AMC: Player Evaluations Report #1

Bloomington - Most of the top up-and-coming prospects in the state are on hand this weekend for the Adidas May Classic. Hoosier Nation breaks down the Saturday play of 12 of those players, including Dominique Ferguson, Cody Zeller, Jordan Manuel, and other top players on Spiece Indy Heat, SYF, Indiana Elite, and the Eric Gordon All-Stars...

Cody Zeller, Indiana Elite One 17s – The Washington, Ind., product has really picked up his game in the last two AAU events starting last weekend in Ft. Wayne. Zeller had 12 points (5-of-7 shooting) and pulled down 11 rebounds in Saturday afternoon's 68-59 loss to the New Jersey Roadrunners. Zeller can get up and down the floor as well as any big man you watch and scored on back-to-back plays where he beat his man down the floor for layups. He also showed his can finish with his left hand and also had a couple of nice passes from the high post for assists.

Spencer Turner, Indiana Elite One 17s – Turner had a pair of huge games Saturday, scoring a game-high 24 points (including six 3-pointers) in the nine-point loss to the Road Runners and then coming back with 25 in a 74-37 win against Full Package White in the finale. He continues to play to his strength, which is his ability to shoot the ball as well as anyone in the class. His range is well beyond the 3-point arc, and he also showed the ability to hit a runner in the lane. He's clearly the No. 1 scoring option on a team that also includes Carlino, Zeller and Marshall Plumlee.

Marshall Plumlee, Indiana Elite One 17s – Plumlee did have the best of games in the outing I saw today, as he finished with four points (1-of-3 shooting), seven rebounds and a couple of blocks. Plumlee is still developing some go to moves in the post, and he had trouble finishing when he got the ball on the blocks against the Road Runners. Plumlee's work ethic and attitude suggest he'll develop rapidly in the next two years, but he's clearly still a work in progress.

Matt Carlino, Indiana Elite One 17s – The IU 2011 commit got off to a lightning-quick start against the Roadrunners, scoring on a conventional 3-point play and then getting a second bucket while being fouled seconds later to give him five quick points. From there Carlino struggled from the field, missing his final nine shots (including five 3-pointers) on his way to a 8-point, 4-rebound, 4-assist effort in the 68-59 loss to the Roadrunners. Despite his struggles shooting the ball Carlino did do some very nice things, showing off the ability to get past a defender and then throw in a nice spin move to get the bucket (or the foul line).

Kyrie Irving, Road Runners 17s – About the only thing that can slow Irving down offensively is when he settles for deep 3-pointers, an area of his game where he's still striving for more consistency. But when it comes to transition basketball and attacking off the dribble, they don't come much better than Irving. Scout.com's eighth-ranked player in the 2010 class scored 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting in his team's come-from-behind win over Indiana Elite. He was critical in helping his team overcome an 11-point second half deficit, connecting on four of his first five second half shots. It's easy to see why he's so high on IU's 2010 wish list.

Marquis Teague, Spiece Indy Heat 17s – The Pike H.S. standout played more of a complementary role to DeShaun Thomas in Indy Heat's two wins, scoring eight and then 11 points in Indy Heat's two wins. He still had flashes of greatness, though, coming away with three early steals to set the tone in Indy Heat's opening 91-74 win against U Play Canada Elite, and then having a couple of breakaway buckets in an 83-44 blowout win against Scott County Sharks. Teague can pretty well get past anyone and get into the lane, and in the open floor he showed he can finish with authority.

DeShaun Thomas, Spiece Indy Heat 17s – If someone can eventually get Thomas to be more willing to play with back to the basket, he'll be all but unstoppable offensively. Thomas scored 17 in the opener and then 24 in Indy Heat's second pool play contest and scored at will when he was down low. He's a very capable 3-point shooter as well, but when he settles for deep 3-pointers is when he can be held in check. He finished off a very good day of play with an alley-oop dunk on a nice fast break pass from Broad Ripple's Steven Jamison.

Dominique Ferguson, SYF 17s – After a two-point, three-foul, one-technical first half, Ferguson had plenty of people wondering why there was so much fuss about him in the 2010 class. But that question was answered after a 13-point, four-rebound, two-block second half Saturday at Assembly Hall. The top-10 Class of 2010 prospect put the ball on the floor on the fast break and finished, and he did the same in the half court when he got the ball on the wing. He can dominate games when he wants to, and he did that in the second half of a 66-54 win over the Eric Gordon All-Stars. Consistency can occasionally be an issue, but there's no doubting his special skills.

Terone Johnson, Eric Gordon All-Stars 17s – The Purdue-bound sophomore scored 15 in a 12-point loss to SYF Saturday afternoon in Assembly Hall. While it wasn't a dominant effort, he showed an ability to get into the lane and knock down the mid-range jumper, and he also showed he can finish inside after contact. He found himself matched up against Ferguson at times, and Johnson is willing to get physical in the post and fight for position with bigger players. It's easy to see why Purdue coach was quick to offer a scholarship, and why he's a very good get for the Boilers.

Jordan Manuel, Eric Gordon All-Stars 17s – Manuel did what he could get to rattle Ferguson in their head-to-head match-up, but Ferguson came out on top in the end. While Ferguson got the better of Manuel, this Indianapolis Howe junior is an intriguing prospect. He's very long and athletic, and he can play a variety of positions on the court. His 190-pound frame keeps him from being much of a threat in the paint, but his ball handling is improving and he's becoming more of a threat off the dribble.

Ethan Jacobs, Spiece Indy Heat 17s – A high school teammate of IU-bound Derek Elston, the 7'0" Jacobs turned some heads with his play Saturday. While his size is what catches most people's attention early on, on Saturday he showed off the ability to knock down an 18-foot jumper as well. Jacobs doesn't figure to make a habit of facing up from around the 3-point line, but he showed he's going to be more than simply a big man taking up space in the paint.

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