No matter how well you plan, it is impossible to see everybody you'd like to see. However, you are also assured of seeing terrific prospects wherever you stop. On day one the Inside Carolina caravan held down the fort at the Adidas Super 64 and was witness to some solid performances by players of Tar Heel interest.
NORTH CAROLINA TARGETS AT THE SUPER 64
Wayne Ellington - There really isn't any better place to start than with the 6-4 combo guard from Philly. With assistant coach Joe Holladay in the house the future Tar Heel went for 19 and directed his Playaz Basketball Club teammates to a 20-point win over TJ Ford Elite. His buttery jump shot, smooth handle and smart passing were all in full effect but perhaps the most noticeable part of his game is how much stronger and explosive he's become. He's been putting in long hours with a personal trainer and the results aren't hard to spot. He's much quicker with his first step, is finishing more than ever with contact and has become much more explosive on drives to the hoop. Had one of the most entertaining plays of the day when he nearly dropped a defender to the floor with a nasty crossover in the open court before gliding in for a left handed jam.
Thaddeus Young - Perhaps still hampered by a bum ankle, it wasn't a vintage performance from the 6-8 wing from Memphis. He struggled to hit jumpers and the lefty played with a lack of urgency for stretches. That being said Young still showed flashes of exactly why he's so coveted on slicing drives to the hoop and tricky passes in transition. Right now his jump shot is hit and miss and he seems a bit tentative as a whole. The most positive sign was that when the game was on the line Young turned it up and made sure he and his teammates took care of the Richmond Squires.
Stanley Robinson - The 6-8 jumping jack forward from Alabama didn't lack for coaches taking in him and his Tallahassee Wildcats teammates. Alabama sent their entire staff and Memphis sent John Calipari and an assistant. Holding it down for UNC was assistant coach Steve Robinson who grabbed a spot that allowed him to watch Robinson in the auxiliary gym while keeping his eyes on Julian Vaughn (more later) in the main gym.
An athletic combo forward who soars through the air for towering jams off of alley-oops that he has no business catching, Robinson is an interesting prospect. He doesn't really have the bulk that you'd like to see in a power forward, but lacks some of the skills of a true wing forward. What he does is get out in transition and finish, hit three pointers and crash the glass. He's got exceptional body control and finds ways to maneuver between his opponents for tips and rebounds and that's something that can't be taught. After he was done he mentioned that North Carolina had been in touch recently but no scholarship has been offered to this point.
Julian Vaughn - Playing alongside highly touted guys like Mike Beasley and Nolan Smith, Vaughn hasn't really gotten the run he deserves as a prospect. Standing a legit 6-10, the long and lanky power forward is blessed with a beautiful jump shot that is accurate all the way out to 22 feet. Inside the paint he's a crafty and skilled scorer who uses pump fakes, spins, and soft touch with either hand to score seemingly at will. He needs to add more strength and get a little more physical but he's one of the hottest names on the circuit right now in the class of 2007. The way he played on Friday screamed future pro.
Tyrel Reed - Carolina fans who are familiar with Reed will earn bonus points because the 6-2 rising junior PG from Burlington (Kan.) High isn't exactly well known on the national level. However, North Carolina is well aware of his capabilities and is slated to send a staff member out to watch him -- and 2008 stud Travis Releford -- at some point this weekend. On Friday he went off for 26 points and carried his KC Pump ‘N Run 16's team to a victory
The son of a high school coach, Reed is a pure point guard who makes excellent decisions with the ball and rarely misses on open jumpers. He's sneaky athletic and is at his best in transition where he's just as likely to find a teammate with a slick behind the back dish as he is to pull up and swish a 17-footer. He listed North Carolina in his top five along with Kansas, UNLV, Creighton and Southwest Missouri but you can expect that more high major programs are going to get involved. It is interesting to note that his coach on KC Pump ‘N Run, Steve Woodberry, was coached by Roy Williams at Kansas.