If you like watching athletic basketball players, you would have loved what I saw at Boo Williams last weekend. I do not mean to take away from all the great players I spent time watching but I would like to add some extra thoughts for three players. DeMarcus Nelson (6'3" SG * California Elite), DeAaron Williams (6'6" SF * Illinois Warriors) and Marquie Cooke (6'3" PG * Boo Williams). Each of these players had that extra gear in their game that raised my eyebrow a time or two.
When I speak of athletes, you know the type. Len Bias, Michael Jordan and David Thompson come to my mind. More recently I think of Raymond Felton, Julius Hodge and Josh Howard. They all had or have that extra hop, additional juke and quick step that just seem to separate them from the players around them. While I do not claim that Nelson, Williams or Cooke will be as great as the legends or even as good as the current mentioned ACC stars, I can say that amongst the current crop of AAU players, these guys are stars in their own right. They just seem to play at a different level from most and that is what caught my eye.
There was no one at the tournament that could stop them consistently. They all have that extra speed to get around any defender that took a chance and they all have the skill to finish anything they start. Each was simply amazing to watch.
The foot speed that these athletes had was simply faster than the other players on the court. They could just simply drive left or right by opponents. If they wanted to add flash, each could spin in either direction. All of them could stop and pump or drive and dunk. It did not matter how they tried to score, the result was always the same. Points.
Defensively, they each had more bounce than most they were matched against. There motors always looked to be running at full throttle while those that tried to go against looked stuck in some lower gear. Quick feet, quick hands and quick defensive decisions all made it so exciting to watch them play the game.
I saw that each of these guys were special. If you watched them you would see it too. You can see it in their confidence. They got swagger and style. They carry their selves like winners. They play like winners. Kind of like Thompson, Bias and Jordan.
DeMarcus Nelson has committed to Duke and in my opinion he is as good as athlete that is on the Blue Devils team currently. I will hate to see him the two times the Wolfpack is guaranteed to play them per year. Hopefully he goes pro after year one.
DeAaron Williams has offers from Missouri and Marquette. Illinois is also involved. I asked him if he was interested in the ACC and he told me yes, but that he had never played AAU beyond the mid-west until this year's Boo Williams Tournament. Hopefully, NC State will get word on this outstanding player.
Marquie Cooke has the East Coast covered when it comes to offers. Virgina, Kentucky, and Georgetown are all involved. NC State writes him everyday as well. He is one of three guards (Cooke, Rico Tucker and A.J. Price) from what I hear that has an offer from the Pack. As it has been the past couple years, landing a point guard is a priority. The first to say yes from the group will be NC State's PG of the future.