The strength of the 2008 Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase was certainly in the Class of 2010. There were a number of standouts in the junior class. Rivals.com's Justin Young looks back at the ten top performers he and his experienced staff of evaluators saw over the weekend.
As a pure slasher, he was one of the best in the camp. The 6-foot-5 wing was on constant attack mode to the rack. As one of the more athletic players in the camp, Burgess stood out with several plays above the rim and in the open floor. He knows what his strengths are and is working on improving his perimeter game and ball-handling on the perimeter. The natural ability is certainly there and he is tapping into his skills each time out. His performance at the showcase was proof that the improvement is there and he is on the upswing.
The beauty of Cobb's game is that he is so calm, so patient and so smooth that sometimes you don't really notice him. Watch him over the course of time and you see the trends: He protects the ball, he can play the point, he's a great passer, he's a calm and collected floor leader, he's long on defense and his ceiling is incredibly high. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior is a pure prospect and proved that at the camp with his quiet but efficient play. High-major schools will certainly be sniffing around this season.
With a number of guards in the camp, players had to do something to separate themselves from the rest of the competition. For Grier, it was defense. There weren't many players that played with the kind of intensity that the 6-foot-4 guard played with. He took it as a challenge to pester the opposition. On offense, he knocked down a number of perimeter jump shots and aggressively attacked the basket. Already with a couple of offers in hand, he'll be a highly-evaluated prospect by coaches this season.
For the first time in a long time, the 6-foot-7 forward left his football helmet in his locker and he is focusing only on basketball. And those that line up against him on the hardwood are the recipients of his aggressiveness. Hubbard played with great fire and energy at the post position. He challenged opponents to stop him in the blocks and for the most part, it didn't work. Hubbard excelled in the post drills and soaked up the information given to him. He later applied the teaching in game situations. Now at Norcross, one of the elite level hoops program in the country, Hubbard will be watched by both mid-level and high-major schools this season.
A fine student in the classroom, Johnson was a fine student in the instruction part of the camp. He was a sponge with the instructors (which included former college coaches and pro coaches) and picked up quickly on the things that were being instructed. At 6 feet 4, 200 pounds, he can play three positions and excels at the task at hand. Johnson looked his best at the point and as a defensive stopper. Because of his academics and his versatility, Johnson will be recruited by a diverse group of schools this season.
The powerfully-built, 6-foot-5 wing was the best-looking college prospect in the event. He has a college body that can handle the wear and tear of physical play. Jones is a great athlete that can power his way to the basket, where he is in his comfort zone. Perhaps the greatest revelation of the weekend was his ability to knock down the long ball and create havoc on the perimeter. Jones has the potential to be a lockdown defender, too. Overall, he proved himself amongst his peers and took advantage of the stage he was working on.
With an opportunity to prove himself as one of the top point guards in the camp and in his class within the Georgia borders, Strickland took full advantage. He's an athletic and quick guard to the basket and was a blur en route to the rim. Strickland ran his team with great efficiency and confidence. He fed the hot hands with crisp passes and showed great intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Georgia's point guard class is deep with players and now is the time for separation. Strickland did and it will be interesting to see what direction his recruitment goes after he was one of the top three players at his position over the weekend.
While Jones was the best looking college prospect in the event, Thornton was certainly the best performer from the weekend. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward relentlessly attacked the basket all day long and bent the rims with his aggressive, above-the-rim play. While his thundering scores were certainly fun to watch, it was his passing and play away from the paint as a skilled forward that was the most intriguing. He's on the watch list for a number of high-major schools and will certainly be turning the interest into offers this fall as coaches can hit the road and take a closer look at prospects.
Speed, speed and more speed. That was the compliment amongst the evaluators at the camp when speaking of the 6-foot point guard. White excelled with the ball in his hands and broke through holes like a running back looking for six points. He's a crafty passer and played the role of one of the top point guards in the camp quite well. White transferred to Centennial High School and will play alongside N.C. State-bound Lorenzo Brown. White could follow suit to a high-major program.
Baby steps. That is what the 6-foot-9 big man is taking with his progression. He's getting better each time out. Williams does a fine job of playing aggressive in the paint despite his thin frame. He was one of the top big men in the drill work with NBA veteran Andrew Lang and then showed an ability to step out and hit the perimeter shot, albeit with an awkward release. With continued strength and bulk to his long and lanky frame, Williams will turn his high-major interest into high-major offers this season.
Next up: Top performers from the class of 2011, sleeper breakdowns and other notes from the 2008 Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase.