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April 22, 2012
Hamilton hits stride in Vegas
LAS VEGAS- The Adidas VIP Exclusive Run continued on Saturday, but it wasn't the only event taking place in Sin City. Over at Bishop Gorman High School, the Pangos Spring Spectacular was in full swing so there were lots of options for watching games. Class of 2013 shooting guard Isaac Hamilton was among those moving the needle on Saturday.
Hamilton is wired to score
Isaac Hamilton isn't going to win over admirers because of a flashy style or overwhelming athleticism, but the 6-foot-5 wing does win people over with what he does to a stat sheet. The five-star shooting guard at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco was an assassin on the offensive end as he filled up the scoring column for Dream Vision.
Always under control and aware of his surroundings, Hamilton is a highly skilled offensive technician who picks defenders apart and gets buckets. He drained deep jumpers, curled off screens for quick hitters and made effective use of the dribble to get by defenders and score.
Joseph emerging at the point
The Mass Rivals team's star player is 2014 five-star Noah Vonleh. Vonleh was outstanding during a win against Indiana Elite South but he wasn't the only Rivals team member making waves.
Ashburnham (Mass.) Cushing Academy point guard Kaleb Joseph looked like a sure high major handling the offense. The 6-foot-1 sophomore looked the part of a four-star-type prospect on Saturday as he made plays in the lane and knocked down open jumpers.
The fathers of Danny Granger's Hurricanes teammates Cullen Neal and Bryce Alford team up to coach New Mexico. The junior guards make a good team of their own and their fathers were courtside and getting into it as Neal and Alford led a come-from-behind victory over the Las Vegas Prospects.
Neal -- who is committed to St. Mary's -- is a gritty, quick and skilled point guard with size and he makes plays off the dribble. He will also nail deep jumpers and plays with an edge about him.
Committed to play for his father at New Mexico, Alford is a sharpshooting guard who has deep range and a quick trigger. Alford excels at setting up his defenders away from the ball and running them off of picks to get open shots for himself.
Pitts on top
One of the weekend's big winners has been Concord (Calif.) De Lasalle wing Elliott Pitts. The 6-foot-5 wing from the class of 2013 is skilled, can shoot and is an outstanding passer off of the dribble.
With good quickness and the ability to make plays for himself or others, the junior had a crowd following him on Saturday.
Pitts said that he has offers already from Santa Clara, Portland, UC Davis, Cal, Boston College, Arizona State and San Francisco and they were all on hand with lots of others.
Pitts is in no hurry to decide and is taking a broad approach.
"I think academics will play a big role in my decision," said Pitts of what he's looking for. "If I don't play after college I want to know that I will have a good degree."
In the class of 2014, there can't be many shooting guards with more ability on the offensive end of the floor than D'Angelo Russell. The Louisville native didn't play huge minutes at Montverde (Fla.) Academy as a sophomore, but the 6-foot-4 wing is a natural on the offensive end. He's similar in style to Jeremy Lamb. He received a recent offer from Ohio State and had head coaches from Louisville and Cincinnati on hand Saturday. Others he mentions include Kentucky, Xavier and Indiana.
Class of 2013 wing Tre'Shaun Lexing had a productive day for Team Bradley Northwest Panthers Red. An athletic 6-foot-6 wing from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln, he hit jumpers and slashed to the hoop. Lexing mentioned interest from Cal-Poly, Santa Clara, Gonzaga and Washington State.
Nobody could blame Roy Williams for smiling as he watched prized class of 2013 commitment Isaiah Hicks play for Garner Roads. The 6-foot-8 four man is an extreme athlete with exceptional timing and quickness. He runs the floor in big, smooth, loping strides and is a finisher at the rim and smothers shots on the defensive end. He recently moved into the national top 10 and backed up that status.
It has been a good weekend for Terrance O'Donohue manning the interior for the Atlanta Celtics. At 6-7, he's a solid athlete, can make jumpers to 12 feet and does a good job cleaning the glass.
Pac-12 schools are already eyeing the progress of 2014 big man Payton Dastrup from Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View. Arizona State's Herb Sendek was watching as were assistants from California, Washington State and Stanford. A big and physical rebounder, Dastrup also has some offensive skill.
He's a little raw, but 2014 power forward LaDamean Keys will get high-major looks. A super athlete with length and excellent instincts, Keys showed impressive flashes matched up with Isaiah Hicks. A product of Bogalusa (La.) High, he'll draw more coaches to watch him for Marc Rowe MSM4L next weekend.
It's pretty well known that Stephen Domingo can shoot the lights out from deep. So, it hasn't been surprising to see him draining three pointers. However, the 6-foot-7 four-star wing has gotten stronger and was much more aggressive on the glass than he's been in the past.
Only a freshman, we'll be seeing lots from Tyler Dorsey in the future. But the 6-foot-4 guard from Los Angeles (Calif.) Ribet is already playing on the 17 and under level and more than holding his own for Belmont Shore. A natural scorer who is strong with the bounce and dangerous as a jump shooter, he's a thinking scorer who constantly probes defenses.
Michigan has got themselves a good one in Mark Donnal. The 6-foot-9 big man is a smart and productive player who has a serious competitive streak in him. His footwork is outstanding and he's a good athlete who can finish through contact. Indiana Elite South teammate Alex Etherington looked good as well. The 6-foot-5 wing is an athletic driver who plays with physicality.
Colorado Chaos junior wing Carlton Hurst is an attractive option on the mid to upper mid-major level. At 6-2, he's very athletic and is a relentless driver of the basketball. How steady he can become with his jumper will have an impact on his recruiting. Wichita State and Colorado State are among those taking early looks.