It Takes 5ive to Tangle in Cincy

The summer evaluation period got off to a roaring start on Friday as events kicked off all across the country. In Cincinnati, coaches showed up in droves to watch the talent on hand at the Adidas "It Takes 5ive Classic". Taking place in the Fifth Third Arena on the campus of Cincinnati University, the Takes 5ive featured plenty of prospects from the classes of 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Among the coaches on hand was Kansas boss Bill Self who kept tabs on commitment Travis Releford and several other prospects.

KANSAS TARGETS IN CINCY

Travis Releford - The 6-5, and growing, wing got off to a rough start on Friday as he struggled a bit in a KC Pump ‘N Run loss. Faced with a two-three zone, Releford was a bit passive and never really got going. Friday night, it was a different story as he came out in attack mode against the Juice All-Stars and did a little bit of everything. A much improved ball handler, he got to the basket at will and used his length and athleticism to finish. He was all over the place grabbing rebounds, played excellent defense and dropped some beautiful passes on teammates for easy buckets. What he didn’t do was take many jumpers and that remains the biggest question about his game. When he explodes into his shot -- particularly off the dribble from between 12 and 17 feet -- he’s got a nice looking shot that he’s pretty accurate with. However, he’s got a tendency to shoot a somewhat awkward looking set shot from deeper and it’s something that he’s going to have to continue to work on so he doesn’t lose his effectiveness against zones.

Michael Dixon - The 6-1 playmaker from Lee’s Summit West and the class of 2009 had a nice day balancing his role as a distributor and the primary scoring option for KC Pump ‘N Run’s 16 and under squad. He’s gotten early offers from Mizzou, Baylor, Kansas State and Miami and there’s sure to be many more on the way if he continues his strong play. He drew looks from several head coaches on Friday (including Self) and didn’t disappoint during a strong 23 point and eight assist effort versus a talented and athletic DC Assault 16 and under squad.

Tyler Zeller - Perhaps the number one target remaining on the KU’s board, Zeller continued his terrific grassroots season on Friday. He outraces big men down the court, sets up shop in the low post and goes to work thanks to his superior footwork. He can be pushed around by stronger guys but he’s willing to fight and he had his jumper working out to the three point line on Friday. He locked up in an entertaining battle with 2009 stud Derrick Favors and has firmly established himself as one of the premier big man prospects in the class of 2008. He’ll cut his list down to five at the end of the month and according to some sources close to his recruitment Kansas is expected to make that final list.

Shawne Williams - A true gunslinger, the 6-6 shooter deluxe did his best to fight through what appeared to be an ankle injury. With limited mobility, Williams found it tough to free himself for open looks and he wasn’t getting much lift on the shots he did get open for. He’s proved his worth as a shooter in the past and will be back strong once his ankle is feeling a bit better.

Peyton Siva - One of the premier point guards from the class of 2009, there’s absolutely no keeping this 5-11 jet out of the lane when he decides to attack. An offensive minded lead guard, he’s a dangerous shooter from deep and an explosive athlete capable of dunking on much larger foes once he gets into the lane. Like many young, quick and athletic PG’s, Siva’s play is a bit wild at times and he’d be well served to develop a pull-up from between eight and 12 feet because it’s going to get harder and harder for him to finish at the rim as he moves up the competitive ladder.


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