Dorian Pickens- SG/SF, Pinnacle (AZ)
Shooting: Pickens is one of the best shooters in the Class of 2014. He can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor, and he moves extremely well without the basketball. But Pickens isn't just a spot-up shooter. He can create his own shot and score off the dribble as well. He has an incredibly quick release and great form on his jumper, so he is somebody defenses need to constantly pay attention to. Pickens can also finish well around the basket and in traffic, but his best skill is definitely his ability to shoot the lights out.
Playmaking Ability: Pickens isn't an explosive athlete, but he has a very high basketball IQ. He can facilitate an offense from the wing and advances the ball well in transition. He is also a terrific teammate who always plays hard and with a great attitude. But Pickens doesn't have a good body frame and needs to become a better ball handler on the perimeter. He also needs to work on his quickness and athleticism. Pickens has all the physical intangibles to be a very effective player if he can just improve his ball skills and playmaking ability more.
Defense: Pickens needs to improve a lot of the defensive end. He isn't a great athlete and has trouble staying with quicker wing players. He always plays hard, but he doesn't have the instincts or lateral quickness to be very effective on defense. Pickens also doesn't get a lot of rebounds on either end and almost never collects a steal or block. He has a lot of value on the offensive end, but will need a lot of coaching to help him out defensively.
Side Note: Pickens is a member of the Arizona Stars in AAU. He has 4.2 GPA at Pinnacle and will start taking visits after his season.
Offers: SMU, Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Colorado, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Rice, San Francisco, Stanford, USC, Washington, and Weber State.
Measureables: 6-5, 205
Ranking: A three-star in the Class of 2014.
Darrick Wood- SF, Hutchinson C.C. (KS)
Scoring: Wood can flat out score the basketball. He is a difficult cover out on the perimeter because he can beat you in so many different ways. Wood has a good mid-range pull-up and can knock down three pointers as well. He can be a catch-and-shoot player or play off the ball because of his ability to space the floor and read defenses. Wood also uses a fade away jumper to get his shot off in traffic and is a terrific finisher at the basket. He uses his athleticism to finish well with either hand and can throw down some big-time dunks.
Playmaking Ability: Wood is still developing physically, but he is already a threat from multiple spots on the floor. His skinny frame makes it tough for him to mix it up with players in the paint, and he needs to add more muscle to help his toughness. But Wood is a good passer and has a very high basketball IQ. He understands the game well and plays with a high motor all of the time. Although he can be effective in the halfcourt, Wood is at his best when playing an up-tempo style that allows him to take advantage of his court awareness and athleticism.
Defense: Wood needs to fill out his frame to be a more effective defensive player. His body is still too skinny for him to guard bigger players, and he struggles when opponents are physical with him. Wood has the lateral quickness and length to be a good defender, but he hasn't shown enough focus on that end consistently. He also needs to fight for more rebounds and improve his team defense. He will never be a shutdown defender, but Wood has the ability to become a much better player on that end of the floor with the right coaching.
Side Note: Wood attended Bridgton Academy for high school and decommited from St. Johns in January 2012. He played for the N.J. Playaz in AAU and took an official visit to SMU in September. He is expected to make his decision in the spring.
Offers: SMU and Minnesota.
Measureables: 6-4, 170
Ranking: A three-star in the Class of 2012.
Trent Brinkley- SF, Dallas Kimball
Scoring: Brinkley uses his athleticism and versatility to score points in bunches. He is an excellent finisher at the basket and always plays above the rim. Brinkley loves to throw down dunks over opponents and doesn't mind finishing through contact as well. He can use with either hand and has great touch around the basket. Brinkley still needs to improve on his outside shooting and ball handling to help expand his game out on the perimeter, but he is already an elite athlete for his age.
Playmaking Ability: Brinkley is at his best when he is in transition and playing in the open floor. He can get by defenders with ease and gets to the hole consistently. He needs to improve on his passing and court awareness to help him make more plays for his teammates, but the physical advantage is definitely there. Brinkley also plays with a lot of energy and attitude. He doesn't mind mixing it up in the paint and can intimidate opponents with his emotion and passion. Brinkley doesn't have great ball skills, but he is an intriguing prospect because of his versatility and athleticism.
Defense: Brinkley is a very good defender out on the perimeter. He uses his athleticism and lateral quickness to be a terrific one-on-one defender and can guard multiple different positions. His versatility also allows him to pick up a lot of blocks and steals on opponents. Brinkley has shown he is a terrific rebounder on both ends of the floor. He uses great energy and length to fight for rebounds in the paint and has built a reputation as a nasty put-back dunker. Brinkley will have one or two offensive rebounds a game where he throws down a put back dunk over an opponent in traffic.
Side Note: Brinkley is a member of the Dallas Showtyme in AAU. He is a former high school teammate of SMU guard Keith Frazier.
Offers: SMU, North Texas and UT-Arlington.
Measureables: 6-6, 200
Ranking: A three-star in the Class of 2014.
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