LEWES, Del. -- Terrapin Times trekked down to Delaware Dec. 28 to catch a couple games in the return of the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament. Here are some notes from the event:
Mohamed Bamba, 6-11, Jr., Westtown (Pa.): Bamba is regarded as a top-five player nationally, but did not have a standout game versus St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.). His offensive game was absent, but he still made his presence known on the boards and defensively. Bamba has incredible length, runs the floor very well, and yet has not even come close to maturing physically. The knock on Bamba is that he doesn't always "bring it," but there is no denying his upside. He'll wind up being a dominant college player, and, yes, the Terps are very involved, though some view Duke, Kentucky, and Villanova as possible teams to beat.
Brandon Randolph, 6-4, Jr., Westtown: Randolph scored 10 points in a 51-48 loss to St. Benedict's, and didn't have a great game, as he was saddled with two early fouls. That said, we like this kid a good amount. He's a good athlete, with a quick first step, and is known as an outstanding shooter (he did nail two treys in this contest). He's strictly a two-guard, but has excellent size (though he's thin). Randolph's bursting on the scene nationally, having just received an offer from UConn. The NYC native will get plenty more, and it would not surprise us to see the Terps ante up before too long.
Myles Douglas, 6-6, Jr. PVI (Fairfax, Va.): Douglas has gotten off to a slow start at PVI, though he's played better recently as he adjusts to a big step up in competition. The Baltimore native had a solid effort in PVI's hard -ought win over a strong Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) team, scoring 11 points, and making several nice defensive plays. That said, he seems stuck between the 3/4 positions: not nearly big or strong enough as a 4 and not possessing the quickness or outside shooting ability as a 3. He projects as a "glue guy" in college, most likely at the mid-major level. Douglas does have a Maryland offer, but we'd be surprised if the Terps make much of a push.
Brandon Slater, 6-5, Soph., PVI (Fairfax, Va.): Slater is an ultra-thin wing man with a solid outside shot and good athleticism who appears to have a very bright future. This long-armed lefty recently was offered by Louisville, and we think Maryland will eventually do the same. In the Roselle Catholic game, Slater hit a couple jumpers, ran the court well and generally made things happen, though he did turn the ball over a number of times. Along with Jalen Smith (Mt. St. Joe's/Baltimore, Md.) and Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), two Terps' offerees, Slater is emerging as one of the DMV's premier sophomores.
David Beatty, 6-3, Jr., St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.): Maryland and Georgetown both showed early interest in Beatty, though it appears to have dwindled in recent months. But this solidly-built-street-fighter-of-a-wing-guard put on a show in the win over Westtown, knocking down a bunch of mid-range jumpers, and killing whoever was trying to guard him on his forays to the hoop. It will be interesting to see where Beatty winds up in college. He's a very talented performer and seems to love the bright lights.
Bourama Sidibe, 6-10, Jr., St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.): This was our first look at Sidibe, and he was impressive, stuffing Bamba's dunk attempt and generally creating havoc before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. It's unclear who's recruiting Sidibe, and again, it's hard to form a solid opinion on just one viewing, but this athletic insider showed a lot. He can run, plays sound defense and has a solid mid-range touch. Maryland needs a big in the 2017 class, so we'll see if they begin to show some interest in Sidibe.
Aaron Thompson, 6-1, Jr. PVI (Fairfax, Va.): The Terps have been monitoring Thompson for awhile now, and, in truth, he's an exceptional floor general. Thompson is very quick, fast with the ball, plays suffocating defense, and sees the floor well. He does have one Achilles' heel, however: He simply has not shown he can consistently shoot the ball, either from beyond the arc or even mid-range. In addition, he's not a great free-throw shooter either, and that's a big drawback at the end of games when you're trying to protect a lead. Temple is on Thompson, and Vanderbilt just offered. Maryland has shown interest, but the lack of a reliable jumper is probably a deal breaker.
Notes: Maryland assistant Cliff Warren was in attendance, most likely there to see Bamba, Randolph, Slater, and Douglas. We'll see if the Terps begin to recruit Sidibe, if they haven't already. Villanova and Georgetown also had assistants present.
Reportedly, assistant Dustin Clark was in Salisbury, Md., Dec. 28 to scout prime small forward target Nicolas Claxton (Legacy Charter/Greenville, S.C.).
We're told Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti/Philadelphia, Pa.) had a so-so game in the team's loss to PVI (Fairfax, Va.) Dec. 27. Sources in Philadelphia seem to think a Anthony Cowan/Green backcourt would not be a good fit defensively, as both are in the 5-11, 6-0 range, and somewhat slight of build. Syracuse, Michigan State, Villanova and Maryland are some of the schools seemingly in contention for Green.
One more player of note is 6-9 sophohmore Nazreon Reid of Roselle Catholic. Reid is a man-child, strong and powerful around the hoop, although he's still raw. He took a few ill-advised jumpers during their game against PVI, but this kid will be a force down the road. The Terps were one of his early offers. He's already considered one of the nation's better sophomores, and has loads of upside.