Class of 2002
Dakin Braddick, BonnerAcademy: Braddick has all the physical tools to be a very, very good collegiate player. The 6-11 combo forward has a great stroke, an extremely good handle for his size, and finds ways to put the ball in the basket. The only thing Braddick needs (besides putting some weight on his skinny frame) is a serious attitude adjustment. He received one of the only technicals I saw called in either tournament, and whined alot on the court. Fix his mental game, and he could have a very bright future. Braddick tallied 12 points (1-1 3pt), seven rebounds, three blocks, and two assists against Coastal Christian.
Vincent Grier, Bonner Academy: Charlotte got themselves a player when they signed Grier. He can play point guard at 6-5 and is an adept creator on the offensive end. He has quickness and a great handle that allows him to slash to the hoop and create turnovers on the defensive end. Grier had 25 points and four steals when we saw him.
Troy Hailey, Montrose Christian: The program called Hailey a three point specialist, and I assure you that is quite accurate. Hailey drilled 4-6 from long range with a beautiful stroke. Any midmajor schools in search of perimeter scoring should take a look at Hailey.
Jammel Halsey, Parkway Christian: Halsey doesn't get the press that Monceaux gets for Parkway, but he may be their best all around player. Halsey is strong at 6-2 and kept Parkway close in the first half with rebounds and his slashing drives to the hoop. A solid player.
Jo Holmes, Bonner Academy: I came away shocked that Holmes doesn't receive nationalattention. The 6-8 forward is strong enough to play in the paint, athletic enough to guard wings, has great hops, and can handle, and shoot extremely well for his size. A steal for any college that grabs him in the spring.
Jeremy Monceaux, Parkway Christian: Monceaux, the leading scorer in Alabama state history, didn't show the ability to keep up with quicker guards on either end of the floor. Monceaux can fill up the points column, but only if he maintains the level of competition that his small high school faces on the next level. A bench player at a high major, a solid contributor at a mid major, and a star at a low major.
Shavlik Randolph, Broughton: Randolph, once the top player in the class before an injury-ridden summer caused his ranking to fall, is one of the most skilled players in the class. He showed the ability to go up against a stronger post player like Eric Williams and use finesse to score and rebound, and picks his spots well on defense to neutralize his strength disadvantage. Randolph will be an exceptional player for Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils, who won his signature in the highly contested recruiting battle this past fall.
Corey Rouse, Kinston: ECU signed an athletic forward who can score when they inked Rouse. He led the way for Kinston with 21 points, and could be a strong player for the Pirates if he adds some weight to his thin frame.
Ahmad Smith, Bishop O'Connell: Smith, headed to St. Bonaventure, is a big lead guard with quickness, court vision, and great touch on his pull-up jumper. Smith scored 18 points against Roberson, and set the table for his teammates on offense. A highly underrated player, in my opinion.
Eric Williams, Rolesville: Williams has come a long way in the past year. The man-child has trimmed down his weight and looks primed to become absolutely scary once he hits a college weight program. If he catches the ball under the basket, you can forget about it -- its over. He has also developed the ability to find open teammates, as evidenced by his eight assists against Broughton. Wake Forest picked up a great player when they snatched Williams early in his recruitment.
Class of 2003
Greg Benton, Roberson: Benton is an exceptional ballhandler at 6-0, and made the acrobatic slashing layup his trademark against talented O'Connell guards. Benton owned the crowd-pleaser, making "oooohs" and "aaaaahs" emanate from the crowd with regularity.
Jeremy Ingram, Kinston: Ingram is reputed as one of the top guards in the junior class, but he was quiet in the game we saw him play. He only scored 10 points, but showed the potential to live up to his rep, as he has a strong build and athletic explosiveness to complement a good shooting stroke. From watching him play, I get the feeling that he'll be a star once he asserts himself.
Linus Kleiza, Montrose Christian: Kleiza's coach called him "the best player nobody knows about" and you aren't going to find any arguments here. The burly 6-8 power forward showed the athleticism to make some wicked blocks and really eleveate well for his size. I wouldn't besurprised to see his name creep up next summer as a late emerger, ala Brad Buckman.
Class of 2004
Jermaine Bell, Coastal Christian: Bell didn't play many minutes, but showed the physical tools to be a future star at center. He's tall, athletic, runs the floor well, and blocks shots -- he just needs to add weight to his very skinny build.
Brian Johnson, Bishop O'Connell: Johnson has a body that no high school sophomore should. He was probably the third biggest player at the tournament, behind Eric Williams and DeMatha's Travis Garrison (who we did not get to see). Johnson struggled with his shot, but showed the beginning stages of great post moves, good passing fundamentals, and a decent handle. However, he still has a ways to go, as he was often late on defense and didn't seem to play his hardest all the time. He looks like a future star, and is already considered one of the top sophomores in the nation.
Class of 2005
Marcus Ginyard, Bishop O'Connell: Ginyard, at 6-5, is one of the most physically developed freshmen wings I have ever seen. He already has broad shoulders and a muscular frame, and is exceptionally athletic. He has a great handle, and already shows the ability to take over a game. He has a beautiful shot, and anticipates extremely well on defense. He has all the makings of a future superstar.
Eric Price, Montrose Christian: Price, a point guard, looks to be one of the top players at his position in his class. While he still needs to mature physically and as a player (although, not much of the latter), he already knows how to run a team and control an offense. He makes crisp passes and can drive the lane and finish. Another future star, it seems.