. He can create off the dribble, pull up, and finish inside. He's also not afraid to get on his teammates should they think of taking a play off. With long arms and a quick spring off the floor, Ashaolu also showed the knack for tipping contested rebounds out to teammates.

Jin Hong
Class of 2009
Metro Hawks 15U

Even though he's just a freshman, he's already 6-foot-7 and he can go inside out and out. He's so smooth with the ball that he reminded me a lot of former Blue Devil Mike Dunleavy, only just a slightly better rebounder. He passes the ball so well and he's got the ability to really dominate if he just puts his mind to it. He's got the complete floor game and the form on his jumper looks like it comes straight out of a textbook. Defensively he needs to pick things up a bit, but he's got a number of tools to be an impact player in a few years.

Murphy Holloway
Class of 2008
South Carolina Ravens 16U

His team made it to the 16U finals on Sunday, and Murphy was a big part of that. Murphy is similar to Duke target Lance Thomas in that he's got that really great athletic ability and he can go inside and outside with his game and he shows a real aptitude for rebounding. Even down to having the same type of hairstyle that Lance does, Murphy is one of those kids with a motor that never stops and he's one of the most explosive athletes I saw all weekend.

Anthony Jones
Class of 2008
Houston Hoops 17U

Perhaps he should be listed as more of a power forward, because he grabbed a lot of rebounds and really got down there and mixed it up. But labeling him as such would be ignoring the rest of his game. Anthony is reed thin, probably 190 at the most, but he's over the top long, as in Brandan Wright long. Wright may be a good comparison as Jones certainly competes at both ends of the court and his length allowed him to block and alter at least 10 shots in the game I witnessed. He still needs to put in the time on the practice court when it comes to improving fundamentals, but he still makes the list of the better WF/PF prospects out there just due the sheer explosiveness he brings to the court.

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