Avery Bradley, 6-3, Shooting Guard, Committed to Texas
The future Texas Longhorn had all of his weapons on display this past weekend in Maryland. He scored a tournament high 27 points in his second game of the tournament, doing the bulk of his damage with his stellar mid-range game. Bradley is extremely difficult to cover due to his excellent quickness, but also because of his ability to stop on a dime and elevate with a smooth shooting stroke. The McDonald's All-American dunk champion was able to get out in transition and wow the crowd a couple of times during the course of his three games with several impressive throw-downs.
Where Bradley really impressed was with his defense. Based on what we saw this weekend, it is a safe bet that the two-guard will be a force from day one in the Big 12. His lateral quickness was absolutely unparalleled and his quick hands allowed him to come away with nearly a dozen swipes over the course of the tournament. He also used his outstanding leaping ability to pin a handful of shots off the glass, on the rare occasion when he was beaten off the dribble.
The Findlay Prep star is going to be an instant impact player at the collegiate level. It may be too soon to determine how he'll project in the NBA, but if his development so far is any indication, we'll be seeing Bradley at the pro level sometime in the not too distant future.
Keith Gallon, 6'8, PF/C, Committed to Oklahoma
It's one thing to hear about Gallons quick feet and good open floor speed, it's something completely different to see it up close. There's really no other way to say it; he does not move like a 300-pounder, not even close. Gallon showed a good first step when on the perimeter and a quick spin move when posting up, leading us to believe that he will be able to take most college big men off the dribble in the Big 12 next year. He showed off the range that has been written about already, nailing a handful of threes during the weekend, but as we have mentioned in the past, he tends to settle for these shots sometimes rather than working to post up.
Gallon has great hands and a soft touch around the rim, but if given space inside he is capable of putting down thunderous dunks. He really worked hard on the offensive glass, keeping a lot of possessions alive and drawing trips to the charity stripe thanks to his hustle. Defensively, he was able to capitalize on his massive size, and didn't really have to work that hard in order to be effective. At the collegiate level it is certain that he will have to get a bit quicker and more fundamentally sound in order to really be an impact player at this end of the floor. Gallon's presence will be very welcome in Norman next year, especially with the departure of Blake Griffin. Sooner fans shouldn't expect Gallon to be the kind of player their future #1 NBA draft pick was, but he can certainly step in right away and be an outstanding addition to the roster.
Milton Jennings, 6-9, SF/PF, Committed to Clemson
Jennings certainly shows the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, he also has pretty good quickness for a player his size. The issue to this point with the big man has been toughness around the rim. In the handful of times that he attacked the basket during the NHSI, Jennings tended to avoid contact and would alter his shot drastically rather than getting bumped by opposing defenders. In a conference like the ACC, he will absolutely have to get a little bit tougher in the lane. He did manage to show pretty good range and a soft touch on his shot. His consistency has plenty of room to improve at this point, but Jennings looks capable of at least being a solid catch and shoot perimeter player in his freshman year.
There is plenty of reason for optimism at Clemson, as Jennings looks like he will make an impact for the Tigers right away. If he can improve the consistency of his shot while getting a little tougher with the basketball, then we could be looking at an all-conference caliber player a couple of years down the road.
Tristan Thompson, 6-9, Power Forward, Class of 2010, Committed to Texas
Thompson's athleticism and versatility were on display and definitely wowed many of the scouts in attendance. The big man showed solid ball-handling skills in the open floor and though his ability to dribble in the half court ball stills need work, he was able to take defenders to the basket on several occasions. He elevates very well from a standstill, throwing down a thunderous dunk in traffic on one particular play that brought the crowd to its feet. Thompson seals well on the block and shows signs of a developing post game that include a drop step and a soft left handed hook. What really makes him intriguing though is the potential he shows being able to face up when he has the ball, which may allow him to transition to the small forward position in time.
Defensively, Thompson continued to wreak havoc against high school competition, as he always tends to. He blocked several shots and altered plenty more. In one of the more impressive plays of the weekend he was called for goaltending on a shot that was blocked several inches above the box. With one more year left before college to develop, Texas looks like it's going to be getting an elite prospect in 2010.
Doron Lamb, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Class of 2010, Uncommitted
Lamb shows a very smooth offensive game, particularly with his ball-handling skills, which allow him to operate comfortably in traffic. Though he wasn't too aggressive in all the games that we saw him, when he does opt to put the ball on the deck, he is able to get to the basket fairly easily at this level. He is very much a score first player at this point, but Lamb was able to make a few very nice passes this weekend that seem to indicate he may have some potential playmaking skills as his game continues to develop. With his lack of explosiveness right now, developing that skill set would help him tremendously in the long run. The biggest knock on Lamb from this weekend was his tendency to disappear for stretches of the ball game, something we also previously observed. Part of that is due to the fact that Oak Hill was loaded with talented seniors this season, but next year as the top returning player, Lamb will need to stay a consistent factor in the game, and especially improve his ability to play without the ball.
Mouphtaou Yarou, 6-9, Power Forward, Committed to Villanova
At the high school level there aren't many players that are capable of handling Yarou on the block in one on one situations, due to his tremendous strength and solid athleticism. He showed a developing post game, sticking mainly to a powerful drop step, but also able to mix in the occasional jump hook. When he faced a steady stream of double-teams versus Findlay Prep, he was able to still be effective by recognizing open teammates and hitting the offensive glass hard. We've reported in the past Yarou's ability to hit the mid-range jumper when given space, and though he didn't attempt any during the course of the tournament, his smooth stroke at the foul line was plenty indication that he can hit the 15-footer.
Yarou's constant hustle, strong frame and knack for rebounding will make him an immediate impact player for Villanova next year. His post game still needs some more polishing and perhaps another go to move before he will be a consistent scoring threat in the Big East, but his hustle on the glass will almost certainly lead to some garbage points for the freshman.
Isaiah Armwood, 6-8, Power Forward, Committed to Villanova
What seems more likely is that Armwood will continue to make the transition to becoming more of a perimeter player. Right now he is at his most effective when he can face up and get his shot off from mid-range. He has solid ball-handling skills and will likely create some mismatches against slower forwards he'll be able to take to the basket with his good quickness. He brings a lot of effort on the offensive glass as well. Several times during his two games he was able to sky in for a board or a tap in over opposing defenders. On the defensive end, Armwood has the length and quickness to guard multiple positions, something that will make him a solid addition right away to Villanova's rotation next season.
Lamont Jones, 6-0, PG/SG, Undecided
Terrence Ross, 6-6, Small Forward, Class of 2010, Uncommitted
At this point he looks like he is going to be a dangerous perimeter player at the collegiate level. Ross knocked down almost every open look he got during the tournament, and was able to connect on a couple of contested shots as well. While we've written about his ability to score off the dribble, Ross didn't attack the basket too many times during the weekend. He did show some explosiveness with a couple of forceful throw downs when he got the opportunity to run in transition.
As we've said in the past, there is a lot of potential on the defensive end for Ross given his quickness and length. What he needs to do now is show an interest on this end of the floor. When he puts his mind to it, he is very tough to beat off the dribble and holds his position well. The future seems bright for the junior and he will be a nice addition to a high-major program down the road.
Lamar Patterson, 6-5, Power Forward, Committed to Pittsburgh
Myck Kabongo, 6-1, Point Guard, Class of 2011, Committed to Texas
Kabongo's jumper isn't terrible, as he shows good form, but he certainly needs to extend his range and improve his consistency before he can be considered a legitimate perimeter threat. There is no question the most appealing aspect of his game right now is his point guard skill set. Kabongo shows great court vision and is a fantastic passer. He was able to drive and kick to teammates for open looks on the wings as well as draw and dish to teammates for easy looks inside. Defensively, he has great lateral quickness and pretty quick hands, but he needs to do a better job of not getting lost on screens.
Justin Anderson, 6-5, Small Forward, Class of 2012, Uncommitted
On defense is where the freshman really stood out. Anderson was charged with the responsibility of guarding Avery Bradley in his second game, and though the All-American was able to get his points, it wasn't easy. Anderson has excellent lateral quickness and a long wingspan, making him exceptionally difficult to beat off the dribble. He is an explosive leaper and showed so by blocking a pair of shots off the glass, several inches above the box. Its way too early to being to speculate how far Anderson is going to go with his basketball career, but the future certainly looks bright for the freshman from Virginia.