While the event lacked some of the superstar wattage of years past, there was no shortage of standout players both on and off of the Kansas radar.
DAY ONE STANDOUTS
James Anderson - The 6-6 wing has been building momentum all summer long as a rising stud in the class of 2007 and he continued that trend on Wednesday. A long and fluid athlete with an ideal wing build, the game comes easy to him in both transition and the half court. He made some nifty plays off the dribble including a nice spin and lefty finish plus a foul while hitting the glass and playing tough defense. When one analyst wondered aloud if he could shoot, Anderson responded by nailing a 15 foot jumper and trio of three pointers on the next four possessions. Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all paying considerable attention to the soft spoken wing.
Corey Stokes - A former Kansas target, the recent Villanova commitment was dropping in jumpers from all over the place. He’s a strong 6-5 wing with a pretty jumper and plenty of athleticism for drives to the basket. His stock had dropped some during the winter after a few uninspired performances but he’s got both his body and game in tip top shape and looks like a potential McDonald’s All-American at this point.
DeAndre Jordan - The Houston big man was one of the most pleasant surprises on day one as he played with a ton of activity. Every bit of 6-11, he’s a bouncy athlete who runs the floor extremely well and has impossibly long arms. He needs more strength, but the southpaw was rejecting shots, dunking everything in sight and had the most impressive play of the day when he leapt to catch an errant pass at midcourt, came down without losing stride, put the ball on the floor headed right, changed directions to go left before pulling up and missing an eight foot floater. He might have missed the shot but that didn’t stop him from finishing the play as he followed up his miss and dunked it from high in the air in one fluid motion. It’s plays like that one that eventually make young big men lots of money.
Delvon Roe - A class of 2008 standout, the 6-8 southpaw from outside of Cleveland is emerging as one of the most polished low post scorers regardless of class. He takes his time to pick apart opponents, has tremendous footwork and finishes with an assortment of jumpers, hooks and spin moves on the interior. Give him some space and he’ll face up and drill jumpers out to the three point line and he gets out in transition for big dunks. He’s always been very respected, but just maybe his game deserves a little more respect than it has gotten.
Luke Babbit - Yet another talented lefty from the class of 2008, Babbitt is a sharp shooting face up four man from Reno (NV) Galena. He loves to put the ball on the floor and drive around slow footed big men and he’s much scrappier around the hoop than his frame might suggest he’d be. His recruitment is already on, and will continue to take place, at the highest level possible.
Alex Legion - During the spring many analysts were a little down on the slightly mechanical and sometimes stiff moving wing guard. Then at the Tournament of Champions he broke out of what by his standards was a bit of a slump. His excellent play has carried over to NBPA where he’s impressed with his fundamentally sound game and ability to score and defend from the wing. His jumper takes some time, but it’s highly accurate and he’s got just enough bounce to finish over defenders. He’s the kind of kid that ends up leading teams and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him play spot minutes at the point later on his college career.
Kalin Lucas - Michigan State landed a dandy floor general when Lucas pledged his services to Tom Izzo’s crew. He’s everything that a point guard should be. He leads his teammates, controls the tempo of the game and makes things happen when he needs to. Unlike many lead guards who can’t shoot a lick, Lucas is a deadly shooter from outside and perhaps his greatest gift is his ability to change speeds and blow by or lull defenders to sleep in the same possession.