Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Celtics: Simply put, this is the MOST explosive, highest leaping athlete in the class (and we say that with all due respect to J.R. Smith). Smith punched two of the best dunks of the summer against Richmond. He got all his points at or above the rim in this one. He blocked shots at a pretty good clip as well. Words cannot describe the overall athletic package that he displayed to those who were in Green Valleys gym on Wednesday afternoon. He finished off two dunks that simply were breathtaking. On one of them he basically leapt from just inside the free throw line, dunked on a guy and wasnt exactly on his way down when he got to the rim. Awesome.
Dwight Howard, PF-C, Atlanta Celtics: After Josh Smith dunked on Bombale Osby, Howard stepped up and banged one home only this time as Osby went up with him and Howard ratcheted up another notch above the rim. He had a sequence of blocks, dunks and two-handed rebounds that put an exclamation point on his candidacy as top player in the class. Then, just for kicks, he flicked passes to open teammates when the double-teams came. The kid doesnt touch the ball nearly enough as he should and hell never complain or pout, he just plays.
Jordan Farmar, PG, Pump n Run: We werent in the gym for this one but enough people were talking about so that the details werent hard to come by. Basically, Farmar had himself a Big Time moment. He scored 35 points in a win over Billy Shepherd Sports and, get this; he drilled 10 3-pointers. Thats a legend of summer kind of performance.
Bombale Osby, PF, Squires Richmond: In a nightmare matchup for a 6-5 power forward, Osby drew Smith and Howard. Did they throw a few nasty jams on him? Yes. But, to his credit, he never backed down. Not once. He kept coming at those guys and didnt flinch. Hes a tough kid and he earned the respect of everyone in the gym. Finally, in the closing minutes of the game he even got a hoop to go down against Smith. Gutsy effort for a kid in a difficult situation.
Gavin Grant, SF, NY Ravens: When his team rolled up a serious halftime lead, he kind of put it in cruise control. Then, as the game tightened in the second half he went to work. From rebounding to blocking shots he stayed active. On the offensive end he went into attack mode and insured his team the win over the Southern Cal All-Stars.
Albert Webber, SG, Squires Richmond: He had 17 in the game against the Celtics and hes consistently scored everywhere hes been. The guy finds a way to put the ball in the hoop and thats why hell get on the court in a hurry at Alabama.
Drew Neitzel, PG, Michigan Mustangs: The future Michigan State Spartan was fun to watch. Sure, hes not the fastest or tallest kid, but on Wednesday he found a way. He can create his own shot and for a sub-six-footer he doesnt get a ton of attempts blocked.
Shane Foster, SF, New Orleans Jazz: He had 19 points and 8 boards against the Michigan Mustangs. Though his shot wasnt falling, Foster gave you a taste of what hes about. Hes an improving shooter and a very good athlete. His one-handed slam off and offensive rebound was SEC athlete quality.
Jamar Butler, PG, Cleveland Basketball Club: After knocking down a handful or so of 3-pointers, Butlers number was called for the last shot against H-Squad-Belmont Shore. With 3 seconds left the ball was in bounded to him, he drove from the wing and hit a tough runner at the buzzer to end it. Clutch shot from the future Bearcat.
Tasmin Mitchell, F, New Orleans Jazz: He was awesome in the first half of the Mustangs game. Mitchell showed the whole package. Obviously hes got a body to do work inside and hell go above the rim for boards but when hes hitting the jumper like he did on Wednesday, thats an entirely different story. He was physical enough with Al Horford to knock him out of the box at times.
Chad Millard, SF, Granite State: Reportedly he had a huge day on Tuesday but wasnt nearly as effective in Day Two. However, you can see the high-major talent. Hes a 6-8 small forward with good ball skills and range on his jumper. Hell be one to watch closely in the coming year.
Expert: Neitzel "fun to watch"