FORT WAYNE, Ind. - When it comes to evaluating Midwest talent, the Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam is about as good as it gets. Friday night, the event kicked off on eight floors inside of the Gym Rats field house. While Saturday will be a big day for evaluating underclass prospects, the Friday most of the focus was on the rising senior class of 2012. Ronnie Johnson celebrated his recent commitment to Purdue in an easy win while Ray Lee used the stage to earn notice.
Friday night notables
Ronnie Johnson, PG, Eric Gordon Central Stars- It was a wise move by Matt Painter and Purdue to lock Johnson up. The 5-foot-10 lefty is tough, makes plays and is steady on each end of the floor. It's one thing to be fast, but it's another to be fast and under control and Johnson is. His shooting isn't bad either. Will certainly be in the discussion for the soon to be updated 2012 Rivals150.
Nick Osborne, PF, Eric Gordon Central Stars- The 6-foot-7 Osborne is a strong kid who can run the floor and play physical basketball. He secures rebounds with sure hands, can play pick and pop basketball thanks to his soft touch from 17 feet.
Todd Johnson, PG, MBA Select- Standing 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9, the little lefty isn't a jumbo sized point guard. However, he is very quick, can find ways to score and is capable of knocking down jumpers. He was all kinds of trouble for Northwest Ohio.
Ray Lee, PG, R.E.A.C.H. Legends- Nearly 6-foot-3, Lee is a very quick and very elusive guy off of the dribble. There's no need to set a screen for him because he's generally going to kill defenders one on one with his side to side dribbling and attacking. Will give the ball up and has the talent to really step up and get his game noticed. The Detroit native confirmed that he's headed to Huntington (WV) Prep. He's heard from UCF, Baylor, Iowa State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Marquette among others.
Sherron Dorsey-Walker, SG, R.E.A.C.H. Legends- A four-star prospect in the class of 2012, Dorsey-Walker is a thin shooter with deep range and a crisp jumper. While several shots rimmed out, it was encouraging to see him also attack off the dribble. He lacks strength, but when he adds it the tools to be very good offensively are there. Dorsey-Walker listed offers from Indiana, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Oakland, Iowa State, Michigan and Florida State.
Phillip Nolan, PF, DTA- The 6-foot-9 big man showed up shortly after tipoff and made a difference during his minutes. The long lefty has added strength in the last year while remaining lean and moves very well for a guy his size. Runs the floor, gets up quickly around the rim and things like catching, faking right and then losing a defender with an in and out dribble going left before pulling up for a 17 footer come easy to him. Nolan says that he'll be back at Newark (N.J.) St Benedict next year and could make some noise if he gets serious about things.
Broderick Newbill, SF/SG, KC 76ers- The thin 6-foot-5 wing stays in motion on the offensive end. Because of that he's in position to catch and make jumpers all over the floor between 15 and 20 feet. His 76ers were rolling pretty easily while we watched and his jump shooting had a lot to do with it.
Deontae Hawkins, PF, All-Ohio- Having seen him each of the past few years at Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar, we know what the three star four man can do. Hawkins is a long 6-foot-7, is starting to fill out a bit and is a high level athlete, When he plays with consistent energy, his activity around the rim can be a difference and he looks an awful lot like an A-10 type four man.
More notes and observations from Friday night
A teammate of Todd Johnson at Elkhart (Ind.) Memorial, 6-foot-4 wing Paul Miller is intriguing as well. The shooting guard has good size, isn't too bad an athlete and most importantly he can hover around 20 feet and light up three-point jumpers. Longtime grassroots fixture Chris Rivers is coaching a team at Spiece and his Clutch Players feature a couple of intriguing guys. We first saw 2013 small forward Calvin Hermanson a few weeks ago at the Real Deal and the 6-foot-5 southpaw caught our attention again. He plays straight up and down, but has good length, can get his jumper off against size and isn't a bad athlete on top of it. His teammate, 2012 big man Colin Spickerman looks to have Division One potential as well. Although not super physical, he moves pretty well and will play towards the rim. He's also got good hands, always important with a big guy. A few more viewings of Indiana Elite One wing Rashad Richardson might not be a bad thing. He's a lengthy 6-foot-4 wing who takes everything to the rim and will pound the glass. [
db]Kellen McCormick[/db] is an intelligent player. He posts up between 15 and 17 feet as a faceup guy and finds cutters. He can also step out and shoot the ball to the three point line and is a developing 3/4 combo guy. The R.E.A.C.H. Legends have another lengthy wing player in 6-foot-6 small forward Chris Jenkins. The senior to be likes to attack from either wing off of the dribble and he has excellent body control. Has to finish better through contact, but he will get plenty of looks from regional mid-majors, at the very least. The KC 76ers didn't need him to score on Friday night soBenny Parker ran the show and played tough on the ball defense Standing 5-foot-8 at best, Parker is a bull of a defender who has speed off the dribble. Schools looking to get past his lack of size could find themselves a hard-nosed leader.