Monday, May 26, 2014

Nike EYBL in Minnesota

EYBL Minnesota: Newman impresses again



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THE RIVALS150: Class of 2014 | 2015 | 2016
EAGAN, Minn. -- The goal of playing in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball is to qualify for the shoe company's showcase July event, the Peach Jam. The level of competition at the fourth and final leg of the EYBL this weekend is up there. The class of 2015's top player Malik Newman was doing his thing, Stephen Zimmerman continued to get his mojo back and 2016 guard De'Aaron Fox took over when his team needed to.
Newman in no rush

Malik Newman thinks he will have a top five by the end of the summer.
It wasn't a crazy day for Malik Newman with the Jackson Tigers. By his standards, the 27- and 17-point outings were ho-hum. To the observer and people trying to stop him, though, the 6-foot-4 combo guard who ranks No. 1 in the class of 2015 was rather impressive.
Newman loves to shoot pull-up jumpers and he is explosive and strong off the dribble. The biggest development in his game is how much more often he is attacking the rim and his improved ability to finish strong at the rim. Newman put an exclamation point on his day with a nasty right-handed tip jam off a badly missed shot.
Though he doesn't like to speak in specifics about his recruitment, Newman confirmed that he hosted Connecticut, Kansas, N.C. State, Mississippi State and Kentucky for in-home visits during the spring and he also confirmed in an interview with Rivals.com that he and fellow five-star Diamond Stone would like to attend the same school if the fit makes sense for both of them.
Newman told Rivals.com that he will have a true list at the summer's end and that he's thinking it will probably have five teams on it. Newman also said that staying at No. 1 -- something he is likely to do in the next ranking update -- is something that is a goal of his, but he knows he has competition.
"Of course," said Newman when asked if he was living up to his top billing. "Everybody that's behind me is my competition. I can't say it's just one player because everyone is working hard to get that number one spot."
Fox gets angry
It was into the second half of the Houston Hoops afternoon game with Memphis-based Team Penny and 2016 five-star De'Aaron Fox wasn't having the best of days for the Hoops. But with around 10 minutes to go, the 6-foot-3 combo guard got angry about something and totally took the game over.
Let's make this clear -- Fox is fast. Very fast. When he sees a pick coming and that his defender is going to get caught up in it, you can almost see him licking his chops and thinking about turning that corner. If Fox turns the corner on you, forget it because you aren't catching him.
So, Fox used that speed and his ability to create off the dribble to get defenders off balance. Then he rocketed one-hand passes 30 feet for scores. Once he went off, it was quite impressive.
Currently ranked No. 8 in the class of 2016, Fox desperately needs to add some bulk because he is just as skinny as he is fast. But, he's got some toughness to him and definitely has pride in his game.
"It was really just my dad on the sidelines," said about what set him off late. "He was talking trash for me and I think one of the other parents was about to get into it with him. So, if somebody is talking trash for me, I have to back it up."
Fox listed early offers from SMU, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Houston and Kansas State. He said that both Kansas and Louisville have been turning up the heat on him lately.
Zimmerman enjoys nice day

Stephen Zimmerman showed off some new skills on Saturday.
The current No. 4 player in the class of 2015, Stephen Zimmerman is the first to admit that he had some early struggles in the EYBL. This is Zimmerman's first summer on the Nike circuit and the Oakland Soldiers are a new team for him. Now that he is getting more acclimated to playing with the Soldiers, the 6-foot-11 big man from Las Vegas is picking things up. He certainly looked good on Saturday.
Zimmerman is adding bulk and as a result, he isn't quite as quick as he used to be in the open floor. So, he's adjusting his game a bit and on Saturday showed some physicality on the glass as a rebounder and on the low block as a scorer. The five-star operated from outside in and did things like feel contact, spin to his left shoulder and drop in right-handed jump hooks. Not bad for a lefty. He also splashed home some 15- to 17-foot jumpers and was playing with good energy.
"It's a new team and I'm playing next to a top player like Ivan Rabb," Zimmerman said. "I didn't want to start off on a bad foot coming in and trying to take a bunch of shots."
For Zimmerman, the biggest change has been to make sure that he is focusing on the things that he can control on the floor.
"You can't control making every shot like you would like to," he said. "But, you can control your effort rebounding and how you are talking to your teammates on the floor."
More Saturday notes
With their Saturday play, two shooting guards cemented that they will move into five-star territory during the next rankings update for the class of 2015. Both Allonzo Trier and Antonio Blakeney have proven that they need to make moves up from their current spots. We'll cover Trier more in depth during Sunday's coverage, but he is scoring the ball at a ridiculous clip and his Athlete's First team keeps winning. At No. 38 in 2015, he could be ranked 20 or so spots too low.
Blakeney is currently ranked No. 29 in 2015. He has really developed his game away from the ball and his overall skill level. Blakeney is under better control, gets square to the hoop and is both a dangerous driver and jump-shooter. Throw in some bouncy athleticism and you have a prototype two guard. He isn't as physical at the same stage, but Blakeney has some similarities in his game to a young Bradley Beal.

Big man Henry Ellenson impressed at EYBL.
Once again, big man Henry Ellenson showed a high level of skill. The 6-foot-9 power forward prefers to shoot jumpers, but he can really run, finishes with either hand in the lane and does a very nice job on the glass. At times, he can settle a little too easily for that jumper instead of using his strength in the lane. But, when he's got the inside and outside game in balance, he is a load for defenders.
The pickup of Anthony Lawrence continues to look better and better for Miami. A 6-foot-7'ish combo forward, Lawrence has wing skills but can be a bit of a point four man because of his strength and passing in the post. With star Ben Simmons out to focus on final exams next week, Lawrence really stepped up and looks like somebody who will find his way into the next Rivals150 for the class of 2015.
It's not too hard to envision 2016 big man Tyrique Jones of Expressions Elite earning scholarships from high major programs. At 6-foot-8, he is strong, pretty athletic and he will go and rebound the basketball. Effort and rebounding generally translate pretty well to college. Throw in his size and you have a nice prospect.
Duke commit Luke Kennard was pretty impressive during a morning win for King James. Kennard had 21 points, shot the ball well (6-for-10 FG, 4-for-6 FT) and did a good job on the glass. He is pretty skilled at setting up his shot and if he gets space from deep, you are in big trouble. In the ACC, he'll have to adjust some to finishing against athletic wings with size, but his skill level and strength are legit.
Quietly, big man Derek Pardon did a very nice job on the interior for King James. In just 16 minutes, Pardon put together a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds while making 7 of 9 field goals. Pardon has good hands, gets position in the lane and is a blue-collar worker who doesn't need a ton of touches to be productive.
Three players from Nike Team Florida in particular stood out. NTF was 1-1 on the day, but Florida commit Kevarrius Hayes, four-star 2015 wing Haanif Cheatham and 2016 five-star Udoka Azubuike had nice outings. Hayes isn't the most skilled or muscular player, but the Rivals150 post player is quick, bouncy and has a great motor. He deflects passes, tips balls to teammates, runs the floor and makes hustle plays. Cheatham is a solid wing who reminds Rivals.com of former Kansas starter Travis Releford. He is in the 6-foot-5 range, a good defender, very steady and solid in several areas without being a great shooter or an athlete. Cheatham is just a basketball player.
As for Udoka, he is a freak of nature for such a young player. The class of 2016 big man told Rivals.com that he is still only 14 years old and he checks in around 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds. Uboka never strays from the post, plays very physically and tries to tear down the rim each and every chance he gets. What's not to like about him at this point?
Rivals150 big man Juwan Morgan was MoKan Elite's best player on Saturday. A springy and lean four man, Morgan utilizes his excellent quickness and emerging ball skills to cause problems. He is similar to class of 2014 power forward Isaiah Wilkins.
Syracuse is getting a good one in Malachi Richardson. The 6-foot-5 wing has a strong body and is a natural scorer. In an early game, his Team Final squad was scuffling to score, but he came up with toughness plays and hit a couple of difficult shots to help get a win.
Two freshmen acquitting themselves on the 17-and-under level are 6-foot-7'ish combo forwards P.J. Washington and Cody Riley. For Team Penny, Washington does very good work on the glass and is dangerous as a pick-and-pop shooter to the three-point line. For Cali Supreme, Riley does many of the same things, but is a bit stronger. A southpaw, Riley is similar in many ways to a young Deshaun Thomas.
Team Texas has a very talented trio of guards in Ohio State-bound Austin Grandstaff, four-star SMU commit Matthew McQuaid and four-star Jawun Evans.
In a game against Each 1 Teach 1, Evans proved to be unguardable off the dribble. He is as quick and fast as any point guard in the class of 2015 and can make floaters or use his body control to finish at the rim. Evans also has good strength and looked on Saturday morning like the kid who led Dallas Kimball to a state title.
During a double-overtime win over Team United, Grandstaff went nuts while scoring 44 points. The No. 30 player in 2015, Grandstaff is as confident as they come with the jumper and he was bombing away from beyond the three-point line. He can also put the ball on the floor a bit and is always ready to score.
A recent commitment to Larry Brown and the Mustangs, McQuaid was solid all day. During the high school year and earlier in the spring, McQuaid seemed to be lacking a little bit of confidence. Since his commitment, he's been much more sure in his game and has been shooting the ball very well. He has good size at nearly 6-foot-5 and isn't afraid to go and finish at the rim.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

More Nike EYBL Reports

HAMPTON, Va. -- For the second straight day at the Nike EYBL, several top ranked players in the 2015 and 2016 Rivals150 rankings stood out amongst their peers. Day 2 saw big time performances from Udoka Azubuike, Mickey Mitchell, Antonio Blakeney and more.


Udoka Azubuike is a powerful big man.

Nike Team Florida bigs shine

On Saturday, it was the Oakland Soldiers' frontcourt that came to play. In an 8 a.m. game on Sunday, it was the immensely talented frontcourt of Nike Team Florida that decided to steal the show against All-Ohio Red.

Before running into some foul trouble, Nike Team Florida's Udoka Azubuike truly scored just about whenever he wanted to. If he gained position anywhere near the paint, there was little doubt the 15th ranked prospect in the 2016 class would score. It's his combination of size, strength and athleticism that makes him nearly impossible for most post players to match up with. At some point, schools all over the country will be working hard to secure his commitment. For now, his recruitment remains relatively quiet.

It wasn't just Azubuike making plays around the rim for NTF. Florida commit Kevarrius Hayes chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds alongside him. At nearly 6-foot-9, he's a high-level athlete who runs the floor and catches every pass thrown his way. Once he catches the ball, he's looking to dunk at every opportunity. The next step in Hayes' development would be to refine his back-to-the-basket game and perform at the high level he did on Sunday on a more consistent basis.

Mitchell makes plays

The Texas Titans roster is so talented that four-star small forward Mickey Mitchell comes off the bench for them. At times, an argument could be made that Mitchell is their most important player when he has things rolling.

In a Sunday afternoon matchup against a talented and athletic Mac Irvin Fire team, Mitchell came off the bench with roughly 11:00 left in the first half. By the time he came out eight minutes later, he had tallied five assists and made numerous plays the rest of the game to help lead the Titans to an impressive win.

Mitchell, ranked 52nd in the 2015 Rivals150, mostly gets listed as a small forward by recruiting services, but this weekend he spent a lot of time playing "point forward."

When in the game, the Titans put the ball in his hands and relied on him to find open teammates. He did just that, routinely finding King McClure,D.J. Hogg and Soso Jamabo open beyond the arc and Tyler Davis in the paint. For Mitchell to make the next jump as a player, his jump shot needs to become more of a weapon.

Mitchell made an early commitment to Thad Matta's Ohio State Buckeyes last August.

Blakeney gets buckets

Each 1 Teach 1's Antonio Blakeney is known best for his ability to score the basketball. That's why schools such as Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina and others have extended scholarship offers to the top 30 prospect.

Early in a matchup with Mean Streets, Blakeney's stroke just wasn't falling. Like any scorer, he found a way to get in the scoring column with an open dunk along with some free throws and then all of a sudden the shot came around in a big way. It's no shocker that a close game became not so close once he got rolling.

Blakeney can consistently rise up above defenders and connect on contested jumpers with the best of them. Now pushing 6-foot-4 with improved athleticism, he doesn't just rely on that jump shot anymore. He's more than capable of making plays at the rim now and has no problem finishing over defenders with a vicious dunk.

Final Sunday notes


Allonzo Trier is pushing his way up the rankings.
Like Blakeney, Allonzo Trier is simply wired to score. He finished with a game-high 30 points in a close win over Texas Elite on Sunday morning, despite facing double teams at times. Through 12 games in EYBL play, the four-star prospect is averaging 28.5 points per game and making a strong case to make a healthy jump up from his current ranking of No. 38.

Trier may have scored 30 against Texas Elite, but Tyler Williams made him work hard for every last one of them while he was matched up on him. Ranked No. 148 in the 2015 Rivals150, Williams took the toughest matchup on the defensive end and still managed to score 17 points and grab eight rebounds. The three-star prospect says Washington, Washington State, Creighton, LSU, SMU, Texas A&M, Iowa State and Texas Tech have been in contact lately.

One word comes to mind when watching Edward Morrow play -- athleticism. Whenever the 6-foot-6 forward catches the ball near the rim, he's going up to dunk it and he's trying to rip the rim off. His energy and toughness is infectious.

Daniel Giddens had one of his better offensive outings in EYBL with 13 points in a big win over Mean Streets. He opened the game with a nice up-and-under post move and went 5-for-8 from the charity stripe. Showing that he has more offense is going to be important for Giddens after what had been a pretty quiet spring up until Sunday's mini outburst.



Rivals Weekly Starting Five

Sometimes with travel weekends we need an extra day to get to the weekly Starting Five. But, here we are and some of the topics for discussion this week include the need to give the rankings a refresh, the lack of love for Damontrae Jefferson, Elijah Stewart to USC and Oregon State's new coach.


It's been a big spring for Damontrae Jefferson.
Rankings already due a refresh

Last weekend's Under Armour Invitational was Rivals.com's fifth straight weekend covering a major national event. Already, it has become quite apparent that we need to take a look at refreshing both the 2015 Rivals150 and the 2016 rankings that are currently at a top 60.

In 2015 -- which was last updated on March 26 -- the battle for No. 1 is getting really intense. Malik Newman is still holding onto the top spot but he is being chased hard by players like Ben Simmons. Additionally, there are players like Deyonta Davis, Georgios Papagiannis, Jaylen Brown, Allonzo Trier, Damontrae Jefferson, Marquese Chriss and many others who have pushed for a climb up the rankings.

Moving on to the class of 2016, the rankings pool continues to expand as we get to see more and learn more about the players from that class. The ultimate goal is to have the rankings for the class expanded to a true Rivals150 by late August so we need to not only update but expand from where we are. Josh Jackson looks to be in pretty good shape to hold onto the top spot in this update and the rankings will likely expand out to at least a top 75, maybe even 85 depending on how things look.

Others who could be making big moves since the last 2016 rankings adjustment on the 28th of March include Dennis Smith and Kobi Simmons, who have both been standing out of late.

Before anybody asks "what about 2017?" it is going to be a bit before we introduce our first rankings for that class. Look for an initial top 25 sometime after the summer.

Where's the love for Jefferson

For a while now, the previously mentioned Damontrae Jefferson has been one of Rivals.com's favorite players to watch in the class of 2015. Currently ranked No. 47, the Milwaukee native who attends Believe Prep is putting up stupendous numbers on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit.

Standing just 5-foot-7, Jefferson is now averaging just under 30 points and six assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field.

The question is, how long does he have to keep putting up ridiculous numbers before he gets a little more credit on the national level? As much as we've written about him at Rivals over the past few summers, we still may not have given him the full credit he deserves but we have consistently recognized the work he is doing. For some reason, others seem to be hesitant to do so.

Let's face it, Jefferson isn't your typical high school prospect. Not only is he small, but he isn't going to let anybody put him in a box. Jefferson wears his emotions on his sleeve, isn't afraid to let shots fly from all over the floor and plays with attitude. But, at his size, you almost have to have attitude to be as successful as he has been on the floor.

Where does Jefferson end up in the rankings? How does he fit in on the college level? Those are things that we don't fully know the answer to. But, Jefferson has certainly proven by now that he can not only play with, but put big numbers on anybody in the country.


Elijah Stewart has all-conference potential.
Stewart a big pickup for USC

There aren't exactly a lot of difference makers left in the class of 2014, but in our opinion USC landed one Sunday afternoon in shooting guard Elijah Stewart.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester finished No. 64 in the final Rivals150 for 2014 and he has all the tools to be an impact player for the Trojans.

A bit of a late-bloomer, Stewart came on strong as a senior after showing signs of high major ability during the summer of 2013. He is athletic, can put the ball in the hole via the jump shot or by attacking off the dribble and he has immense defensive potential. Stewart will need to add some strength and continue to build his overall ball skills, but he is certainly a future starter and a prospect that could one day develop into an All Pac 12 level player.

Oregon State gets it half right with Tinkle

At the end of the day, it looks like Oregon State is going to make a good hire in Wayne Tinkle. While at Montana, Tinkle did a good job for eight seasons going 158-91 and making three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. At 48, he is also still a relatively young coach and he has experience recruiting the West Coast and hunting for sleepers -- something that he will have to be able to do in Corvallis.

On top of a solid record at Montana, Tinkle has a serious in with a player who would be the highest ranked high school prospect to commit to the Beavers since Jared Cunningham (No. 76) and Roberto Nelson (No. 78) both committed back in 2009. Tinkle's son Tres Tinkle currently ranks No. 124 in the 2015 Rivals150 and should be moving into the top 100 in the next rankings update. A 6-foot-5 wing, Tinkle is a high major prospect who was already seriously considering playing for his father at Montana and the Beavers will now be a considerable favorite to land him with his dad leading the program.

So far all of this sounds good, right? Yes. But here's the thing, Oregon State could and should have done all of this two months ago. Instead, they waited until late in the spring and after the live evaluation period to move away from Craig Robinson and then they took their sweet time (two weeks) to hire his replacement. Two weeks isn't really that long, but given the lack of available spring recruits and Tinkle not being able to recruit for Oregon State during the late spring, every day that it took to hire a new coach was one day too long.

Here's hoping that Tinkle brings success back to Corvallis. He has good credentials, looks to be a solid hire and should be able to hit the ground running with a high profile recruit in his back pocket. But, with its timing, the OSU administration did him no favors in getting him off to a good start and patience could be needed early on.

Coming up next

This weekend, Rivals.com national basketball analyst Eric Bossi will make the trip to Minneapolis for the fourth and final session -- at least for those teams that don't qualify for Nike's Peach Jam -- of the Nike EYBL. Contributing national analyst Russ Wood will be in Orlando for an Adidas Gauntlet stop.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Report from Dallas session of Nike EYBL

FRISCO, Tex. -- Shooting guards Antonio Blakeney and Shake Milton both enjoyed big first days at the Dallas session of Nike's EBYL on Saturday at Fieldhouse USA. Four-star Blakeney solidified his reputation as one to watch, while Milton created his own reputation. Both players are members of the class of 2015.

Blakeney feeling no pressure


Antonio Blakeney is getting interest from several high-major programs.
When you are a scorer, it is important to have a short memory, plenty of confidence and to not be rattled by pressure. Antonio Blakeney checks the box in the all of those areas.

The No. 29 player in the class of 2015, Blakeney is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge who scores with ease at all levels. He drains threes out to 22 feet, shows tremendous burst on drives to the rim and is developing a nice pull-up game between 12 and 17 feet.

The Floridian has been on a steady rise since bursting onto the scene last summer and doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. He went for 18 points, five rebounds and two assists in an afternoon game as Each 1 Teach 1 pulled away late to handle Expressions Elite 97-84.

Blakeney mentioned that Florida, Louisville, Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, USC, Florida State and LSU continue to chase hard and he has his recruitment in perspective.

"I probably won't cut it down until after the summer sometime," Blakeney said. "I just want to focus on my last summer of AAU and finishing well in the classroom."

When he does sit down to cut his list and make a decision, Blakeney will play close attention to the relationship he is able to develop with his future head coach.

"A good situation to me is somewhere that I have a real good relationship with the head coach because he'll be making the decisions with the team and me," said Blakeney. "Also I know that I am going to have to work for playing time wherever I go but I'm looking for a good situation playing time wise."

Shake it up


Shake Milton has offers from SMU, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
While recruitniks may be slow to catch on, Oklahoma shooting guard Shake Milton isn't a total unknown with college coaches. The 6-foot-4 junior who plays with MoKan Elite already lists offers from Texas A&M, Creighton, SMU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.

Saturday, Milton -- who will certainly factor into the next batch of 2015 rankings -- began to build his national profile with two strong performances in MoKan wins.

Highly skilled with the ball, Milton is a deft ball-handler, slick passer and dangerous pull-up jump shooter. He doesn't overwhelm with athleticism, but his feel for the game and sense for when to turn on the offensive juice makes him a load to deal with.

In the final game of the evening, his team was locked in a tight contest with the Spiece Indy Heat and he scored eight of his team-high 20 points in a one-minute span that included two and-one plays. The first came on a nasty step back move that he set up with a back-to-front, between-the-legs dribble before getting fouled on a jumper and the next came when he shielded his defender with his body, turned the corner and finished at the rim.

"I knew that the team needed me to make plays late," Milton said. "We had gone through some dry spells on offense and coach called my number to make something happen."

Maybe most impressive about Milton is the efficiency with which he plays. He doesn't seem to force anything and his naturaly ability to be aggressive while under control has to be frustrating for defenders.

"That's something I've done my whole life," said Milton of his efficient play. "I think I can play a combo guard role. I really like to pass to my teammates. I stay in the gym and work hard and I try not to take bad shots."

More Saturday notables

At No. 56 in the country, Henry Ellenson is simply ranked too low and that is something that will be rectified. The 6-foot-9 big man for Playground Elite was quite impressive on Saturday for several reasons. He has always been able to shoot the ball, but at times he settled too much for deep jumpers. Now, the rising senior is doing a better job of mixing his jumpers with working in the paint and crashing the glass. Most of all, Ellenson has worked hard to get himself into terrific shape and that has improved his athleticism and stamina making a huge difference in his overall game.

When D.J. Hogg has his jumper clicking like he did on Saturday, the 6-foot-7 four-star wing can be a load offensively. When he mixes in smart drives and uses his size to shield defenders, he is almost impossible to stop. When you add in the attention that big man Tyler Davis commands in the post, well then defenders have a big problem on their hands. In a win over Nike Team Florida, Davis established early post dominance and then Hogg did his thing from the perimeter at a high level. While Hogg can shoot and has offensive skill, Davis' ability to set up, hold position and then score with skill on the low block is something that you don't see in many young bigs.

Four-star junior big man Raymond Spalding is a long-term proposition. While skinny, he has good size, moves extremely well and gives flashes of the future. He will rise above a crowd for an offensive rebound on one possession and the next he'll jab step a defender and rise for a 15-footer. Now, the key is to put it all together and become more consistently productive. Make no mistake, though, it is easy to see why Spalding is coveted by high-major programs.

Early in Team Scan's game against Each 1 Teach 1 in the morning session, Scan was in big trouble. Then, five-star big men Thomas Bryant and Cheick Diallo took total control of the interior. The duo used their combined 13 feet and seven inches of size to totally dominate. Diallo is all fast-twitch muscle with a non-stop motor while Bryant has a great motor and strength to go along with it. By the time they were done, Diallo and Bryant combined for 40 points and 14 rebounds and completely turned a game that wasn't going their way.

It is obvious why there has been a recent feeding frenzy over the play of Malik Beasley. The Rivals150 wing has really filled out, improved his athleticism and likes to bury left-wing jumpers. He'll be making a move up in the next set of rankings.

Recent SMU commit Matthew McQuaid had it rolling during the afternoon session. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was cutting hard off screens, catching and burying jumpers from deep. McQuaid isn't the thickest guy around, but he has some wiry strength and is a tough customer. He'll be counted on to make shots at the next level and there is no doubt that the four-star wing can do that.

One of the top players in the class of 2016, V.J. King's strength is how easy he makes the game. That, and his ability to bury pull-up jumpers. There is little wasted motion in the five-star small forward's game and he doesn't play around off the dribble. If he doesn't find something within two or three dribbles he gets rid of the ball and lets the offense get started all over again. He was big in a win over Team Texas.

Also big for the King James Shooting Stars was Ohio State-bound point guard AJ Harris. What Harris lacks in size he makes up for with long arms, tremendous heart and clever playmaking ability. He is a major competitor and played mistake-free basketball in a 77-73 win over Team Texas to finish with 18 points and eight assists.

Connecticut-bound wing Prince Ali needs to continue to work on his left hand. But, the 6-foot-4 guard is a hard-charger with a great frame, plenty of athleticism and desire to get to the rim. He is awfully tough to stop off the dribble and his physical tools allow him to be one of the most physical finishers in high school basketball. He's continuing to work his way up the charts.