DUNCANVILLE, Texas - There are a total of 23 prospects from the state of Texas ranked in Rivals.com's class of 2011 and 2012 rankings. Of those 23 prospects, no less than 19 are expected to be on hand in Duncanville at the Great American Shootout. Friday night, many of those top Texas players went to work along with a few players from just outside of the state. Class of 2012 big man Cameron Ridley held it down for the guys from the Lone Star state while freakishly athletic combo guard Nino Jackson, also from the class of 2012, made sure Oklahoma was in the house.
GASO Friday night standouts
Cameron Ridley, C, Houston Hoopstars- Head coaches Jeff Capel and Mark Turgeon were in the house watching the 2012 big man from Houston and it's a safe bet many more bosses will be watching him closely. A back to the basket guy with skill, strength, footwork and a ceiling to improve, he's coming on strong. He already hits jump hooks with either hand and intimidates opponents on both ends of the floor.
Nino Jackson, PG/SG, Oklahoma Hawks- There is not a more athletic guard in the class of 2012. There may not be a more athletic guy in any class. The explosiveness allows for jaw-dropping plays - as evidenced by his ferocious one hand from the right side and two handed tip from the left side facials over the same guy - but he's got some craftiness to him. The guy is built to make plays, but now he has to learn about patience and how to be a little more consistent. He's long maintained Kansas as his leader with North Carolina, Baylor, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and the "Longhorns" showing interest.
Prince Ibeh, PF, Top Achiever Pistons- It's amazing how much difference just a few months can make with young big guys. A 6-foot-9 four man from the class of 2012, Ibeh is advancing rapidly. Formerly a guy who hovered between 12 and 17 feet looking for jumpers while occasionally blocking a shot, he's way more than that now. He runs the floor, can catch and cut to the lane on quick dribble-drives and has room to grow.
Terran Petteway, SF/PF, Galveston Hornets- Amongst coaches on the sidelines, the debate raged about whether he'd be best used as a three man with size, a quick four or a combo forward on the next level. What everybody agreed about, though, was that the 6-foot-6 Petteway is wired for scoring points. He slices to the rim off of baseline drives and is very accurate with his off the shoulder jumper. He was good for 34 on opening night.
Niem Stevenson, SG, Full Court Athletes- Back to the class of 2012, the 6-foot-2 wing from Irving (Texas) Ranchview made some noise. He's long, pretty athletic to the rim and has a feel for getting his offense. He handles some, looks to have an endless supply of energy and made a name for himself. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Clemson, North Texas, Wichita State, Utah State and others have already expressed interest.
Sheldon McClellan, SG, Houston Select- He took a little bit of time in doing so, but once McClellan decided to take over, Select stormed back from a deficit and got a W. A much improved ball handler, he's got the ideal frame for a two guard and matches that with ideal range. His mid-range game is quite developed and he can be a facilitator when needed. Texas has a good one on the way.
Forrest Robinson, PF, Houston Select- Formerly committed to Utah, Robinson is a swift 6-foot-8 big man from Eastland (Texas) High. Armed with face-up skills and jumper that is true to the three point line, he's also skinny and goes through stretches where he's quiet. At the end of the day, he's got high major size and skill and it's not really a surprise to see him claiming offers from Texas, Utah, Texas Tech, Louisiana Tech, Iowa State and Arkansas.
Karim York, PF/SF, ATX-Farley- A thin lefty from Del Valle (Texas) High, the 6-foot-7 York was a nice find. A fluid athlete who can run the floor, York has a good looking jumper and outstanding body control. He gets to the free throw line, takes care of business on the glass and should only get better when he adds some much need strength. High major programs will definitely take a long look while upper end mid majors try to fight them off.
Marcus Smart, SG/SF, Texas Assault- His team is basically a 16 and under squad playing up and when the Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus wing was needed the most, he stepped up. With his team down 10 in the second half, he did everything from play point to power forward as he willed his team ahead. He's as aggressive as they come in the class of 2012.
L.J. Rose, PG, Houston Hoops- Fresh off of an appearance at the Lebron James/King City event, the 6-foot-3 Rose was in control. Few in 2012 can match his feel for the game and the Houston (Texas) Second Baptist star was complimenting his set-up skills with some offense. Looking more comfortable than ever with his jumper, he banged home several deep threes and led his team to a win in a grudge match game with Team Texas.
Jordan Green, SG, Team Texas- The future Texas A&M Aggie didn't make the last Rivals150, but he's certainly going to be in the discussion when rankings are looked at following the summer. A smooth lefty with excellent size at 6-foot-4, Green was cooking from behind the three point line and drained six threes. He can handle pretty well too, but has to focus on getting somewhere with those bounces. Word is he's been to College Station a few times this summer and that the current Aggies have had trouble containing him.
Jarion Henry, SF, Dallas Showtyme Elite- Standing nearly 6-foot-8 tall, the long and wiry lefty is a kid who owns oodles of natural talent. A fluid athlete who can handle the ball, Henry is an outstanding passer and a guy capable of making lots of good things happen on either end of the floor thanks to his activity level. Few, if any, guys wear their emotions on their sleeves like he does and he's got to be careful not to let them get in the way of being a consistent contributor. Already ranked # 83 in the class of 2011, his upside is significant if he's able to put everything together.
More Friday night notes
Point guards are in high demand from the class of 2011 and Oklahoma City (Ok.) Douglass floor general Dorrian Williams helped himself Friday night. A super athletic 6-foot-1 guy, he was unstoppable off the bounce for the Oklahoma Hawks. His jumper isn't textbook, but he can hit them. He listed Missouri State, Boston College, Wichita State, Nebraska, Northeastern and San Francisco. ï¿½ It would be tough to find a guy with a better nickname than Isaiah Jones, known by his teammates and coaches as "Hoopie", it's a fitting moniker. The 6-foot-2 post-grad gets buckets off of the bounce and with his jumper. ï¿½ We will take a much longer look at Brandon Bass Elite on Saturady, but Cannen Cunningham and DeVon Cambell looked like guys who are going to more than justify their inclusion in the Rivals150 for the class of 2011. Teammate Justin Tolbert is making a strong case as well. These guys are fun to watch. ï¿½ When Anthony Odunsi offered up a commitment to Iowa State, not many knew anything about him. As it turns out, the Cyclones got a physically strong 6-foot-2 kid who takes good care of the ball and plays a solid all-around game. He's not a guy with electric quickness and he doesn't seem to be a huge scorer, but he's solid and has enough size to play either the one or the two in the Big 12. ï¿½ He's not anywhere near the 5-foot-11 that he gets listed at, but little Austin Chatmon from The Colony (Texas) High can play. Running the point for Deron Williams Elite, the 2011 speedster made good decisions and proved hard to stay in front of. ï¿½
Keep an eye out for Ryan Manuel this summer. An athletic 6-foot-4 wing from Ft. Bend (Texas) Austin, he can swish some jumpers or make things happen at the rim in transition. He had Wichita State's Gregg Marshall tailing his every movement. ï¿½ Team Texas has switched things up a bit and because of that, Christian Jones is getting a chance. Missouri Valley, Conference USA and Mountain West teams are all on alert that the 6-foot-6 rocket ship of an athlete is a guy to keep an eye on. He's tough, gets rebounds and has quickness that is really tough to deal with in the paint. Not the most skilled guy, yet, he's got plenty of natural tools to work with. ï¿½ It's a shame that San Antonio (Texas) Antonian forward Jonathan Holmes went down early with an injury because he's got the look of a guy who should be getting high major looks. A headliner for the San Antonio Ro-Hawks, the 6-foot-8 Holmes has a motor, outstanding length and a pretty good looking overall skill level. Hopefully, he'll bounce back and be able to play on Saturday. ï¿½