Orlando's Best (2008)

The class of 2007 drew plenty of attention at Disney this summer but a number of 2008 prospects garnered the attention of several big time coaches.

Several of the top prospects from the class of 2007 remained unsigned when they arrived at Disney this summer so you can understand why the “seniors-to-be” took center stage.

But there were a handful of 2008 products that had the coaches whispering about the future. Phog.net lists some of the names to watch from this summer’s Super Showcase and AAU Nationals.

Edward Davis – 6-8 – Power Forward - Boo Williams Summer League

Davis is a slender power forward who plays for an AAU team known to produce big-time talent and this kid is definitely the next in line. The Boo Williams starter is the son of former NBA player Terry Davis so it’s in the genes and there’s no doubt dad will let his son know what it takes to make it as one of the nation’s top prospects. Davis was my favorite prospect because he’s leaps and bounds ahead of some of the other ’08 players in his skill development. Edward is a terrific rebounder, and has a polished game with his back to the basket. Squaring up for the short jumper never seemed to be an issue either. The only weakness I saw was strength. If he adds the bulk necessary to finish even more regularly around the rim – look out – he will be next season’s Patrick Patterson. Scout.com already ranks him as the second-best power forward from his class and I don’t see him falling from that lofty perch anytime soon.

Sean Mosley – 6-5 – Shooting Guard - Mt. Royal/Team Melo

Some would scoff at the idea of putting a “utility” player here, but I’ve liked this kid since the first time I saw him play. He doesn’t shoot it great, he’s not super quick, and he doesn’t handle it well. So why does he make this list? Because he’s a winner who will get you 18-24 points a game in workman-like fashion. He’s not going to wow you with anything he does, he’s not going to be a McDonald’s All-American, but he’s going to contribute to some program at the highest level. The big question mark is what position to put him at because he’s not a dead-eye shooter and doesn’t handle it great, it’s tough to make him a two-guard. And though he’s capable of mixing it up a bit down low (he has a terrific build), he’s a bit undersized for a forward. Mosely is your prototypical role player who makes a difference when he’s on the floor. Mosley looks and plays like a kid who’s in the class of 2007.  

Kaihrique Irick – 6-8 – Power Forward - New York Gauchos

Irick is just starting to get some looks from Big East schools but after watching him in Orlando that may just be the beginning. Parts of Irick’s game are raw but he has terrific hands. His basketball instincts seem to be intact and he has a nice stroke from the free throw line. Again, you’re looking at a kid like Irick based on potential. It’s redundant to say he’s a bit on the thin side but give a year and you’ll hear his name mentioned by a lot of East Coast schools.

William Buford – 6-4 – Shooting Guard – D-1 Greyhounds

Buford is the beneficiary of the large crowds that his older teammates (Mayo, Walker, Tyus) draw. The Ohio product is a full of confidence and really is mature beyond his years. Buford also has three national titles to his credit which means he’s always around teams that win – that’s a terrific sign to those recruiting him. He’s not just concerned with the offensive end of the floor either – he gets his hands on a lot of passes and makes a number of steals. Buford also excels in the transition game which is of course a big part of the D-1 Greyhounds arsenal. On the offensive end he’s feared both inside and outside the three point line and this kid just continues to get better. He fits the mold of the prototypical wing – long-armed, rebounds, drives it, and shoots it efficiently.

L.A. Pomlee – 6-7 – Power Forward - Martin Brothers Select

I’ve certainly mentioned my share of forwards thus far and L.A. Pomlee can add his name to a growing list of guys I can’t wait to see at this time next year. The slender Pomlee has arms forever, and like his aforementioned classmates, shows flashes of what’s to come. The Davenport, IA native captured the attention of many when he rose above the crowd, corralled a rebound, and went up strong for the finish. I like the way he runs the floor and he has solid rebounding instinct. Pomlee is extremely quick off his feet and could become a dominant player with the right coaching and development. He’s also a shot-blocking presence on the defensive end. This is a player that Kansas fans can expect to hear more about in the coming months.

Honorable Mention

Jordan Theodore – 6-1 – Point Guard – New York Gauchos

This slick point guard will draw plenty of attention in the Northeast and beyond.

Kemba Walker – Point Guard - New York Gauchos

There’s just something easy to identify when a guard is from Rice High School. He’s cut out of the Russell Robinson mold and this kid is really tough.

2009 is not that far away !!!

You will continue to hear about a special trio of kids who play AAU basketball for BABC --  6-8 Alex Oriakhi – power forward, 6-7 Erik Murphy – forward, 6-5 Jamaal Coombs – small forward. Another notable name is guard Durand Scott of the New York Gauchos.  

Editor's note: Only players seen by the author during this tournament were eligible for mention in this article.

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