DENVER - Day two of the Double Pump Spring Tournament brought out a few upsets, and some more strong performances. While no one had an absolutely incredible day, several players did do their best to separate from the pack. One of them was 2011 forward Cody Zeller.
Best of the Bunch?
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It was a tough day overall for the Indiana Elite 17 and under squad because they suffered an upset loss in the first round of tournament play to St. Louis Gameface, but for Zeller on an individual level it was a good day.
The youngest of the Zeller boys is following the same path as his brothers Luke and Tyler in becoming a big time college prospect. Cody is now a legitimate 6-foot-10 and filling out his long and skinny frame to be able to bang down low, and he did just that on Saturday afternoon.
Zeller has a motor that never quits, and that allows him to pursue rebounds with the best of them, and he also has a simple natural instinct to know how the ball is going to come off the rim. Also despite not being the strongest player in the country, he battles hard for position both on the offensive and defensive glass.
Along with just being a beast on the boards, Zeller was finishing down low on the offensive side of things. He has a nice looking jump hook, a solid mid-range jumper, and also he is plenty athletic which allows him to finish at an above the rim. His game is just getting more and more diversified as the years go along, and now Zeller is capitalizing on a strong high school year and propelling it to the AAU season.
If Zeller continues to play like he has over the past month, he will get serious consideration for five-star status before it is all said and done.
To go with Zeller, Indiana Elite had a very strong showing from Kevin Ferrell. The 2012 point guard who is playing up with the 17-and under squad is a dynamic floor general. In an age where many point guards are more focused on scoring than running their team, Ferrell knows what his job is. He penetrates to the rim and looks for easy buckets via the pass, he knows when to push the ball and when to pull it back, and also if he is left open he will knock down the open three.
Having grown since last summer, he is now 5-foot-11, Ferrell is a tough as nails defender who helps his team easily convert defense into offense. Ferrell is quickly playing himself into the conversation as one of the best floor generals in the 2012 class nationally.
While those two put out star efforts, a solid workmanlike performance came from Vinny Zollo. Zollo is a onetime Kentucky commitment who is open in the process and looking around. At 6-foot-7 and almost 6-foot-8, Zollo is just a high motor kid who loves to rebound and has a nice touch from three point range. He has athletic limitations, but he plays so hard and rebounds with such an edge, that he can still be effective. Add in the fact that he now can stretch the defense beyond the three point line, and it was a good day for Zollo.
Say hello to Gourgi
Though he is listed as a 2011 prospect on the official roster given out, after his dominant performance on Saturday Gorgui Dieng re-affirmed that he is a class of 2010 prospect who will attend college next season.
After seeing Dieng only weeks after he entered the United States, the strides he has made in the past few months have been extremely impressive. Now the 6-foot-10 forward looks to have a new level of confidence that has him dominating on the low block.
Unlike many of the African imports, Dieng has an excellent feel for the game both offensively and defensively. On the offensive side he can score facing the rim or off of a post move where his footwork is above average. Also he handles the ball very well for a player his size, and can finish with either hand off the bounce. Defensively he has long arms and the natural timing that it takes to be a good shot blocker. Though not an elite athlete, Dieng showed good athleticism which had him flying all over the floor making plays.
Overall it was one of the better performances, and it showed a ton of improvement out of Dieng, and now the next stop will be selecting a college.
Other Notable Performances
Jordan Tebbutt is a powerfully built wing from the state of Oregon getting a ton of attention. He is physically reminiscent of Jeff Robinson who originally committed to Memphis before transferring over to Seton Hall. At 6-foot-5 with good strength, Tebbutt is a master at getting to the rim and finishing through contact. Also he showed a solid looking deep jumper, though it wasn't falling consistently on Saturday. Athletically he showed to be well above average, and his first step is extremely explosive when going to the rack.
Another good looking guard from California is Kevin Bailey. Out of Clovis High School, the 6-foot-4 combination guard is a rangy player who can shoot threes and get to the rim with his length and crafty style of play. Also he is a good athlete who can be a matchup problem because of his height.
Minnesota Pump N Run got a huge effort out of Jonah Travis in an upset win over California Supreme. A combination forward with sneaky bounce, Travis absolutely took it to the bigger Cal Supreme front line. He finished with well over 20 points, and many of them came above the rim. Also he was a force rebounding the ball, and battled defensively all game long. If he can transition to being a pure wing, he will be tough to deal with.
A 2012 wing from Compton with a lot of potential is Anthony January. Right now he doesn't always bring it consistently, but at 6-foot-6 and possessing a lot of athleticism, January is intriguing. He can score off the bounce, and has a good looking stroke from the outside. The consistency with effort isn't always there, but at times he brought it, and when he did he looked good.
He has work to do academically, but 2011 wing B.J. Young is a scoring machine on the floor. The 6-foot-4 guard from the St. Louis area converted in every way imaginable for St. Louis Gameface. He is a good athlete with a very tight handle, especially going right, and a great release on his shot from deep. JUCO might be in his future, but he can really play, and it showed against high level competition.
A big time jumping jack from the Lone Star State is Jaleel Williams. Williams is a 6-foot-5 forward with incredible bounce, and he loves to finish above the rim with authority. For the Texas D-1 Ambassadors he was a force scoring above the rim thanks to his great elevation. Also while his shooting wasn't going in, the rotation and release looked solid, and he could be a reliable shooter with more reps. As would be expected for such an athletic freak, Williams also is very good rebounding the basketball for a player his size.
An athletic 2012 point guard who can really attack the rim and defend is Jalen Love. Love carried his KC Pump N Run team to a win on Saturday and he did it with effort, toughness, and athleticism. He needs to improve his perimeter game, but just defensively he makes a big impact.
Keep an eye on Double Pump freshman Reggie Theus. The son of the former Sacramento Kings coach has a great looking frame for a freshman, and at 6-foot-6 he has skills inside and out. Just a 2013 prospect, he has a lot of upside.
The younger brother of Larry Drew is Landon Drew, and he is a good player in his own right. The younger Drew is a flashy point guard who can also shoot it out to three point range. Though not super big or super quick, he knows how to play and is more than capable of making things happen with the ball in his hands.
One highly thought of prospect who had a solid day was Rosco Allen. Allen wasn't a dominator, but at 6-foot-8 he has a lot of upside due to his ability to handle the ball and the frame he has. His shot wasn't great on Saturday, but he just found a way to score, and also he is a solid rebounder for his size.
Kevin Ferrell has offers from Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Butler. He noted he would like to stay close to home.
Gorgui Dieng listed Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, South Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Marshall, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Maryland as schools of interest.
Jaleel Williams lists Gonzaga, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, Washington State, and California as schools with interest. At this point Washington is showing him the most love.
Jalen Love has early interest from UMKC, Wichita State, and Missouri State
Rosco Allen has a lengthy offer list of Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Santa Clara, UNLV, USC, Northwestern, and Washington State.