A sizeable crowd showed up at Haskell College in Lawrence Friday evening for opening round games of the Jayhawk Invitational. With future Jayhawk Royce Woolridge taking the floor for the Arizona Magic against the Jayhawks top remaining prospect -- and scout.com's newly minted #1 player in the class of 2010 -- Harrison Barnes and his All-Iowa Attack Red.
While both the future Jayhawk and Kansas target thrilled the crowd, they weren't the only players putting in work on opening night.
Friday Night Standouts
Royce Woolridge, SG, Arizona Magic- Playing in front of a an appreciative crowd, the gunner from Phoenix certainly had his moments in a tough loss. Going for 29 according the book (we charted him with 28 on 11-25 FG, 1-7 3PT, 5-6 FT) he also chipped in a pair each of assists, steals and a rebound. Powerfully built through the shoulders, the 6-foot-2 off guard is a solid ball handler who was at his best scoring on a mixture of dribble drive moves to his right. A crafty finisher off the glass, he's a creative scorer with good quickness off the dribble. His jumper is released off his shoulder with a slight hitch but the bigger worry is a tendency to kick out his feet and fall back which knocks him off balance and eliminates the nice job he does of using his legs in his jumper. It was Phog's first look at him and it was a pretty solid first effort that also included a crowd pleasing two handed finish on a first half lob.
Harrison Barnes, SF/SG, All-Iowa Attack Red- It was a night of highs and lows for scout.com's top ranked player. He threw down some towering jams, connected on some very pretty looking NBA range threes and finished with 27 points (although we only had him with 23 on 8-17 FG, 3-6 3PT, 4-6 FT), nine rebounds and five assists in what some close to him felt was an "off" night. The down side was that he over dribbled into some silly turnovers and didn't score quite as many points off of his post and mid range games as usual. A high level athlete with length and explosion off the dribble, his jumper is an absolute thing of beauty with his high release, high arch and quick rotation.
Jacob Thomas, SG, Howard Pulley- In terms of straight up shooting ability, few in the class of 2010 can strip the nets from deep like the 6-foot-3 shooter for Howard Pulley. Not only does the slender wing have deep range, he gets his pretty jumper off ridiculously quick and he does a nice job of setting up his jumper with simple fakes and one dribble moves to shed defenders. He's lacking strength, but his ability to smoke jumpers from just about anywhere inside of half court gets him high major looks.
D.J. Peterson, SG, Net Gain Sports- A tall and lanky lefty, Peterson really had it rolling from deep. Once he got defenders leaping at him to contest jumpers, he went off the dribble and worked his way into the paint for crafty scores. He lacks strength, but he isn' without toughness and his play was a major reason that Net Gain Sports was able to knock off the mighty Atlanta Celtics in the events nightcap.
Ryan Harrow, PG/SG, Atlanta Celtics- It wouldn't be honest to list this quick little playmaker as just a point guard. Only 5-foot-11, the skinny athlete is really more of a natural shooting guard who finds ways to slink around defenders and score. He's just streaky enough a shooter from three to demand respect, can shoot off the dribble, has blazing quickness and is an incredible leaper for a little man. He doesn't have the same swagger as Washington's little man scorer Isaiah Thomas, but how he gets things done is very similar. Most notably, it's how he scores from all areas and distances on the floor that reminds us of Thomas.
More Friday Night Notes
Somewhere down the line, Seantral Henderson is going to make an awful lot of money playing football. Even on the basketball floor, he looked like a money making left tackle with his great feet, strong hands and impressive frame. Standing 6-foot-8 and weighing in at a solid 315 pounds, he moves incredibly well for a young man his size. A terrific passer, he probably had the single most athletic move of the night manuevering around a defender for a tip dunk. A very clever passer, he also caused one opponent to nearly wet his pants trying to get out of the way of a soon to be delivered Henderson screen. The "Oh shi(f)t" blurted out from a terrified opponent was not only audible, it was hilarious and well understood. … The Kansas City Keys didn't go down without a fight and much of that can be attributed to the fight of feisty 5-10 PG Daylen Robinson. A speedy ball handler, he can change directions in a blink and has plenty of toughness. … Helping out Barnes on the interior for the All-Iowa Attack Red is high flying Trayvon Wright. Not the most skilled guy in the world, he uses his leaping ability to his advantage. He gets into the air, figures out what to do and go from there. His ability to hang and finish really caused the Arizona Magic some problems late. … KC Pump ‘N Run's Ricky Kreklow isn't the most athletic cat around but he does two things at a very high level: He shoots the ball extremely well from deep and passes the rock at a very high level. The Columbia, MO native is holding onto an offer from hometown Missouri. …