WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pretty much anywhere you turn in Washington, D.C., you are likely to find some talent. Friday, the highest concentration of talent could be found on the campus of Gonzaga College High School in the shadow of Capitol Hill for the annual D.C. Classic.
Gonzaga hosted local teams as well as some powers from New York, Baltimore and Charlotte. While there wasn't any one signature performance, young guys like Nate Britt, Daniel Dingle and Kris Jenkins were among those who did some nice things.
Friday notables at the D.C. Classic
Nate Britt, PG, Gonzaga- The 2013 guard is very thin and still very much in the developmental stages of his career. However, the quick sophomore has good tools, length and looks comfortable shooting pull-up jumpers. With his speed and quickness he can thrive in an open court game but he also has the discipline to run his team through a set offense. With strength, he'll develop more confidence. Already hearing from the likes of Georgetown, Duke (has visited twice), Texas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Seton Hall and South Florida.
Kris Jenkins, F, Gonzaga- The sophomore's wide and filled out frame screams power forward, but he's got legitimate wing skills on the offensive end. He had one of the most impressive back to back series on of the day on the offensive end. First, he caught 17 feet out on the wing, reverse pivoted to face his defender up, hit him with a shot fake and then drove baseline for a left-handed layup. The next time down the floor, he caught in rhythm on the right wing and showed no hesitation in burying a three. He listed Georgetown, Xavier (head coach [db]Chris Mack[db] was in the house to watch), Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason, Pitt, Villanova, Miami and Marquette.
Daniel Dingle, PF, St. Raymond's- The 6-foot-6 four junior has one of the better feels for the game that we've seen in the class of 2012. He's most dangerous in the high post where he drops dimes off for teammates, can shoot or shot fakes his defender for quick drives. He plays a smart game and looks like a kid who spends plenty of time in the gym honing his craft.
Patrick Rooks, SG, Charlotte Christian- He comes off the bench, but the sophomore shooting guard is very important to his team. The 6-foot-2 wing has an outstanding stroke from deep, a good first step and has the look of a guy who could really develop over the next couple of years.
John Manning, C, Chantilly- The 6-foot-10 pivot signed with St. Louis University during the early signing period and he has a good chance to help the Billikens out with time. He generally goes towards the basket, has pretty good hands and will try to finish with either his right or left near the rim. He needs to add strength and make sure not to shrink with the ball and help the defense out by playing small and off balance. Runs the floor pretty well and plays with good effort.
Marcus Hopper, C/PF, Holy Cross- While his 6-foot-9 listing on the Holy Cross is well, generous, Hopper can play. More of a skill guy who can easily step out to hit three point jumpers, he's a big body with soft hands and upside. Runs the floor pretty well, doesn't take bad shots and does a good job on the glass. He's currently sitting on offers from Siena, Boston U. and UMBC.
More notes and observations from D.C
While teammate Daniel Dingle seems to have a good feel for his strengths and weaknesses, Nkereuwem Okoro looks to be at a crossroads. He's strong, tough and has some craftiness to his game. At the same time, though, the junior at St. Raymond's seems to prefer playing on the wing when he looks most effective as a bit of an undersized but tough and high energy four man. Another St. Raymond's prospect of note is sophomore combo guard Shane Rector. He's about 6-foot-1, has a good looking jumper, some athleticism and can get to the rim and finish in transition. Our spies in the state of North Carolina have been telling us great things about South Carolina signee Anthony Gill this winter. Burdened by a sinus infection, the 6-foot-8 member of the 2011 Rivals150 was very sluggish early. After a quiet first half, Gill was pretty active during the third quarter before a quiet fourth in an 11 point, eight rebound outing. Gill has added some strength, gotten a bit stronger up top and has nice hands. He didn't get in until late, but 6-foot-2 freshman combo guard Phil Booth from Baltimore (Md.) Mount Saint Joseph demonstrated some promise. He's a rangy, quick, ball handler who seems to have a knack for scoring the ball off of the dribble. Both's sophomore teammate Kameron Williams saw much more playing time and is an intriguing 6-foot-2 two guard. His jumper needs fine tuning, but he's speedy and looks to attack the rim.
Because he missed his junior year due to a knee injury, 6-foot-7 power forward Jake Weigand of Chantilly (Va.) High is considering doing a year of prep school. While it wouldn't hurt, says here that he's deserving of Division One looks right now. He's got a solid frame, can score some facing and doesn't mind getting a little physical in the lane. Evan Conti of Holy Cross in Flusing, N.Y. was making it rain from deep with his pure jumper. A tough kid with clever game, he also scored near the rim, from mid-range and showed an above average feel for finding teammates. There's room for him at a program that puts an emphasis on a motion offense to create space for shooters. The D.C. Classic was a favorite of college coaches. In addition to Xavier boss Chris Mack (who was joined by an assistant) we noticed assistants from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Wisconsin, American, Maryland Eastern-Shore, Brown, Colgate, Cornell, Drexel, UMass, Loyola, South Carolina, Quinnipiac, Wagner and UNC-Greensboro among others.