Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting Senior Writer
Rivals.com's Justin Young spent the weekend in Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, N.C., for the Elite 75 Prep Showcase. Ten players stood out more than others from the event. Young breaks down the top performers from the camp.
It was clear that he was the best-looking prospect in the building after just one game. The sophomore wing had his way with the competition and made the game look all too easy. He showed that he can score, pass, run the floor, dominate without demanding attention, play a mature game and he never seemed to force the issue. Gbinije is being recruited by the majority of the high-majors on the Eastern seaboard and has the tools to potentially be a five-star player in the class of 2011.
Get ready to hear a lot about this kid. The 6-foot-10 center is one of the top 2009 centers left on the board. At times, he was the best player in the gym. He runs the floor like a wing and fell in love with shooting on the wing. The Gastonia, N.C., native is uber-confident in his face-up a game and probably shot too many jumpers when he could have easily dominated down low in the paint. With the seniors dropping off the recruiting board daily, Whiteside has seen his recruitment take off in the last two months. The long and lean big man is very much a work in progress, both on the court and in the classroom but the finished product should be found at the high-major level. Look for him to be one of the top five most-recruited centers in the senior class this high school season.
The 5-foot-9 point guard missed the first day of because he was visiting Wake Forest unofficially. The ACC school offered him a scholarship while on the visit and the next day, the sophomore guard set the tone for the point guards in the field. He ran the show with great efficiency, made jumpers, scored at the rim, contested on defense and used his great length to frustrate the opposition. Rankin was the quickest point guard in the camp and made it look easy. Wake Forest is the first high-major to offer him a scholarship. Louisiana Tech has tendered a free ride, too. Virginia Tech, Florida and Auburn are also in the mix.
Mid-major programs are quickly offering the high-energy power forward. Not a bad idea. The 6-foot-7 15-year-old is a great rebounder and interior scorer that understands his identity as a ball-player. His father played at Appalachian State and the two probably spend plenty of hours working on the fundamentals of a power forward's game. Carlton was one of the nice surprises of the camp and shined in every game he played in. The three-star forward gave a great first impression. He has offers from Appalachian State, Jacksonville, Western Carolina, Gardner-Webb, UNC-Greensboro and Virginia Commonwealth while William & Mary and East Carolina are showing high interest, he said.
PF Luke Cothron, Red Springs (N.C.) Flora McDonald (2010 class)
It was an up-and-down weekend for the five-star forward. He had zero trouble scoring in the post against the majority of the field. In fact, he looked rather bored at times because it was just too easy. Maybe that's why he was trying new things and showing different angles of his game. In his match-up against Whiteside, Cothron spent a lot of time trying to prove himself as a wing player (which he isn't) and failed to show his strengths inside the post as a physical scorer and rebounder. Cothron, an Alabama native, is claiming offers from Alabama, UAB, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Connecticut and UNC-Wilmington .
PG Ian Miller, Charlotte (N.C.) United Faith (2010 class)
After a sizzling July period, the 6-foot-1 combo guard played his way onto the radar for a number of schools at the high-major level. Now he's ready to show that the summer wasn't a one-time thing. Miller used the camp to show off his scoring prowess. The quick guard can dial it in from deep, score off the bounce and loves to get out in transition. There was plenty of that on display at the camp. His point guard skills will be an area of improvement in his junior year. At the camp, Miller was strictly a two guard.
The big-bodied big man had the camp organizers on tilt each time he left the floor and went up for a dunk. The reason? The 6-foot-8, 230-pound monster could have very easily ripped down the backboard with one quick yank of the rim. Coleman plays with great power and nimbleness for a player his size. Think Christian Morris (a Rutgers recruit) with more skill. That's good company. Coleman has a couple of go-to moves. His jump-hook on the baseline was one of the best basketball moves all weekend. Coleman is already being recruited at the high-major level. Virginia, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Syracuse, Tennessee, Kansas and George Mason have shown interest to date.
The majority of the focus at Word of God will be given to John Wall, the nation's top player. That's understandable. But Daniels will have his moments at the national level with Word of God and his profile will certainly be raised even higher than it already is. The 6-foot-2 guard is a great mix of athleticism (he may have been the best of the guards in that category at the camp), scoring and point guard skills. Wake Forest and Memphis have offered scholarships already while Florida, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, N.C. State and Oklahoma are in the picture.
The Virginia Tech commitment lived up to his billing as a slashing forward that likes to take his game right to the rim. He stuck to his strengths and didn't reveal any new facets to his game, which isn't a bad thing. Eddie did nearly all of his damage above the basket and challenged players with his physical brand of basketball. The four-star wing is one of the better players in the talent rich state of North Carolina and didn't do anything to change that opinion.
There was bound to be a nice surprise that emerged from the large number of players that made their way out to the camp and he was the most intriguing young prospect of the camp. The 6-foot-7 forward is a nice blend of an inside-out player with incredible upside. Barksdale is still very raw but there are tools to work with and there is a great chance that he develops into a high-major player this year. It wouldn't come as a big surprise that in a year's time, he'll be a coveted player in his class by a lot of the big time programs. Time is on his side and there are plenty of things to get excited about with the young prospect.