Day One at the Memorial Day Classic

Every Memorial Day weekend Nike showcase's it's impressive stable of travel teams at their Memorial Day Classic. The action got started Saturday morning on the campus of Ensworth High School in Nashville. With plenty of talent on hand, there was no shortage of standout performers and performances.


Kyle Singler - There’s no question that the almost 6-9 forward was the best player in the gym on Saturday. Listed sometimes as a wing, and sometimes as a power forward you really have to throw out the position labels and just understand that he’s a player who has to be on the floor because of his playmaking ability. He said that his favorite player is Dirk Nowitzki and that he also loves Larry Bird and his game is loaded with elements of each of those players games. He’s not a jaw dropping leaper, but he can handle, kills defenders with change of pace, scores in the post and with deep jumpers. He’s still listing Arizona, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Washington and will take an unofficial visit to Washington within the next week or so. An official to Kansas is in the works.

Samardo Samuels - Despite his high ranking in the class of 2008, there have been whispers that Samardo Samuels may be leveling off. Some scouts worry that he’s hit his ceiling and that he may be a little heavy legged. While he still tends to go to his left shoulder more often than not, the beastly 6-9 BF has gotten into better shape and appeared more streamlined than he did a month ago. He’s got great touch on short jumpers and free throws, a motor that doesn’t stop and while he may not end up as a top five player in his class, he’s still and elite level prospect.

James Anderson - He didn’t really get off in his first game, but the 6-7 wing from Arkansas had it rolling in his second game of the afternoon. Athletic, with a wiry strong frame, he’s a smart wing who hits jumpers, attacks the rim and passes with deft touch. He’s not a shot jacker so sometimes it seems like he’s playing quiet but if “quiet” play means racking up boards, defending and dropping off dimes while scoring with efficiency, coaches are going to be lining up for his services. His stock will continue to be on the rise.

Xavier Henry - Exploded for a ton of buckets in the second half of his first game of the day and the important thing is that it wasn’t just because he got hot from downtown. He still hit some threes, but it was good to see him putting the ball on the deck and attacking older opponents. In his second game of the afternoon, the 6-6 lefty knocked down two huge free throws with under five seconds to go to wipe away a one point deficit and help secure a two point win for Athlete’s First over the New York Gauchos.

George Goode - Playing for a new team, the Kansas City Keys, the long 6-8 combo forward didn’t play the type of minutes he’s used to. While he was out there he did a good job of hitting the offensive and defensive glass but seemed content to shoot threes at times. On the positive side he blocked a bunch of shots, did get in the paint and mix it up when things got tight against the Charlotte Royals and he’s improved his ball handling. Marquette, Miami, and Mizzou have all stepped with scholarship offers and he says that Kansas is still involved.


Donte Green - Syracuse fans should be extremely excited, if they somehow aren’t yet, to have this splendid 6-8, almost 6-9, forward in the fold. He needs strength, but he’s got no shortage of skill, passing ability and explosive athleticism around the hoop. He plays equally hard on the defensive end, but sometimes that leads to silly fouls and his biggest problem is that he misses large chunks of games due to foul trouble. He just might be one of the top 10 players in the country.

Patrick Patterson - The Boo Williams stud is a complete beast in the paint who dunks with authority, plays physical and cleans the glass. He’ll hit some short jumpers and doesn’t get near the praise that he should for his game.

Tyreke Evans - The top player in the 2008 class and he proved why on Saturday. Handled the point at almost 6-5, murdered defenders off the dribble, scored at the rim, hit some jumpers and played solid defense. On top of all of that, he might have been the best rebounder in the building.

Jai Lucas- He’s all of 5-9 and probably doesn’t weigh more than 150 pounds but Lucas is flat out fearless. Creates space with quick stepbacks and has a floater going right or left that is pretty much unstoppable on this level. He’s little, but that doesn’t stop him from getting the job done and people are worry less and less about his lack of size on the next level. Top Stories