Sunday, November 9, 2014

Elite 14 Showcase: Young shows out
Rivals.com recruiting analysis.

RANKINGS: Class of 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017
WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Hosted at Wichita Falls (Texas) Hirschi, the Elite 14 Showcase has become an important stop. Filled with talent from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, it is a place for teams to see where they are headed into the season and for college coaches and scouts to see an abundance of talent in one day. On Saturday, class of 2017 point guard Trae Young proved that he is a high level prospect during a huge day.


Young's father starred at Texas Tech.
Young shows off all around game

A year ago, Rivals.com got a first look at Norman (Oklahoma) North point guard Trae Young at the Elite 14. It's safe to say that the 6-foot-1 floor general has come a long way over the past year.

Nobody had a better day in Wichita Falls and Young easily backed up his status as a four-star prospect in the class of 2017.

Known for his ability to shoot the ball from deep, Young is a confident jump shooter who has a high skill level when it comes to scoring the ball. He has runners, pull-ups and hesitation moves to go along with his deep jump shooting. What surprised though, was how much Young has developed as a playmaker.

"My shooting ability helps to keep defenders guessing," Young said. "I've been working on really being more of a point guard and being as much of a leader as I can."

One of those point guards who is able to play at full speed while remaining under control, he was constantly running the ball right down the defense's throat. He found teammates with crisp passes, initiated the offense and showed that even though he can score, he can run a team and be a playmaker.

Whether it's a case of him not being in a position to show the dynamic all-around game or him developing his game -- it's likely some of both -- the bottom line is that Young has serious game and he will be one that we hear from much more down the road.

So far, Young has offers from Oklahoma, Texas Tech (where his father Rayford starred), Oklahoma State, Connecticut, Kansas State, Houston, SMU, Tulsa and Creighton. Others involved include North Carolina, Texas and Kansas and he's seen the Jayhawks, Sooners and Cowboys within the last month or so.

McGriff brings the energy

The No. 135 player in the 2016 Rivals150, there has never been a question about whether or not Cameron McGriff has the athleticism to play at the high major level. However, exactly how his game translates and what skills he brings to the table have been up to debate.

McGriff, a high flying combo forward at Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie, showed a highend motor and improving skills on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 prospect spent most of his day playing above the rim and crashing the glass, those things he has done in the past. But it was his usage of shot fakes, ability to hit short to medium jumpers and showing that he is an improved threat off the dribble that proved to be most notable.

McGriff has always passed the eye test with ease, and that is the case more than ever thanks to added muscle. It's the added game, though, that is going to benefit him more in the long run.

McGriff listed offers from Texas Tech, SMU, Oklahoma and Tulsa to go along with interest from Baylor, Arkansas and Texas among others.

Patterson puts himself on the map

There was no shortage of college coaches on hand to watch the Elite 14 on Saturday and a short poll revealed that few of them were familiar with junior Devonte Patterson. Well, that was until the 6-foot-6 forward took the floor with Bridgeport (Texas) High.


McGriff holds offers from Oklahoma, SMU, Texas Tech and Tulsa.
Because after watching him make one play after another, Patterson may have left the biggest impression on anybody scouting the event.

Patterson's two biggest assets at this point are big time athleticism and an even more big time motor. He was flying all over the court grabbing rebounds, stealing possessions, defending and trying to dunk everything in site.

His ball handling and overall skill level are a bit raw, but he's certainly not deficient and his shot looked promising from mid range.

Rivals.com spoke briefly with Patterson who said that he is unaware of any schools that may have been recruiting him. It is a safe bet that won't be the story from here on out. If he can replicate Saturday's performance down the road, Patterson has the look of a potential high major prospect.

More Elite 14 notables

Thanks to a strong summer, 6-foot-10 center Schnider Herard climbed all the way up to No. 41 in the class of 2016 rankings. The way things are looking, the product of Plano (Texas) Prestonwood may not be done climbing. He isn't just tall, he is thick, strong and really knows how to use his size to his advantage. He sets up position in the post and once he sits down defenders have little hope of moving him off of his spot. He's a true back to basket scorer with good hands and holds offers from Kansas, UConn, Kansas State, SMU, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, TCU, Miami, Missouri, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Baylor.

He isn't quite the shooter that his older brother Brandon (a sophomore at TCU) was coming out of high school, but three-star junior Josh Parrish isn't going to have any troubles finding somebody to pay for his college education. He's a strong 6-foot-4 wing who specializes in driving and finishing through contact.

A pair of players showed well for Edmond (Oklahoma) Memorial. Junior forward Kristian Doolittle and senior combo guard Curran Scott both had their moments. An emerging prospect at the small forward position, Doolittle has a great looking basketball frame and is strong fundamentally. He's probably been more of a natural power forward up until this point but he moves well enough and has good enough instincts on the perimeter that he should make the transition as he finishes up his last few years of high school. He already has offers from Oklahoma and Tulsa. An athletic driver, Scott is an off the dribble scorer who is quite comfortable in an up and down game. He had earlier offers from places like Rice and Texas State but they have filled their slots so he is entering his senior year wide open. Mid-majors looking for a scorer should be taking a long look this winter.

Center Kelvin Jones from Hobbs (N.M.) High still has to get stronger and refine his footwork a bit, but the 6-foot-10 prospect is a sleeper that should be evaluated closely. He moves well, has terrific hands and the three-star prospect shows soft touch. At the least, upper end mid major programs in need of a big man should take a long look.

Shooting guard Terrance Ferguson, the highest ranked player in attendance at No. 8 overall in the class of 2016, finds himself in a new position this year. After playing alongside current Chinese professional point guard Emmanuel Mudiay for his first two years of high school, Ferguson is now the main man at Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep and he looks ready to take the challenge. It is going to be a process to get him to be as aggressive as his skills should allow him to be, but he showed signs that he is headed in the right direction. At 6-foot-6, Ferguson was bombing from deep, showing that he can get where he needs to go off the dribble and flashing his world class athleticism. Despite his already very high ranking, Ferguson remains a guy who has huge upside and appears to be just scratching the surface of what he can do down the road.

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