Basketball recruiting in the fall is usually limited to visits and coaches traveling the country to see prospects at their homes and schools. But, on occasion, you'll find an occasional event sprout up. Rivals.com spent the weekend at the University of South Carolina for the Ravens Nike Fall Shootout. It was a chance to see some talented young players from the class of 2007 and beyond.
D-1 Sports claim tourney title
There were only nine teams in the field but each program brought a number of talented player. Brian Clifton's D-1 Sports crew came ready to play and took home the title with an impressive victory over the North Carolina Raptors.
One of the reasons why D-1 were the victors was because of the play of Dorenzo Hudson, who has been busy making a name for himself over the last couple of months.
The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard from Forrest Hills High School in Union County, N.C. has a mature body and defines the term power guard to a T. The class of 2007 prospect powers his way to the bucket and scores at will at the rim. His perimeter game is much improved since we saw him at a regional AAU event in March.
Still under the radar nationally, don't be surprised to see Hudson mentioned in the same breath with high-major schools down the road. He's got that kind of skill level. Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson have all recently inquired and shown interest in Hudson.
Hudson's high school teammate J.T. Thompson packs a mean punch in his 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward delivers when he leaves the floor en route to the basket. Thompson is a classic 'tweener but he's a good power forward and doesn't possess the perimeter skills to be a big time small forward. Athletically, he did some things that players his size just don't do.
Marshall Moses was able to show what he does best and that is his fantastic mid-range game. This 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward has a great physique and continues to improve 12 feet and in. If he develops his perimeter game and adds some nastiness around the bucket, he'll be one tough cookie to stop for defenders. Marquette recently came down to his new school, Glenn High in N.C., and offered the class of 2007 prospect a free ride.
Chris Turner, a 6-foot-4 shooter from Durham (N.C.) Durham High School impressed with his sweet perimeter stroke and confident scoring ability. The class of 2007 has mid-major plus potential.
Teammate Dominique Lacey, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Northeast Guilford High School in N.C., is a lot like Turner in the sense that he's a strong shooter with a good, long frame. And like Turner, he's a mid-major guy in 2007.
South Carolina squads impressive
Dion Bethea, the host organizer, not has to be happy with a successful event at a great college venue, but he has to be happy with the future of his frontcourt.
After going down to injury at the Peach Jam, Mike Holmes ended his summer earlier than he would have liked. Back to full strength, the 6-foot-7, 200-pound was doing what he does best. He rebounded like a madman and powered his way to points. Holmes checks in as the No. 42 ranked player in his the class of 2007.
It took Brandon Davis a game or two to get going but when he did, the big fella was catching off everything off the rim and flushing them home for two emphatic points. The No. 75 ranked player's days are still in front of him. He has a big body, big, soft hands but just needs to focus in the classroom and a fire under him on the court.
LaRon Dendy, the future Clemson Tiger, did what he does best over the weekend and that was filling the lanes, playing above the rim and using his athleticism to grab rebounds and score in the paint. The double-double man is a big time get for the ACC school. The No. 38 ranked player in the class of 2007 be a fun player to watch down the road in conference play.
Playing alongside Dendy was 6-foot-6 junior Mike Jenkins and the Greenville (S.C.) High School product went to work inside the paint. Athletically, Jenkins is a high-level prospect. He's quick off the floor, rebounds extremely well in traffic amongst the trees. He admittedly needs to improve his shooting touch from anywhere outside of the paint. Jenkins said he's received mail from Clemson, South Carolina and Illinois.
Other players of note
The Atlanta Celtics' Howard Thompkins is developing into one of the elite big men in the class of 2008. The 6-foot-7 forward is a nice-looking face up four with a jump shot that extends out to the three-point line. He knows how to be equally effective inside the paint, too.
Thompkins, who is a sophomore at Wesleyan High School in metro Atlanta, is the target for nearly every ACC school already as well as the SEC schools. He's a combination of high-major skill, good grades and a grounded personality.
Chris Singleton, also with the Celtics, is another name to watch from the class of 2008 from the Peach State. He's incredibly quick off the floor and shows that aspect of his game off when he blocks shots, which is often.
Moving from the post to the perimeter has given the 6-foot-7 forward more confidence on the offensive end of the floor. Singleton has been a busy young man in Sept. This was his second straight week in Columbia, S.C. He visited the Gamecocks when they played host to Georgia on the gridiron. The week prior to that he took in a Georgia football game in Athens.
Patrick Shopeka 6-foot-2 guard from Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Ga., made a good first impression with us. Every shot he seemed to put up find the bottom of the net. Not intimidated by anyone, Shopeka nailed several long jumpers against the young, but talented, Atlanta Celtics. Shopeka proved that he is at least a mid-major prospect.