Monday morning, high school basketball players across the country hit the floor at various events looking to earn college scholarship offers. With the July evaluation period in full bloom, college coaches -- including Bill Self and his staff at Kansas -- have been out in full force evaluating the players.
Phog.Net is on the road as well spending the past few days in Cincinnati at the Adidas Takes 5ive Classic and in Philadelphia for the Reebok All-American Camp.
Kansas Targets From Philly And Cincy
Royce Woolridge - We were able to watch the Kansas commitment for two and half of his three camp games at Reebok All-American Camp on Wednesday and he was pretty quiet. A solidly built two guard, he didn't take very many jumpers and looked to be off on those that he took. During his second game of the day, he was able to get loose in transition for some buckets and also scored on a nice drive to his left. He didn't get a ton of opportunities to score and certainly didn't force anything when he had opportunities to be a shot jacker like many other campers. One definite highlight of his day, though, was his passing. He's got an underrated feel for where his teammates are and will find the open guy, especially in transition.
Fab Melo - Well, it's tough to know just how much of a target the massive big man from Brazil is, but he certainly caught the eye of the Kansas staff in Cincinnati. At 6-11, he's a skilled scorer with his back to the basket or facing the hoop. He's lost some weight and improved his conditioning and is coming on fast as a prospect. Like many young big men, he's not always so consistent but the young man has a very high ceiling. Whether or not Kansas can get involved remains to be seen as he's already pretty far along in the process with schools like Louisville, Syracuse and Florida.
Damien Leonard - A sturdy wing from South Carolina, Leonard is a 2011 kid who can fill it up from the perimeter. He's got the long and live body that you look for in a shooting guard prospect and he can run for days. While he gets good elevation on his shot, he does shoot a little bit of a line drive which doesn't allow for a lot of shooters rolls. As he adds to his game off the bounce, he could potentially be one of the top wing players in 2011.
Trevor Releford - The local product of Bishop Miege has been tearing it up recently and the Kansas staff spent a lot of time watching him in Cincinnati. Now, the question is whether or not they'll decide to go after him along with the likes of Arizona, Oklahoma, Mizzou, Florida, Alabama, UCLA, Tennessee, Ohio State and others. Stronger than you think, he's been getting into the lane and creating offense for himself and others at will. His jumper is improved, but he's still a little shy in taking it and he can be rattled a little by packed in zone defense when his teammates aren't converting jumpers. His stock has been on a steady climb all spring.
Shabazz Muhammed - Although our look wasn't a long one, it was enough to confirm that the class of 2012 prospect is a clear big timer. He's athletic, skilled, poised and has a killer's mentality out there. He can get to the rim off the dribble, is a good pull-up jump shooter and the 6-foot-4 shooting guard is also unselfish and a capable defender. He was arguably the top prospect at the Takes 5ive, regardless of class.
Joe Jackson - During the first day of Reebok All-American Camp in Philly, the 5-foot-11 scoring machine from Memphis was rarely challenged. Jet quick with his first step, he was able to get by anybody he wanted to at any time. Unfortunately, he seemed fully aware of that and seemed to turn the switch on and off quite a bit and looked bored with his competition at times. Latest buzz is that he'll be waiting until the spring to make a decision.
Luke Cothron - It wasn't the most productive day for the long and lean power forward from Alabama. He ran up and down the floor plenty, but he wasn't ever much of a force on the glass or in the paint as a scorer. Part of the blame goes to guards who aren't exactly giving up the ball a lot, but he's also got to ratchet up the intensity level a bit. For a guy who made his reputation as a hard playing, live bodied insider with some faceup skill, his willingness to just kind of coast was surprising to see.
LeBryan Nash - Playing on the same camp team as Jackson and Cothron at Reebok, Nash turned up the energy level as the day went along. At 6-foot-6, the 2011 prospect is a very live bodied wing with strength and the ability to score from the perimeter and on the interior. He's become a much more comfortable jump shooter to the three point line, rebounds very well for a wing and is coming along with his ball handling. He gets himself into trouble by dribbling a little too much at times, but when he makes up his mind to attack and plays hard, he's very, very good.
Keaton Miles - It was an up and down day for the long and lanky 6-foot-5 wing from Dallas. He ran the floor well, mixed it up on the glass a bit and played his usually stout perimeter defense. A good shooter out to the three point line, his shot does take a while to get off and he's not a particularly strong ball handler either. He's a definite Big 12 conference level prospect and how highly he gets recruited will be determined by how he adds strength and rounds out his wing game.
Kyle Collinsworth - Playing with Utah Pump ‘N Run, Collinsworth was watched by Kansas coaches at the Takes 5ive. A skilled perimeter player who shoots with range, passes well and plays the game smartly, he certainly plays with effort. The biggest question, is exactly what level his skills best translate to?