Top Prospects at Rumble Tourney

A freshman center from Oregon, Andy Poling, is definitely an elite young post in the west, and there were a couple of others who were among the best prospects at the Rumble In The Bay tourney this past weekend...

We spent Saturday and Sunday in Santa Clara at the Rumble In The Bay, which consisted of numerous Northern California teams, as well as some out of state teams. Here are some impressions of players who got our attention.

Andy Poling, 6-11 FR C Portland (Ore.) Westview. Poling was outstanding in this event, showing off a very advanced low post game. Seth Tarver, Phil Nelson and Lathen Wallace were not in attendance for the Portland Panthers and Poling got a lot more touches than he did in April. He was much more assertive and the results were impressive. He's got a very nice little jump hook and he posted up aggressively. With long arms, good feet and good hands, Poling has all the tools to be an elite post player. He's a true five who understands that he's a five, with an outstanding feel in the low post. He's not very strong yet, which made his willingness to bang inside all the more impressive. Kevin Love gets all the attention in Oregon and rightfully so – he's a freak show. But after Love, Poling is going to be the next great big man out of the Pacific Northwest.

Drew Gordon, 6-8 FR PF San Jose (Calif.) Mitty. This was a weekend for good, young players and Gordon was among the best prospects we saw. He has a very good frame, long arms, good hands and excellent body control. He runs and jumps very well. He has a nice touch around the basket, with the ability to step out to about 15 feet. Nice instincts for the game and competes very well. With continued development, a potential elite prospect.

Darnell Gant, 6-8 SO PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. Gant was the biggest surprise of the weekend. He has a great body – muscular and long – with outstanding athleticism. He's exceptionally quick for his size and very explosive off the floor. He showed a nice jump hook and the ability to face-up out to about 15-17 feet. He's still a bit raw in his offensive game, but he has a very big upside. He competes very well. With more polishing, he's one of the top four men in the West Coast class of 2007. Academics will have to be improved, but he has two more years to do it.

Kevin Galloway, 6-6 JR SF Sacramento (Calif.) High. Galloway was playing the point for the Sacramento Classics and that's a mistake – he's not a point guard. He's a great passer, though, with exceptional vision. Some guys play the game for dunks – Galloway plays the game to make great passes. However, it is a bit of problem, as Galloway allows himself to become somewhat one-dimensional. He's got a pro body and he's an elite athlete. His jumpshot isn't good, but it isn't broke. With more time spent on the wing, and work on his shot, Galloway has a chance to be a very good high major player. UCLA won't recruit him.

Marcus Lawrence, 5-11 JR PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Lawrence was solid in the two games we saw him play, knocking down open jump shots and running the team very well. Shooting the ball has been a question mark for Lawrence, but he gets a little better each time we see him. He's more comfortable in the 15-17 foot range, but he made a couple threes this weekend. A true point, Lawrence understands the game and knows how to make his teammates better.

Billy White, 6-7 SO SF Las Vegas (Nev.) Green Valley. The best prospect on the Las Vegas Prospects, White is a long lefty who can do a lot of things on the court. He's got the size to play inside, but the ball skills to play on the perimeter. He's very quick off the floor and has the quickness to defend a three on the perimeter. He still defers somewhat to his older teammates, but White has the best upside on the team. Decision-making can sometimes be an issue, but that's a minor quibble. With continued development, a potential elite prospect.

Ethan Niedermeyer, 6-6 JR PF Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. We'd never seen Niedermeyer before and he was a very pleasant surprise. He's got a very good frame and an outstanding feel for the game. Textbook fundamentals, toughness and a high skill level make him a very interesting prospect. He can shoot it pretty well out to the stripe and also has a nice, old-school hook shot. We think he's a solid mid major prospect.


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