Ebanks Stars at USA Festival

Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels was on hand for each of Devin Ebanks' games with the USA Red squad at the USA Youth Festival last week in Colorado Springs, and he offers his opinion on Ebanks' play as well as what type of player IU will get getting in the fall of 2008...

Devin Ebanks might be on the move.

The 6-8, 190-pound wing from the Bronx, N.Y., is still bound for Bloomington in the fall of 2008, but he could be a player who sees his national ranking creep even higher when the next set of rankings materialize for the 2008 class.

Already ranked No. 10 by Scout.com, Ebanks not only solidified his national ranking with his effort at last week's USA Youth Development Festival in Colorado Spring, Col., he probably enhanced it according to Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels.

Daniels was on hand for each of Ebanks' games with the USA Red squad, which went undefeated in pool play and then beat USA Blue 112-109 in Sunday's championship game.

"Devin clearly made his mark at the USA Festival," Daniels said. "His play in Colorado Springs was fantastic and he proved that he can not only compete, but also perform against the best in the 2008 class."

There's little question that the best of the '08 class were in attendance in Colorado Springs. Among the marquee players competing were Greg Monroe (ranked No. 1 nationally by Scout.com), Ed Davis (No. 2), Al-Farouq Aminu (No. 3), Delvon Roe (No. 4), Jrue Holiday (No. 5), and Tyreke Evans (No. 8), among others.

Ebanks was one of the top scorers for the USA Red team, and came up with a handful of big baskets down the stretch to help USA Red come away with the title against a four-team field that also included a team made up of Brazilian international players.

The IU-bound player from St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn., consistently gave opposing players fits with his length, ability to get to the rim and his deft long-range shooting.

"He has a scoring mentality, and when he gets it going he's tough to handle," Daniels said. "His size and versatility cause a lot of match-up problems because he can shoot over smaller defenders and get by the bigger ones."

Those skills are a big reason why the IU staff was so excited to get a verbal commitment from Ebanks 11 days ago. After weighing offers from Indiana, Miami (Fla.) and Rutgers – and turning down a slew of inquiries from other programs – Ebanks decided Bloomington and Coach Kelvin Sampson provided the best opportunity for the next level.

This gives IU back-to-back seasons with a top-10 recruit, coming on the heels of the 2007 class that included second-ranked Eric Gordon. Whether Ebanks ranking inches even higher is still to be determined, but regardless of where he finishes up in the '08 rankings, Daniels believes IU is getting an impact player.

"If he shoots and gets to the basket the way he did at the USA Festival when he gets to Indiana, then he'll make an impact from day one," Daniels said. "Kelvin Sampson is getting a kid that seems to be peaking at just the right time and should be a nice player in his system."

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