Between early December and early January, there is no shortage of events loaded with talent from all over the country. Get into mid January, though, and things really slow down as teams look to make moves towards state titles. However, the Prime Time Shootout is as good as it gets for talent despite the fact that it happens so late in the season.
Thanks to a wealth of local talent, the Prime Time is able to feature big time local talent. At the same time, there are just enough teams from around the country to draw scouts, coaches and fans from all over for what has emerged as must see hoops. For the first time, the Road Show made it's way to the Sovreign Bank Arena in Trenton for the 2009 edition of the Prime Time. Headliner Lance Stephenson did his thing, but he wasn't alone.
Lance Stephenson- Anybody who has followed "Born Ready" knows that his attitude has been called into question. Saturday, the powerful wing kept his cool when he had every right to cry to the refs as he got mauled over and over during the first half of a loss to a talented Los Angeles (CA) Westchester squad. Playing in game number three of a four game in four day stretch, Stephenson and his teammates had the will but not enough gas in the tank. He made big plays late and was an effort guy in a 26 point outing even if he didn't get the wing. Visit to Kansas this weekend is on by all signs.
Jordin Mayes- 2010 combo guard was feelin' it from the right wing. At 6-2, he handles the ball pretty well, is unselfish and was knocking down jumpers like never seen. He wore out the three point stripe from the right wing in an impressive 31 point outing. Mayes rattled off Colorado, Stanford, Utah, Washington State and others when asked about who was recruiting him the most aggressively.
Sidiki Johnson- Had a chance to get a look at this sophomore last month and he impressed again. A double-double machine, the long 6-7 insider just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. His skill level isn't all that bad and he can pass for a big guy. But, he gets himself in trouble away from the hoop with silly dribbles a little too often.
Michael Gilchrist- The 6-6, 15 year old sophomore is one competitive dude. He attacks the rim and secures rebounds above the cylinder on both ends of the floor. A fine athlete, he can run the floor and is becoming more and more adept as a ball handler. As he learns to slow things down, tinkers with his jumper and adds physical maturity he's got serious upside. Right now, he's just "that dude", "that dude" everybody wants on their side.
Devon Collier- A 6-8 junior at powerful St. Anthony's, Collier has emerged as a legit prospect this winter. Long and lean, he runs the floor very well and is a guy who has the skill to face up defenders and score out to around 15 feet. Excellent passer with good hands, he's a fine rebounder and not surprisingly a smart player. Because of his skill and ability to run there are many local insiders who feel he eventually makes the move to the wing on the next level.
Dominic Cheek- With is future head coach Jay Wright watching, Cheek had himself a "quiet" 25 points in St. Anthony's romp. He hit a few jumpers, got loose for some transition dunks and generally played within himself. Still skinny, he does look to have added some much needed muscle and his ball handling is improving. Really the only mistake he made was questioning his coach on something and anybody who knows anything about Bob Hurley knows who got the final word on that one.
Shaquille Thomas- Finally settled in at Mountain State Academy after bouncing between a pair of New Jersey high schools, the 6-6 junior is showing signs of taking his game to the next level. A long and wiry athlete, Thomas has really improved his ability to take defenders off the dribble. Not only a threat to get to the rim, Thomas can now raise up off the bounce and bury 15-17 foot jumpers or spot up for three. His release is a little flat and a little more follow through on his jumper will help him become even more accurate. Huge upside.
Glenn Bryant- When asked what position he plays on the next level, Bryant couldn't really answer and said that he doesn't have a position. He's right. A long and lean 6-7 athlete, he's an energizer bunny type who runs the floor with long and bouncy strides. An electric athlete who thrills the crowd with dunks, he's also committed himself to playing defense and getting on the glass. Given the way he's playing, it won't be a surprise to see him end up signing with a high major this spring.
MORE NOTES FROM TRENTON
It's hard to watch a guy like Trevon Hamlet from Bishop Laughlin and not appreciate the work he does. Slightly undersized, the 6-6 power forward is relentless on the glass, makes hustle plays and is a super passer. Somebody on the low to mid major level is going to get a spring find in him. ... A teammate of Hamlet's, junior shooting guard Branden Frazier is going to draw some high major looks. The skinny 6-2 wing simply goes out and gets buckets. His jumper is a little funky, but he's successful with it and he needs little time or space to get it off. … Hotchkiss junior wing Jason Morris is a lean athlete with deep range and a high release on his jumper. He struggled, but the 6-5 wing deserves a lot of credit for toughing it out and playing with cracked ribs. … Maryland bound power forward James Padgett had himself a good afternoon. The long insider battled on the glass and hustled on both ends of the floor en route to a hard earned 23 points. He's not an elite athlete, but makes things happen when he commits to playing with energy. … He played a quiet game by his standards, but it's impossible not to notice how good Keith Gallon looks physically. Thanks to a strict diet, the affable big man has dropped a little over 60 pounds since the summer to get himself down to 290 pounds. …
Total Teams Watched-174.
Total Games Watched- 105.
Total Miles Traveled- 15,252.