UNC Targets Shine in Kansas City

As of this morning, the feeding frenzy that is the NCAA's open evaluation period is over. After an exhausting month where kids crisscross the country to play in mega shoe tournaments and All-American camps, everybody is going to catch up on a little rest.

Before they got their rest, a few players who have turned up on the UNC radar were finishing up their July's at the Price Chopper Invitational in Suburban Kansas City.

Inside Carolina's Eric Bossi was on hand and reports back on the Tar Heel targets in attendance.

Tyrel Reed - Reed may or may not end up on national top 100 lists for the class of 2007, but there is zero doubt that he deserves to be there. The unassuming 6-2 PG from Burlington (KS) High led his KC Pump ‘N Run 16's team to a 16 U championship at the Adidas Super 64 last week before piloting them deep into a 17 U tourney in Kansas City. He's been compared to both Kirk Hinrich and Travis Diener and the comparisons are fair.

He's a tough kid who hits shots, works his tail off in the gym and is more athletic than given credit for. Against a BABC backcourt of Georgetown commitment Jeremiah Rivers, Wake Forest bound Anthony Gurley and Iowa State bound Farnold Degand, Reed dominated. He toyed with them off the bounce, hit pretty bank shots off of pull-up jumpers on the fastbreak and found teammates for easy scores. Saved his best work for a city rivalry against a talented Rocktown team where he scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead his team to a 20 point win after trailing by as many as 11 in the first half. Still has to get stronger and improve his quickness defensively, but he's worthy of early interest he's getting from programs like North Carolina, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa and others.

Michael Sanchez - A rugged kid with an impressive looking frame, Sanchez was at his best working around the basket. He uses his physicality to get on the glass and has a soft touch on jumpers out to 15 feet. Thanks in large part to his play, his team Arkansas Red was able to win the championship of the second division (there were two separate 16 team tourneys) of the tournament. At times he tended to float too much to the perimeter and tried to play like a wing. He has some face up skills, but lacks the quickness and ball skills necessary to play the wing full time. You have to like his approach and the college ready body doesn't hurt.

Derrick Rose - Probably the number one headline at the Kansas City event, this 6-2 PG from Chi-Town showed exactly why he's so highly regarded. Standing 6-2, the rising junior is blessed with incredible handles, quickness to the rack and freaky athleticism. More importantly, he's a team player who is actually pretty sound fundamentally and that is what makes him so tough. While he can jump over or run by pretty much anybody or anything in his path, he realizes that isn't always the best option. An explosive scorer who can put up lots of points in a hurry, Rose went for 33 and 31 in the quarterfinals and semis. He still struggles with guards who really like to play physical and who can keep up with his speed, but he's learning how to beat those guys too and is star in the making. Among the schools on his early list are North Carolina, Kansas, Illinois, Arizona and Virginia.

Travis Releford - The youngest of the Carolina targets in Kansas City, he's a 6-4 shooting guard who may eventually play some point guard. The last time he took the court in Las Vegas, Releford went for 31 points and 20 boards while helping his KC Pump ‘N Run 16's teammates to a playoff win. He didn't exactly cool off in KC going for 22 points and seven rebounds against the trio of high major guards sent to the floor by BABC. He's a sound wing who loves to get to the rim where he can finish with either hand, is an exciting finisher in transition and is an exceptional rebounder from the wing. He's still growing and getting better each time out and should be considered, and rightfully so, one of the top 25 prospects in the class of 2008 at this point.

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