Ron Ball in Orlando: Day Four

Wednesday was an interesting and fun day for me. I was able to see some new faces as the Nationals started and a new crop of teams arrived. Lets start with some previously seen players.

Archie Goodwin, Robert Carter Jr, Nerlens Noel and the Harrison twins all played today. Many may have seen the match up between Noel and the Harrison's...we will get to that in a bit. As for Goodwin and Carter, nothing new. I'm still buying both. Having seen both several times now I think both are good fits for the program. Carter has moved up my list although I love to see more energy in his game.

The Harrison's Houston Defenders matched up against Noel's BABC in the Showcase finals. To get there each had to get through tough semi-final games. I was particularly interested in the finals game as my biggest concern with Noel has been how he matches up against a big physical presence in the lane. He had that tonight with Shaquelle Cleare. As many saw, Claire more than held his own and IMO won the battle. I'm not sure how ESPNU presented it but I felt Noel's limitations on the offensive side were exploited and on the defensive end, Claire et al took the ball right at him which is how to attack. Of course it helped to have the twins feeding the ball to the rim.

As for the Harrison's, I initially had concerns about taking 2 identical shooting guards in the same class however over the past 5 days its become clear that Andrew's point guard skills are advancing by the day. Clearly he is setting a course to excel as a 1 rather than a 2. As for Aaron, today was by far his best performance of the week. The pair work together extremely well and make a potent duo. I'd love to see them at UK.Its a wise decision to make them a priority.

As for the fun part of the day...the new players. I watched a bit of Jareel Cousin's game. Jareel is the spitting image of his brother. He was all smiles and laughing it up. He has the big body like DeMarcus too. He didn't play much, only scoring on a late dunk but he has the tools. Still plenty of time for him to improve but its there.

Isiah Austin is tall..and thin. Much thinner than I expected. Obviously today was the first time I've seen him and I immediately noted how thin he is....and tall. Yep, thin and tall describes him. He runs the court well and has excellent effort and flow to his game. Oh, did I mention he is tall and thin?

Chris Walker....where to start? I'll say it now, this evaluation is clearly tainted because his team looked incredibly bad today. Their execution was so bad it was painful to watch. He is thin but not like Austin. I actually like his frame. He will put on some weight with maturity but right now he had enough bulk to be a force on the college level. Despite a poor team performance and a real lack on individual stats, he still impressed me. I wish I could state why or have some number to support but I don't. All I have right now is a "feel". Hope to get a better look tomorrow.

Casey Hill is a player I've seen before. He has an outstanding handle, perhaps the best in his class. I believe when all is said and done he will be the top PG in the class because he is so smooth and has a Derrick Rose like ability to score at will. The question concerning UK is do you look at taking the Harrison twins as a shooting guard and a combo guard or go for the classic point and find look elsewhere for a shooting guard such as Frasier? Personally I hope UK goes for the Harrison's. I'd not have though that a week ago, that's how impressed I am with those two.

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