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April 12, 2004

Final thoughts from the Boo Williams Invitational

Five standouts from Boo Williams

Alabama Select power forward Richard Hendrix, who entered the tournament as Rivals.com No. 3 ranked player, did nothing to diminish his reputation. Hendrix was a bull on the boards on both ends of the floor and was dominant on the low blocks. The 6-foot-8 forward also displayed a developing mid-range jumper, although the majority of his points came within five feet of the basket. His decision will come this summer after official visits to Alabama and North Carolina.

Georgia commitment Louis Williams has always had a reputation of being a good shooter but it was his determination to get to the rim, especially in crunch time, which stood out this weekend. An improved shot selection has helped Williams, who continues to display NBA range on his three. He was the best player on a loaded Georgia Stars roster. Williams currently occupies the No. 8 spot in the Rivals.com 2005 rankings.

Like Hendrix, Kevin Swinton is an old school pure poster player who uses his impressive physique and muscles to get position near the basket and finish with authority. The Wake Forest commitment plays with a sense of urgency and at a high effort level. He certainly held his own against St. Louis Eagles forward Tyler Hansbrough.

Friends of Hoops small forward Micah Downs was impressive with an extensive offensive arsenal that includes a pretty stroke from downtown and has courage in taking his lean frame to the rack. One of the highlight moves of the tournament was his baseline drive where he seemingly hung in the air for an extra moment to clear, then softly laid the ball in. Kansas, UConn, Michigan State, UCLA and Washington make up his early list of favorites.

Big forward Tyler Hansbrough had limited touches early in his contest with Swinton but made up for late in the first half with a nice variety of mid-range jumpers and drives to the basket. The St. Louis Eagles did a nice job of moving him around to get an offensive advantage and Hansbrough does not mind the contact he runs into when he has to put the ball on the floor. Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina are in hot pursuit.


Prospects who improved their stock

The energy award of the tournament goes to Friends of Hoops forward Jon Brockman. Although undersized for his position, the well-muscled Brockman is a banger in the paint and a major force on both ends of the floor. He attacks the rim with reckless abandon and is a strong finisher. Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and Washington are the early leaders for his service.

While most of the hype on the Illinois Warriors team goes to big forward Julian Wright and shooting guard Jon Scheyer, point guard Phillip Perry enjoyed one of the more impressive performances against Memphis when he led the team with 18 points. Perry, a former high school teammate of Michigan State guard Shannon Brown, who was equally affective driving to the basket or hitting the outside shot currently favors Wake Forest with Connecticut, DePaul with Purdue and Wisconsin also being considered.

Perhaps no player showed more impressive poise than Motor City shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, who led The Family offensively. Maybe it's something in the Detroit water but Douglas-Roberts plays with a smoothness and confidence that is reminiscence of 2004 sensation Malik Hairston. Unlike guards who settle for their jumper, Douglas-Roberts likes to instigate the action by getting into the lane where he is impressesive with his passing or ability to score. Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Marquette, UCLA, and Louisville make up his early list of favorites.

With the Georgia Stars backcourt featuring two of the top guards in the 2005 class, it's hard for big men on that team to standout. However, 2005 prospect Octavious Spann couldn't help but impress with his versatile game and solid performance. In high school, he plays all five spots but for the Stars, he is a small forward who has some handle and can create his shot or simply use his athleticism to get to the rack. Spann has a long list of suitors but currently favors Georgia, Georgia Tech and Louisville over Alabama, Clemson and Indiana.

Quick as a hiccup Texas Hoops point guard Terrel Harris played a nice all-around game with his new summer team. Harris, who is hard to defend because of his deft ball handling skills and his ability to simply blow by the defender, also has a nice jump shot, which he knocks down from mid to long range. Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Colorado State round out his top five schools.

Three players with potential but limited touches

Oregon Select power forward Kevin Love entered the tournament with a national reputation and, although his touches were limited, the talented big man showed flashes of potential. Love, a candidate for top player in the 2007 class, has a nice frame and does a good job with the outlet pass, which has become a lost art among big men. Twice he rocked the rim with massive dunks and was sound fundamentally on the glass.

2006 shooting guard Jon Scheyerof the Illinois Warriors had a rocky first half against The Family, due mainly to his limited looks at the basket, but in the second half the long, lanky scorer found his way into the stat sheet. With nice form on his jumper and extended range, you can see why high majors are all over him. Michigan State, Illinois and Kansas have offered with Duke, North Carolina and Arizona being listed as his top six.

Severe tendonitis in his left knee kept Wisconsin Playground Warrior point guard Jerry Smith on the bench more than he is used to. When playing, Smith, rated 10th in the 2006 class by Rivals.com, used his solidly built body to muscle into the lane and impressive handle to run the Warriors attack. Arizona, UConn, Duke, Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin are the early leaders for his services.


Two 2006 big men explode on national scene

While potential is an often used word when discussing young post players, Memphis YOMCA Wayne Chism already has the body to bang at the next level and a solid offensive game on the block. He did a nice job defensively playing against Love and Julian Wright, while also managing to stay within his limitations. A pure post player, Chism resisted the urge to drift outside of the lane and settle for mid-range looks. Ole Miss, Tennessee and Penn State are showing early interest.

Much like Chism, Team Texas power forward Bryan Davis is a pure back to the basket player. Also solidly built, he has nice footwork and nice moves in the paint to score five-feet and in. Fundamentally strong, he boxes out well and does a good job on the boards. Often used to set picks for teammates Terrill Harris and Calvin Miles, he does a nice job of rolling to the basket and setting a wide target for the guards. Big 12 schools will be all over this kid.


Versatility is king

Team Texas small forward Calvin Miles is the complete package when looking for players with versatility. With impressive size, 6-foot-6, he has enough handle to bring the ball up the floor and a mid-range game that will keep defenders honest. If he can develop any kind of a low-post game and consistency outside the arc, he will become the coveted inside/outside player that college and NBA scouts look for across the globe. Currently he's a small forward although people in his camp want him to play the point in college. His strength and stamina are also an issue for him and this will develop as he matures. Texas has made him a top priority with the Longhorns, North Carolina, UConn, Kansas, Illinois and Oklahoma occupying his early list of favorites.

You've got me straight trippin' Boo

Perhaps the most loaded team in the tournament was Boo Williams. While everyone knows the big name guys like Marcus Ginyard and Vernon Macklin, several other players on their team will get high major looks.

Small forward Eric Whitehurst got some run late Saturday and promptly stepped up and hit a trey and then went to the basket and dunked. N.C. State is his favorite with Oklahoma State, Indiana and Indiana State close behind.

2006 combo guard Stefan Welsh was possibly the best shooter in the tournament. Look for Welsh, 6-foot-2, to get big time looks in the future.

Another 2006 guard to keep an eye on is Scotty Reynolds who was one of the top shooters in the tournament. Reynolds, 6-foot-1, is best on the wing where he's a zone buster.

Small forward Terrance Woodberry is an athletic slasher with a nice jumper. North Carolina, St. Joseph's, Maryland, North Carolina State, Clemson, and Virginia Tech are showing early interest.

Power forward Laurynas Mikalauskas was a bruiser in the paint, but also loves to attack the basket. Although not terribly athletic, the 2005 prospect already has a Virginia Tech offer and will sign with a high major.

Although at this point he is a project, 2005 center Quavotstaraj Waddell has the frame and raw ability to play at a high level. Still learning the game Waddell will need a few years to develop.

2006-point guard Eric Hayes has a big reputation in Virginia and showed good size and solid handle when getting mop up duty.

Quick, fast and in a hurry

Friends of Hoops small forward Martell Webster was in attendance but unable to play due to injury. He is expected to be fully recovered in a month. Arizona is his current leader with Duke and North Carolina rounding out his top three.

Memphis YOMCA were missing J.P. Prince, Rousean Cromwell and Thaddeus Young who are three of their better players. All three are expected back for their next event.

Team Texas big man Kevin Rogers is fast rising power forward who is solid rebounder and good scorer. With high major talent, look for coaches in the Big 12 to beat down his door and his status to rise considerably.

Illinois Warriors point guard Angel Santiago did a good job of running the offense from the Warriors. Kansas, Oklahoma State, DePaul, Arizona and Illinois are his front-runners.

A name to watch out for is NorCal Elite point man Charles Prescott. The well put together guard did a nice job on the perimeter and of forcing the action. His schools consist of Florida State, Pacific and Cal-Santa Barbara but expect his stock to rise this summer.

Wisconsin Playground Warrior Marcus Landry saw limited minutes Sunday versus BABC in the morning game. But during his time on the court, the power forward proved to be long, athletic and a good defender. Wisconsin currently leads Purdue (where his brother signed this year), Marquette and Illinois.

California Elite point guard Mike Gerrity has gotten a lot stronger this year and used his new found strength to get to the basket. Gonzaga, Marquette, Washington and Stanford are his four favorites.

2006 small forward Keith Clark for Athlete's First was one of the more impressive underclassmen. Clark has a nice inside/outside game that consists of open jumpers and drives to the basket. Rebounding is his strength and he has great hands and a nose for the ball. UConn, Oklahoma and Maryland are his current leaders.

Perhaps the top athlete in the tournament was California Elite small forward Davon Jefferson, who had the nastiest dunk of the tournament on opening night. Jefferson, who went baseline and reverse jammed in traffic, is the slashing type that knocked down a couple of treys. Washington, USC, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State and Louisville are his favorites.

North Carolina commitment Marcus Ginyard is still adjusting to the point, which he is expected to run for the Tar Heels. Although his numbers are down, he does a good job of leading his team but is still adjusting to making quick decision. In the long run, the move to the one should help his career.

Albany City Rocks point guard Tiki Mayben was impressive in his opening contest. This year the Syracuse commitment is showing a consistent jumper and improved shot selection. He could end up being a top 30 national recruit.







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