I calculated that, in three days, I personally saw about 28 hours of basketball. It is a pretty overwhelming experience. The games are sped up to get more playing time in for each team. Each game has two twenty minute halves with a one-minute half time break. There are limited timeouts and stoppages of play. There is only five to fifteen minutes in between each game. It's a fast and furious pace. And to make matters even more brisk, there are a minimum of two games, sometimes three, going on in separate gyms within a few feet of each other.
There was tremendous basketball talent on display during the three day period. Many players that Kentucky has identified as targets were on hand. Many more players will undoubtedly become future targets not that the tournament is over. Kentucky Sports Report will be breaking down the tournament for Kentucky fans and providing reviews and player updates all week long beginning Monday. Here are some impressive players from the tournament:
One 2007 target on UK's radar that played over the weekend was Jerryd Bayless of the Arizona Magic team. This 6-foot-1 guard from St. Mary's High school in the Phoenix area played up and down in the two games where I saw him perform. His talent, however, is unquestionable. I spoke to Jerryd after one of the games. We will be featuring a profile on Jerryd later this week. The profile will include some comments from his coach and from Greg Hicks, Scout.com's west coast analyst that has been following Jerryd's play for some time.
Javaris Crittenton is one incredible player from the 2006 class. At 6-foot-5, Javaris has the skills to play both guard positions as well as small forward. He can handle the ball, rebound, run the floor, shoot from the outside and take it to the rack with authority. There are no less than ten schools active with Javaris right now, and I got no sense of a single leader right now. There will be more on Javaris later this week including an update on his recruitment.
An Atlanta Celtics teammate of Crittenton's is An'juan Wilderness. Similar in size to Crittenton, the 2006 Wilderness showed more of a power game than his teammate. Wilderness is super active with or without the basketball. He has the speed to blow by defenders and the strength to handle bigger men inside. In two games I saw over the weekend, An'juan was a force on the boards, particularly on the offensive glass. He can take the ball to the hole and finish with a thunderous dunk. An'juan was getting "oohs and ahhs" from lots of coaches. I would expect his recruitment to really heat up.
6-foot-6 Jejuan Brown, from Biloxi, Mississippi, played well for the New Orleans Jazz this weekend and teammate for another Kentucky target, D.J. Augustin. Brown is a very physical player that can handle the ball well and can really finish on the break. Kentucky is on his list but the list is building with a stack up of hopefuls.
Perry Stevenson, the 6-foot-9, thinly built forward from Lafayette, La., looks and plays a lot like Tayshaun Prince. He has extremely long arms, handles the ball pretty well, shoots inside and out and can really block shots. He really needs to bulk up but his potential is limitless. I interviewed both Stevenson and his coach, Dexter Washington. His list of schools changed from phog.net's update in February but UK is still very much there with him. A feature on Perry should appear on kentuckysportsreport.com this week.
Byron Faison (pronounced like "Mason" only with an "F"), the 6-foot-1 shooting guard from South Carolina, played somewhat streaky in three games I watched, but he showed flashes of brilliance at times and it is no wonder the Kentucky staff love this young man. I interviewed Byron briefly and spoke with his dad, Carl, at length. There has been an addition to his recruitment since April 12, and the Cats have a serious competitor for his services.
We will have much more on the Kingwood Classic as the week goes by. There are two surprising names showing up on Kentucky's radar. I saw both players play and they are outstanding prospects, but each has a unique story.
We will also discuss some players that really elevated their game and make be gaining some more attention. I hope you enjoyed this free article. Kentucky Sports Report and Scout.com will be covering a number of major tournaments throughout the summer and providing you great basketball recruiting coverage. If you are not a member and have been considering giving us a try, now would be a great time. In addition, you'll have access to all the other premium coverage from all the great Scout sites.
If you are already a member, check back each day this week for more player profiles and recruiting updates.