KETTERING, Ohio - The 2011 Flying to the Hoop came to a close on Monday. Just like the first two days, the final day witnessed some fine performances. However, it was Georgia big man Tony Parker who looked to come up the biggest.
Wrapping up Flying to the Hoop
Tony Parker, C, Miller Grove- The 6-foot-8 junior has been putting up big numbers all winter and that continued at FTTH. A strong kid who is in the best shape we've seen him in, Parker has elite hands, excellent instincts and controls the glass on both ends. He makes his offense happen near the rim where he has become a clever scorer. He had 18 points and 18 rebounds in a very solid effort.
Charles Mitchell, PF, Wheeler- The 6-foot-7 junior does work hard for position and plays 100 percent around the rim. He's at his best operating within near proximity of the rim where he uses his bulk to hold off defenders. He finished with 15 points and seven boards.
Traevon Jackson, SG, Westerville South- The muscular shooting guard signed with Wisconsin and he's one tough customer. His physical defense pretty much took junior star Gary Harris out of the game and he added offense as well. He's a worker who takes a lot of shots but makes some tough ones along the way. Had 26 points (11-23 FG) and 10 rebounds in an overtime win.
K.K. Simmons, SG, Wheeler- He's a speedy guard who can get to the rim where he's got some size and athleticism. Sometimes a little too quick to pull the trigger on a jumper, but he doesn't have bad form. He's got the tools to be a good defender down the road and plays hard.
Zak Irvin, SF, Hamilton Southeastern- The monstrous knee brace he's wearing makes him look a little robotic, but it should be gone soon. Irvin's strength gain since the end of the summer is noticeable and it helps him on drives to the rim. However, he's also a very good spot-up jump-shooter and he did a good job of keeping his team in the game.
Jared Bryant, C, Roger Bacon- The unsigned senior big man doesn't rate off the charts in athleticism, but he is crafty and tough. At 6-foot-7, he's got some strength, plays hard and knows that he's best within 10 feet of the hoop and he stays there. Had 16 and five in a win.
Vitto Brown, PF, Bowling Green- Physically, the 6-foot-7 sophomore has some tools that could eventually get him longer looks from high-major programs. He's very lengthy, has a basketball frame and is a high-level athlete. He will rebound and has some offense. Foul trouble really limited him, but the 2013 big man looked good while he was in there.
Jordan Taylor, SG, Northmont- Northmont authored one of the event's biggest upsets when it beat Wheeler and the senior shooting guard was a big part. He kept his team in the game early with some three-point shooting and then won the game with the final two of his 23 points on a tip-in as the final buzzer sounded.
Travis Trice, PG, Wayne- Unfortunately, the travel schedule forced me to leave before catching the Michigan State signee in Monday's last game. According to the coaches, Trice played well. After scoring just three points in the first half, he finished with 30 and added eight assists and five rebounds as Wayne routed Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young.
Joe Thomasson, SG, Thurgood Marshall- He's rail thin, but the 6-foot-3 shooting guard played with a ton of energy and did a lot of nice things. The junior is long, quick, can drive and has range on his jumper to the three-point line. He could play D-I basketball with developed strength.
Devin Langford, SF, Huntsville Lee- It seems as if the 6-foot-6 Illinois pledge and his teammates have played in more showcase events than any other team in the past few years. Monday, neither Langford nor his team was particularly sharp. He has good size and some ball skills, but has been very up and down with his performance. He does have talent, though, and Illinois has enough wings that it can afford to bring him along slowly.