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USA Basketball: Stone dominates

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THE LIST:
Class of 2014 Rivals150
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- After a few hour break, the
competitors at USA Basketball's October minicamp were back on the floor for
another two and a half hour workout session on Saturday night. During the
evening session, 2015 five-star big man Diamond Stone had it all on
display, Kelly Oubre continued his stellar play while five-star seniors
Stanley Johnson and
Tyus Jones picked it up as well.
Stone
dominates in post
After 2014's No. 1 player
Jahlil Okafor went down with an ankle sprain
in the early session, it was up to another big to step up and dominate play on
the interior. 2015's No. 4 player Diamond Stone was up to the
challenge.
The 6-foot-10 center from Whitefish Bay (Wisc.) Dominican controlled the paint
in every setting. During big man one on one drills he was unstoppable going to
the rim or hitting short jumpers and jump hooks and then in game settings he
proved unguardable whenever he was thrown the ball.
In many ways, Stone plays similar to a young Kevin Love. He has great hands,
great footwork and he always has a countermove to whatever the defense throws at
him. Stone also does a way above average job of using his body to seal off
opponents and control how he moves them around the paint. He doesn't yet shoot
with the range Love did, but he is developing into a very good faceup shooter.
"I had that left handed jump hook and my footwork going," Stone told Rivals.com.
"You have to be ready to play out here."
Stone told Rivals.com that he is still wide open in the recruiting process and
that the Dominican gym has seen plenty of visitors. So far this Fall, he has
hosted head coaches from Duke, North Carolina,
Wisconsin, Marquette, Illinois, Maryland,
DePaul and Tennessee as having stopped by to watch him work
out.
Travis nearing
decision
One of the best rebounders and most physical players in the class of 2014,
Reid Travis is in Colorado Springs but sidelined by a stress reaction
in his foot. However, he is doing his best to soak up the atmosphere and clearly
frustrated that he wasn't able to compete.
Travis was able to confirm that he is down to a final four of Duke,
Gonzaga, Stanford and Minnesota. The 6-foot-7 power forward
from Minneapolis (Minn.) De La Salle who ranks No. 40 in the 2014 Rivals150 has
been to the campuses of Duke and Gonzaga officially. He will visit Stanford on
the weekend of October 18th and plans to take an official visit to Minnesota
(where he has been unofficially multiple times) on the weekend of the 25th.
After that, he should be ready to make a decision.
"I should be able to have this done by early November," said Travis. "It will
relieve a lot of stress to get this off my shoulders."
More Saturday
evening notes
Bullet
During
the early session, 2014's No. 3 player Stanley Johnson got off to a
little bit of a slow start. During the evening session, the 6-foot-7 small
forward from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei went to what he knows best and
attacked the rim aggressively. Time and again he used his physicality to teach
the younger players in attendance a lesson or two about how to deliver a blow
and finish. Not surprisingly, as he got easy buckets at the rim his jumper
started to fall a bit. Johnson confirmed again that he will not sign during the
early period, but he does expect to have a decision by January.
Bullet
Also
playing much better in the second session of the day was 2014's No. 5 player
Tyus Jones. The clever point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High had
defenders at his mercy. There are point guards with better size, better
quickness and better speed. But, there aren't point guards with a better feel
for running their team, changing speeds and having a feel for what the defense
is giving him. If there are openings to shoot, he shoots. If the driving lanes
are there he takes them. He's arguably the most cerebral player in attendance
and it showed. Jones is down to Baylor, Kansas, Duke
and Minnesota and re-iterated that he and Okafor are still hoping to
attend the same school.
Bullet
As well as
Kelly Oubre played in the early session, the 6-foot-7 wing from
Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep was even better in the second session of the day.
The southpaw was hitting pretty much every shot he took from deep and he proved
too strong off the dribble when attacking the rim. Oubre currently sits just
outside the national top 10 in the class of 2014 but it's going to be awfully
Bullet
North CarolinaClick tough to keep him out of there for much longer.Here to view this Link. fans would be very happy with the play of Justin JacksonClick tough to keep him out of there for much longer.Here to view this Link.
and Theo Pinson. At 6-foot-8, Jackson is capable of playing on the wing
and the more we watch him play we like the idea of him playing some as a matchup
problem four in college. His rebounding and scoring between the rim and 15 feet
are so natural. A long 6-foot-6 athlete, Pinson continues to improve his deep
jump shooting. He is a high end defender, plays with super energy and does all
of the little things that
Roy Williams will love.
Bullet
2016's No.
28 player Juwan Durham might weigh 200 pounds soaking wet. Despite a
lack of bulk, the 6-foot-9 power forward from Tampa (Fla.) Prep has impressed
with his willingness to fight for position. He can really run, is quick off the
floor and has loads of upside. Former Saint Louis University star Willie Reed
might not be a guy readers are super familiar with, but he's made his way into
the NBA and Durham reminds an awful lot of a young Reed with his rebounding,
shot blocking and opportunistic offense.
Bullet
Maybe the
single most improved player in camp, junior power forward
Horace Spencer had a really productive first day of camp. The Philly native who is
now at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep has always had a high running motor to go
with a lengthy frame and athleticism. Now, he's greatly improved his skill level
and plays with purpose. He hit some short jumpers, crashed the glass and was one
of the day's better interior defenders. At No. 88 in the class of 2015, the
four-star is ranked too low at this point.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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