NW Premier Showcase Notes - Day One

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Friday kicked off the Northwest Premier Showcase - the Pacific Northwest's top AAU event - at Bellevue Community College. With Seattle Rotary stars Tony Wroten and Gary Bell unavailable, the attention turned to lessor known local talent from Friends of Hoop and the Northwest Panthers.

Donald Gaddy – Northwest Panthers. Gaddy isn't the blue chip recruit his older brother Abdul, who now plays for the University of Washington, was, but there's still an awful lot to like. Apparently stellar court vision and passing runs in the family, and though he's stands just six feet tall, he plays taller due to his length and tenacity on defense. He's also a surprising athlete and can lull opponents to sleep before unleashing his deceptive quickness.

Brett Kingma - Friends of Hoop. Kingma's reputation for streaky play was in full effect. The wafer-thin volume shooter demands attention with a silky stroke and torrid hot streaks. On this day however, his performance was a mixed bag as is often the case with Kingma. Despite drilling several three-pointers, it was his ill-advised off-balanced trey attempts that characterized his performance. Possessing above-average passing and ball-handling skills, the key to Kingma's future at the next level may lie in his ability to temper his itchy trigger finger and permanently transition to point guard, where his slight build is far better suited.

Lonnie Pearson – Northwest Panthers. It isn't hard to see why Seattle University head coach Cameron Dollar is so excited about a recent verbal commitment from this 6-foot-6 swingman. Pearson's potential is undeniable as an unrefined slasher with a quick first step and solid range that extends beyond the three-point arc. He's also got the potential to be an outstanding defender and is fearless attacking the glass against bigger defenders. Pearson, who signed with SU, has been reclassified for the 2011 class, which is why he's playing AAU ball.

Davonte Lacy – Northwest Panthers. The Washington State commit had a rough going in opening round play. He's got a good body, strong motor and a nice shooting stroke, but average ball-handling skills and a weak left hand may diminish his long-term potential.

Jeff Perkins – Friends of Hoop. Another intriguing prospect, the 6-foot-6 small forward grew nearly a foot since his freshman season of high school ball. An excellent athlete with pogo-stick legs, Perkins emphatically flushed a couple of put-backs, than calmly canned a three-pointer and banked a mid-range jumper from 10 feet moments later. He's raw, but the upside is definitely there.

Hikeem Stewart – Friends of Hoop. The 6-foot-2 combo guard has seen his recruiting stock rise over the last month or so. Stewart plays well with the ball in his hands and is a solid passer and playmaker. He also possesses a quality stroke from the three-point line, and is a more consistent scoring threat at the basket. His decision-making needs some work, but Stewart has all of the tools to be an effective college player. Hoops runs in the family, as Hikeem is the younger brother of twins Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart, who were national standouts at the prep level, and he also has a twin brother of his own - Kadeem.

Justin Watts – Friends of Hoop. Watts showed no signs of deferring to his higher profile teammates. A relative newcomer to recruiting circles, the 6--foot-2 point guard pulled off a rock-solid opening performance at the point. Blazing quick and dangerous in transition with an exceptional handle, Watts made a couple of eye-opening passes that left several coaches in attendance scrambling for their notebooks. Watts is definitely a player to keep an eye on.
Landon Lucas – Northwest Panthers. Lucas has filled out considerably since last summer. The long-armed post prospect, who now checks in at nearly 6-foot-10, is learning to use his length more effectively on defense, as well as on the glass. He's also showing signs of becoming an above-average interior passer. Where he still needs considerable work is in the strength department. He's filled out, but that hasn't translated into an improved ability to finish after contact. Lucas is a decent athlete with a good head for the game, but he's clearly still adjusting to life against more mature competition.

Darien Nelson-Henry – Friends of Hoop. Nelson-Henry has shed much of the baby fat he carried at the start of last summer and his mobility has improved significantly as a result. He's built like Kevin Love, and possesses soft hands and showcased a nifty left-hander that demonstrated that there's more to the Lake Washington High School product than his size. He's not the most athletic guy in the world, but he's no sloth either. Nelson-Henry is another west coast post prospect to keep an eye on down the road.

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