HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: Elite 2012 Prospects (Part One)
Tony Parker, 6'9, Senior, PF/C, Miller Grove
Tony Parker (#19 Scout, #33 Rivals, #31 ESPN) had arguably the toughest matchup of any player this weekend, having to play against legendary coach Bob Hurley's undefeated St. Anthony squad, and a defense designed specifically to stop him.
Parker was defended by an assortment of fresh bodies all game long, faced a constantly changing mixture of fronting and straight man defense, and didn't get the ball once without the defense sagging heavily towards him. Parker didn't respond to this very well, being taken out of his game and scoring a disappointing six points on 1-for-7 shooting, also leading to visible signs of frustration throughout the game.
Standing 6'9 with a large frame, very good length, and excellent strength, Tony Parker has some intriguing tools for a big man prospect, but is sporting a lot of excess weight and isn't quite near his athletic peak at the moment. His extra mass helps him out battling in the post on both ends of the floor, but his conditioning and ability to run the floor suffer for it, and his offensive game is fairly one-dimensional at this stage as well.
On the offensive end, Parker's greatest asset is his ability to score around the basket, something he had a tough time displaying here. He boasts good hands, soft touch, and a good ability to establish position down low, where he's capable of finishing on simple moves by taking advantage of his physical tools. He actually has some ability to get above the rim in the post, showing some deceptive explosiveness in the right situations, but definitely could improve some here by maximizing his physical condition, toning down while maintaining his power.
On the defensive end, Parker showed some decent ability in man-to-man defense, utilizing his strength and length to block and contest shots, but wasn't a big contributor on team defense and was prone to taking plays off as the game went on and his frustration level set in.
Looking forward, it's tough to take much away from Parker's game in this setting, where he clearly had a lot of cards stacked against him, but he'd definitely help himself going forward by maximizing his physical tools and doing a better job keeping his head in the game when things are going poorly. His size and natural ability to score around the basket alone make him a player to keep an eye on in the long term, but how he supplements those abilities with the rest of his game will be key to his success and pro prospects down the road.
Omar Calhoun, 6-6, SG/SF, Christ the King, 2012
Committed to UConn
Omar Calhoun's (#44 Scout, #38 Rivals, #27 ESPN) Christ the King team had a tough outing in Springfield, being blown out 88-50 by California powerhouse Mater Dei. Calhoun made just 6 of his 22 shots at the Hoophall Classic, but nevertheless showed many of the same strengths and weaknesses we've seen over the past few years.
Measured 6-6 at the 2011 Deron Williams Skills Academy, Calhoun has very good size for the wing position, to go along with a frame that should fill out in time. He doesn't possess a long wingspan at just 6-6, but is a solid athlete; more smooth than he is explosive.
Calhoun's best attributes revolve around his scoring instincts. He finds ways to put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways, be it leaking out in transition, cutting off the ball, through the offensive glass or in his team's half-court sets.
Calhoun's jumper is unconventional. His release point is not consistent as at times he'll dip the ball dramatically depending on how closely he's being guarded. With that said, he gets it off quickly and is capable of making shots with his feet set when he's in rhythm, and occasionally off the dribble. In time, he should be able to become a more consistent shooter, as he has good touch.
As a ball-handler, Calhoun similarly has room to grow. He has good timing on his drives and the first step and body control needed to get into the lane, but doesn't show much in the ways of advanced shot-creating moves and is prone to forcing the issue at times. He's not an incredibly explosive finisher in the paint, so he'll need to continue to polish his skill-set to score efficiently inside the arc once the competition stiffens at the college level.
Defensively, Calhoun is just average at this point, which is not a surprise considering his age. He doesn't work very hard off the ball and his short arms don't do him any favors in terms of contesting shots and controlling dribble penetration. He'll be asked to step up his activity level once in college like all freshmen, but certainly has the ability to develop into an adequate defender as he gets stronger and gains experience.
Calhoun's size, scoring instincts and reportedly strong work ethic give him a chance to have a productive career at UConn. We'll have to wait and see how he adapts to the college level before drawing more conclusions about his NBA prospects.
Ricardo Gathers, 6'7, Senior, Power Forward, Riverside Academy
Ricardo Gathers (#34 Scout, #37 Rivals, #40 ESPN) had somewhat of a mixed showing here this weekend, on one hand displaying many of the traits that make him a very highly ranked prospect who is likely to be very productive at the next level, but on the other struggling in a few areas on both ends of the floor, putting some of his warts as a player center stage.
Not much has changed physically since we last profiled Gathers, as he remains a man amongst boys from a strength standpoint, even though he's undersized for his position, measured at just 6'6 in shoes with a 6'9.5 wingspan. Gathers' mass doesn't really hold him back athletically, either, as he runs the floor well and is capable of powering up for explosive dunks in the half court.
On the offensive end, Gathers is at his best operating in the low to mid post area, where he has a solid repertoire of moves, an excellent ability to back down his opponents, and good touch. He can spin off both shoulders and makes use of turnaround jumpers and right-handed hook shots, but he's at his best finishing strong with drop steps and going up hard to the rim or drawing contact and getting to the free-throw line.
While Gathers made good use of his post game on occasions here, he was much more reliant on his inconsistent perimeter game, where he shows the ability to face-up and hit jumpers from mid-to-long range, but doesn't have great shot selection and is prone to taking many ill-advised, contested, pull-up jumpers. He gets decent results on his shot when open, even if it doesn't have the prettiest mechanics, but the bigger problem is he just is nowhere near as efficient or effective in this area of his game as he is down low, and his team suffered for it in their 77-65 loss to Gonzaga College high school.
On the defensive end, Gathers' problems were more cut and dry, as he had an incredibly difficult time defending unheralded 6'5 combo-forward Kris Jenkins, who finished with 30 points on 12-for-16 shooting, mostly matching up against Gathers. Gathers was abused on the perimeter, and doesn't really show the fundamentals, lateral quickness, or focus to consistently defend stretch 4's, something that is concerning going forward. Gathers didn't look great defending down low either, and has some concerns there as well with his height, while he also did a poor job doing simple things like boxing out and staying involved in plays.
Looking forward, Gathers needs to do a better job playing to his strengths offensively and putting in as much effort and focus as possible on the defensive end to mitigate his mismatch shortcomings. He clearly has the tools to be an impact player at the college level, but how wisely he utilizes his skills and if he shows the ability to adequately defend 4's will likely determine his pro potential.
Jerami Grant, 6-8, Small Forward, Dematha Catholic, 2012
Committed to Syracuse
The son of Harvey Grant, nephew of Horace, and brother of Clemson graduate Jerai and Notre Dame freshman guard Jerian, Dematha's Jerami Grant (#50 Scout, #60 Rivals, #43 ESPN) surely isn't lacking for bloodlines.
Grant passes the eye test for a NBA prospect and then some, standing 6-8 with an impressive 7-2 wingspan and a frame that should fill out nicely in time. He's a very good athlete on top of that, capable of elevating off the floor nicely on both ends of the court for blocks and dunks.
Not a very polished offensive player, Grant gets most of his production at this point by running the floor in transition, crashing the offensive glass and finishing whatever his guards are able to create for him around the basket. He is an average ball-handler at best, being mostly relegated to straight-line drives, and not showing great confidence in his shot-creating ability.
Grant doesn't possess any real post game from what we've seen, but could make this part of his game a real weapon down the road with the excellent size, frame and quickness he possesses, particularly if he's able to make the conversion to playing the small forward position full time.
As a jump-shooter, Grant is fairly streaky at the moment, capable of knocking down open looks on occasion with his feet set, but possessing a long and slow release that he needs plenty of time and space to get off effectively. He'll have to work especially hard on this part of his game, as it will likely play a significant role in his long-term development and professional evaluation.
Defensively is where Grant might possess the best potential as a NBA prospect, as his combination of size, length and athleticism could allow him to guard up to three positions (2/3/4) in time, and he already shows good timing as a rebounder and shot-blocker. His intensity level wavers a bit at times, but he has all the makings of a true lock-down defender, even if playing in Syracuse's zone exclusively for a few years may make that a little more difficult to decipher.
Still in a very early stage of his development, Grant has a ways to go both physically and in terms of his skill-level before we're able to get a real gauge on his long-term potential. He'll likely see most of his time at the power forward spot initially at Syracuse, but could end up being viewed as a Chris Singleton-esqe small forward prospect for the NBA depending on how his body fills out.
Jordan Adams, 6'5, Senior, SG/SF, Oak Hill Academy
Committed to UCLA
Jordan Adams (#73 Scout, #74 Rivals, #50 ESPN) had one of the most potent offensive games of the tournament, scoring an outstanding 23 points in just 23 minutes, and doing so on a very efficient 9-for-14 shooting.
Standing 6'5 with just decent length, a solid frame, and average athleticism, Adams has good size for a shooting guard, but clearly is more appealing due to his skills than his physical tools.
Adams' game revolves heavily around his spot-up jump shot, specifically from three-point range, where he shot a scorching 5-for-7 in his team's dominant 85-55 win. Adams has effortless range and excellent mechanics, being very dangerous both in the half court and transition. His release in high and quick and he does a good job getting open off the ball, as he clearly has a good feel for utilizing this potent weapon.
Beyond his excellent shooting ability, Adams' game doesn't stand out notably in any other ways. He does a decent job complementing his shooting by finishing on simple lay-ups in transition and straight-line drives, just enough to keep the defense honest. He doesn't show much in terms of shot creating ability, either on the perimeter or going to the basket, but seems well aware of the role he's best suited to play.
Adams also benefits from playing in an extremely well-run offense with very talented players on Oak Hill, something that will be interesting to compare playing next season at UCLA. How he adjusts to a more level playing field and bigger, more athletic competition will be key to his development, along with what tools he improves to add to his somewhat limited repertoire.
Looking forward, it's tough to say what Adams' ultimate long term potential is at this stage, as it is highly dependent on how his role playing ability translates to the college level.
Rosco Allen, 6'9, Senior, SF/PF, Bishop Gorman
Committed to Stanford
One of the more impressive performers of the weekend, Rosco Allen (#72 Scout, #73 Rivals, #5 ESPN) has a very well developed feel for the game and the skill set to match, both of which he used to play a key role in his team's 73-65 victory over DeMatha.
Standing 6'9 with a mediocre 6'8 wingspan and just a decent frame, Rosco Allen is a good but not great athlete, getting by much more due to his highly developed skills than his physical tools. He plays somewhat of a hybrid 3/4 role at the high school level and should project to do the same in college, though it's unclear which position he's best suited for in the long term.
One of Allen's best assets at this stage is his three-point shooting ability, something he displayed by knocking down 2-of-4 attempts in the game here. Allen has great mechanics and does a good job getting open in a variety of situations, being equally dangerous in both the half court and transition with his jumper.
Allen's shot creation ability is not highly refined, but it doesn't need to be given the style of game he plays. He does a great job getting to the basket in transition, on cuts, and on offensive rebounds, where he does a solid job finishing in traffic and isn't afraid to draw contact. He has enough ball-handling ability to be a threat on straight-line drives, especially given the attention defenses need to pay him due to his shooting and passing abilities.
As a passer, Allen is highly advanced in both his vision and ability for his position and age, as he sees the floor very well and can find open teammates from various areas of the floor. He showed some nice ability passing out of both the high post and from behind the three-point arc here, netting an impressive four assists on the game.
On the defensive end, Allen plays with a solid level of energy and focus, though there are some question marks about what position he's best suited to defend in the long term. His lateral quickness for a small forward and strength and size for a power forward both appear to be questionable, so how he adjusts to college level competition on this end of the floor will be key.
Looking forward, Allen is a player to keep an eye on in the long term, and has the makings of a very good college role player at the very least. His long term potential will depend on how he develops physically and adjusts to higher level competition, but he certainly has the skills and feel to give him a chance at getting into the NBA eventually.