Jayhawk Friday Night

Travel complications cost Kansas target Elijah Johnson a chance to play Friday evening and they'll keep Lance Stephenson home for the weekend. Still, there was plenty of talent on display in Allen Fieldhouse Friday evening. Leading the way was potential Kansas target Rodney Williams who put on a display rocking the rims and attacking the basket.


Rodney Williams - Those who have seen him play before have thrown out the theory that the springy 6-6 wing from the Minneapolis area is the top run and jump athlete in the class of 2009, those who saw him in action Friday night won’t disagree. After signing a few pre-game autographs, the slender wing came out and hit a deep three before beginning his assault on the rims. He dunked off the drive, he dunked in peoples faces and he dunked in transition. When he wasn’t dunking, he sported a much improved handle and more aggressive attitude which is a great sign.

Stephan Van Treese - Making due without the benefit of many touches, the 6-8 forward got himself on the glass and made some things happen in transition. A good player with a feel for where loose balls are going to end up, he’s a fine enough athlete to get off the floor and finish above the rim in traffic. He runs the floor well enough, but it’s hard to make a judgement call on his skill level when he’s not getting any chances in the low post. Credit him for doing the dirty work in Indiana Elite One’s tough loss to Howard Pulley.

Derrick Favors - The urge to turn around and slap a few onlookers who suggested that the 6-9 big man from Atlanta wasn’t even a Division One player was a strong one, but cooler heads prevailed. While there were some series where he didn’t go all out, Favors totally dominated the paint on both ends of the floor. He ripped down rebound after rebound with his giant, soft and sure hands while thoroughly intimidating any Las Vegas Prospects players with thoughts of entering the lane. He sprinted the floor for dunks, scored in the paint -- on those occasions where he actually got a touch -- and got to the free throw line at will. He left a lot of easy points on the rim from the free throw line, but the big man more than proved his status as one of the elite post players in high school basketball.

Ryon Riggins - Nobody in the building -- fans, players, coaches and scouts included -- had more fun on Friday night than the baby faced big man from Atlanta. A class of 2011 prospect from Duluth (GA) Gwinnett School of Math Science and Technology (where they don’t even have sports), the long limbed 6-8 forward sprinted the floor with a smile on his face, played aggressively on the glass and showed a ton of potential in his 15 years young frame. A baby face, impossibly long arms and some gigantic feet suggest that he’s still got plenty of growing to do and it’s pretty easy to envision him turning into a high level player down the road. Afterwards, he enthusiastically ran around the court making sure scouts had the correct spelling of his name. It's those kind of moments that really make a scout's job enjoyable.


Justin Clark - A high scoring wing from Independence (MO) William Chrisman, the 6-4 Clark has burst onto high major radars over the past couple of weeks. The reason? He’s a shooter deluxe with deep, and we mean DEEP, range on his jumper. Combine that range with a quick release, above average athleticism and a quick trigger and you’ve got a kid capable of going off on scoring binges at a moments notice.

Royce White - Fresh off of his commitment to Minnesota, White was scoring in bunches Friday night. Armed with a good jumper that he’s very capable of hitting off the bounce, he’s a 6-7 combo forward who frustrates bigger guys with his ability to score off the dribble while taking smaller guys inside to dunk on them. Brimming with confidence, he’s playing terrific ball right now and teamed with Rodney Williams to carry Howard Pulley past a tough Indiana Elite One squad.


KC Pump ‘N Run Michael Dixon certainly had his moments – most notably a pretty eight foot floater he hit off a dead sprint – but he also had some careless moments in his team’s romp over the namesakes, Pump ‘N Run Elite. Still, he’s clearly a high major talent and one of the top PG’s in the class of 2009. … Pump ‘N Run Elite big man Bak Bak is going to entice some people this spring. Standing nearly 6-10, he’s a long and skinny insider who can step out and make some jumpers, especially turnarounds over his left shoulder, to about 12 feet. Because of his size, high majors may sniff around. … Also impressing for Pump Elite was Tyler Honeycutt, a skinny 6-7 wing. His shot lacks rotation, but he can knock them down off of the dribble and he’s pretty skilled offensively. His handle and decision making could use some tightening, but he’s a terrific recruit on the upper mid major level. … Those who didn’t make it to the night’s opening game missed a pretty impressive showing from Arizona Premiere’s Matt Carlino. A 6-2 lefty from the class of 2011, he’s got a terrrific feel for the game and can really shoot the ball. Maybe even more impressive is his ability to get off his pure jumper from awkward angles and while guarded. …

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