Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Dream Vision – Muhammad might be the best finisher in the class going to the rim. He scores the ball at will off the bounce and just has that unique ability to finish through contact. His outside jumper wasn't working, but he did a lot of other things to help his team. Muhammad will always play hard and is always in attack mode, and even though his jump shot can be inconsistent his production is always there.
Honestly there isn't much more a human can do on the basketball floor than what Muhammad did on Sunday. He scored 98 points in three games, and saved his best for last. Despite having tired legs and lacking his usual explosion, Muhammad was spectacular in the mid-range and also attacked the rim well. He knocked in enough jump shots to keep the defense honest, and overall was just impossible to stop one-on-one.
Robert Upshaw, C, Dream Vision – The strides he has made with his game and his body over 12 months are quite impressive. While he doesn't run the floor great, he will show effort changing ends. Right now his biggest strength is that he is an elite level rebounder. Upshaw knows how to carve space down low and then is very long and has excellent hands which allow him to snatch the ball off the glass. His touch is solid to eight feet, and though his footwork needs to be refined he is fairly effective on the post.
Long final days aren't built for big guys, but Upshaw showed very well for himself. He has tremendous hands, is developing nice post moves, and is showing a better feel for how to score over either shoulder. Upshaw struggled at times getting up and down the floor, but given the long weekend that is understandable. The strides the big man is making are big time, as he continues to improve every aspect of his game.
Winston Shepard, PF/SF, Dream Vision – On the offensive end Shepard has to be put in certain places to be effective. He is at his best either off the bounce when given time and space or finishing off of an offensive rebound. His ball skills on the perimeter aren't advanced enough to be a full time wing, though defensively he is more than capable of guarding either spot in the frontcourt. Shepard was solid and didn't do anything he wasn't capable of in a big win for Dream Vision.
Ricardo Ledo, SG, City Rocks – Arguably the nation's top scorer, Ledo went to work in the opening round game against Meanstreets. His jump shot is effortless and when his feet are set you can count it up as points. He's far from just an impressive shooter though, as Ledo can go off the bounce and score it from all three levels. He's an underrated passer as well.
Kyle Anderson, PF, NJ Playaz – There's been much debate about what position Anderson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pounder, is. At this point, it's irrelevant. Anderson is just an impressive basketball player. He handled the ball a lot for the Playaz in this one and made smart basketball plays. He's a tremendous passer and has developed an especially impressive mid-range game, which was on full display against California Supreme.
Tony Parker, C, Georgia Stars – Back with the Stars, after a week hiatus with the Atlanta Celtics, Parker was aggressively looking to score on the block. He received a number of touches and he took advantage of a good number of them. He scored through contact up against the New York Gauchos on his way to 20 plus points.
Jerami Grant, SF, Team Takeovers – It's been a good summer for this 6-foot-7 wing prospect. He's more athletic than he was this time last year and is much more assertive. He plays the game with confidence and is at his best getting out in transition and attacking the rim from the high post. He was a major reason Takeover knocked off Louisiana Select early Sunday morning.
James Robinson, PG, Team Takeover – In the first half Robinson, a standout at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic, over penetrated and seemed out of control at times. In the second frame he made up for it turning up his intensity and controlling the game. His mid-range jump shot was falling and he picked his spots better, creating opportunities for himself and teammates.
Ben Carter, 6-8 PF Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. He's been somewhat overshadowed on Gorman, playing with elite prospect Shabazz Muhammad, but Carter is an outstanding prospect in his own right. He's a deceptive athlete, with a very high skill level, great feel for the game, terrific approach, toughness…there's a lot to like with Carter. He can play inside or on the perimeter, he's an excellent (and willing) passer and he competes. He's one of the elite post prospects in the west for 2012.
Xavier Johnson, 6-6 SF Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. There was some question earlier in his career if Johnson would grow into a four, but it's looking like he's going to end up being able to defend, and therefore play, the three. He's certainly got the perimeter ball skills to stay on the wing and he's become a very good three-point shooter. When he's on balance, and squared up, he's an accurate shooter with range beyond the stripe. Johnson has retained his quickness as he's matured and he's able to get in a stance and stay with opposing wings away from the basket. He does need, though, to continue to play inside. He's had a tendency this spring to float to the perimeter and he does himself a disservice when he does so. The best thing about Johnson as a prospect is his versatility. Limiting himself to three-point shooting is going to hurt his stock with scouts and coaches.
Tyrone Wallace, 6-4 PG/SG Bakersfield (Calif.) High. For some reason, Wallace was playing off the ball with his Pump team this past weekend and it didn't help him or his team (which was knocked out of the tournament early Saturday night). Wallace is another player with terrific versatility and upside. He's long, a very good defender, excellent passer, good rebounder and adequate shooter. He's the top point guard in the west for 2012.
Darian Nelson-Henry, 6-10 C Kirkland (Wash.) Lake Washington. He looked to be a bit out of shape this weekend, and he didn't always get a lot of touches, but Nelson-Henry is a very good prospect. Good feet, good hands, very big body…this isn't a tough one. He will have multiple high major offers.
Ikenna Iroegbu, 6-0 PG Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin. Iroegbu had a good weekend in Las Vegas, showing off his ability to create for teammates while also knocking down a number of three-pointers. He's got good size and athleticism for his position, he's an above average passer and he has a chance to be a very good defender. His decision-making can still get better –forces things at times – but that should improve with coaching. He's one of the elite guards in the west for 2013.
Jabari Bird, SG, Oakland Soldiers – Picking up where he left off in Hampton a few weeks ago, Bird was a scoring machine in the first half against Seattle Rotary. The 6-foot-5, maybe 6-6 wing prospect, started the game with a pair of mid-range jumpers, then he worked his way out to the three-point line and mixed in a handful of finishes around the basket. He's among the top scorers in the 2013 class.
Conner Frankamp, PG, KC Pump ‘N Run – A scoring point guard, Frankamp does a lot of good things off the dribble. He is capable of beating his man going either left or right, and then shows the ability to finish in the mid-range or kick to an open teammate. Also he is a good, not great, three point shooter, and is capable of getting going in a big way. He wasn't enough to rally his team to a win, but Frankamp was extremely impressive.
Stephen Domingo, SF, Dream Vision – This is a player that just keeps getting better and also getting taller. Domingo has a ton of upside, and at almost 6-foot-7 possesses an absolutely lethal stroke from the outside. Now he will need to improve on his handle, but Domingo plays hard, knows how to communicate on the defensive end, and also has the length and solid athleticism to be a good defender once he adds strength. As he gets stronger the ceiling is extremely high for Domingo.
Domingo was named the MVP of the event at the 16-and under level, and earned it with his variety of leadership, rebounding, and shot making. Domingo is now showing a lethal mid-range game off the bounce where he can stop and pop going either direction. Also on the floor he is a great communicator who understands how to play and the value of being vocal on defense.
Rashad Muhammad, SG, Dream Vision – A long and angular guard, Muhammad is a good athlete who has the ability to get going scoring wise as well as distributing. He can make shots from deep, though not a great shooter, and also is solid going to the rim. Not one skill stands out with him, but the sum of the parts is pretty impressive.
Muhammad played about as well as he could in the finals. He scored off the bounce, distributed with his superior floor vision, and also is a pretty good athlete. He had great energy despite the long weekend, and overall just found a way to be a very productive player and played good defense.
Ishmail Wainwright, PF/SF, Dream Vision – Wainwright is just moonlighting with Dream Vision this weekend, and in his first game with the team he was impressive. Now he still needs to continue to add to his skill game, but the mid-range jumper is getting there, and his handle is improved. As always he rebounds well and uses his frame create separation and space down low. It isn't always pretty, but Wainwright found a way to be very effective in his minutes on the floor.
He is just a beast on the floor, and he asserted his will in the finals of the 16 and under event. Wainwright also had enough legs to be a contributor with the older age group, but as a 16 he rebounded well, made his foul shots and was a force on both ends of the floor making a big impact against an undersized team.
Zach Lavine, 6-0 SG/PG Bothell (Wash.) High. Reminiscent of a young Stephen Curry, Lavine is a big-time scorer. Baby-faced, and very slender, Lavine can shoot it from deep, but also has a terrific mid-range game. He's very difficult to defend due to his quick release, ability to stop on a dime and excellent body control. He's got good quickness, but it's his body control, and ability to get on balance for his shot, that makes him so hard to guard. He showed some point guard attributes as well – good vision, good passer – but he's such a prolific scorer that he might end up playing off the ball at the next level. In any event, he's one of the elite prospects in the west for 2013.
Shaqquan Aaron, SG, Dream Vision – Wow is he a prospect. Aaron didn't have it all working in the least, but the length, athleticism, shot making ability, and ball handling put his ceiling extremely high. It looks like he has a lot of room left to grow, so he could develop into more of a frontcourt player, but with his ability to knock in shots that isn't a problem at all. More prospect than producer right now, the upside is great for Aaron
Shaquille Carr, 6-0 PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Canyon Springs. Carr is a great-looking young point with length, athleticism and passing ability. He's extremely bouncy and showed a very nice feel. I didn't get a chance to see him shoot it, but he has the look of a terrific point guard prospect.
Josh Martin, 6-7 PF Seattle (Wash.) Seattle Prep. Martin is a good-looking young prospect. He's slender, and not real strong yet, but he plays with some toughness despite going against bigger/older kids. He's got a very nice package of skills, showing off a nice jump shot, as well as a low-post game. He has a solid feel for the game and he's a good passer. He's a good, not great, athlete and he's got some bounce. His versatility, especially for a young kid, is impressive.
*While Bird was the main option for the Soldiers, Brandon Ashley showed why he's highly regarded. Ashley's size, mobility and athleticism all standout. His best move of the day came in transition when he spun off a defender and dropped in a floater.
*Ricardo Ledo listed Kentucky, Connecticut, UCLA, Texas, Providence, Syracuse, Florida and Florida State as schools showing strong interest. He said he's hoping to take an unofficial visit to Kentucky in the near future.
Stephen Domingo has offers from Cal, San Diego State, Memphis, San Francisco, and San Diego. Also interest is coming in from Stanford, Washington, Washington State, Georgetown, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and UNLV.