Sylven Landesberg, 6-6, Shooting Guard, Senior, Holy Cross
Committed to Virginia
Defensively, Landesberg has average lateral quickness but seems to do a very good job competing on most possessions, looking tough and pretty active, even hitting the glass fairly well. Hes a bit on the skinny side at the moment, which hurts him trying to get through screens and such, but he has a frame that should very well fill out as he continues to mature physically.
Landesbergs main drawback revolves around his average athleticism, which might hurt his upside a bit when considering his long-term potential. He doesnt have a great first step and is not very explosive around the rim eitherhaving more of an old-school, cerebral game more than a high-flying uber-athletic one. Landesberg looks much better going left when creating his own shot, preferring to pull up off the dribble every time he went right to the point that he became quite predictable. His 3-point stroke looked pretty streaky when he was rushedflat-footed with a somewhat unattractive release, but with very nice touch.
Landesberg is headed to the ACC, which should give him a great opportunity to get exposure playing at the highest level of college basketball. He will be an interesting guy to follow over his first 2-3 years at Virginia.
Greg Echenique, 6-8, PF/C, Junior, St. Benedicts
High-Major Recruit (Duke, Miami, Maryland, etc)
Echenique is mostly a rebounder and finisher for this team, two things he can do very well. Hes a bit undersized and not incredibly explosive, but he runs the floor hard, competes extremely well, and shows good awareness on defense. His hands, strength and timing allow him to make a big impact on the glass, particularly on the offensive end. Hes a bit raw offensively as youd expect for someone his age, but he looks like he should be able to develop into a capable back to the basket scoring threat down the road for whichever high-major program manages to reel him in. He plays calm and under control, but is pretty aggressive when needed. Its not hard to see why some very good teams like him, since he has all the makings of a very nice 4-year role player who will play hard and smart and do the dirty work inside.
Tristan Thompson, 6-8, SF/PF, Sophomore, St. Benedicts
High-Major Recruit (UConn, Duke, Kansas, UNC, etc)
Standing 6-8, with a great frame, a superb wingspan, and outstanding athletic ability, Thompson fits the prototype and then some of what you look for in a combo forward prospect. Hes a power forward at the moment who likes to play facing the basket at the moment, but whose future probably lies at the small forward spot if he develops correctly over the next few years. Rudy Gay is one name that comes to mind when evaluating him, for example.
Thompson is exceptionally raw offensively, but already shows great promise on the defensive end. He has great lateral quickness (even keeping up with guards), and is extremely aggressive, getting right into his matchups grill and challenging him on the perimeter. He hits the glass and plays really hard in general, which is how he earns his minutes off the bench for this loaded St. Benedicts team. Dont expect that to change at the next level.
Offensively, Thompson drops hints of potential from time to time, but still seems very much in the process of putting things together on this end of the floor. He plays mostly inside at the moment, showing raw footwork but also some very basic, very athletic moves that looked pretty intriguing coming in transition or after an offensive rebound. He can put the ball on the floor some to attack his matchup, or play a little bit with his back to the basket, all in small doses of course. His shooting skills are very raw, even from the free throw line, as are his ball-handling skills. He plays a little bit tentatively as you might expect a younger guy competing with players one or two years older than him probably would.
All in all, its way too early to draw any long term conclusions here, but the early results are certainly promising.
Rashanti Harris, 6-9, Center, Senior, New Hope
High-Major Recruit (Florida, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State)
Harris has good size at 6-9, with an exceptional frame that already looks ready-made for college basketball. Hes a beast on the glass, showing great timing for offensive rebounds, a good second bounce, and very nice hands for a big man prospect. Hes a mobile guy who runs the floor well and can get off the ground to get after a rebound in or out of his area. Rebounding indeed seems to be his biggest strength at the moment.
A scrappy player defensively as well, Harris holds his own in the paint physically against anyone at this level and can come up with some on-ball blocks just by using his size and length. Hes not freakishly athletic or terribly skilled, though, relegating him to more of a hustle role unless he improves significantly over the next few years, which is not out of the question. Harris has average footwork and touch around the basket, but he didnt see much of the ball in the game we took in, as his guards were trapped nearly all game long and did a pretty poor job of feeding him inside.
Even with his obvious limitations, it was a bit surprising to see how low hes ranked by the recruiting services after the event (#112 on Rivals?). There are surely a lot of colleges who could use a big bodied guy like him inside, even just to play a Joey Dorsey type role at the next level. Guys like him arent exactly growing on trees it seems. Well have to see how he develops over the next few years before we know for sure if they were wrong.
Larry Drew, 6-0, Point Guard, Senior, Taft
Committed to North Carolina
Slightly undersized at 6-0, with a skinny frame on top of that, Drew doesnt wow you initially with his physical tools. Hes got solid quickness and nice ability to change speeds and get by defenders going either left or right, being a shifty guy who is pretty hard to stay in front of. He can also finish with either hand around the basket. His ball-handling skills are already outstanding, and he does a very solid job running his teams offense and playing under control. Youll often see him walking the ball up the floor (a welcome sign at this pace-frenzied level), calling a half-court set, controlling tempo, and looking especially good on the pick and roll, where he sees the floor and delivers crisp passes to his open shooters. He can also push the ball up the floor when the situation calls for it. Thats not to say that he isnt prone to some mental breakdowns and the occasional turnoverfar from itbut for a player his age, he seems to have a nice command of his offense and is already a pretty pure point guard.
Drews biggest issue at the moment seems to be his perimeter shooting, which looked very streaky from what we could tell. He took a number of them and wasnt even really close on most, and didnt really show much of a mid-range game to compensate for that. His scoring is pretty much limited to his drives from what we could tell. Defensively, Drew does a good job staying in front of his man. What he lacks in size and strength he seems to make up in fundamentals.
All in all, Drew seems to be a nice get for North Carolina, even if hes ranked awfully low (76-78) by the recruiting services at the moment. He should be a solid backup initially for the Heels, and surely has starting potential down the road. If he improves his perimeter shooting skills to the point that hes respectable from outside, he could even be a lot more than that. His intangibles look that good.
Reggie Bullock, 6-5, SG/SF, Sophomore, Kinston
High Major (North Carolina, Wake Forest, Indiana
Nasir Robinson, 6-5, Small Forward, Senior, Chester
Committed to Pittsburgh
Offensively, hes a limited player, mostly restricted to moving off the ball to catch and finish around the rim, scoring in transition, and grabbing offensive rebounds. Very much left-handed, his ball-handling skills are almost non-existent with his right. His jump-shot needs a lot of work, and he even struggles hitting free throws. He may remind some Pitt fans of Sam Young with how hard he plays, though. He looks like a good fit for the way Jamie Dixon likes to play, even if he isnt the most talented guy in the world.
Karon Burton, 5-8, PG/SG, Senior, Chester