Flyin To The Hoop: Best of The Rest

Flyin To The Hoop: Best of The Rest
Feb 10, 2009, 07:08 pm
DraftExpress takes a look at the top remaining prospects offered at the recent Flyin To The Hoop tournament, including junior Terrence Ross, super freshman Justin Anderson, and seniors D.J. Richardson and Victor Rudd.

Terrence Ross, 6'6, Shooting Guard, Montrose Christian, 2010
Considering UCLA, Arizona, North Carolina, Memphis, Texas, Georgetown, Kansas, Maryland

Terrence Ross (#31 Rivals, #65 Scout, #41 ESPN) turned some heads with his play at Flyin To The Hoop, with a number of people suggesting that he is ranked a bit too low by all three of the major recruiting services. Physically, there is no denying that Ross fits the bill of an elite wing prospect. At 6'6 with a long wingspan, he has legit length. Though still on the skinny side at only 180 pounds, he has a frame that has the potential to fill out substantially in due time.

Offensively, Ross' best weapon has to be his athleticism and first step. A very good leaper, he utilizes his ability to rise over defenders in combination with his explosive first step in what can be a downright devastating pull-up jumper. The Portland native also shows a very smooth jumper from beyond the arc, easily drilling collegiate three pointers with a nice release. He also does a very nice job of getting out in transition and finishing, usually with an emphatic dunk.

The major weakness in Ross' offensive game at this stage has to be his ball handling. While he is capable of putting the ball down on the floor two or three times in a straight line, he didn't show much more than that in the two games that we observed him. Ross was also not the most aggressive guy in terms of going all the way to the rim, often settling for outside jumpers when he could have made it all the way to the basket and finished inside.

Ross isn't much of a defender at this point, looking disinterested on this end of the floor and showing subpar fundamentals. He completely relies on his athleticism at this point, which allowed him to corral a couple of a steals and block a couple of shots. The potential is certainly there for Ross to be a very nice defender based on his physical profile, but time will tell whether or not this area of his game develops.

At this point in the game, Ross is being recruited by virtually every high major program in the country. There is no denying the long term potential that Ross has if he continues to develop and his combination of size, perimeter skills, and athletic ability make him one of the more interesting players long term as far as the class of 2010 is concerned. Playing on the AAU circuit with Portland based Team Jones, Ross is a player who we will certainly follow closely over the spring/summer to see if he is able to build upon his promising skills.

Justin Anderson, 6'5, Shooting Guard, Montrose Christian, 2012

Hailed by many as the top freshman in the country, Justin Anderson clearly passed the look test on first glance. Standing a legit 6'5 and possessing downright freakish athleticism, he put on a show for fans with his warm-up dunk display. He is already very mature physically and possesses long arms, despite having the face of a 14 year old. The physical package that he offers is much more reminiscent of that of an NBA shooting guard, rather than a player who is just a year removed from middle school.

While the raw tools are certainly there, Anderson does not have the advanced skill set that former top prep guards O.J. Mayo or Tyreke Evans had at the same age. His offensive game is based on his athleticism, first step, and strength at this point. The Virginia native did a nice job of finishing in traffic with contact and was capable of handling the ball in the open court. His jumper was erratic, but displayed nice form and release. Anderson knocked down a couple of threes and pull-ups in his two games, though that was certainly not the strong suit of his game. His ball-handling is solid for a player so young, but will need to continue to improve (along with the rest of his game) if he hopes to reach his full potential.

There is a lot of potential for Anderson on the defensive end, given his physical gifts and his competitive nature. Again, he is still a far ways away from being a finished product on this end, but he appears to enjoy defending already and exerts good effort on this end.

It will be nearly half of a decade before we discuss Anderson as a NBA draft prospect, so we will let time tell the story on that. There is no question though that Anderson is one of the top talents of the class of 2012 at this point in time (along with J'Mychal Reese, Perry Ellis, and Zach Peters) and will be an interesting player to track over the next four years.

D.J. Richardson, 6'3, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Findlay Prep, 2009
Committed to Illinois

Richardson (#57 Rivals, #66 Scout, #56 ESPN) was not quite as effective scoring the ball as when we evaluated him in November, averaging a meager 10 points per game in the three games at Flyin To The Hoop. While his shot wasn't falling, he showed improved playmaking skills and looked completely comfortable handling the ball and initiating the offense when need be. There is very little question that Richardson will be able to fill some spot minutes at the point guard position in a jam once he arrives at Illinois, though he is better suited playing off the ball.

The biggest impact that Richardson made was on the defensive end, where he put the clamps on a number of potential high-major guards in his three games. He displayed great lateral quickness and quick hands, while also rotating well when defending off of the ball. His size and versatility on the defensive end should allow him to receive a substantial amount of playing time right away in Bruce Weber's system, given his tendency to play a number of smaller guards on the floor together at the same time.

Victor Rudd, 6'7, Power Forward, Findlay Prep, 2009
Considering Memphis, Marquette, California, USC, UNLV, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Arizona,

Victor Rudd (unranked Scout, #108 ESPN) has continued his strong play this season, establishing himself as one of the top seniors left on the board. It appears that just about every high major program still looking for a power forward at this point is throwing their card in the mix for Rudd, and it's easy to see based on his play as of late.

It is clear that Rudd has put in considerable work on his perimeter skills since we last evaluated him at the National Prep Showcase, offering a more consistent jumper beyond the arc and looking considerably more comfortable putting the ball on the deck in transition. While there still needs to be a considerable amount of improvement in these areas for him to completely label him as a small forward, he appears to be making the progress in this direction.

Rudd's game on both ends still centered around his freakish athleticism, as seen by the 15 plus dunks that he had in Findlay's three games. He was able to block a ton of shots and create a number of deflections/steals with his ability to get in the passing lanes, leaving one to only imagine how effective he could be in a run and jump type system. His defensive fundamentals are still lacking at this point, which often leaves him out of position when gambling to make a steal or swat a shot into the stands.
The California native is still wide open in his recruiting but has made it clear that he intends to play at a school that has a high tempo offense, which would completely cater to his style of play. There is still a lot of work to be done before we can call Rudd a sure fire NBA prospect, but he has the tools to certainly become one down the road.

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