Over the last couple of days Kansas assistant Joe Dooley has made the rounds in Orlando. There are some super talented 15 and under kids on the Kansas radar but most of the evaluation centered around one position in the 16 and under group – the point guard spot. And when it comes to the class of 2012 there are a bunch of gifted prospects ready to run the show.
Three prolific names were on display in O-town and each with different
strengths but all capable of running a team efficiently. It will make
for an interesting recruiting conversation to see which if any of the
point guards we've seen or will see in the coming days end up putting
on a KU uniform.
Marcus Paige – PG – Martin Brothers
Marcus struggled a bit Thursday with his shot but really came alive in
the fourth quarter of the early game on Friday when his Martin Brothers
team had its back against the wall in pool play. After watching a
nine-point lead turn into a nine-point deficit Paige led the feverish
Martin Brothers comeback. No long range bombs from Paige but his mid
range pull ups and drives were deadly. There no disputing this kid's
overall feel for the game. He makes it look easy and makes it easy for
others which is what all the top players tend to do. Unfortunately for
Martin Brothers they ended up losing the game on a three-pointer, and I
mean CLUTCH three-pointer, from Parris Ridgeway-Higgs with two seconds
left. Higgs impressively ran the show and fittingly took the winning
After suffering the heartbreak of not advancing to the gold bracket
Paige came back strong in the afternoon and continued his hot shooting.
He can really elevate on his jumper and finishes strong at the rim. On
the defensive end, he gets a lot of deflections playing the top of that
2-3 zone. His long arms and anticipatory skills make him a nightmare in
the passing lanes for the opposition. He locked up a critical steal in
the afternoon game that helped give his team the win.
Martin Brothers is well-coached and I've seen them run a box set where
Marcus uses some high ball screens. Good to get a glimpse of the type
of offense he'd be asked to operate at KU, I just wish the competition
he was doing it against was a little more aggressive on jumping out and
guarding him different ways. Still a good sign to see him comfortable
in that setting.
He's a leader, he communicates positively with all his teammates but
the only question I have is his size. He's a bit small and still on the
skinny side. I'd like to see him perform against bigger and more
physical players to get an accurate gauge if he can consistently
compete on the big-time Division I level. No doubt his mind is willing
but without that extra bulk will he get knocked off the ball a bit?
Braxton Obgueze – PG - CP3 All-Stars
I've certainly seen Marcus play more than Braxton but this kid made
quite a first impression. In my mind, he's the prototypical point guard
of the bunch for a team that likes to turn up the pressure and get out
on the break. He can get it down the floor via the dribble but I love
how he always pitches ahead immediately after securing a ball on the
defensive end. I also think he's probably the most accurate shooter
from long range of the three 2012 guys we saw today yet he's extremely
Obgueze doesn't necessarily dominate the ball because he's got an array
of teammates to help with the primary ball-handling duties. That being
said I didn't see him make a single mistake in a helter skelter paced
game. Would love to have seen what he could do coming off ball screens
but didn't see it in this contest. He's slick, can stop on a dime, and
is always under control. The Charlotte product is listed at 6-0 but I'm
not sure he's over 5-10. Still he possesses the ability to elevate in
traffic or on a jump shot and frequently does so when he gets into the
The first thing you notice is his body, a build reminiscent of Sherron Collins when he was a high school standout at Crane. Powerful legs,
strong chiseled upper body and jet quick with the ball in his hands in
transition. Again, the only question is size but as KU history will
tell you, if the point guard small in stature can elevate and is as
tough as nails, he might be a good choice.
Ryan Arcidiacono – PG – PA Playaz
Ryan's game varies from the other two in a few ways and its not just
because his name is the hardest to spell. At 6-3 he has the height the
other two point guards lack which gives him the ability to see over
defenses. The Langhorne, PA product also has some moxie. He's got an
edge about him. There's a competitive fire there and a certain level of
risk taking. For example, he went for the flashy split of a triple team
with a game winding down today instead of passing out to the open man.
You gotta love his guts but his confidence in making the fantastic play
probably hurts him here and there. That being said this kid has a
tremendous feel for the game. Its' simple but he just knows how to
He's an accurate long range shooter and makes the game easier on his
teammates. In bracket play in the afternoon he ran into a buzz saw from
BABC. They opted to guard him with the length of Shaquille Jones.
Primarily they face guarded but if Arcidiacono did get the ball they
ran two players at him. He scored 10 hard-earned points in this one and
forced a couple of shots. It is extremely noticeable when a kid that
good doesn't get as many touches as he should. Jared Johnson also spent
some time guarding him.
He was watched by a ton of Big East assistants in the afternoon game.
Kudos to PA Playaz Dwight Williams for really bringing it against BABC.
The lefty was all over the court and the bright spot for Playaz.
Brendan Kilpatrick is 6-5 and athletic and will attract attention for
the Playaz too.
BABC has a legit center prospect in 6-10 Nerlens Noel. Long skinny legs
but he can finish and is a menace on defense.
DJ Alston and Reggie Dillard are two more CP3 players to keep an eye
Dooley had his eye on the Texas Titans over the last couple of days. In
the "I can't believe he's 15" group 6-8 Julius Randle is an absolute
load inside and isn't afraid to show off his point guard skills. In
Friday's bracket play against CP3 All-Stars, which features #1 2013
point guard Rodney Purvis, Randle exercised his will on countless
occasions. He simply could not be stopped inside with his combination
of size, skill, and determination. After watching his Titan teammates
struggle to take care of the basketball the 6-8 power forward assumed
the point guard duties and was perfectly comfortable doing it. The
emotional Randle took it to the rack and either scored or got fouled on
countless occasions. He was unable to convert with regularity today but
normally the lefty has a solid stroke from the line. Purvis and his
North Carolina teammates survived the bracket matchup with an
KU was also watching Matthew Jones, a 6-2 sharpshooter who simply does
not miss from long range.
For CP3 there's no secret to who was most impressive. The 6-3 Purvis
has terrific size and has the body to match a mature game. I love his
energy, his strength and he looks to be another super talent to come
from the CP3 talent pool. Not surprised he's currently top-ranked at
Players on the docket in Orlando Saturday – Austin Rivers, Jakarr Sampson, LJ Rose, Perry Ellis, and Ben McLemore to name a few.
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