MARIETTA, GA - The second annual Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase is in the books and the class of 2007 and 2008 provided several of the top players of the event. Four-star forward Chris Singleton played head and shoulders above the crowd and a host of others emerged from the loaded event.
Singleton leads the way in the 2008 class
Chris Singleton, Cherokee HS - After a lackluster ending to the AAU season, Singleton has dedicated himself to fine tuning his attitude and his body. With help of his high school coach Roger Kvam, Singleton has found his stride.
When Singleton plays at the level he played at on Saturday, there are few players in the class of 2008 that have that kind of long term potential. At 6-foot-9 and with perimeter skills, athleticism and the ability to score off the dribble (which he did all weekend), Singleton could find himself being mentioned for long term job security. It is all up to him.
Singleton had plenty of highlight worthy level plays throughout the camp but it was his impressive shot-blocking that stood out the most. He has incredible timing and knows how to play help side defense. Singleton is quick of the floor and blocks shots that start the break for quick scores. Oftentimes, he was the recipient for the give back pass and transition dunk.
Tanner Smith, Wesleyan HS - In a camp setting, it is hard to fully appreciate those that respect the finer points of the game. Smith, a skilled 6-foot-5 guard, found ways to highlight his good basketball IQ with great takes to the basket, scoring in transition and making the right passes at the right times. Behind Singleton, Smith was the second best player in the camp from start to finish.
Teondre Williams, Meadowcreek HS - The 6-foot-4 guard was one of the top five players at the camp all weekend long. Williams is always a steal away from a highlight so seeing him play above the rim was not a big surprise. He gets into the lane at will when he attacks from the wing and does a good job of getting back on defense and playing with that same intensity. The biggest knock on Williams has been his perimeter game. It still has some work to be done but his confidence on the wing as a shooter grew each game out. That was encouraging to see.
Dequan Jones, Wheeler HS - At last year's event, Jones was one of the top underclassmen in the camp. This year, he was steady once again. The 6-foot-6 wing uses his strength to his advantage in getting to the rim any time he wants to. Most of his buckets at the camp came at the rim and he did a good job of fighting hard for boards. There are still some fine tuning that needs to happen with his handle and perimeter game but the talent is certainly there for high-major schools.
Travis Leslie, Columbia HS - The junior may be listed at 6-foot-4 but he plays like a guy that stands 6-foot-8. Leslie attacked the rim for ridiculous plays at the rim and man rebounds. He did a great job of finding rebounds outside of his area and being a presence on the glass. Leslie is a sleeper for a high-major school. He has the tools of being a player that can find his niche and make a contribution. He will need to fine tune his ball-handling skills and perimeter touch. Keep an eye on him. He didn't disappoint last weekend.
Delwan Graham, Dunwoody HS - With his team boasting a fine set of athletes, Graham was oftentimes the final chapter of a quick transition basketball. The 6-foot-7 lefty scored at will around the basket and did a good job of crashing the offensive boards. Physically, he is ready to step into college basketball. This season is a big one for Graham. He started off the season strong.
Chris Reynolds, Glen Hills HS - For the heavy Atlanta based crowd, Reynolds was a nice surprise. The Augusta native came out and showed that he is one of the top players in the state with constant drives to the bucket for scores. At 6-foot-4, Reynolds has ideal size at the shooting guard position and the athleticism, speed and toughness to play at the high-major level. He is still under the radar nationally but this could be his break out season on the recruiting scene.
Dustin Ware, North Cobb Christian - Okay, he's been sleeping long enough nationally. It's time for his name to be known amongst the top point guards in the Southeast in the class of 2008. Ware certainly showed that he is a guy that can play at the high-major level and he didn't even play at the level he is capable of. Ware is a gritty and cerebral guard that shines in structure. He also showed that he can play with bigger and athletic guards. Ware has a great looking pull up jumper and is confident from deep. He has a killer instinct that most guards in the state seem to lack in the clutch. There is a reason why Georgia, Ohio State and Purdue are all looking hard at him.
Andre Young, Deerfield-Windsor - There are few guards that consistently bring it each time out on the floor quite like Young does. He is Mr. Consistency. The 5-foot-8 floor general knows how control the game and confidently, and quietly, can take over when he needs to. He is the total package in the backcourt, scoring from deep, sprinting to the basket, defends and makes strong and smart passes time and time again.
Jerel Stephenson, Glen Hills HS - The lefty had a dandy of a camp, showing that he can score with the best of them. Stephenson has a bigger and stronger frame than most guards and knows it. He powers his way into the paint for and one plays but can also consistently step out and knock down the perimeter shot. He has the potential of being a tremendous defender because of his physical attributes. Overall, it was a very good weekend for him.
Best of the rest
Darius Morrow, Columbia - Big men always take longer to develop, right? Morrow is a walking case study in that. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound big man is starting to see the light on what kind of player he can eventually become. The junior has a good set of hands and is good in the post boxing out and setting up shop with his back to the basket. Playing alongside Georgia commitment and for one of the top big men coaches in the country, Morrow should continue to improve.
Reggie Middleton, Glen Hills HS - He might be the happiest point guard in the state. With two dangerous scorers at his disposal in Reynolds and Stephenson, Middleton will certainly be a terrific set up man this season in Augusta. At the camp, he showed a knack for being a pass first guard but also a guy that can go for 20 points himself. His perimeter game is an undervalued part of his game.
Matt Shaw, North Cobb Christian HS - Finding a big guy is always a tough task for any level of school so when a sleeper like Shaw comes around, programs are quick to take note and follow up. The 6-foot-7 forward was a pleasant surprise at the camp, finding little problem assuming a leadership position on the floor and set the intensity level bar high with his non-stop hustle and good post moves.
David Forest, Alpharetta HS - The 5-foot-10, 150-pound junior point guard used the camp to help springboard his name into the public eye. Forest was one of the top point guards in the camp. He showed of a great knack for scoring the rock and handling the ball under control. His speed allowed him to keep defenders on tilt because he can explode into the paint or knock down a step jumper. Forest did a good job of getting into the lane and then dropping off passes for scores from his bigs and wings.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Norcross HS - As the top overall player in the camp, according to the Rivals.com rankings, Aminu was the biggest disappointment of the weekend. The 6-foot-8 forward has all of the talent in the world but had a hard time of finding consistency at the camp. His best games are played within a structured style and the up and down, helter-skelter pace of individual camps is not his strong suit. Chalk the Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase up as a rare bad showing for the five-star forward.
Marquavius Barnes, Winder-Barrow HS - Put his name down on the prospect to watch list. The lanky 6-foot-6 forward has a player hidden inside of him and, at times, he showed a good looking array of moves. The junior is still figuring out his fast growing frame and is still trying to figure out what position he will shine at the most. He can go inside and out and also run the floor like a guard. Keep on eye on him. The mid-majors will certainly do so.
Ebuka Anyaroah, North Gwinnett - Depending on what game you saw, Anyaroah was a high-major guard or a low-major. It was that kind of camp for the 6-foot-4 prospect. When he was hot, he was knocking down three-pointers off the dribble and making athletic plays at the rim. When was cold, he turned the ball over and struggled with his jumper. At the end of the day, he is a guy that the mid-major plus programs should take a long look at and a few high-major programs will jump into the mix this season.
Darius Garrett, McEachern - Keep an eye on this kid. He's grown like a weed since entering high school and now at 6-foot-8, he's playing fairly well down low. Garrett does a great job of keeping the ball high and scoring right at the rim. He's a long, athletic big man that shines in a transition game. He'll need to improve his intensity as a rebounder.
Dennis Harris, Mundy's Mill - The 6-foot-9 forward has a world of potential as a face up four man or even a wing but he struggled to show either part of his game at the camp. The obvious concern is his weight and at 193-pounds, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Like Aminu, chalk this weekend up as one to improve upon. Harris has a great upside and like most big guys, it takes a little longer to string it all together.
AJ Hawkins, Northview - If you are looking for a fundamental big man that plays with a non-stop motor, he's your guy. There is nothing flashy about his game but he finds ways to get into the heads of opponents because of his blue collar approach. He did a fine job of boxing guys out and was one of the better rebounders in the camp.
Amusa, Pack shine in the 2007 class group
Bo Amusa, Grayson HS - Mid-major programs should make it out to see this 6-foot-5, 175-pound wing. He was the top senior producer and prospect in the camp. Amusa plays bigger than his size when he gets into the paint. He is a fine athlete that can mix it up for rebounds and showed off a fine game from the wing as a scorer. His best days are ahead of him.
Jon Pack, East Paulding HS - There wasn't a bigger surprise in the camp than the 6-foot-10, 230-pound center. Pack will find a home at the Division I level. There is little debating that. Pack improved each time out over the course of four games and his confidence skied. The big man has a good face up game and knocked down turn around jumpers from 10 feet and in. Physically, he has a frame that will fill out and carry a solid weight at the next level. He is a sponge for knowledge on the floor and wants to find a high academic school.
Ladaris Green, Beach - The 6-foot-10 center's trademark is blocking shots and he certainly lived up to his reputation. Green was the second leading shot-blocker in the camp behind Singleton, who was the best player in the camp. Green will be a good late get for a mid-major program in the class of 2007 if he can get it done in the classroom. There are few big men left that can make a defensive impact like he can inside.
Musa Abdul-Alem, W.D. Mohammed - Straight from the first tip, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound wing made an impression. Powerfully built, Abdul-Alem went hard to the hole off the dribble and showed off a good looking perimeter shot. His ball-handling skills were better than expected and he never sold himself short of effort. All of this coming during Ramadan, where he abstains from food and water during sunlight hours.
Bryson Barnes, Westlake - The 6-foot-6 forward was one of the top seniors in the event. And he should be one of the top seniors in the state this season, playing for one of the premiere programs in Georgia. Barnes scored most of his points from 12 feet and in and his perimeter game is steadily improving. Barnes has a great mid range game and does a good job of crashing the boards.
Rod Williams, Mundy's Mill HS - As the camp went along, the 6-foot-6 wing got better and better. The senior is an intriguing prospect because of his versatility and constant nose for the ball. His team struggled to find some consistency but Williams oftentimes kept them in the game.
Amiko Igrubia, South Cobb - He will find a home at a Division I school at the end of the season. The cut from granite guard is a big time athletic lead guard that is being primed for a big season.
Daniel Brown, Mundy's Mill - At 6-foot-4 and with a good array of scoring moves, Brown is another guy that will find a home at the Division I level. He was consistent in all areas of the game and certainly made his way to our must watch again list.
Chris Kupets, Cedar Shoals - Another surprise from the camp. Kupets is a jet quick guard that had no problem whatsoever. He scored off of screens, catching and shooting and off the dribble. When he fine tunes his point guard skills, he'll be a nice late get for a college program.
Justin Thurman, Dunwoody - We've always been big believers in his ability to play at a mid-major school and the burly 6-foot-7 forward didn't change our opinion. He is a tough rebounder down low and even showed an ability to step out and knock down a three pointer here and there.
The class of 2009 and 2010 report is coming later.