REEBOK CHAMPIONSHIPS: Better than advertised

Everyone knows about players like Derrick Favors, Chris Singleton, Willie Warren, Brandon Jennings and Jrue Holiday, but some players slip under the radar. KSR takes a look at some of the players that may not be household names yet, but used the Reebok Summer Championship Tournament to raise the eyebrows of a few college coaches.

Everyone knows about players like Derrick Favors, Chris Singleton, Willie Warren, and Brandon Jennings, but some improving players are not quite as high profile as the top players in the nation. KSR takes a look at some of the players that may not be household names yet, but used the Reebok Summer Championship Tournament in Las Vegas to raise the eyebrows of a few college coaches.



CLASS OF 2007



Sam Grooms (6-foot, PG, McLeansville, NC) is billed by Scout as playing at the "highest level mid-major." I saw him twice and believe he could play and start for a lot of high-major programs. His long range shot was deadly in Las Vegas. I'd be surprised if some school that needs a last minute downtown shooter doesn't snap him up.



CLASS OF 2008


Terrance Jennings: I place him in the better than advertised category even though I knew he was good. I just had no idea how good. At 6-foot-9 and 240 lbs. he can post, finish a break or pop it from outside. He is a 2008 player but is already as old as most graduating seniors, I am told, so his experience level is higher than others in his class. The Durham product has Washington, Maryland and Kentucky as his top three. If Kentucky can somehow manage an early commitment, they should take it and run. But I am told he will be taking his visits and not to be expecting a verbal anytime soon. Still, my sources said the Washington staff began to pull out the Plan B notes when they heard UK was getting involved. Right now Scout has Jennings ranked as the #12 center in the class. Personally, I cannot imagine there are 11 better big men in that class.

Michael Snaer: This 6-foot-3 SG from Rancho Verde high school is already a 4-star player, but I expect to see his stock climb higher after Vegas. I saw him twice and he has the complete package. He was virtually unstoppable on the floor in transition and plays Division I level defense already. He plays alongside UCLA committed superstar Malcom Lee, but in the game I saw Snaer was every bit as good offensively and better defensively. Kentucky is on his list but my impression is that he will stay close to home in California. But remember this name because things do change and this player is special.

Justin Brownlee: This 6-foot-6 SF from Tifton, Ga. 2008 product only rates three stars from Scout? I would believe that rating will go up after Vegas. Brownlee played for the Smyrna Stars and exhibited solid, overall skills that make me believe he should be at least a 4-star player at the minimum. He has an outrageous drive to the basket and a lighting quick ability to change direction to create space between him and a defender for a pretty accurate mid-range jumper. Hard-nosed, gritty, and aggressive, I loved this young man's play.

Jason (J.P.) Olukemi: Listed at 6-foot-6 but appeared taller than 6-foot-6 teammate Leonard Washington, this LaHabra, Ca. product is still learning the game, but wow, is he athletic. Very raw, after seeing him play I get the impression he would just be phenomenal with solid coaching. Despite having Brandon Jennings, Leonard Washington and Jeff Withey on the team, Olukemi played a key role in Belmont Shore's championship run in Vegas. In the semi final, a game Belmnot could have easily lost, Olukemi drove into the paint and powered a basked to tie the game down the stretch. IN the championship game he had 6 rebounds in the second half and hit four critical free throws down the stretch to help put his team over the top.



CLASS OF 2009



Quincy Acy: This 6-foot-7 PF from Mesquite, Tx. Is already rated a 4-star player but I think he deserves to be ranked up there with the big boys and I believe he soon will be. He was probably one of the top five best passing big men I saw and can jump out of the building. Acy is a force on the boards but he will probably need to grow a could of inches to be really effective at a high-major college. Otherwise, the sky is the limit in terms of potential. Coach Billy Gillispie is using his Texas connections to their fullest to get in with Acy, and the Wildcats are reportedly in the thick of it.


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