2006 Boo Williams Invitational Recap
by Phil Kasiecki
HAMPTON, Va. – Early in April, the Hampton Roads area in Virginia is a good spot for basketball fans to be. Not only is there the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an NBA pre-draft event for seniors, but the Boo Williams Invitational is usually one of the best early spring travel team tournaments. This year, the latter did not disappoint.
Here, we take a look at some of the players we saw at the event.
Brent Barz (6’10” Jr. PF-C, Johnston (IA) High) Good size post player scored often inside while also showing a touch from the foul line. He runs the floor reasonably well.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning (6’9″ Jr. PF, Pleasantville (NJ) South Kent School) He appears to have progressed nicely, as he’s more athletic and was very aggressive on offense. He ran the floor well and scored inside, but he also tried a little too hard to be a small forward, which he isn’t.
Cade Davis (6’5″ Jr. SG, Elk City (OK) High) Seems to play the game in flow, as he doesn’t force anything. He ran the floor well, passed on the move often and showed good shot selection.
Ed Davis (6’8″ So. SF-PF, Mechanicsville (VA) Hanover HS) Thin lefty forward has some nice upside, as he’s athletic with some length and also scored well during the weekend. He seems a little too left-handed, but that along with physical maturity will surely come.
Tyreke Evans (6’4″ So. SG, Philadelphia (PA) American Christian HS) Widely regarded as the top sophomore in the country, he had moments where he looked the part and ones where he didn’t. He’s very versatile and handles the ball often, plays with plenty of confidence and can certainly score, topping 20 points at least twice and coming close a couple of other times. On the down side, he faded away on his share of jumpers and committed some unforced turnovers when trying to do too much.
Matt Gatens (6’4″ So. SG, Iowa City (IA) High) Good all-around wing had a nice showing, as he’s active and seems to have a good feel for the game. He scored from long range as well as on slashes to the basket, and also got in the passing lane a few times on the defensive end to make plays.
Blake Griffin (6’8″ Jr. PF, Oklahoma City (OK) Oklahoma Christian HS) He should immediately be a priority for new Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. Griffin has good size and strength and dominated against a smaller Rising Stars team, but before that he proved he can do it against a bigger team as well. He went for 28 and 26 in the semifinals and finals of the silver division, respectively, showing a reliable jump hook and running the floor well.
Kenyan Harmon (6’6″ Jr. SF, North Augusta (SC) Laurinburg Prep) Athletic wing seems to play with a little edge, and it helps him out. He went for 13 in a close loss on Friday night and looks like he has a good body for the small forward spot.
Xavier Henry (6’6″ Fr. SF, Oklahoma City (OK) Putnam City HS) Lefty wing has good size for the position and scored in double figures in later rounds of the playoffs. Doesn’t look like a great athlete, but he’ll be a prospect to keep an eye on.
Gary Johnson (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Houston (TX) Aldine HS) Another good weekend for this athletic forward who’s all over the court. He has a mature frame that he uses to score inside, which he did to the tune of 21 points in one game where he was saddled with foul trouble. Big-time prospect plays with a lot of energy and can take over games.
Anthony Jones (6’10” So. PF-C, Missouri City (TX) Jack Yates HS) Let’s keep an eye on this guy, a lefty who is a long athlete on the low post and impressed us. He seemed to face up more at the offensive end, showing a touch on his jumpers, and he went for 13 points in one game.
Jarvis Jones (6’4″ Fr. SG-SF, Kendrick (GA) High) Wing scorer has good size and went for 17 in a later playoff game.
Jeff Jordan (6’2″ Jr. PG-SG, Highland Park (IL) Loyola Academy) Lefty guard has a mature frame and looks to have the skills to be a nice point guard. He made some good passes and played well despite struggling to shoot, although he did knock in a three-pointer later in the final and finished with 20 points.
Jai Lucas (5’10” Jr. PG, Bellaire (TX) High) He’s slight, but he can score the ball from the point guard spot and has enough quickness. It doesn’t hurt that he has the pedigree as well, and leads a team that wins its fair share of games. He went for 23 and 17 in pool play games.
Trevor Mbakwe (6’8″ Jr. PF, Minneapolis (MN) Henry Sibley HS) He can be quite a warrior inside using his size, and he’s dangerous when he gets the ball inside. He scored a number of close field goals and also ran the floor, scoring 17 and 21 in pool play games.
Mike McGahee (6’1″ Jr. PG, Chicago (IL) Hoffman Estates HS) Lefty point guard struggled to hit jumpers but is quick and likes to drive. He has a slight frame, which makes him likely a mid-major prospect.
Jeff Robinson (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF Elizabeth (NJ) St. Patrick’s HS) Didn’t play his best basketball this weekend, as he had some foul trouble and never seemed to get untracked on offense. He has a mature body and hit a couple of mid-range jumpers along the way.
Nasir Robinson (6’5″ So. SF, Philadelphia (PA) American Christian HS) Strong wing player handled the ball often like a third guard. He appears to be more like a small forward than a guard. On Saturday, he bounced back from an injury and played in the next game; the injury appeared to be serious at first, as he banged knees hard with another player.
Isaiah Rusher (6’9″ Jr. PF, Bellaire (TX) High) Not a good weekend for this post player who has shown the ability to shoot the ball. He went scoreless against a young BABC team and was a non-factor in another game.
Mike Singletary (6’6″ Jr. SF, Kingwood (TX) High) He’s highly regarded, with a mature body and some athleticism, but he had another rather non-descript showing when we saw him. His game is more that of a small forward, though we did see him also knock down a key open three-pointer in one game.
Isaiah Thomas (5’8″ Jr. PG, Tacoma (WA) Curtis HS) Small but quick scoring point guard looks stronger now. He scored 27 in one game, showing some three-point range, and made a couple of highlight plays with a dunk and a long ounce pass up the floor for a fast break layup to a teammate.
Scott Thompson (7’0″ Jr. C, Meridian (ID) Mountain View HS) Very slight post player really ran the floor well and was active inside. He wasn’t a big factor on the offensive end, but he looks like a prospect as his body matures.
Chris Wright (6’1″ Jr. PG, Bowie (MD) St. John’s College HS) Excellent floor leader had a fine weekend leading his team to the title for the second straight year. He seems capable of thriving in a deliberate halfcourt offense or playing up-tempo, making good decisions with the ball and passing very well on the move. He shot it well when we saw him, putting up 25 points in one game. High-major prospect has re-opened his recruitment with Herb Sendek’s departure from North Carolina State.
Other players we’ll want to keep an eye on:
Jared Berggren (So. PF-C, Minneapolis (MN) Princton HS)
Mike Bisenuis (6’9″ Jr. PF, Emmetsburg (IA) High)
Jordan Crawford (6’4″ Jr. SG, Detroit (MI) CMA HS)
Paul Davis (6’9″ Jr. PF, Marlboro County (SC) High)
Jarmon Fortson (6’4″ So. SG-SF, Carver (GA) High)
Kyle Hardrick (6’8″ Fr. PF, Lawton (OK) Ike HS)
Xavier Henry (6’5″ Fr. SF, Midwest City (OK) High)
Scotty Hood (5’8″ So. PG, Atlanta (GA) Spencer HS)
Cameron Long (6’3″ Jr. SG, Woodbridge (VA) Freedom HS)
Jamelle McMillan (6’3″ Jr. SG, Seattle (WA) O’Dea HS)
Danny Monckton (6’6″ Jr. PF, Glenview (IL) Glenbrook South HS)
Daniel Orton (6’9″ Fr. PF-C, Oklahoma City (OK) McGuinness HS)
Renado Parker (6’6″ So. SF-PF, Renton (WA) Kentridge HS)
L.A. Pomlee (6’8″ So. PF, Davenport (IA) Central HS)
Jordan Prinity (6’4″ Jr. SG, Marion (IA) Linn Marion HS)
Devin Searcy (6’9″ Jr. PF, Detroit (MI) Romulus HS)
Marvin Skipper (6’9″ Jr. PF, Detroit (MI) Pershing HS)