An eager defender with quick feet and long arms, Hale harassed Eaton into several turnovers and poor shots. More impressively, he was able to stay in front of the strong Texan and cut off his attempts to drive to the basket.
It is pretty obvious that Hale and Mario Chalmers are on the same page and they look like they have played together for a while. They both did a nice job getting into the lane and Chalmers continued to shoot well from downtown, even burying a game winning 22 footer as time expired -- while falling out of bounds.
Of course, Micah Downs is playing with Chalmers and Hale as well. He looked terrific again on Sunday. The 6-7 (maybe 6-8) wing buried two ever-so-smooth step back three pointers, attacked off the dribble, got loose in transition and played harassing defense again.
PrepStars.com's Rob Harrington sees a lot to like in Chalmers and Downs.
"Playing together, they look less like they are preparing for summer camps and more like they are preparing for the beginning of a college season. Chalmers is so effective because he balances excellent scoring ability with good playmaking instincts. Downs is one of the rare players who plays hard all the time but appears to be expending little energy, there is not a more complete wing in the class of 2005."
OTHER NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
There are plenty of players to like in Richmond, but two quiet standouts Sunday afternoon were Wes Matthews and Terry Martin. They are both smooth wings with dangerous jump shots and cagey moves off of the dribble. Bobby Knight picked up a good one when he got Martin's commitment a few weeks ago. It was also nice to see Matthews bounce back after struggling on Saturday.
C.J. Miles was really quiet again and it will be interesting to see if he gets a little more aggressive this evening. The 6-5 Dallas (TX) Skyline wing isn't necessarily playing badly, it just seems that he is a bit tentative this weekend. His teammate on the Pistons, Canadian big man Ryan Wright will emerge from NBAPA as one of the hottest big men prospects in the country. The 6-9 BF is athletic, rebounds, blocks shots and has nice touch. He looks to be at least a top 35 type prospect nationally. Staying with the Pistons, Tasmin Mitchell continues to struggle. The 6-7 (maybe only 6-6) combo forward is effective when he mixes his inside and outside game, but he's tried to play too much on the perimeter and appears to have his confidence shaken.
Another major sleeper in Richmond is Oklahoma State pledge, 6-5 WF Roderick Flemings from DeSoto (TX) High. He's an active defender who is really turning into a confident scorer and finisher. Pairing him on the wing with Davon Jefferson makes for an athletic duo on the Lakers squad.
Jefferson isn't quite there yet, but the Lynwood (CA) High prospect is going to develop into a full time WF. His shooting has come around but Jefferson simply must work on his ball handling. Saturday night he made one of the most feeble crossover attempts in recent history only to have his rock volleyball spiked out of his hands by Jamal Boykin.