Kingwood Classic: More on Kansas Targets

Phog.net's Eric Bossi continues his coverage of KU targets in action over the weekend at the Kingwood Classic in Houston. Inside you'll find reports on some names you might not have heard yet. More inside.

On Saturday, we covered the play of potential Kansas recruiting targets like Willie Warren, Rotnei Clarke, L.A. Pomlee, Brandon Jennings, Xavier Henry and Bobo Morgan. However, there were still several more potential targets in Houston for the massive Kingwood Classic and it’s time to take a look at the play of some more guys -- and there were likely several more -- that either are or could end up on the Kansas radar.

POTENTIAL AND KNOWN KANSAS TARGETS AT KINGWOOD

Greg Monroe - Currently ranked as the top prospect in the class of 2008, the 6-10 lefty did plenty of things to back up that status. He can shoot with range to 15 feet, beats other big men off the dribble and is a fine passer in motion. Defensively he’ll block shots and hit the glass. Still, he’s not a complete player at this point and he isn’t assured of hanging on to the top spot in the class. He’s got a great base to work with, but Monroe doesn’t look like he’s added any strength in the last year and he’s prone to some silly turnovers trying to do too much off the dribble.

Phillip McDonald - It would probably be best to file McDonald under the category of intriguing. A 6-5 shooter with deep range and a crisp looking jumper, he went for several long stretches where you hardly noticed he was on the court. Part of that is playing on a team loaded with high level talent, another part is that he looks to willing to wait for deep jump shot opportunities. McDonald has good athleticism in the open court and elevates well on that jumper, but he didn’t show much ability to put the ball on the floor and create space for his shot or make plays for others.

DeAndre Liggins - It’s pretty safe to say that Liggins, a long 6-5 ball handler, is quickly moving up the Kansas wish list. His game is a little unorthodox, but he’s a straight up playmaker who is extremely difficult to contain off the dribble. He fills up the entire stat sheet, defends very well and causes lots of problems for his opponents. Like many young guys who can really handle and create, he’s got to be careful to stay under control. As he adds weight, improve his jumper and produce the Chicago native is emerging as a McDonald’s All-American candidate. Arkansas, Memphis, Purdue, Illinois and others have done some early legwork, but Kansas looks like they are going to try and make up some ground.

Daniel Orton - A summer teammate of Xavier Henry, Orton is another fine looking 2009 prospect. Standing 6-9 and carrying at least 235 pounds on his frame, he’s a physical kid who really likes to mix it up in the paint. He’ll block shots, take care of the glass and has soft touch on jumpers to 12 feet. A good, but not great, leaper he makes effective use of his long arms and has great instincts. He seems to run with short shuffling steps on his toes, but it doesn’t keep him from motoring up and down the floor with plenty of quickness. As he continues to develop, he’s got a chance to be among the elite in what looks to be a promising group of big men nationally in 2009.

Andrew Steele - Realistically, this strong and tough perimeter player is probably more of a two guard than a true point guard. He’s most effective spotting up for jumpers on the wing and is more effective driving from out there. However, he does take good care of the ball from the point and is too strong physically for most high school players to defend him. You have to love the intensity he plays with and he’s improved his jump shooting in the last year. The question remains, though, can anybody really get this kid out of the state of Alabama?

Terrance Henry - A long and athletic 6-8 (maybe 6-9) face up four man, he’s emerging as a very promising big man recruit. A quick lefty who can handle the ball well, he loves to cross over defenders and attack the baseline for dunks. He can hit jumpers to 15 feet, runs the court swiftly and is a terrific straight up shot blocker. At this point he’s not strong enough to consistently bang, but he’s not adverse to physical play either. It’s looking like he has a chance to make a run at being a top 50 prospect nationally.

Elijah Johnson - Because of games running long, we didn’t get as long a look at Johnson as we’d hoped, but the 6-3 combo guard from Las Vegas was impressive. He’s a big time athlete who flies to the hoop for jams, he’s got range on his jumper and his handle looks to be pretty tight. He’s got a chance to be among the top guards in the class of 2009

EVEN MORE ON POTENTIAL KANSAS TARGETS

The Georgia Stars front line boasts ridiculous size with 6-8 Al-Farouq Aminu, 6-10 Ralph Sampson III and 6-11 Tony Woods. A long and lean defensive minded big man, Woods has been on the Kansas radar for a while. He alters shots and does a good job on the glass, but he’s got a long way to go offensively. … After a very rough start from the field on Friday night, Scott Suggs shot the ball pretty well Saturday. Because the 6-6 wing is so skinny, he can get knocked around a little. But, he’s got a terrific feel for the game and is one of those guys that is still a nice looking long term prospect. … A visitor for 2006 Late Night festivities, near seven footer Tyler Zeller is greatly improved since the end of last summer. He runs much better than in the past, still has a sweet jumper to 17 feet and he’s more willing to compete in the paint. Lack of physical strength is still a concern and exactly how involved Kansas is with his recruitment is up for debate. … Settling in with his new teammates on the Texas Blue Chips, 6-8 forward Brandon Moore -- who has moved back to New Orleans from Little Rock -- showed some flashes. He’s quick leaper who skies for tip jams and he can hit some mid range jumpers. … Playing alongside Greg Monroe on Louisiana Select, super athletic 6-7 BF Storm Warren is starting to draw some looks. He’s pretty much a dunker and a rebounder, but he’s very effective at what he does and is a name to possibly keep in mind down the road. …

Brendon Lavender has generated a great deal of interest on the West Coast and Kansas is said to be snooping around. He’s got a nice looking jumper, good athleticism and handles the ball pretty well. But, he didn’t do a ton during the two games watched and struggled with DeAndre Liggins in particular. Word on the street is that Arizona is going to be tough to beat anyway. … Because of how well he runs the court, his size and ability to block shots at an impressive clip, John Brandenburg is going to continue to get some looks from college basketball’s biggest programs. The nearly 6-11 center has a nice frame to go along with his defense and rebounding, but he’s a bit mechanical offensively . … Sunday morning, Kansas spent a little time checking in on the development of Kansas City prospect Willie Reed. If he’s not 6-10, the skinny big man is very close to it and he’s got long arms to match. He hit some jumpers, crashed the offensive glass for some dunks and played with some emotion. Defensively he struggles at times because opponents knock him out of the way. He’s a guy that is going to get long looks from schools on all levels this summer. … Finally, a Jayhawk assistant spent some time watching Teondre Williams. A super leaper from Georgia, the 6-3 Williams literally tries to dunk the ball each and every time he touches it. …


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