Real Deal in the Rock: Day One recap

Little Rock, Ark. - Real Deal in the Rock has become one of the biggest and most talent-rich AAU events of the spring, and this year a large handful of Kansas targets are taking part. Phog.net's Ryan Noel is on hand, and is here with his Day One report.

The first day at Real Deal in the Rock was really a night of blowouts for several of the Kansas targets on hand.

Both the Compton Magic - featuring Kansas targets Nino Jackson and Gabe York alongside Baylor commit Isaiah Austin - and the New England Playaz - featuring Kansas target Kaleb Tarczewski and Duke commit Alex Murphy - romped through the opening night against overmatched teams.

Compton Magic, Day 1

Gabe York - 2012 SG, 6'1 - York is clearly a high-level athlete, as he's light on his feet and very quick. While he is an explosive leaper, he really needs space to gather himself on two feet in order to get up high. But when he does, he elevates as well as any small guard in the country and loves to throw down on any defender in his way.

In tonight's game, though, York looked content to defer to his teammates in their lopsided rout. Isaiah Austin dominated the action, so York played the role of spot-up shooter and defender, while getting free for a handful of buckets on the break. While he's very adept at breaking down his defenders, his instincts always take him into a shot instead of a pass, meaning he's going to be a combo guard at the next level and will have to continue to develop his PG abilities.

Nino Jackson - 2012 SG, 6'1 - In some ways, Jackson is eerily similar to York, but he's also a complement to him as well. Where York needs some space to get himself up for a thunder-dunk, Nino Jackson doesn't need any space or seemingly any time at all to get himself airborne. The kid has the gift of flight and he loves to use it. Even more impressive? He's beginning to show great control over his body once he flings himself toward the hoop.

Where York was content to watch the action tonight, Nino forced himself into the mix with his new teammates, handling the ball heavily against the Arkansas 76ers' full-court pressure. While the opponents weren't stellar, the pressure forced jackson to handle the ball a lot, and it's clear that those handles have improved quite a bit from last summer. He can still be a bit wild and crossover-happy, but his ball control is certainly catching up to his insane quickness.

That insane quickness also brings about the part of Nino's game with the most potential - defense. Tonight Nino was a terror in the passing lanes, using his long arms and hands and fantastic quick-leap ability to tip and steal more than a handful of passes.

NE Playaz, Day 1

Kaleb Tarczewski - 2012 C, 7' - The long and lean center has started to fill out his frame, showing some added muscle from last summer. Tarczewski used his length and size to dominate an overwhelmed and undersized New Mexico Force squad, dunking all over them early on.

When the dunks weren't open though, Tarczewski showed off a feathery hook shot over his left shoulder. It will be interesting to see how effectively he can use it against opponents that can come close to his size (the nearest Force player in size was only about 6-foot-4), but it's good to see Tarczewski dominate a smaller team like he shoulder.

One thing that stood out tonight, even against a smaller team, is Tarczewski's rebounding instincts and fundamentals. It's easy to see he's been coached well, as he puts his butt into the body of the nearest opponent the instant a shot is launched. Where most young centers would simply be content to use their size and length to get the rebounds over small opponents, Tarczewski made sure to remember his fundamentals down low.


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