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Slam Dunk to the Beach Evaluations

January 13, 2003 Columns No Comments


Slam Dunk to the Beach – Player Evaluations

by Phil Kasiecki

Every year, the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament features many Division I prospects gathering in Lewes, Delaware for the nation’s best high school basketball tournament. The 2002 tournament was no different, as the list of Division I prospects is quite extensive.

Here is a look at how some of the top prospects in this year’s tournament fared. As a note on ratings, only seniors are rated since they are easier to project in terms of their current stage of development.

Kevin App (6’0″ Sr. PG-SG, Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel HS)
He shot the ball well for most of the tournament, though he didn’t get many touches after his fine 22-point effort in their first game. He generally made open shots, moving well without the ball, and didn’t handle it much. Reportedly an excellent student, this mid-major prospect is likely to wind up at an Ivy League school.

Ryan Ayers (6’5″ So. SF, Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy)
The son of former Ohio State head coach Randy Ayers, he plays like a coach’s son in the way he moves without the ball. He scored a lot on put-backs and shots in close when he got the ball in a good spot, not shooting from outside much. On this young team, he’s one of the key players and showed some potential.

Sean Banks (6’8″ Sr. SF, Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic)
Athletic forward played well, for the most part, but looked tired early in their final game. He had a big game in the National Power Series semifinals, as he shot the ball well en route to 22 points. He didn’t shoot the ball as well as he’s capable of, but he scored by creating with the ball most of the time as he generally scores on jump shots instead of finishing near the basket. High-major/big-time prospect signed with Memphis.

William Barnes (6’0″ Fr. PG, Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest HS)
He ran the show very well, though his numbers won’t necessarily reflect it. Late in games, he showed the poise of a veteran, including making big free throws and shots. He isn’t overly quick, but he handles the ball well and generally made good decisions here. He will be one to keep an eye on.

Lamar Barrett (6’6″ Jr. SF, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s)
A good athlete, his offense is still coming along, though he generally shot the ball well here. He rebounds and runs the floor, and plays well within the team concept, but at times seems to disappear as well.

Bilal Benn (6’4″ Jr. SG-SF, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty)
His touches were limited on a team that has three other junior stars. When he did get the ball, he generally made his shots, and he grabbed some rebounds, but was basically a role player on his team.

Andre Boutte, Jr. (6’4″ So. SG, Beaumont (TX) Clifton J. Ozen)
The son of the school’s head coach, he shot the ball well and showed good shot selection with relatively limited touches. He’s a decent athlete and has good size, and looked okay at the defensive end.

Art Bowers (6’4″ Sr. SG, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s HS)
He didn’t play his best basketball, but he still showed that he’s one of the more well-rounded offensive players in the class of 2003. He handles the ball well enough to play the point in a pinch, has good shot selection and generally makes a good percentage of his shots, and passes the ball well. He’s a strong athlete who knows how to play the game. High-major prospect signed with Massachusetts.

Will Bowers (6’11” Sr. C, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding)
He looked much better than he did last year, having grown a lot as a player. He looked much more aggressive at both ends of the floor and more polished offensively, where his post moves are better but still need work, and he can step out and hit jumpers facing the basket. He is stronger, can block shots and he rebounded well for the most part. High-major prospect signed with Maryland.

Stanley Branch (6’8″ Jr. SF-PF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s HS)
This athletic forward is a great finisher in transition, but his skills need to catch up to his body. He didn’t show as much this year at the tournament as he did last year, as he needs to improve his skills for either forward position and get stronger. With his athleticism, he could be a small forward, but he could also be a power forward that can create matchup problems with his athleticism.

Jesse Brooks (6’0″ Jr. PG, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding)
Pass-first point guard played very well, though he had an uncharacteristic 6 turnovers in the championship game. He isn’t a jet, but he is quick and a solid passer on the move. He makes great cuts to get open when he doesn’t have the ball, often leading to drives to the hoop to set up teammates or an easy shot for himself. He didn’t look to shoot much from outside, but shot it well.

Shane Clark (6’7″ Jr. SF, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty)
One thing is certain about this versatile forward: he always plays well, and this was no exception. He doesn’t make highlight-film plays or do anything exceedingly well, but his scoring can’t be pigeonholed into just shooting, driving or on the post, he rebounded well including at the offensive end, and made some key plays late in games. He needs to fill out his frame more and continue to improve his small forward skills, but he looks like he’ll be a good prospect.

Darren Clarke (6’4″ Sr. PG-SG, Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins HS)
By reputation, he’s a scorer who will be attempting the transition to the point this season, and it looks like the transition won’t be a smooth one if it happens at all. He shot the ball well and looks like he has a scorer’s mentality, while his playmaking wasn’t impressive and he didn’t take the best care of the ball. He’s also not overly quick, but he has good size and that can enable him to play shooting guard, where he’s more at home. He’s not a bad defender, and this high-major minus prospect signed with St. Louis.

Dan Coleman (6’8″ Sr. SF-PF, Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins HS)
Athletic combo forward played very well at both ends of the floor, especially at the defensive end against Travis Outlaw in the National Power Series consolation game. He can handle the ball some, has range out to the three-point line though long jumpers are far from his forte, and was active on the glass at both ends. High-major prospect signed with Boston College.

Yamene Coleman (6’8″ So. PF, Camden (AL) Wilcox Central HS)
A rather thin power forward, he played very well at both ends of the floor, looking like he’ll be a good high-major prospect. He played well against very good senior post players, rebounding very well and playing good post defense. He didn’t get a lot of chances offensively, but that should come along and especially as he gets stronger.

Pat Coyle (6’0″ Sr. PG-SG, North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep)
By reputation, he’s a good shooter, but he didn’t shoot well in this tournament. He’s a scrappy player who will get a few rebounds (he had 10 in one game) and seemed to exhibit good shot selection. Low-major prospect.

Hatila De Souza (6’9″ Jr. PF, Laurinburg (NC) Institute)
This native of Brazil had a solid showing. He was able to score on the post, often utilizing some quick post moves, and rebound against some good post players. He has long arms and looks to have the capability of being a shot-blocker, and should get better with added strength.

Konimba Diarra (6’10” Sr. C, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American)
This mobile post player continues to improve at both ends of the floor. He’s more aggressive on offense, though he isn’t counted on for much, and he rebounds and blocks shots well for a role-playing big man. He runs the floor well and isn’t a liability at either end. High-major prospect signed with South Florida.

Guillermo Diaz (6’1″ Sr. PG-SG, Miami (FL) Christian)
Native of Puerto Rico and former member of the Puerto Rican Junior National Team had a coming out party at this tournament, as he was largely unknown to scouts entering the season. He’s quick, a tremendous leaper, a great finisher in transition, and can shoot out to three-point range but generally tries to get to the basket. He was a celebrity at the tournament with some of the highlight-film plays he made, and he certainly showed that he’s among the elite guards in the class of 2003. Big-time prospect signed with Miami.

Casiem Drummond (6’8″ Fr. PF, Bloomfield (NJ) Technical)
He acquitted himself well, playing more minutes in the second game despite foul trouble. He rebounded well and made most of his shots, ran the floor well, and didn’t try to be anything more than a post player. He has good size and will get better with more strength and as he develops some post moves. He is one to keep an eye on.

Gus Durr, Jr. (6’6″ Sr. PF, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding)
Role player did a good job on the boards and scored some garbage points. He’s a decent athlete and has good size, more of a power forward than a small forward. Mid-major minus prospect signed with Mt. St. Mary’s.

Da’Shawn Dwight (6’1″ Jr. PG-SG, Bloomfield (NJ) Technical)
A scoring point guard, he at times looked to be the most impressive guard on his guard-oriented team with his good stroke. He shot the ball well, but also was a non-factor in the second game in part due to foul trouble. Although he often brought the ball up, he may be a shooting guard since his playmaking skills are question mark and his good stroke.

Joe Dyson (6’9″ Jr. PF-C, Hockessin (DE) Sanford School)
He’s lost some weight and looked good overall. He was a good presence in the post as he rebounded, blocked a few shots and was an efficient scorer on the post. He moved well overall and looked more polished.

Channon Easley (6’6″ Jr. PF, Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central HS)
His play was mixed overall. At times, this lefty looks like a nice athletic combo forward, at other times he looks like a Division III prospect. He has good size and can hit shots from around the foul line in addition to blocking a few shots. On the down side, his hands are a question mark and he had some foul trouble.

Anthony Farmer (6’1″ So. SG, Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep)
He looked much improved, especially from summer AAU play. He looks quicker, more aggressive, and ready to become a better scorer. He was able to score last year, but now he looks ready to be a go-to guy.

Jared Gaither (6’9″ Jr. PF-C, Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt HS)
This 285-pound post presence was mediocre in the tournament, though he showed some potential. He moves his frame well, though he could stand to lose some of his weight, and can score on the post, but he often travels with the ball and will try to do too much. He’s also slow getting up and down the floor, which can make him a real liability.

Alex Galindo (6’7″ Jr. SF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s)
The tournament MVP, he’s not the first name that comes to mind on this loaded team, but he’s a key role player who stepped up here. The one constant is that he was around the ball very frequently at both ends of the floor, rebounding and getting loose balls. He generally shot the ball well, including from long range, despite struggling in the finale. He has a thin frame and is a good athlete, but he’ll need to get stronger.

Rudy Gay (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding)
His offense is coming along if this tournament is any indicator, though he still has more work to do on that end. He’s a nice athlete who to this point has made his mark as a shot-blocker and rebounder, including at the offensive end where he’ll get some put-backs. He hit a few jump shots and occasionally took it to the basket, but he doesn’t handle the ball well when driving and thus can’t use his athleticism very much. The big question is which forward position he will play at the next level, which we’ll get a better idea of in the months ahead.

Joe Gill (6’6″ Jr. SF, Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy)
Thin wing has good perimeter skills and runs the floor well. He shot the ball well out to long range and also showed the ability to handle and pass the ball.

William Gill (6’0″ Jr. PG-SG, Oxon Hill (MD) High)
Although his size dictates that he would be a point guard, he looks more like a shooting guard. He shot the ball well out to long range, especially on the move, generally exhibited good shot selection, and made a couple of clutch shots as well. He isn’t overly quick and he did not shot much in the way of playmaking.

James Gist (6’8″ Jr. SF-PF, Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel HS)
Very active forward played well. He was active on the glass and finished well, showing his athleticism and playing with confidence. On the minus side, he didn’t handle the ball well, which he’ll need to improve if he is to play small forward, and at times his hands seemed like a question mark. Reportedly a good student, he’s getting interest from some high-majors and should get more as he continues to improve.

Brian Grimes (6’6″ So. SF-PF, Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy)
He’s now being counted on for more as a sophomore on a young team after showing some potential as a freshman last season. He seems to be more of a power forward right now, as he generally plays on the post and utilizes his athleticism for scoring post moves. He rebounded well here while not making a high percentage of his field goal attempts, and also made a couple of nice passes to show his perimeter skills as he handles the ball reasonably well.

Rodney Hampton (6’2″ Sr. SG, Starkville (MS) High)
Also a football player, this well-built shooter played well in the first game, then inexplicably shot poorly in the second and better in the third. He has a good stroke and decent quickness, but he looks to be little more than a shooter. Mid-major prospect is reportedly a better football prospect as a wide receiver.

Antwan Harrison (6’3″ Jr. SF, Washington (DC) Gonzaga College)
This undersized forward played very well, looking very well-coached and playing within himself. He generally showed good shot selection and knocked down many of his shots, including three-pointers. He is deceptively athletic, but didn’t look to go to the basket much. He was around the ball often and played very well within the team concept.

Mitch Henke (6’6″ Jr. SF, Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins HS)
Active forward made a lot of plays from being around the ball a lot. He played good defense and rebounded well for a small forward, while he didn’t get a lot of chances at the offensive end since he’s about the fourth option on his team.

Sammy Hernandez (6’6″ So. PF, Miami (FL) Christian)
Role-playing forward knows how to rebound, as evidenced by his leading the team in rebounding last season and his play here. He boxes out and gets good position and also blocked several shots, while not getting many touches at the offensive end. He also seemed to run the floor well.

Roy Hibbert, Jr. (7’2″ Jr. C, North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep)
Already committed to Georgetown, he was not very impressive and doesn’t look like the next great Georgetown big man by a long shot. He faced the basket a little too much, and didn’t dominate in the post like he should with his size. The latter can be attributed to the fact that he appears to be screwed to the floor and not very aggressive at either end.

Jarvis Hill (6’1″ So. PG-SG, Starkville (MS) High)
While teammate Travis Outlaw is the main attraction at his school, this combo guard was one of the more impressive players in the tournament. He shot the ball well and scored in double figures in all three games, showing some quickness as well. He will be one to keep an eye on.

Stanley Hodge (6’2″ Jr. PG-SG, Washington (DC) Gonzaga College)
Well-built guard is unspectacular, but played well. He has decent quickness and shot the ball well, but the thing that stood out was his play within the team concept and that he will go in to get rebounds. He is reportedly a very good student as well.

London Houston (6’6″ Sr. PF, Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central HS)
Very thin forward is a good athlete whose skills look to be lacking. He generally scored on close shots and didn’t score many tough baskets in traffic, as his very slight frame is easily knocked around and he doesn’t play strong. He also does not have good hands, which along with his lack of strength led to him having the ball easily knocked out of his hands a few times. Mid-major minus prospect.

Kris Humphries (6’8″ Sr. SF-PF, Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins HS)
Versatile combo forward plays with a lot of confidence and should fit right in at Duke, where he signed. He’s strong and runs the floor well, rebounds well and is generally around the ball a lot, and he’ll help breaking a press because he can handle the ball despite a lack of quickness even for a forward. Offensively he looks more at home a little away from the basket, as most of the times he posted up ended with shots from outside the paint. Big-time prospect.

Omari Israel (6’8″ Sr. PF, Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel HS)
Reportedly, he considers himself a small forward, but if his play here is any indication, he has some work to do for that position while looking like a good power forward. He’s a good athlete for a power forward and rebounded well during the tournament, but he didn’t look good when he tried to drive to the basket as his handle looks questionable and he didn’t knock down a lot of jump shots. High-major prospect signed with Notre Dame.

Desmond Jackson (5’10” Fr. PG, Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest HS)
Although he has point guard size, he looked more like a shooting guard as he often looked to shoot, and made some of his shots with a stroke that looks good. He has some quickness and may have the tools to be a point guard, and right now he has plenty of time to develop that.

Tanard Jackson (6’2″ Sr. PG, Potomac (MD) Bullis School)
Quick floor leader generally doesn’t look to score, and this tournament was no different. His shot selection looked okay, though he didn’t shoot well when he did, and he’s generally a good defender. He needs to take better care of the ball, as he is turnover-prone. Mid-major minus prospect.

Earl Johnson (6’3″ So. SG, Camden (AL) Wilcox Central)
Nice athlete started off quickly with a nice dunk rising over a big man seconds into his first game. He’s quick and an excellent leaper, but didn’t do much offensively after his highlight-film dunk, but he will be one to keep an eye on.

Jerome Johnson (6’9″ Jr. PF-C, Potomac (MD) Bullis School)
He had one excellent game in the tournament, and overall his play was similar to last year. At times he looks lost or uncertain of what he wants to do, at other times he seems to be playing with a great deal of confidence. He has good size and can block shots on the post, generally rebounds well, and he has shown the ability to hit from around the foul line as well as scoring on the post. He just needs to play with confidence at all times and become more fluid with his post moves.

Paul Johnson (6’5″ So. PF, Washington (DC) Gonzaga College)
He’s currently an undersized post player, but he’s a nice athlete who’s active on the post and may be able to make the transition to small forward. His ball skills will need to improve, as he traveled several times with the ball.

Adrian Joseph (6’7″ Jr. SF, Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic)
One of the more impressive players at the tournament, this lefty was arguably more impressive than his highly-regarded teammate, Memphis-bound Sean Banks. He’s a great athlete who scored frequently on offensive rebounds and after getting loose balls, as he struggled with his jump shot. He made several athletic plays at both ends and made big plays at key moments for his team. He will be one to keep an eye on in the class of 2004.

Ousmane Konate (6’9″ Sr. PF, Laurinburg (NC) Institute)
Strong power forward has a solid body and looks to be shaking off the rust after some time outside the country. He was active on the glass and scored on the post with some good moves and using his strength, though he looks like he could be even better with his big body. Big-time prospect is committed to Missouri, but reportedly will need to do a prep year next season.

Travis Lay (6’5″ Jr. SF-PF, Potomac (MD) Bullis School)
Role-playing forward fit in well with his team, as he simply played a support role. He generally gets shots and points in the flow of the offense, some on the post and some facing the basket, shooting well despite one game where he struggled. He got a few rebounds and looks like he can be a decent passer, but he was turnover-prone as well.

Abdi Lidonde (6’3″ Sr. SG, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s)
His best asset is his sweet shooting stroke past the three-point line, and he had it on display in the tournament. He generally moves well without the ball and is a good catch-and-shoot player, while his ability to create for himself and others isn’t as good since he’s not overly quick. He’s not a bad ball handler, but he will commit turnovers and is really a shooting guard. Mid-major plus/high-major minus prospect.

Kyle Lowry (6’0″ Jr. PG-SG, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty)
He burst upon the national scene this past spring, and he certainly didn’t hurt his cause at this tournament. He came up big in one game by scoring all of his points in the second half, and he scored on quick drives and shooting the ball well. He showed the ability to create for others in addition to scoring, scored big baskets, and fared well on the defensive end including grabbing several rebounds. He looks to be one of the top guards in the northeast in the class of 2004.

Daniel Marshall (6’1″ Sr. PG, Washington (DC) Spingarn HS) Quick point guard played well in running the show for an up-tempo team. He was a little inconsistent in terms of taking care of the ball, but he was good in transition while struggling shooting the ball. He looked good on defense. Low-major prospect.

Bashir Mason (6’1″ Sr. PG, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s HS) He runs the show like a veteran floor leader, as his good ball-handling (very capable with both hands) and good decisions are his best assets as a pass-first point guard. He has good quickness and penetrates well, generally not looking to shoot the ball from outside. Mid-major plus prospect signed with Drexel.

Brian Mason (6’4″ Sr. SF, Laurinburg (NC) Institute)
Well-built wing handles the ball well enough to play some point, but he’s best playing on the wing since he’s a great athlete who can score. He’s a good leaper and transition scorer, but his jump shot didn’t look good here. High-major minus prospect.

Nick Mattone (6’3″ Jr. PG, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s)
Really struggled against the quicker guards he was often matched up against in this tournament. He has good size for a point guard at 6’3″ and is a capable floor leader, but he didn’t shoot well and committed too many turnovers here.

Dexter Matthews (6’0″ Jr. PG, Hockessin (DE) Sanford School)
Good floor leader was unspectacular, but played well. He generally made good decisions and took care of the ball, while also making some defensive plays. He didn’t shoot exceedingly well, but generally took good shots. He might turn out to be a low Division I prospect when it’s all said and done.

Kintu McCloud (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Washington (DC) Spingarn HS)
Well-built forward came off the bench and added a good presence on the boards. He’s a decent athlete who will get some rebounds, but he also committed several turnovers and wasn’t a big scoring threat.

Lorenzo Miles (6’0″ Sr. PG, Washington (DC) Gonzaga College)
Unspectacular floor leader doesn’t do anything special, he just runs the team capably and is a tough player. He has good quickness, plays with confidence, and made plays at both ends of the floor to contribute despite not shooting the ball well or posting great assist numbers. Mid-major prospect.

Aswan Minatee (6’5″ Sr. PF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s HS)
Undersized post player is a role player. He plays bigger than his height and is very mobile, while he didn’t get many touches on offense here. Mid-major minus prospect.

Milos Mirkovic (6’8″ Sr. PF, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s HS)
Good-size post player looked very efficient scoring on the post and doing a good job of keeping the ball high. The potential is there for him to be a nice player, but he needs to use his body more effectively, and he generally seems to be passive on the floor and it hurts his play. Mid-major prospect.

Randolph Morris (6’9″ Jr. C, Fairburn (GA) Landmark Christian Academy)
Ranked among the top juniors in the country, he looked very overrated at this tournament. He played on the perimeter too much and did not look good when he went on the low post, and he struggled against good senior post players. He doesn’t have very good range on his jump shot and racked up a lot of his points when the game was decided and against smaller players.

Tommy Moss (6’3″ Jr. PG, North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep)
Pass-first point guard has good size and some quickness. He played good defense, but struggled offensively with more turnovers than assists and he shot the ball very poorly.

Walter Murray (6’1″ Sr. SG, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American)
He’s a capable scorer, but he struggled at the tournament. He’s not very quick and has a very slight frame, didn’t get a lot of good scoring opportunities and didn’t create many. Low-major prospect.

Courtney Nelson (6’2″ Jr. PG-SG, Bloomfield (NJ) Technical)
He was one of the prime reasons his school had a good showing, as this quick slashing scorer played very well. He can do just about anything when he gets in the lane, as he finished drives to score and passed to an open teammate on the move, and showed good body control. On the downside, he did have more turnovers than assists, but he made a very good impression overall.

Demetrius Nichols (6’7″ Sr. SF, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s)
He’s finally starting to fill out his frame, as he was a human baseball bat for some time. He posted two double-doubles and played his usual good defense with several blocks and steals, while his offense seemed mixed. He didn’t shoot the ball as well as he’s capable of and at times looked a little passive on the court, but he scored inside, on the break and on jump shots with a few big shots along the way. He’s a good athlete with good skills, and this big-time prospect will be a good pickup for Syracuse, with whom he signed.

Rashad Nixon (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Oxon Hill (MD) High)
He didn’t look as impressive as he did last year at the tournament. He looks to have grown a bit, but his struggles were more because he forced some shots and looked out of sync at times, which looks to be important to him since he generally scored in the flow of the offense both last year and this year. He knocked down a couple of long range jumpers and scored on drives. Mid-major prospect is reportedly a very good student.

Ben Nwachakwu (6’8″ Jr. PF, Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep)
Strong post player is very mobile and rebounded very well, which is his forte. He scored some post baskets as well, though he needs some more polish. He’s an excellent student as well and has plenty of potential.

Davis Nwankwo (6’9″ Jr. PF, North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep)
Very active post player was more impressive than his more highly-regarded teammate, Roy Hibbert, Jr. He uses his long arms to block shots and rebound, ran the floor well and made some baskets on the post. With some added strength and continued improvement, he should have plenty of high-major offers.

Miles Orman (6’5″ Sr. SF-PF, Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic)
Athletic power forward looked better at the defensive end, as he played well there while doing little offensively. He defended and rebounded, and has good size. Mid-major prospect.

Raul Orta (6’4″ Sr. PG-SG, Miami (FL) Christian)
Well-built guard is a heady floor leader who is pass first but has a three-point stroke that must be respected. He made good decisions and involved teammates, while shooting well. He’s not overly quick and didn’t look to penetrate much. Mid-major prospect.

Dominic Osei (6’5″ Sr. SF-PF, Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln HS)
Very active forward rebounded well and was around the ball often, playing bigger than his size and looking more like an undersized power forward. On the downside, he missed his share of close follow-ups and fouled out of both games, and didn’t show much in the way of offense. Low-major prospect.

Travis Outlaw (6’9″ Sr. SF-PF, Starkville (MS) High)
This exceptional athlete has loads of potential that will be unleashed when his skills catch up. He didn’t shoot the ball well here and did not post up very much, struggling especially on long range shots. His skills aren’t really that of a small forward right now, especially since he plays down low defensively where he can be a terror with his shot-blocking. He can rebound and will make some highlight-film dunks, especially on offensive rebounds. High big-time prospect signed with Mississippi State.

Emery Outland (6’1″ Jr. PG, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s)
An enigmatic point guard, he was no different here. At times he looked very good, making good defensive plays and also being victimized by bad calls, but he also had periods of making bad decisions with the ball. His jump shot still needs work, but he’s quick, has good hands and generally plays very good defense on the ball. If he can gain some consistency, he’ll be a good prospect.

Luke Owings (6’6″ Sr. SF-PF, Washington (DC) Gonzaga College)
Combo forward plays within a system well, which will bode well for him in the Ivy League next season. His offense comes in the flow, with the ability to score on the post but more on mid-range shots facing the basket, and he can rebound and is a capable passer away from the basket. On the downside, he’s not a great athlete and he was in some foul trouble. Mid-major minus prospect signed with Pennsylvania.

David Padgett (6’11” Sr. C, Reno (NV) High)
He looks to be another in the long line of excellent big men to play at Kansas. He scored almost at will and not just on the post. He used his good post moves, mobility and strength, as well as a good face-up jumper from mid-range and also hit a couple of three-pointers. He ran the floor well and also rebounded well, using his good size on the glass. He isn’t a terror in the paint, but he will block a few shots. Big-time prospect.

Juan Diego Palacios (6’8″ Sr. SF-PF, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American)
Versatile forward has a great basketball body and plenty of skills, but at times during the tournament he tried to do too much, which is his biggest weakness. He handles the ball very well for his size, gets out on the break, and has good range on his jump shot. Given his size and tendency to take bad shots or make other bad decisions, it would be nice to see him stay home on the post more. The potential is there and he’s making strides.

Richard Payton (5’10” Sr. PG, Amityville (NY) High)
Quick point guard is a good example of someone who won’t fill a stat sheet, but will be a valuable player. He is a capable ball handler and passer, very much a pass-first guard, is a tough competitor and generally doesn’t try to do too much. Mid-major prospect.

Antonio Pena (6’7″ So. PF, Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln HS)
Well-built and athletic post player didn’t play exceedingly well, looking like a role player. With his size and athleticism, he should have done more than get in foul trouble and miss a lot of jump hooks. He got his share of rebounds and gets up and down the floor well.

Kendrick Perkins (6’11” Sr. PF-C, Beaumont (TX) Clifton J. Ozen)
This 290-pound big man is a load in the post. He scored on the post almost with ease at times, largely using a jump hook, he rebounded well, and can block shots. He doesn’t run the floor exceedingly well, but he moves very well in the post. Big-time prospect has signed with Memphis, but many don’t expect him to ever don a Tigers uniform as the NBA likely beckons.

Jerome Petticolas (6’4″ Sr. SG-SF, Washington (DC) Spingarn HS)
Quick wing looks like a prototypical “scorer not a shooter”, as he scored a lot of points on drives and in transition but did not look to shoot jump shots much and didn’t shoot well when he did. He rebounded well for a guard and isn’t a bad defender. Mid-major minus prospect.

Leon Powe (6’7″ Sr. PF, Oakland (CA) Tech)
He missed most of the spring and summer recovering from a torn ACL, but he didn’t show any ill effects here. He is still a warrior and competes as hard as anyone, especially on the glass as he rebounds well, and he scored on post moves and more on short jumpers. He hit a couple of three-pointers with a decent stroke, but tends to play on the perimeter a bit much, as he is not a small forward. Big-time prospect is a nice pickup for California.

A.J. Price (6’1″ Jr. PG-SG, Amityville (NY) High)
After a big spring and summer, he showed that he’s ready to be the go-to guy for his team. He’s very quick, adept at getting to the basket, generally shot the ball well here and played good defense. His defense also got him some fast break opportunities, and he showed that he’s a tough competitor and one of the top guards in the class of 2004.

Christopher Pugh (6’2″ Sr. SG, Oxon Hill (MD) High)
He’s basically a shooting guard who has an above-average handle for a shooter. He made a game-winning three-pointer in one game, while also struggling in another. His range goes out to the three-point line, and he has decent quickness. Mid-major minus prospect.

Robert Robinson (6’7″ So. PF, Oxon Hill (MD) High)
This forward has good size and seemed to get better as the tournament went along, partly from more playing time. He played well on the post and rebounded well when he got good minutes, and looks like he could develop into a good post player down the road.

Damaio Rodrigues (7’3″ Jr. C, Laurinburg (NC) Institute)
He’s very tall and a space-eater, but little more. He did next to nothing when he touched the ball, isn’t very mobile, and was foul-prone. With his size, some Division I schools will probably take a look in another year.

Mustafa Shakur (6’3″ Sr. PG, Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central School)
Although he can do it all offensively, he showed that he’s very unselfish with his great passing in the tournament. The only reason he didn’t have more assists was his teammates’ general inability to handle his passes or convert them, as he made several great bounce passes between defenders. As usual, he scored here on drives and long-range jumpers, as well as off the dribble, and at times made it look easy. The top point guard in the class signed with Arizona and is a big-time prospect.

Will Sheridan (6’8″ Sr. PF, Hockessin (DE) Sanford School)
He had a good showing, but some questions are still there about his game. He still doesn’t try to be what he isn’t, staying home on the post where he has good moves and uses his strength, but at times his hands and footwork look questionable. He rebounded well and even got some blocks, which he isn’t noted for doing. High-major prospect signed with Villanova.

J.R. Smith (6’6″ Jr. SF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s)
Exceptional athlete didn’t shoot the ball as well as he reputedly does, but he made plays and showed an ability to handle the ball. He grabbed a few rebounds, but overall didn’t play as well as his reputation. He has apparently decided that basketball will be his sport, as he is also a good football player and transferred to St. Benedict’s despite the school’s lack of a football team.

Oumar Sylla (6’6″ Sr. SF, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American)
This steady forward played like he usually does, and that’s a good thing. He can handle the ball and shoots it as well as most wings in this class, often swishing long range jumpers. He generally calms things down like a veteran leader, especially when he handles the ball, and he showed his defensive abilities as well. If there’s a knock, he isn’t a great athlete and could stand to get a little stronger, but he plays well as it is. High-major prospect signed with Valparaiso.

Sebastian Telfair (6’0″ Jr. PG, Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln HS)
As always, all eyes were on him, and for the most part he delivered in their second game. He struggled shooting the ball from long range, but his great quickness and court vision were on display throughout. He also made several nice passes on the move and got to the basket just about any time he wanted to.

Babacar Thiam (6’7″ Sr. SF, Washington (DC) Spingarn HS)
Athletic forward is rail-thin and doesn’t seem to have any one skill he really excels at. He knocked down a couple of three-pointers but generally struggled shooting the ball, didn’t drive exceedingly well, wasn’t a big force on the boards but got some, and he blocked a few shots while not being a terror at the defensive end. Mid-major prospect.

Quentin Thomas (6’3″ Jr. PG-SG, Oakland CA) Tech)
He’s started since he arrived at Oakland Tech and is regarded as one of the better guards in the class of 2004, but he didn’t shine at this tournament. He has good size and some quickness, capable of playing both guard positions, but he struggled shooting the ball and was turnover-prone.

Jesus Verdejo (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Miami (FL) Christian)
Well-built wing has a reputation as a shooter, but he had a poor shooting game and a good one, scoring more in transition and on drives. He’s a very good athlete who will go strong to the basket and his stroke looks good. High-major prospect.

Durell Vinson (6’6″ Sr. PF, Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep)
This athletic post player played much better against the weaker of the two teams his team went up against, scoring on the post with some good, quick moves and rebounding well. He didn’t show anything away from the basket, and his performance against the better team is noteworthy. Mid-major minus prospect.

Daryl Watkins (6’11” Sr. C, Paterson (NJ) Catholic)
Enigmatic big man may be starting to answer questions about his game’s identity. He can be very good or just ordinary, and for a good portion of this tournament he was the latter while being matched up against two other good big men. He scored mostly on baseline jump shots, rarely looking to use his strength or post moves to score inside, and didn’t dominate despite blocking 6 shots and hauling down 20 rebounds in two games. High-major prospect has lots of potential.

Marquis Webb (6’4″ Sr. SG, Paterson (NJ) Catholic)
Quick and athletic combo guard played very well in two games. His jump shot now looks good and he hit some clutch shots, complementing his game going to the basket. He played his usual good defense and he also got in to grab some rebounds, and did a good job passing the ball with 7 assists and 2 turnovers in the two games. High-major prospect signed with Rutgers.

Desean White (6’8″ Jr. PF, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty)
Mobile wide body played very well in the last game and looked good overall, but also looked like he could be better. At times he almost looked like he was toying with the opponent and lacking fire. He can face the basket, at times having a tendency to hand on the perimeter a bit much, but he did very well with the baby hook on the post in his last game. He’s a good athlete and will get some rebounds, but his play might leave one who sees his potential a bit unsatisfied.

D.J. White (6’9″ Jr. PF-C, Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest HS)
Athletic post player had a very impressive showing. He generally stayed home on the low post, where he has good moves and also uses his excellent mobility to score, and is a good rebounder and shot-blocker at the defensive end. He runs the floor very well, and also stepped away from the basket at the offensive end, hitting some jumpers that included three-pointers albeit with a rather slow release. He is regarded as one of the elite prospects in the class of 2004 and did nothing to hurt that.

Mike Williams (6’8″ Jr. SF Camden (AL) Wilcox Central HS)
One of the top prospects in the class of 2004 didn’t play his best ball here. He looked much better in his team’s second game, scoring better and rebounding more as well. He has good size and often plays on the high post like a power forward while having the athleticism of a small forward.

Jason Wilson (6’2″ Jr. SG, Bloomfield (NJ) Technical)
This well-built wing has a good stroke out to three-point range and lets the game come to him nicely on offense, but that was not what stands out about him here. He played excellent defense on the nation’s top point guard, Mustafa Shakur, in making him work to get open and then playing good on-the-ball defense. He has decent quickness and doesn’t try to do too much, and his defense is a definite plus.

Keena Young (6’6″ Sr. SF-PF, Beaumont (TX) Clifton J. Ozen)
Very active forward rebounded well for his team, especially in the last game when he had a double-double. He’s a good athlete and was an efficient scorer, making most of his shots and taking high percentage shots. High-major minus prospect signed with Memphis.

     

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

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We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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