HAMPTON, Va.- Always one of the top athletes in the 2012 class, Justin Anderson showed signs of a skill game that will push him up the rankings and make him an impact player at Maryland. And Anderson wasn't the only prospect who made an impression on Saturday at Session 01 of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
Justin Anderson (2012, Boo Williams)- Simply put, Anderson has the physique and athleticism of a NBA player. The question has been will he develop the skill set and feel for the game to realize this potential. On Saturday Anderson took a big step in that direction. He looked comfortable shooting the ball from well beyond the three-point line. He finished with creativity around the rim. And he made shots in the midrange. The proper focus and intensity was there on the defensive end.
Maryland fans should be excited about Anderson putting Terrapins uniform. He is the type of player with the talent and passion for the game that Coach Gary Williams can turn into a productive force.
Anthony Bennett (2012, CIA Bounce)
Speaking of a passion for the game, Bennett is a force on the court who doesn't back away from a challenge. His specialty is making plays in traffic, and he can also step out and knock down shots and be effective on the perimeter. Think of a more athletic version of Michigan State's Draymond Green, and you have a vision of Bennett.
A host of schools are pursuing Bennett, but he listed offers from Connecticut, Xavier, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona and Florida State. Bennett hasn't taken any visits yet, but Connecticut, Xavier, Florida and Arizona are at the top of the list of schools he wants to visit.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (2012, Spiece)
Smith-Rivera was at the top of his form when we watched him Saturday. His strength and quick burst get him wherever he wants to get on the court. A power guard with a gift for scoring and beating his man with his strength, Rivera-Smith had his shot falling from a variety of areas on the court.
Matt Jones (2013, Team Texas Titans)
Already pegged a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, Jones has that wiry length, athleticism and scoring ability as a shooting guard that everyone is currently comparing to Jeremy Lamb.
Jones has offers from Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor. He is also listing Kansas and Washington.
J-Mychal Reese (2012, Houston Hoops)
It appears that Reese has found a comfort level with his game after years of trying to live up to unreasonable hype from early in his career. He plays with a reassuring comfort with the ball as a scorer and ballhandler, and he has the quickness to be disruptive on defense.
Kansas sits at the top of Reese's school list, and he expects to visit the school soon. Also on his list are Baylor, Louisville, Memphis, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon. Every school but Louisville has offered.
Aaron Gordon (2013, Oakland Soldiers)
Gordon continues to be one of the most impressive performers at the event. His ability to make plays all over the court and his constant motor are impressive.
As for his recruitment, Gordon said that Washington stands out and that he loves Coach Romar. Arizona and Kansas follow on the list. Also he listed New Mexico and Stanford.
Steve Taylor (2012, Mack Irvin Fire)
He is long and athletic, and Taylor is shooting the ball at a high level. He is a promising prospect poised to move up the rankings.
DePaul, Northwestern, Ohio, Marquette have offered and Illinois is showing interest.
MORE SCOUTING OBSERVATIONS
Anthony January (2012, ICP)
At 6-foot-6, January is an athletic wing who passed the ball extremely well off his dribble penetration. Didn't look like a shooter, but he was quite athletic on the boards. As a general impression, January's game made me think of Solomon Hill of Arizona.
Shannon Hale (2013, Tennessee Travelers)
Hale, an Alabama commit, doesn't come across as a power player, but he finished well against contact on Saturday.
Jevon Thomas (2012, Metro Hawks)
A St. John's point guard commit, Thomas carved up the CIA Bounce defense in the open court and finished off his speedy bursts with timely and accurate passes.
MORE SCHOOL LISTS
Omar Calhoun (2012, New York Gauchos)
The physical wing scorer listed North Carolina (no offer), Pittsburgh, Louisville, St. John's, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Villanova, Vanderbilt and Connecticut (no offer).
Jarmal Reid (2012, Southern Kings)
Reid listed offers from Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Charlotte, Nebraska, Wake Forest, Florida and Auburn. West Virginia is his leader at the moment.