Evaluation: Future Mountaineers

More thoughts on West Virginia's inbound basketball players (and one possible addition) in the Class of 2013.

The future of WVU basketball was front and center this past Saturday night in Beckley. W. Va.

Four of WVU's signees for the class of 2013 -- Devin Williams, Elijah Macon, Nathan Adrian and Brandon Watkins showcased their talents in the annual Scott Brown Memorial Classic. In addition, walk-on Chase Connor, who confirmed his acceptance of that offer recently, and possible addition Donte Grantham were also on the floor.

As part of our continuing coverage of the event, BlueGoldNews examines each individual performance with thoughts and analysis.

Devin Williams - Easily the most polished of any of the newcomers, Williams displayed several attributes on the night.

Williams likes to play physical, often times playing with his back to the basket, and backing down his defender in the lane. He used both his left and right hands while finishing around the rim, which showed his versatility.

He's not a "high-flyer" but continuously places himself in excellent position for rebounds and put backs. His most valuable asset appears to be his rebounding, where he battles after every ball coming off the rim.

Elijah Macon - Macon appears, to me, to be the most physically prepared for immediate action next season. His upper body strength and thickness is evident. He looked to have gained 15 pounds of muscle this past season during prep school.

One surprising aspect of his game was his ability to handle the ball. He would often start with the basketball in his hands around 10-15 feet away from the basket and finish in the lane. Once there, he would use his body against the defender for positioning and drawing fouls.

Nathan Adrian - The Morgantown (W.Va.) product has truly worked on his game from the last time I saw him.

Known mostly for being an outside shooter, Adrian often put the ball on the deck, and finished around the rim with a soft floater.

If Adrian, who looked comfortable while handling the basketball, can continue to construct that aspect of his game, he'll see an immediate advantage over his defender due to his size and length.

He does, however, need to get stronger for the rugged battles against players his own height. Would a red-shirt work to his advantage?

Brandon Watkins - While Watkins is expected to play in the front-court along side Williams and Macon, his game is completely different from the two.

Watkins isn't nearly as physical. He does, however, possess extreme athleticism. He has long arms which allows him to get into passing lanes and create deflections. It remains to be seen if he'll be a dominant shot blocker, but he'll definitely alter many.

He needs to get stronger. Much like (Nathan) Adrian, he might benefit from an initial red-shirt season to develop his body.

Donte Grantham - After a slow start to the night, Grantham eased into the flow later into the ball game.

Grantham displayed skills of a prototypical small forward. He has a solid mix of being a "slasher" and shooting the mid-range jumper. He was smooth with his shot and handled the ball well.

Obviously, he needs to get bigger. He favors comparably to a young (former Mountaineer) John Flowers. He hustles, is athletic, and looks to have the desire to become a better player.

Chase Connor - WVU offered a preferred walk-on spot to Connor the day after the game, and he announced his acceptance of that shortly thereafter. He's an outside jumpshooter, and he put that on display during the event.

He connected on ten threes during a pre-game contest and delivered three more during the game itself. It would serve beneficial for him to work on his defensive ability -- but that's not why the Mountaineers are interested.

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