HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports (Part Four): 2012 Elite Prospects

HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports (Part Four): 2012 Elite Prospects
Jan 25, 2011, 11:10 am
After evaluating a number of top 2011 prospects, we move on to review the top 2012 prospects seen at the prestigious HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Mass, including Shabazz Muhammad, DaJuan Coleman, Kaleb Tarczewski, Kyle Anderson, Savon Goodman and Winston Shepard.

-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: Elite Prospects (Part Three) Nick Johnson, Mikael Hopkins, Julian Royal, Amir Garrett, Myles Mack and Pat Connaughton.
-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: Elite Prospects (Part Two) [Tony Wroten, Shannon Scott, Dai-Jon Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, Deuce Bello, Rakeem Christmas, LaQuinton Ross]

-HoopHall Classic Scouting Reports: Elite Prospects (Part One) [Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, LeBryan Nash, Myck Kabongo, Wayne Blackshear and Ben McLemore]

Shabazz Muhammad, 6-5, SG/SF, Bishop Gorman, 2012

Joseph Treutlein

One of the best pure scorers in his class, Shabazz Muhammad (#3 Scout, #3 Rivals, #2 ESPN) has an outstanding knack for putting the ball in the basket, capable of doing so from anywhere on the floor. Standing 6-5 with good length and a thick frame, Muhammad is a much more athletic player than you'd expect from first glance, looking especially strong with his ability to elevate around the rim.

On the offensive end, Muhammad can score in a variety of ways, and has no problem putting up shots with a hand in his face, not being phased much by whatever defenders throw at him. He is equally capable of hitting a pull-up contested three as he is going to the basket for all sorts of runners, floaters, and reverse lay-ups, and also has a fairly advanced post game for a player his age.

Attacking off the dribble, Muhammad actually has a pretty simple but well controlled handle, getting by with his first step, long strides, and subtle moves more so than impressive advanced ball-handling. He does a great job moving without the ball to get open, receiving the ball in all areas of the court, even posting up at times.

Beyond his scoring, Muhammad doesn't consistently contribute much on the offensive end, not that surprising given how much of his team's offense he has to produce (he attempted 22 of their 56 field-goal attempts in this game). This can pose problems when his shot isn't falling, and shoring up his passing game should be a priority down the road.

Defensively, Muhammad actually puts in a high amount of effort, chasing his man well around the floor and being pretty active in man-to-man defense. He appears to have all the physical tools needed to defend the wing positions, especially with his length, and it's a good sign he already has a high effort level at this age even with his scoring prowess.

Looking forward, Muhammad's physical tools and outstanding scoring instincts make him a very intriguing prospect for the long-term. How he adjusts to a less burdensome role at the next level will be key, and finding more ways to contribute offensively should be among his priorities.

DaJuan Coleman, 6-9, Center, Jamesville-DeWitt

Jonathan Givony

One of the most impressive post players seen at this event, DaJuan Coleman (#6 Scout, #8 Rivals, #3 ESPN) did a very nice job of showcasing himself in his natural setting playing for his high school team.

Currently standing somewhere around 6-9, with a very nice wingspan and a massive frame that he's yet to fully tone into optimal conditioning, Coleman is a player with rare physical attributes that are highly coveted at every level of basketball. Not incredibly explosive, Coleman is regardless a mobile player with nimble feet and the ability to get up and down the floor with purprose. Maximizing his athleticism will be a key factor in reaching his full potential as a prospect, though, and should be something he's already addressing at this stage of his development.

Offensively, Coleman is a clear-cut target in the paint for his teammates to pass the ball to, as he is able to establish deep post position and has very soft hands to catch pretty much anything that is thrown his way. He has some pretty nice footwork inside for a player his age, as he's a fairly skilled player with a nice feel for the game, being able to finish both with power above the rim, and with finesse. He has no problem operating through contact, drawing quite a few fouls in the process, but can also spin to his left shoulder and knock down a soft jump-hook or fade-away jumper.

Coleman can handle the ball a bit and shows range out to about 15 feet, although he shouldn't fall in love with his part of his game, as what makes him so attractive as a prospect is his ability to score with his back to the basket. He went through a small stage in the game we saw where he wanted to showcase his perimeter skills, which was interesting, but probably not where his focus should be at the moment.

Also a dominant rebounder at this level, Coleman shows the ability to go out of his area, often in impressive fashion, as he has long arms and huge hands and also plays with a very nice activity level for a player his age. On a few occasions he took things a step further by cleaning the glass and then throwing a terrific outlet pass to a teammate streaking in transition. Continuing to find a way to play with a chip on his shoulder will make him a very interesting long-term prospect, and if he can rebound at a high level against stronger levels of competition, he'll be in very good shape moving forward.

Defensively, it wasn't easy to get a very good read on Coleman, as he didn't match up with the type of team who could challenge him on the interior. He did hedge the pick and roll very nicely, something you don't often see players in his mold do, and was pretty active and talkative with his teammates, looking very emotionally invested in the result of this game.

All in all, Coleman is clearly a very intriguing player who's development we'll surely be monitoring over the next few years. While he may not possess the same unlimited upside of some of the other big men in his class, he also looks like more of a sure thing to actually pan out.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 7-0, Center, St. Mark's, 2012

Joseph Treutlein

Playing against an extremely undersized and overmatched opponent, Kaleb Tarczewski (#9 Scout, #13 Rivals, #24 ESPN) had a very disappointing game in his team's 69-63 loss to Life Center Academy, with him failing to assert himself offensively, converting on just 4-of-12 field goal attempts in the game.

In a contrast to what we witnessed the last time we saw Tarczewski play, here he played very soft on the offensive end, refusing to back down opponents, having trouble securing rebounds, and often getting out-muscled and outhustled by players 4-8 inches smaller than him.

In the post, Tarczewski struggled with multiple entry passes, wasn't able to convert on any of his finesse moves, and simply refused to dunk the ball despite being in position multiple times. He got most of his 11 points getting to the free-throw line or getting putbacks of his own misses, doing very little to contribute for his team from a scoring standpoint.

To his credit, one thing he did look great doing on the offensive end was passing, showing a nice feel for the game to go along with the vision and passing ability to find players open on the other side of the court, something that could be of great use to him at the next level.

On the defensive end, Tarczewski blocked an impressive nine shots, looking outstanding on some plays, showing the anticipation, timing, and mobility to swat shots in the lane coming from the other side of the court.

It's not out of the ordinary for 16-year-old seven footers to have games like this, and Tarczewski is much farther along from a skills and feel standpoint than most comparable players his age, but the tentativeness on the offensive end is still somewhat concerning. We'll continue to track his progress over the coming years, as he's clearly a very promising prospect.

Kyle Anderson, 6-8, PG/SG/SF, St. Anthony, 2012

Joseph Treutlein

One of the most peculiar players in his class, Kyle Anderson (#21 Scout, #5 Rivals, #18 ESPN) is a highly skilled player with good length and a slight build, while also being very below average from an athletic standpoint. Capable of playing 3-4 positions at this level and next, Anderson's style and combination of skills is very unique.

On the offensive end, Anderson brings the ball up the court often and serves as one of his offense's primary initiators, playing very well in a facilitator role, managing the offense and moving the ball around the floor. He shows exceptional vision with the ball and is capable of making some very difficult passes on and off the move, while he also does a good job with simple, fundamental entry passes.

In terms of his own scoring, Anderson has nice touch around the basket and a crafty handle getting there, capable of finishing on a variety of floaters, runners, lay-ups, and hook shots in the lane. He will occasionally pull off a slow and methodical crossover that takes his defender off guard, but breaks his man down using subtle moves more often than not.

Not possessing a great first step or vertical leap, it's somewhat questionable how Anderson's dribble-drive game will translate to the next level, especially seeing how there are even times at this level when he is unable to get a step on his man.

As for perimeter shooting, Anderson has solid mechanics that are a bit on the slow side with a slight hitch, but he appears more than capable of knocking down spot-up shots with developing three-point range. He didn't have much success knocking down jumpers here, but the foundation appears to be there.

Defensively, Anderson plays smart, fundamentally sound defense, making good use of his length to compensate for his below average lateral quickness. What position he's ideally suited to defend at the next level is questionable, and maximizing his physical tools needs to be a priority.

It's tough to accurately project Anderson as a prospect simply because there have been so few players like him before, and that's a large reason why recruiting services are all over the map on him. His skill set, feel, for the game and high basketball IQ are all attractive qualities, but how he adjusts to higher levels of competition given his athletic limitations is yet to be seen.

Savon Goodman, 6-6, Power Forward, Academy of the New Church, 2012
Committed to Villanova

Joseph Treutlein

An explosive and powerful athlete with a great frame, Savon Goodman (#24 Scout, #32 Rivals, #22 ESPN) certainly passes the eye test, while appearing to have the motor and intangibles to go along with it.

A gritty played who uses his length and athleticism to make a lot of plays, Goodman is still coming along in the skills department, but makes an impact on offense by making hard cuts to the basket, getting out in transition, and attacking the offensive glass. Most of the 16 points he scored in the game here came in those ways.

Possessing a strong first step, Goodman is somewhat of a threat taking his man off the dribble, but his handle is very unpolished at the moment and he struggles when having to veer away from straight-line drives. He does show good ability to adjust in the air around the basket, however, showing nice creative and body control to take advantage of his athletic gifts when finishing.

As far as perimeter shooting goes, Goodman has somewhat awkward shooting mechanics and isn't a reliable threat with his jumper from any range, with that clearly being the thing he needs to work on most.

On the defensive end, Goodman is very aggressive both on and off the ball, using his length to make a lot of plays and showing pretty good team awareness as well. He boxes out hard on the glass and pulls in a lot of boards both in and out of his area.

Looking forward, Goodman's going to need to shore up his perimeter shooting to develop into a noteworthy long-term prospect, as right now he's strictly a severely undersized power forward, but the attributes he brings to the table from a physical and intangible standpoint are both very attractive, especially at his age. Still a junior, he has plenty of time to work on those skills, and appears to have the work ethic to do so.

Winston Shepard, 6-8, SF/PF, Findlay Prep, 2012

Jonathan Givony

A physically gifted combo forward with long arms and excellent athleticism, Winston Shepard (#62 Scout, #32 Rivals, Unranked ESPN) is a very interesting 2012 prospect who is being recruited by many of the top basketball programs in the NCAA. Underdeveloped physically at the moment with a somewhat narrow frame, Shepard played two games at the HoopHall Classic with a big bandage on his hand, but that didn't stop him from making an impact in almost every moment he was on the floor.

Shepard's biggest virtues at the moment lie on the defensive end, where he can guard multiple positions and is extremely active. He puts good pressure on the ball, getting down in a low stance and doing a nice job crashing the glass.

Offensively, he's most effective in transition and finishing around the rim, as he's not a great shot-creator in the half-court and appears to possess poor mechanics and limited range on his jump-shot at the moment. Shepard nevertheless makes an impact with the sheer energy and athleticism he brings to the table, as he's active on the offensive glass and is always diving to the rim looking for a way to get the ball in a position to score. He's also an unselfish player with an above average feel for the game, contributing nicely to his team's ball-movement and showing good passing ability for a player his age.

Moving forward, Shepard is going to need to round out his skill-set and continue to add polish to his offensive game, but he's off to a nice start and clearly has major upside to grow into down the road.

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