Super Showcase Report Day 2

Full slate of games at the Milkhouse in Orlando as the 16 and under age group moved into bracket play. One member of the KU staff remained busy keeping tabs on several 2012 and 2013 prospects on Friday.

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 Select
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 shot.

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 unselfish.

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 lane.

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 play.

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 on.

2013 NOTES
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 impressive comeback.

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 his position.

Saturday's Schedule
Players on the docket in Orlando Saturday – Austin Rivers, Jakarr Sampson, LJ Rose, Perry Ellis, and Ben McLemore to name a few. Top Stories