Adonis Thomas, SF, Memphis Magic: Against CBC, Thomas was all business. His buckets were manly. The most impressive play he made was a step through move that resulted in a ferocious one-handed dunk. It's easy to watch guys that love to play and bring when the big stage calls. Thomas isn't a volume scorer but yet he's a load player. The Magic lost courtesy of a shot that came after the buzzer but Thomas didn't everything in his power to put the Magic on his back. A great teammate, there's a reason why he's so highly regarded by head coaches.
Adjehi Baru, C, Team Loaded: Watching him develop is like reading a John Grisham novel where you're captivated and can't wait to find out what happens in the end. His improvement from the beginning of the month is noticeable. Each time out you get a guy who runs the floor, chases boards, swats shots and demonstrates offensive improvement. He's such an explosive player who not only is good in the present but has plenty of room to keep improving.
Willy Kouassi, C, Team Alabama: The evaluation wasn't easy because no matter how hard he worked, his perimeter buddies didn't recognize his effort. The raw materials are there to construct a high-level pivot man with size, length and athleticism. He grabbed one rebound (in traffic) with one hand above the rim that signified his potential as a board man.
Terry Whisnant, SG, Carolina Raptors: Let's call him what he is: one of the best jump shooters in the senior class. Whisnant doesn't need much space to get his rainbow jump shot off and bury 3s. We've always said that there's room in the Scout.com Top 100 for shooters and Whisnant carved out his spot with his stroke. The next step is a dribble-drive game but for now he's a weapon from distances.
Kareem Canty, SG, LI Lightning: Given their name, Florida Assault is naturally expected to come out swinging with the big guns. In a late night playoff game, courtesy Canty and Co., it was the Lightning who scored a 30-plus point knockout. Canty's jumper clicked early, the Lightning swarmed Assault's guards and left no doubt. The Lightning have a team of potential mid-level players who were on the same page and were a handful Saturday night in the Dean Dome.
Ryan Arcidiancono, PG, PA Playaz: He's got one of those last names like "Krzyzewski" that you simply have to commit to memory. "Arch" can hoop. He's got size (6-3) and swagger. Think a strong, though not as quick Steve Blake. Toughness won't be a problem either as he forgot about the eight stitches he received Friday night and laced them up for Saturday's game. Uses his shoulders and a quick "B" button burst to get beat his man. He's got the little tricks and confidence to be a top point in his class.
Andre Drummond, PF, Conn. BBC: Every time he steps on the floor there's an expectation for him to remake his summer of 2009 Amare Stoudemire performance from the AAU Nationals. However, this time around Drummond wants to show everyone he's more than a post player. For three quarters of the game he didn't leave and imprint and then things quickly changed. A traffic rebound, quick hook, a mid-range face-up jumper and the next thing you know he established himself late in a CBC victory. A mega talent for sure, when he commits himself to being an athletic power player it's over.
Shaquille Clear, C, Defenders: Once he firms up his body, he'll have a chance to be a major post prospect. He was better and more active than the last time we saw him. There's a nimbleness that comes with a huge frame and his game. The college coaches are going to love him and who he can be.
Braxton Ogbueze, PG/SG, CP3 16: The Florida Rams aren't going to forget his crossover or the fact that he busted jumpers just inside the 3-point line. He's football strong with a basketball IQ and smooth perimeter package. He raises up with confidence and scores easily. He'll play full time point for the first time as a junior and we'll expect another element of his game to awaken. His running mate, Shawn Lester, displayed athleticism and the kind of stroke that could lead him into a high-major courtship.
Rodney Purvis, SG/PG, CP3 15: It's been quite a spring for the Upper Room Christian standout. With CP looking on, Purvis was awesome in the morning. At this point he hasn't exactly made the choice between point or combo but he's got the weapons to excel at either. A great scorer, he flipped the switch and showed his vision and passing in the early game. Once he stepped on the accelerator, it was over.
Kuran Iverson, SF, LI Lightning 15s: Roll out the Rudy Gay, Devin Ebanks and maybe even Charlie Villanueva comparisons. He's going to wind up being a jumbo small forward. Iverson (as he's aptly named) can handle the ball, slide into his shot and sports a natural game. His ceiling is enormous and expectations will be significant for him. He's 6-8 with skills that translate into potentially thriving as an elite talent.
Basil Smotherman, SF, Eric Gordon 15s: This squad features two wings players, Smotherman and Devin Davis, each of which has a nice future. Smotherman is skilled and smooth. Already a perimeter threat, he'll soon entertain high-major national interest.
Demonte Flannigan, PF, OBC 15s: It's easy on the eyes to watch a natural post player in his element. Flannigan might be 6-7 so ideally we'd like to see him get a big bigger. His strength with the ball in the post is notable and his moves are decisive. Kid can play.
Malik Price-Martin, F, Fla. Rams 16s: This group of Rams is flush with talent and will be a handful in time. MPM has potential guard skills in long frame. He's still growing into his body and position but he's a prospect. Mix in 2012 Stephon Blair in the post and the Rams have a lot to work with.
The best player I saw on Saturday was Chris Paul. The New Orleans Hornets guard rose out of bed early for a 6:45 road workout in UNC's weight room and center court. Anyone who strolled into the Dean Dome early got to see an all-star setting the tone with his work ethic right before your eyes. …
One thing we didn't know about Andre Drummond that we learned on Saturday is that he is an excellent passer. … 2012 power forward Hanner Parea is super at the rim. Around the bucket he's a quick first and second leaper and doesn't mind using his considerable athletic gifts in traffic. … K.J. McDaniels of Team Bama is a good-looking small forward with athleticism. …
History was made when Belmont coach Dinos Trigonis clicked off a halftime text message with his team's statistics. Always an innovator, Trigonis maybe onto something. At the very least he's user friendly. … Once Shawn Lester figures out that he can be aggressive and still be a team guy he's going to take another big step with his game. He's just scratching the surface. …
Ryan Arcidiancono has Notre Dame, Syracuse, Villanova, Wake Forest and Penn State checking him out. St. Joes', Rutgers and Rice offered him (wisely) early. … Chris Brown, a 2010 who will prep, lists Marshall, Texas, Jacksonville State and Mississippi State. He's never played AAU before. … John Cannon has Clemson, Wake Forest, Princeton, Utah, Indiana, Harvard, Utah State and Stanford on his list. … Willy Kouassi indicated that Alabama, UAB and Vanderbilt were on him the hardest. The Ivory Coast native has Georgetown, Marquette, Virginia, Tulsa, Florida, Georgia and Georgia Tech interest. …
Marcus Thornton of Assault has Richmond, William & Mary, and Mount St. Mary's on his tail. … Quinn Cook, a self described ACC guy, said UCLA and Arizona were on him strong. Villanova, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgetown, N.C. State, Kentucky and Washington were in the mix. Duke stays in touch. … Drummond listed UNC, Duke, Georgetown, Connecticut and Louisville. … Nino Williams counts Auburn, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State and Missouri among his offers. … Elijah Carter indicated that he hasn't been released by St. Bonnies yet but intends to prep next season. …