February 13, 2007

PrimeTime top performers

The PrimeTime Tour in Trenton, New Jersey over the weekend produced some great games and buzzer-beating finishes. It also featured some great performances from some of the nation's top prospects.

Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer takes a look at the top performers from the event.

PrimeTime top five performers
DeJuan Blair, C, Pittsburgh Schenley

PrimeTime stats: - 32 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks, three steals, three assists, three turnovers

Don't let Blair smell blood. With an imposing physique and much more bounce to his step, Blair knows how to dominate physically inferior post players.

Full of passion for the game, Blair does more than just play hard. He has great footwork as a low-post scorer and can score off spin moves to either shoulder. At the PrimeTime, Blair also showed off his passing ability. He had some outstanding outlet passes and made some terrific dump passes when doubled in the post.

I wouldn't expect Blair to put up gaudy numbers for Pittsburgh, but certainly expect him to consistently put up solid numbers in the Big East as a workhorse down low.

Jeff Robinson, SF, Columbus (Ohio) St. Patrick

PrimeTime stats: 30 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, two steals, one assist, zero turnovers

Not a lot of wing players can put up 30 points against a defense specifically designed to stop them, but Robinson did that against Lincoln (N.Y.) High School Saturday night. Shooting an amazingly efficient 10-for-13 shooting from the field, Robinson let the game come to him and then cashed in on his opportunities.

Initially, he moved down into the post and got some buckets off turnaround jumpers and offensive rebounds. Then he got out in transition, and finally worked himself open near the 3-point line. He did all this without turning the ball over and grabbing nine rebounds.

Memphis fans have a lot to be excited about, because Robinson's game is maturing. He certainly looks like he's ready for college.

Lance Stephenson, SG, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln

PrimeTime stats: 42 points, four rebounds, three steals, one assist, four turnovers

Talk about being on an island. Super sophomore Lance Stephenson doesn't have much help around him, but he came up with 42 tough points.

The most impressive thing about his scoring total is that Stephenson did it against Dexter Strickland, a tough defender and another elite 2009 prospect. Stephenson put the ball on the floor and shook Strickland just enough to get off his pull up jumper. As the game went on, Stephenson began to attack the basket as well, and finished some difficult shots at the rim.

If Stephenson can consistently shoot the ball like he did Saturday night and round out the rest of his game, he will maintain his elite prospect status throughout his high school career.

Michael Beasley, SF, Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep

PrimeTime stats: 16 points, 10 rebounds, one steal

Beasley doesn't get a lot of touches in the Notre Dame attack, so his passing and scoring abilities aren't fully utilized. What Beasley does have the opportunity to do is go get the ball off the glass.

Against a physical St. Benedict Prep squad, Beasley controlled the glass and kept a lot of balls alive with his quickness off the floor. As for his scoring, Beasley made shots from all three levels on the court. He began the game with a 25-footer against a double team. He also had some terrific passes in the open court after grabbing defensive rebounds.

The one criticism that could be made about Beasley's play Sunday night is that he was not greedy enough. He didn't demand the ball. At the same time, his willingness to defer has been critical for Notre Dame Prep's chemistry.

Jonny Flynn, PG, Niagara Falls (N.Y.)

PrimeTime stats: 35 points, four rebounds, one steal, two assists

Unfortunately for Flynn, he didn't get the help he needed to pull off a win against Linden (N.J.) High School. However, Flynn did demonstrate the athleticism and scoring ability that is sorely needed at the point guard position for Syracuse.

Flynn played a physical game, getting to the free-throw line a total of 13 times. Along with hitting some tough 3-pointers off the dribble against the aggressive defense of Desmond Wade, Flynn also attacked the basket in transition and posted up in the mid-range area in a lot of sets.

In fact, Flynn might just be a little too enamored with his athleticism. He forced the ball to the basket too much instead of pulling up for the mid-range jumper.

Due to travel difficulties, Meyer didn't see the following games on Saturday: Hun vs. Our Savior New American, Pennsbury vs. Academy of the New Church, St. Anthony vs. St. Mary, Montrose Christian vs. Roman Catholic and St. Benedict's vs. St. Andrew's. His top-five performers list is based on the games he did see.


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