(6-4, 200) SG Jevohn Shepherd, Michigan
It doesn't take long for you to realize why Jevohn is the king of Canadian basketball. He seems to be somewhat of a hero to folks in Toronto. Despite what I had heard previously about what a specimen he was, the Jevohn Shepherd I saw Saturday had a better build than I expected. Physically he looks like he has been playing college ball for a few years and he has above average athletic ability. While others have indicated that he has very good range, he chose to do his damage going to the bucket Saturday. He is a pretty solid ball handler and passer and can slash with the best of them. He also has great body control in the air, which complements his big time vertical. The kid is a high flyer and will go get anything up around the rim. Alley oops, tips, rebounds…you name it. The kid is gifted in the air.
One part of his game that may not be talked about enough is his mid range ability. He can really get it done in the intermediate area with pull-ups and floaters. I think he can create his own shot fairly well, but did not do so enough in the game..
His intensity level seemed to come and go. There is no question he is a tough player but he just did not seem have the switch turned on the whole time. Some possessions he was fighting inside for rebounds and diving around for loose balls while on others he was just a spectator. It may have been do to that fact that he was so much more advanced than his competition. That will be something he will have to guard against at Michigan.
Comparison wise, the player Shepherd reminded me most of was former Texas Tech star Andre Emmett. Both are well built guards that drive the paint well, are athletic, and can score in a variety of ways. Both can bring the house down with dunks too! I didn't see UConn guard Denham Brown when he played in Toronto but word among the folks north of the border is that Jevohn is the better player at the same stage of development. The one caveat, in my opinion, is Brown plays with a fire in his game. Shepherd needs to do so on a more consistent basis. This kid has the chance to be as good as he wants to be. Period!
By the way, Jevohn isn't the only Shepherd who is making noise in Canada. Though only a freshman, his brother Shae Shepherd is already 6'3 and word is he may end up being better than his brother. Certainly something to keep an eye on in the future!
(6-4, 190) SG Maurice Joseph, Michigan State
Wow, can this kid shoot the three ball! Like I said in the previous article, he owned the three-point competition and hit long range shots in the All-Star Game as well. Joseph is considerably thinner than Shepherd and not as athletic, but his jumper is more polished. He is a good project player for Tom Izzo to develop and he has the versatility to fit their system.
Joseph runs the court well, can hit the three ball, and drives to the basket hard. Joseph is an aggressive player but needs improvement on the defensive end, rebounding, and in his passing skills. In talking to people at the event that have seen Joseph and Shepherd more times than they could count, the consensus was Shepherd is without question the better player.
(6-10, 210) F/C Theo Davis, Iowa State
Scout.com's seventh ranked center certainly looked like he will be a forward at the next level to me. Davis was on the thin side for his frame but very athletic for a big man. His vertical and anticipation skills make him a great shot blocker and rebounder. Davis won MVP honors at the game with his triple double and was obviously the best player on the court. He has an array of moves down on the block and showed range on his jumper. He is a very versatile athlete that could end up as one of the premier forwards from this class. He's a strong kid for his weight but he needs to add strength to battle down low with some of the big men at the college level. He reminds me of Eddie Griffin. Let's see how he reacts to putting on additional bulk but Davis has the ability to be stellar for the Cyclones.
(6-10, 205) F/C Kyle Dodd, Eastern Michigan
Didn't play much but looks like a big man with potential and versatility. Coach Ramsey has a role playing forward for the future that he can develop, but must get bigger and more physical first. He is not very imposing on the block; in fact Jevohn Shepherd guarded Dodd and shut him down for the most part while he was in the game.
(6-2, 220) G Simon Farine, Wisconsin-Green Bay
Simon was one of the more impressive kids on the floor. Farine showed excellent shooting ability on the perimeter draining several three's on the night and performed well at running the point for the west squad. He struggles defensively, but is one of the top guards in Canada and should do well in the Horizon League.
(6-11, 290) C Jaan Montgomery, Undecided
Talk about a load down low, Montgomery is absolutely huge! He moves adequately for a kid of his size. He has good touch inside, but his range is very limited. He struggled with an athletic big man like Theo Davis. He is imposing and a large presence in the paint. Though he is still waiting for more offers. Expect him to sign with Central Michigan,
(6-5, 215) G/SF Maxim Paulhus-Gosselin, Davidson
After Davis and Shepherd, this kid had one of the best performances of the night. Athletic, very tough, and is a strong defender, but doesn't create his own shot very well. Not the flashiest player but looked like a real sleeper to me.
Note: UCLA commit Ryan Wright was not in the All Star Game.