January 3, 2008

Beach Ball Classic top performers

The Beach Ball Classic featured a number of top prospects like Jason Clark, Chris Singleton and Delwan Graham who played well over the course of the event.

Here is a list of the top six performers chosen from the teams that made the final four of the tournament.

Beach Ball Classic Top Performers
Dequan Jones, SF, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler Miami commit

Tournament averages and percentages - 17 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 1.8 steals, 2.0 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 65% from the field (28-for-43), 27% from 3-point range (3-for-11), 90% from the line (9-for-10)

Jones certainly had the crowd buzzing because of his top-shelf athleticism, but the basketball savvy crowd was also impressed with his no-nonsense, hard-working approach to the game. His ability to translate his athleticism into high-level basketball plays didn't go unnoticed. In other words, Jones' athleticism had a major impact on the game - and wasn't just for the highlight reels.

Shooting an impressive 65% from the field, Jones continues to significantly improve his skill level. At the rate he is improving, he should be an impact player on a national level when he suits up for Miami next year.

Roger Franklin, SF, Duncanville (Texas)

Tournament averages and percentages - 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 0.3 steals, 0.5 assists, 2.5 turnovers, 52% from the field (30-for-58), 33% from 3-point range (4-for-12), 68% from the line (13-for-19)

Franklin played his typical strong game around the basket. He usually was matched up on the top interior player on the opposing team, but offensively he showed an expanded repertoire. Along with his offensive put-backs and back-to-the-basket game, Franklin attacked the hoop off the dribble and was a threat to hit the outside jumper.

A productive player at every level that he has played, expect Franklin's production to continue on the next level despite the fact that he doesn't easily fit into one defined position.

Brandon Romain, SG, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Boys & Girls

Tournament averages and percentages - 20 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 1.5 steals, 0.3 assists, 0.8 turnovers, 53% from the field (33-for-62), 100% from 3-point range (1-for-1), 68% from the line (13-for-19)

Romain doesn't have what you would call a pretty game, but you have to absolutely love his production. A tough, left-handed competitor, Romain found a way to score the ball throughout the tournament. In addition to being in the right place at the right time on both ends of the court, Romain also used his herky-jerky style ballhandling and his ability to hit tough shots to manufacture points.

Although his physique and athleticism are of a low-major variety, his crafty gamesmanship is high-major quality. Do the math and he comes out as a quality mid-major shooting guard prospect.

Shawn Williams, SF, Duncanville (Texas)

Tournament averages and percentages - 19.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.5 steals, 1.0 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 47% from the field (27-for-57), 32% from 3-point range (11-for-34), 59% from the line (13-for-22)

Williams was streaky from behind the arc, but he hit some crucial 3-pointers throughout Duncanville's championship run through the tournament. His production inside the arc was just as important for his team. Williams converted 16 of 23 shots from inside the arc and improved his rebounding numbers in each game.

Not the strongest or most athletic player, Williams is a tough matchup because of his size and long-range shooting ability. His patented shot fake opens up driving opportunities as well.

Ray Shipman, SF, Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace Florida commit

Tournament averages and percentages - 23.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, 2.5 steals, 1.8 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 42% from the field (33-for-78), 32% from 3-point range (6-for-19), 74% from the line (23-for-31)

Shipman tore it up in his first two games of the tournament, scoring 30 and 31 points. In his next two games he struggled from the field. However, as his numbers attest, Shipman was a productive player for Monsignor Pace. Although his shooting percentage from the field fluctuated, he continually attacked the basket. His aggressiveness resulted in 31 free-throw attempts over four games.

An active and versatile player, Shipman should find a niche on the wing in the Florida Gators attack next season.

Richard Howell, SF, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler

Tournament averages and percentages - 17.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, 0.5 steals, 1.5 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 52% from the field (27-for-52), 67% from 3-point range (2-for-3), 54% from the line (13-for-24)

While his teammate Dequan Jones was playing above the rim, Howell was just as productive playing below the rim for runner-up Wheeler High School. A physical post player, Howell controls the space around him with post moves that attack the rim. As a rebounder, Howell consistently pursues the ball and grabs rebounds that appear to be outside his area.

Although he doesn't produce the "wow" factor with athletic play, Howell is a player that will be productive at the next level.


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