Allen Shows Full Arsenal
Xavier offered North Carolina combo guard Thomas Allen during June and watched him at the Adidas Finals throughout this week. Saturday morning I had an opportunity to check him out.
Allen was excellent, posting 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-7 3PT, 2-2 FT) and three assists while playing for David West's AAU program, Garner Road. A bucket-getting combo guard, the aspect of his game that jumps out is his ability to shoot from the outside. He has a quick and compact release that he's confident in using from well beyond the 3-point line. He's not a great athlete and he's small (listed at 6-foot, probably not), but he showed a nice floater and used a change of pace well when driving. He also made good decisions. He finished as one of the top scorers in the entire Adidas circuit, averaging 23.2 points per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from 3-point range on 84 attempts.
In addition to Xavier, he recently received offers from Illinois and Rhode Island. Other offers include NC State, Texas A&M, VCU, Nebraska, and Cincinnati.
Names to Watch
During the month of July, new names always pop up on the radar as we get a chance to see who the coaches were out watching and hear which schools are showing interest in recruits.
As promised, there are a few new guys that are claiming interest from the Musketeers. These aren't priority targets but players that the staff is evaluating and potentially starting to build a relationship with as a backup plan if top options for either party fall through.
Theo John - John is a 6-foot-10, 230-pound big man that does most of his work around the basket. He's a good athlete that can play above the rim and he has a solid arsenal of moves in the post, with his baby hook being his go-to. He could play a little harder at times but even still he's already reeled in plenty of high-major offers from schools such as Maryland, Florida, Purdue, Memphis, Oklahoma, Marquette, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and more.
Hasahn French - French is a strong and athletic forward that is slightly undersized at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds. He plays behind two highly-rated big men in Mohamed Bamba and Deng Gak, so his opportunities to shine are limited, but he fills his role off the bench well by coming in to do the dirty work - banging down low, being a tremendous rebounder, defending, and getting effort points. He's also added a nice mid-range jumper to his game. He has offers from Marquette, Arizona State, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Seton Hall, VCU, Providence, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota among others.
Daron Russell - Russell is a 5-10 point guard that put on a show at the Peach Jam, averaging 21.4 points per game while knocking down 15-of-27 (55.6%) from three despite not being known as a lights-out shooter. Point guard is the position that XU's coaching staff was actively looking to cast a wider net on this month and Russell seems to fit with that. He's a good athlete with great body control and quickness, and he plays with a ton of confidence. He has offers from schools like Seton Hall, DePaul, SMU, VCU, and Temple, but lots of coaches were evaluating him in North Augusta and his stellar play should draw more interest.
Braxton Beverly - Beverley is a 6-foot scoring point guard that can fill it up when he gets going on the offensive end. He shoots it well from three, is pretty quick, and has a crafty mid-range game. He's undersized and not a great athlete so it's hard to see him guarding some Big East guards, but he's also made some strides on that end over the last two years to become an average defender at his current level. Originally from Kentucky's Perry County High School, Beverly was committed to Miami (OH), but after transferring to Hargrave and improving his stock, he has since decommitted and reclassified to 2017. He'll have plenty of coaches evaluating him this month while playing for Team Loaded North Carolina.
- Saw Elias Harden again and he did a lot of the same things as I saw yesterday. One difference was he drew more fouls because he forced the issue a little more when driving the ball. He finished with 13 points (4-12 FG, 1-4 3PT, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, and three assists.
- Chris Mack watched Jermaine Samuels and Kimani Lawrence again at Peach Jam. Samuels finished with 12 points (5-8 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), three boards and two steals, and Lawrence had 12 points (4-11 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4-4 FT), three rebounds, and three blocks. Samuels was injured in that game.
- Mack and Luke Murray also watched Nojel Eastern, Quade Green, Brandon Randolph, and Hasahn French. Green was great, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, and three steals.
- XU commit Jared Ridder had his best game of the week in the Peach Jam quarterfinals, finishing with 10 points (4-5 FG, 2-3 3PT) and five boards. He followed that up with six points (2-5 FG, 2-4 3PT) and two boards in the semifinals. He's playing in the finals today at 2 pm against PSA Cardinals with Green, Randolph, and French.
- Steele was in Indianapolis again for both of Paul Scruggs' and Kris Wilkes' games. Tom Crean and John Calipari both made the trip for a game as well. Xavier and Indiana lead for Scruggs and I don't think Kentucky is ready to go all in on his recruitment. I heard he played really well but don't have any stats from that event.
- Mike Pegues did the same thing Steele did and left Adidas on Friday to show love to a priority target. He jumped on a plane to DC because Naji Marshall was returning from Under Armour camp in Charlotte to play with his DC Premier team at a smaller tournament back home. I'm told he played great today. Big man Nate Watson and 2018 point guard Prentiss Hubb also play for DC Premier.