When it comes to producing college and even NBA talent, Gary Vick's Athlete's First program has emerged as the top grassroots outfit in the state of Oklahoma. Continually producing top talent, the program took another step over the weekend holding an exposure combine at their new basketball facility in Oklahoma City.
Dominique Raney - Playing in the shadow of Xavier Henry at Putnam City, Raney is ready to make his own name. The top performer at the event, he's an off guard with deep range on his jumper, explosive athleticism and a surprising ability to create his own shot. To take his recruitment and game to the next level he'll have to develop a bit more of an aggressive mentality but he's got the tools to play at a pretty high level in the future and should be one of the more highly recruited class of 2011 players in Oklahoma.
Matt Christiansen - Proof that you don't have to put up huge numbers or jack a bunch of shots to get noticed, the 6-7 forward is a nice looking prospect. Only a freshman, he's got a nice frame, good skills and a terrific feel for the game. Runs the floor well, knows where he's most comfortable and gets a lot done from 15 feet and in.
Ivan Rangel - A native of Mexico who has only been in the states for a little bit over a year, he's a physically imposing sophomore. Still adjusting to the American game, he showed soft touch to about 12 feet, ran the floor pretty well and has an impressive attitude. He went hard in drills and was among the most focused campers in attendance. Looking forward to seeing more out of him down the road.
DeVante Wilson - Possibly the top all-around athlete at the event, Wilson showed flashes of talent. He attacks the rim off the dribble, is a willing defender and finishes in transition. College coaches value toughness much more than many young players realize and it's Wilson's overall toughness that is perhaps his most attractive quality, especially when you factor in that he's only a sophomore.
Xavier McClish - With his high top fade, this junior easy to pick out on the floor. Slender and quick off the dribble, he used an explosive first step to get to the rim. Lacking in strength, he missed some finishes because of bumps from defenders. A good student, it's up to him to realize his talent level, put in the extra work and develop himself into a next level player because the tools are there.
Tavion Fleeks - An aggressive combo guard, he loves to wear down opponents with his attacking style. A junior, he prefers to get to the rim and is dangerous in transition. As a jump shooter he has some ability and loves to punish defenders by pulling up from between 12 and 17 feet after one or two dribbles. Gets a little out of control at times but should have a future on the division one level.
More Notes And Notables From The Combine
Oklahoma City Douglass looks like they've got some promising young talent. In particular, it will be interesting to watch the development of sophomore guards Dorrian Williams and Dominique Manual. More of a combo guard, Williams is a guy who loves to change speeds off the dribble and he's got plenty of confidence in his jumper. Boasting a wingspan over six feet and five inches, he's also able to play much bigger than his 6-foot-1 inch size. As for Manuel, he's a quick and attacking 5-11 PG who isn't afraid to look for his own offense. He's a little wild at times, but the ability to create a shot for himself or others is certainly there. ... In for the weekend from his prep school in Connecticut, junior big man Monty Brown shows promise. An alert and intelligent interior player, the 6-10 center has pretty good hands and can score with a fair degree of skill. His combination of grades and ability are sure to make college programs take notice over the next few years. ... An unsigned senior, Bradley Uhles from Paoli High deserves some more looks on the college level. A long and hardworking insider with good size, he just needs to add some strength. Thanks to his motor and work ethic, he was able to beat others to loose balls and made his own opportunities even when guards didn't get him many touches. ...
A freshman showing some promise was Edmond Sante Fe's Michael Onuoha. Blessed with a solid frame and 6-foot-6 inch size, he's a long athlete who gets on the glass. Like many young players, his future is going to depend greatly upon his physical maturity and skill development but he's got a solid base to work with. His high school teammate, and fellow freshman, Aaron Anderson also showed some promise with his long frame and good quickness. He's a combo guard now, but look for him to grow into more of a natural two guard down the road ... Another freshman showing some promise was 6-foot-7 forward Garrett McGrady. With a solid skill level, a good motor and excellent size, the Bethany High product looks to have a pretty bright future. ... He didn't arrive until Sunday, but 6-foot-6 combo forward Ryan Spangler of Bridge Creek did some nice things. Excellent mechanics on his shot and he's not afraid to get in the mix and scrap with the big boys down low. ... Finally, because we were there for only a little over a day, we weren't able to fully evaluate every player in camp. However, from taking a look at some of the talent on display among the 8th graders and freshman, there are definitely some guys who will be generating some serious attention down the road. ...