Ron Ball: Orlando: Win, Place and Show

So in wrapping up the events, I want to look at just a few players and give my opinion. I'm basing this on my opinions only. My initial plan was a winners and losers but I have a hard time calling any 15, 16 or 17 year old who can play ball far better than me a loser. Instead I'm going with a "win, place and show" listing and limited it to the class of 12 and 13. So who won?

Mitch McGary: clearly this kid moved up in my mind. Video clips usually don't do a player justice because they are basically highlights...consider nobody ever misses on youtube. Its true, highlights don't do him justice. He is far better. I think what he brings can't be measured. The kid is nonstop energy. If he comes to UK, we will love him. If he ends up elsewhere he will be the next Christian Laettner.

Alex Poythress: I'd not seen him until this week. I did not know much about him but after seeing him play, he won me over. I'd like a bit more energy but there is no doubt he can play with the best of them. UK is currently not listed as a school of interest in the scout data base but then neither is Duke (LOL). UK was showing plenty of interest and if anybody can jump into a battle late and win, its John Calipari.

Jarnell Stokes: I'm not holding out any hope that he ends up in Lexington but that doesn't mean I can't love his game. I like big physical kids who play with passion which is why I like him a lot. My WAG on him is Memphis.

Georges Niang: I don't recall writing anything on him but those who watched the BABC vs Houston Defenders got a good glimpse of a hard working interior player who uses his body to every advantage. He has excellent post moves and a knack for creating space.

Andrew Harrison: I knew little about this player prior to the event other than he had a twin brother and both were shooting guards who wanted UK to recruit them. Boy was I surprised. The more I watched Andrew the more impressed I became. He is working hard to become a point and its clear he is progressing. I'm not sold on him as the number 1 kid in that class or even the number one PG but I am sold on him and his brother being the number 1's on my want list. He is not the flashiest of the PGs in the class but he knows how to play the game. He plays smart and makes solid decision time and time again. I hope coach Calipari continues the great PG tradition with Andrew.

Aaron Harrison: Is a slightly better shooter than his brother but the pair is phenomenal. Early in the week he got a bit banged up but came right back and excelled. He can score anywhere on the floor he wants, at the rim or from the perimeter. He is the perfect 2 guard for the DDM system. He clearly has great basketball sense. Some see him and his brother as a package deal. Not me. I see either of them both as top 10 players regardless and both as players I'd want in Lexington.

Julius Randle: of all the "bigs" in the loaded big man class of 2013, he was the most physically impressive. He is a rebounder deluxe and has the beef to do what he wants in the lane. He also plays with tons of energy.

Placed? In this next tier I'm not putting players that didn't preform well but rather players that amazed me less than the ones above. Some of that might be because I expected more or that in previous events they looked better. Its by no means a knock on the player.

Isiah Austin: 7 foot, 200 lbs? One of those numbers is an exaggeration...and its not the height. I liked his mid range game quite a bit but I'd like to see a bit more aggression. I admit I did not watch a lot of him but what I did see was enough to see the potential. Biggest concern is lack of girth.

Archie Goodwin: While I've put him in the place category, he is still my choice to replace Doron Lamb. His ability and desire to get to the rim are his biggest strength. He has quickness, can shoot and possesses and outstanding handle.

Robert Carter Jr: Reported to have an offer in hand and I hope he takes it. Is in my mind the best option at PF in the class. I'd love to lock him up. He showed more desire later in the week than he did initially, enough that I almost had him as a win ticket. Most impressive is his mass. He is a block of granite. He isn't a hi flyer but he is an anchor under the glass. He has great hands and an instinct and ability to keep a rebound alive until he can corral it. He reminds me a lot of a taller version of Chuck Hayes.

Marcus Hunt: He is a player that I did not intend to watch yet his solid performance throughout the week warrants praise. He is a bit undersized but just seems to make all the right plays. My hunch is he ends up in the SEC somewhere.

Chris Walker: I see him as a player who can play either the 3 or 4 spot. While not rail thin, he is another player who needs to add some bulk but he can certainly get up and down the floor. Of the bigs in the 2013 class, I believe he moves from end to end far better than any other player. He is also the smoothest around the rim. This is one player I look forward to watching more of.

Nerlens Noel-is a definite game changer on the defensive end. Despite his thin frame he does not back away on the defensive end. He has uncanny timing and is so quick off the floor that he changes every shot the opponent takes. I'd like to see more from him offensively and if he developed a 10 to 15 jumper that he would take and make consistently plus put on some weight, he would be unstoppable.

Kasey Hill: He is an elite point guard who we will likely see in the future as an opponent. I loved his handle and his driving ability although he sometimes made questionable decisions.

And finally our "show tickets".

Tony Parker: Good to see a big strong player who plays the post because that is what best fits his game. In this event he just seemed to have a hard time getting the ball to fall into the basket. Its not that he was taking bad shots. It just seemed everything rolled off.

T.J. Warren: He is another player whos on paper measurements don't match what you see physically. He is listed at 6 feet 7 inches and 195#. I see 6-7 and 195 I think thin. TJ Warren is not thin. He has a much better frame than that. I did not see a bunch of him and others reported his game improved as the week went on. I saw him early so perhaps my evaluation isn't all that great. I would have liked to see more energy and getting up and down the floor. Still, I came away impressed.

Devonta Pollard: Unfortunately an injury limited me to seeing him play about 15 seconds. Is 15 seconds enough? It is if you coach in Louisville (lol)

In closing, I want to thank KSR for allowing me the opportunity again. I do not want my appreciation to them to go unrecognized. Also everything I have put in this is my own evaluation and to be taken as such. I'm not a professional at this and do my best to be accurate and honest. It isn't always correct but I try. Its intent is to have a bit of fun and see things from a different perspective, from an "untrained" eye so to speak. I hope I achieved that. Until recently I did not realize how tough it is for the people who do this for a living, the Dave Teleps and Evan Daniels of the world. Additionally I know they share the passion I have for this game because you could not do it if you didn't.

KSR would like to thank Ron "Doc" Ball for the contributions this week, which have been substantial. Over the years he has proven to have a keen eye for basketball talent, and he has spotted a few that have flown under the radar until arriving in college. Thanks, Doc.

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