Here's the highlights and player evaluations from over 12 hours spent at the Spiece Field House on Derby Day.
Carl Swanigan, Blessed IJN, C - He made big noise in this event, scoring 25 points against the Michigan Hurricanes in a 71-69 pool play loss, 28 more in the afternoon session against Cincy AAU, and another big time performance in the opening round of the playoffs. Swanigan has been a monster on the glass in the four games we've seen and he was drilling three pointers as the day wore on. He can score on the block using good post moves and converts most of his free throw attempts. He has a tendency to get his shot blocked by smaller, quicker defenders but he's got so much potential it doesn't detract from what he brings to the table. Could be ready for a breakout summer if he plays with the consistency he did this weekend.
Chad Millard, Blessed IJN, SF - Multi-skilled athlete's shot wasn't falling in the loss to the Hurricanes but came back stroking in his teams next two games, knocking down several long range bombs. He has the complete package of skills, a quick release and can get his shot when he wants it.
Kenny Hayes, Cincy AAU White, PG - Impressive athlete from Inglewood, OH scored from inside and out. Knocked down two three pointers against Blessed IJN on his way to 19 for the game. Finished on the break with his leaping ability and got to the hole with his bounce.
DeAndre Thomas, Illinois Fire, PF - He's got a big body but he's surprisingly nimble. Good feet and hands and posesses a soft touch. Can hit the turnaround jumper as well as score from the block.
Joe Ford, Belmont Shore Black, SG - 6'5 athlete has long arms and knows how to score. Put 34 points on the board against DTA Wisconsin from every spot on the floor. Pretty good handle, made some steals, blocked a shot or two and grabbed some boards. Bottom line: He stuffed the stat sheet and was clearly the top player the game. Had a spectacular one hand follow slam.
Chad Lutz, Blessed IJN, SG - He's was en fuego all day (translation: He was on fire with his shooting). Solid athlete will attend Brewster Academy and he was filling it up on Saturday from deep. In fact, he made 10, yes ten, threes in the playoff opener. Looked confident stroking it and also showed he can finish around the rim. Someones going to get a nice scorer who can fill it up when he's hot.
Eric Devendorf, Michigan Hurricanes, SG - He just kept scoring the ball, putting up 21 points in his morning session. He'll score anyway you need him to. Certainly a big time talent, especially on the offensive end of the floor.
Marques Johnson, Blessed IJN, PG - Simply know that he's a big time prospect! His decision-making in the open court is outstanding and he's virtually unstoppable on the break when he decides he's going to the rim. With his size, he'll even snag his share of boards, especially on the defensive end from his point guard position. He has tremendous body control and balance and a wide array of scoring tools. He's an elite-level prospects in this class.
Mitchell Carter, DTA Wisconsin, C - 6-foot-11 post has a nice half hook that he uses going to his right in the lane. He knows how to get post position, plays defense with his knees bent, and blocked a couple of shots. Scored 15 points vs. Belmont Shore.
Tory Jackson, Michigan Hurricanes, PG - This kid is the real deal. Big time scorer who can fill it up from deep. Lit up Blessed IJN in the morning for 31 points, including 6 threes and hit the game-winning three from the corner. He can get his points in bunches and quickly. Scores off the dribble, hits the midrange pull-up and gets to line and converts. He'll get after it on defense full-court and come up with some steals and layups. You'll hear lots more about this 5'10 point throughout the summer.
Eugene Crockett, Belmont Shore, PF - He looks the part but struggled to finish on offense missing numerous chances at point blank range. He'll show flashes and did manage 14 points, though 9 of them came from the charity stripe. Still, you like the follow slam and the athleticism. Plus, he's already got a great body for his position.
Jerome Randall, Ferrari, PG - On the smallish side but can get in the lane and finish or create for teammates. He's got quick hands, gets some steals and can pass the ball. Has scoring instincts and can change directions on a dime.
Brian Carlwell, Ferrari, C - 6-11 center has good mobility and runs the court pretty well. He's long and fairly athletic and handled the ball on the break. He's got good hands and potential to develop into a much better player down the road.
News and Notes
Carl Swanigan told Inside The Ville that Louisville still remains the leader for his services.....though Mississippi is a close second.