"> ">

USA Day 1: Kansas Targets

Kansas head coach Bill Self isn't allowed anywhere near Colorado Springs this weekend. Too bad, because the USA Basketball Developmental Festival features a slew of national name guys and plenty of Jayhawk targets - all in town to show their stuff in front of an audience of scouts, family and gurus. <img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

Kalen Grimes - The 6-8 BF from Florrisant (MO) Hazelwood looked to be getting off to another sluggish start at a high profile event when he threw up a goose egg during the first half of the morning session. Finally getting some touches from his North teammates in the post, Grimes got more active in the second half and hit the glass for a couple of ferocious tip dunks and scored on a nice spin move finishing with six points.

The momentum he got late in the morning session carried through to the evening session that saw Grimes really get after it in a head to head match up with Dayshawn Wright from Syracuse (NY) Fowler. Although Wright is only 6-6, he is built out of 240 pounds of iron and has springs for legs. The two elbowed, pushed and grinded their way during a bruising game as Grimes scored 15 points and showed signs of life on the offensive end.

He scored off of nifty spin moves and nice jump hook from 6 feet. Although he struggled at the line – where he shoots kind of a one handed shot put—Grimes day was punctuated when he threw down a two handed baseline bang in Wright's face with a lot of contact.

Marquie Cooke - It is hard to list Cooke, who is playing with the East, as too much of a KU target. Cooke didn't name the Jayhawks when asked about his current school list. However, his list of schools is long and changes pretty much every time he is asked. Still, none of this takes away from the nice day that Cooke turned in.

In the morning session Cooke consistently took the ball to the hole, scoring 16 points. Cooke looks to take his man off the dribble, draw contact, and then finish around the rim with his superior strength. He isn't a blazer or a high riser, but has the quickness to turn the corner and his jump shot is improving. He also grabbed an impressive seven boards from his PG slot.

It was pretty much the same story in the evening session when Cooke chipped in with another 14 points. Look for him to end up in the ACC somewhere, somewhere like Florida State or Virginia Tech if the join the ACC.

Russell Robinson - Simply put, Robinson struggled for most of the day. The New Yorker is loved for his constant attacking of the basket, but he played passively at times and even looked disinterested during stretches. He managed four points during the morning session (although he only took three shots) and chipped in with eight during the evening session. He did show signs of life during the second half of his East Team's victory over the North.

Malik Hairston - Malik got off to a cold start by his standards only scoring nine points during the North's morning game. That wasn't the case in the evening. He caught fire in the first half, scoring 19 points on 7-10 shooting (including 4-5 on threes), before cooling off some and finishing with 24 points.

Hairston is the complete package at the WG slot and showed off every facet of his game. He nailed several of his high arching threes, threw in a few jab step one dribble pull ups from the wing and also tossed home a couple of nice jams.

The most striking part of Hairston's game is the maturity he plays with. You'll never know whether he is in the middle of a four point nightmare, or a 45 point outburst. For a 16 year old to play with that kind of maturity is big time.

Marcus Monk - Before all of the Spring/Summer AAU and shoe events took place, perhaps few players in the country had created as much buzz as the 6-5 (tops) WF from tiny Lapento (AR) East Poinsette. Plagued by injuries during early events, Monk's production had been a little less than advertised.

During the first day in Colorado Springs, Monk didn't do much to hurt or help his stock. Feeling out his South teammates in the morning session, Marcus was content to play defense and didn't look to force the issue on offense, at all. It is clear that he has the requisite athletic tools, but against elite competition Monk seemed hesitant to really attack.

His game goes as his ability to get to the rack goes and Monk was cut off on several occasions. He is a terrific defender though, and used his defensive ability to score key easy transition baskets in the evening session and looked to be more involved. He scored 11 points in the night cap and also added a few nice passes.


Phog.net Top Stories