Hoop Hall Classic: Day Three

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The final day of the Hoop Hall Classic was as good, if not better, than the previous two days of competition. Cliff Alexander had the signature performance of the event, Paul White erupted for a double-double and Josh Reaves showed improvement.

Tarin Smith, PG, St. Anthony – An unsigned senior, Smith was St. Anthony's top scorer against Paul VI, as he went for 16 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Smith didn't hit any of his four three-pointers, but was effective as a driver. He also added one mid-range pull-up. Smith has good size at 6-foot-2, good speed and is a tough all around player. With the limited amount of players available in the 2014 class, Smith is one of the best options at the point guard position.

Theo Pinson, SF, Weslyan Christian – North Carolina signee Theo Pinson got things off to a good start scoring 14 points in the first quarter. He hit multiple threes in the first frame, plus a handful of finishes at the rim. A very good athlete, Pinson has always been at his best going towards the rim and making things happen in transition, but he's proven over the course of his senior season that he's a much more reliable jump shooter. Pinson finished with 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting in a loss to Findlay Prep.

Kelly Oubre, SF, Findlay Prep – It was a strong showing for the Kansas signee in front of a nationally televised audience. Oubre's offensive production consisted of one three-pointer, a number of finishes in transition, plus a couple scores off of offensive put backs. An elite level wing, Oubre led all scorers with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting in Findlay Prep's win over Wesleyan Christian.

Paul White, PF, Whitney Young – White, a Georgetown signee, ramped up his effort on the big stage. White was effective on offense with his jump shot and touch around the rim. Defensively, he was active, didn't back down from a challenge and got his hands on four shots. He also rebounded the ball with some tenacity. White finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Cliff Alexander, C, Curie – At the half Alexander had just six points. That total ballooned to 30 (11-for-21) by the end of the game, as Alexander strung together a special performance against the nation's top rated high school team – Montverde. The opposition couldn't handle Alexander's physical play or athleticism around the goal. The Kansas signee viciously looked to dunk everything around the rim and scored it through contact multiple times. Alexander is arguably the top rebounder in the 2014 class because of his strength, athleticism and aggressive pursuit of the ball. He tallied 13 rebounds and five blocks to go with his 30 points.

D'Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Montverde – A crafty and creative guard, Russell brings versatility to the guard position. He's capable of playing both on and off the ball and is effective in both roles. For Montverde, especially in the second half, they needed Russell to score and he did just that. He hit mid-range pull-ups, nifty finishes at the rim and one three-pointer. Although his team took the loss, Russell, a Ohio State signee, had a solid showing and scored 17 points.

Josh Reaves, SF, Paul VI – I've evaluated Paul VI quite a few times this season and Reaves has been intriguing every time out. A 6-foot-5 wing with wide shoulders and a long set of arms, Reaves has an impressive basketball frame. He's also a very good athlete. Defensively he has a lot of potential and it's clear he takes pride in this facet of the game. For a wing he seems to get his hands on a lot of shot attempts. Offensively he's active in the paint, can make a jumper off the catch and finishes well when he drives to the rim. Reaves scored 14 points Paul VI's win over St. Anthony.

Ben Simmons, PF, Montverde – While Cliff Alexander owned the Curie/Montverde game, Simmons had his moments, scoring 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting and adding 12 rebounds. Majority of Simmons' points were dunks and a handful came in transition. He has exceptional body control for a 6-foot-8, 220-pounder and he moves up and down the floor with ease. He's a good finisher at the rim and a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor. He's getting a lot of buzz about possibly being the best prospect in the 2015 class and a case can certainly be made.

Curtis Jones, SG, Paul VI – After struggling for most of the game, Jones, a 6-foot-3 guard, made plays when Paul VI needed them most. Trailing St. Anthony by five with just four minutes left, Jones hit a pull-up jumper from 18-feet and a three-pointer off the catch to tie the game. A few players later, he helped Paul VI extend their lead by getting to the free throw line off a transition attack. Jones is just a sophomore, but he plays like an upperclassmen.

*Markus McDuffie is a 6-foot-7 power forward to monitor. The junior prospect scored 15 points and reeled in seven in rebounds in the loss to Paul VI. McDuffie is a solid athlete, runs the floor well and has good form on his jump shot.

*Paul VI combo forward Tyler Scanlon played a big role in Paul VI's win over St. Anthony. Scanlon scored a team high 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. He hit five free throws and had a number of strong finishes in the paint.

*Findlay point guard Derryck Thornton struggled to get his shot to go down, so in the second half he focused more on doing what he does best – set up teammates. Thornton tossed out seven assists in the second session and totaled 10 overall. He also added six points and six rebounds.

*In his first game back from injury, Rashad Vaughn played well. He hit a pair of three-pointers, had a strong drive and finish with his left hand and finished off a couple plays in transition. Vaughn finished with 12 points.

*Oak Hill power forward Trevon Manuel scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Oak Hill loss to Whitney Young. Manuel scored all three of his field goals in transition.

*John Calipari was at the Hoop Hall Classic on Tuesday to see Rashad Vaughn's first game back. Calipari is also beginning to recruit 2016 PG Derryck Thornton, who is a teammate of Vaughn.


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