BLOOMINGTON, Ind.- The action continued on Saturday as teams at the Adidas May Classic finished up with pool play and moved through the early rounds of the playoffs. While there were plenty of standout performers to choose from, it was 2012 PG Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell who stole the show.
Yogi a Bear at the point
Even though it's still quite early, there haven't been a lot of 2012 point guards who have really gone out and demanded attention. Saturday afternoon, Kevin Ferrell demanded that everybody on hand in Assembly Hall take notice. Affectionately known as Yogi to all of his friends and family, the 5-foot-11 point guard was scintillating while running the show for Indiana Elite Team Indiana.
A clever ball handler with blazing open court speed and superior lateral quickness, Ferrell weaves his way through traffic and seems to have the ball on a string. He finds open teammates for easy dunks and wide open jumpers and is tough to contain in a pick and roll situation.
Making him even more dangerous is the fact that the product of Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor is the owner of a picture perfect jumper and bountiful toughness. Already wiry strong, he does need to add some weight and ideally he will get a bit taller. For now, though, he has to be considered in the top tier of 2012 floor generals. Already making scholarship offers are Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Washington and Virginia.
More Saturday Notables
B.J. Young, PG, St. Louis Gameface- Because he's been ineligible for much of his high school career - something he takes full responsibility for - he's being looked at as a late bloomer. The fact is, Young has always been a high major prospect and it's just a matter of him now getting an opportunity to show what he can do. A skinny 6-foot-3 point guard, he's a jet with the ball, gets to the rim at will and is an exciting finisher around the rim. The jumper is a bit streaky but looks good overall. Likely a four star prospect, he's been hearing from Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Purdue, Arizona, Minnesota and Xavier lately.
Greg Cooper, PF/C, Ohio Gators- One of the better finds of the day, Cooper is a good looking 6-foot-8 big man who can run the floor, is active on the glass and has soft hands. A fine athlete with broad shoulders, he's already got lean strength and a body to work with. He stepped out and hit a nice looking 17 foot jumper in a pick and pop situation as well. He looks to be at least an upper mid major level prospect and could likely get even higher looks in a 2011 class that is thin with big men.
Zak Irvin, SF/SG, Eric Gordon 15's- On Friday we gave generous writeups to Irvin's high school teammate, Gary Harris, and his Eric Gordon teammates Devin Davis and Basil Smotherman as potential high majors. Saturday, Irvin proved that he belongs among that group of potential high level players. A long and slender wing, he's got a deadly jumper to the three point line, a fair handle and generous athleticism. He still has to mature physically, but as he grows he will be one to watch.
Kenny Kaminski, PF/SF, Indiana Elite 16's- A skilled face-up four man, Kaminski is working hard to develop his wing game. His frame is solid, he runs the floor and he flat out knows how to play the game on both ends. He's a fun kid to watch and already has offers Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana to go along with attention from Wisconsin, Xavier, Arizona State. He has set a deadline of July 31st to make his college choice.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, SG/PG, Indiana Elite 16's- Smith-Rivera has always benefited from being much stronger than his competition. However, the 6-foot-3 combo wasn't always in the best of shape. This spring, he looks much more lean and the result is a mean guard who can punish defenders physically. He shifts speeds with ease, has a crafty feel for the game and is a much better shooter from deep than he's been given credit for. Clearly, he's a high major prospect.
Aaron Thomas, SF/SG, Queen City Prophets- There's some room for Thomas to make a move and he might be playing his way into four star status. A long and wiry wing who can let it fly from deep, what stood out on Saturday was his exceptional body control. He can take a hit, adjust and finish around the rim and handles well enough to set up his own shot.
Mitch McGary C/PF, SYF Players- McGary isn't the flashiest guy around and he's not going to wow you in any one area. However, he has something that high majors covet and that's legit size and strength for a low post player. At 6-foot-9 and at least 235 pounds, he's a strong kid who gets up and down the floor, controls his area of the glass and can do some scoring from eight feet and in.
Dwaun Anderson, SG, Michigan Mustangs- Anderson recently ended what little suspense there was in his recruitment when he gave a verbal to Michigan State. Saturday, he proved to be as athletic an off guard prospect in the country as there is. Both quick and bouncy, he's a high flyer who assaults the rim with powerful jams whenever possible. Developing as a ball handler, the lefty is very dominant with his strong hand and really needs to work on going to his right. He's got a pull-up jumper game but gets a little shaky with his shooting from outside of 15 feet. However, he gives you an all out effort, defends and looks like the type of kid that Tom Izzo has made an absolute killing with by bringing him into his program and developing him.
Darryl Hicks, SG, The 'Ville- When watching Hicks, it's important to remember that the 6-foot-4 shooting guard is only a freshman and still has lots of developing to do. As it is, he's already established himself as a legit high major prospect. He handles the ball well, has some burst off the dribble and is wired to score off the bounce between the rim and 18 feet. He will knock down some jumpers, but would benefit from adjusting his stroke -- release is way out in front -- on jump shots just a little bit.
Only a freshman, 6-foot-6 power forward DeMonte Flannigan already plays with a ton of power. Manning the paint for the Ohio Basketball Club's 15 and under team, Flannigan, who attends Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela St. Joseph, is a force to be reckoned with from 15 feet and in. He looks to have pretty soft touch, has great hands and a non stop motor. He does, however, look quite mature for his class so the question will be whether or not he's done growing. The plan is to take a much more detailed look at him on Sunday, but it was impossible to not notice how much stronger Cody Zeller is. He also looks to be a legit 6-foot-10 (if not a little taller) and playing with a bit of a mean streak in him. ... There's no doubt that Hanner Perea of the Indiana Elite 16 and under squad plays with a mean streak. The 6-foot-9 big man is long, strong and just flat out nasty in the paint. He's not just trying to dunk on you or block a shot, he's trying to end your career when he goes at you. Love his passion and willingness to get violent around the rim and even though he's already a clear high major prospect, he could really explode with just a little more skill development.
The question that Travis Trice of the SYF Players is going to have to answer is whether or not he can play the point. Standing a skinny 5-foot-10, Trice is a dangerous threat from deep, has a good feel for freeing himself for shots and doesn't take many bad jumpers. However, as small as he is, he is going to have to show some more ability to run the point and go to his off hand in order to maximize his recruitment. Big man Trey McDonald of the Michigan Mustangs was relatively quiet during an afternoon game. A broad shouldered 6-foot-8 insider, he shows enough physical tools that some high major programs are going to take a look. Whether or not he goes high or ends up at an upper level mid major will depend a lot on how much he can show from a skill standpoint. Credit 6-foot-2 lefty combo guard Ulysses Thomas and 6-foot-2 off guard Dion Dearmond of XBA for nice afternoons on Saturday. Thomas is a big time athlete who was getting it off the dribble and from deep while Dearmond complimented him with slashing drives. If Thomas (from Cincy Princeton) and Dearmond (a Cincy Winton Woods kid) can show some consistency this summer, they will get some division one looks. Finally, we wouldn't feel right if we didn't single out the effort of Saint Louis Gameface forward Dantrel Daniels. An undersized power forward at 6-foot-5, Daniels is an absolute animal in the lane who plays with little regard for the safety of him or anybody around him. He's the type of kid that feels like every rebound should be his and he tries to break the rim whenever possible. Mid majors are going to love him this summer.