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April 24, 2004Magnolia standout ready to take place among elites
Shannon (Miss.) High School combo guard Courtney Fells broke onto the national recruiting scene Friday night with a 30 point, 11 rebound and six assist effort in the Lighthouse All-stars opening win. Fells, 6-foot-5, 180-pounds, knocked down seven three pointers with a beautiful jumper that extended well outside the arc. Blessed with long arms and nice instincts he does a good job of putting himself in position on the boards.
While this will be the first time you see his name mentioned among the elite's in the 2005 class, Fells isn't exactly a secret among college coaches. NC State and Ole Miss have both extended scholarship offers with a few others showing interest. Although Fells indicated that it was early in the recruiting process he currently has six schools who are in the lead for his services.
"I like NC State, Florida State, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama," Fells said. "My overall favorite is probably NC State because they have offered and I like the ACC.
"I grew up a North Carolina fan. So if they offer I would be very interested in them as well."
Look for Fells to be ranked in the next RivalsHoops.com 2005 poll that will be released before the summer.
Former Michigan State commitment taking his time
Michigan Hurricane shooting guard Eric Devendorf enjoyed an easy night on the hardwood as his team won in convincing fashion. While Devendorf, 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, saw his shots limited he did manage to finish with 11 points including an acrobatic lay-up that required him to contort his body in mid-air in order to finish an ill advised alley-oop attempt. With a few impressive passes Devendorf showed he had not only good court vision but more importantly a great feel for the game.
Last year Devendorf gave an early commitment to Tom Izzo and the Spartans but backed off his pledge in order to see what options waited for him.
"It was nothing against State," Devendorf said. "I really like the staff and they are still one of my favorites. However, I did feel I got caught up in the emotion and wanted to take a step back and think things through.
"Currently I like Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Florida, Syracuse, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. I'm going to Florida in a few weeks for an unofficial and I'll narrow down my list as the summer continues."
Tennessee small forward getting focused on recruiting
While Tyler Smith saw his Southeast Elite team hampered by the San Antonio Flames zone defense, he also saw his number of open looks kept to a minimum. As a result Smith along with his teammates struggled to an opening round loss.
On the night Smith finished with eight points including an impressive dunk off the break in which he went over one defender. But on the defensive end is where he played best, finishing with eight rebound and three steals.
Smith, 6-foot-7, 210-pounds, has an impressive list of suitors but stated he was getting ready to narrow list down to the lucky five finalists for his signature.
"Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Duke, Florida, Kansas and some others in the SEC and ACC are who I am interested in," Smith said. "I plan to get down to my top five in the next couple of weeks. Right now I am wide open and I know it's going to be hard to eliminate some of the schools."
Lone Star point guard shines in Houston
While the state of Texas has perhaps the best argument for who the top in-state point guard is, Houston Elite standout Jovan Adams has thrown his hat into the ring and most certainly should be considered at or near the top of the list.
Adams, 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, lit up the 1 tough school for 34 points with the majority of those points coming from outside the three point line. Although solid from the perimeter, Adams has the physique and handle to muscle into the paint to finish near the rim or give an assist to a teammate.
While offense is what might stand out the most, he is also a good on ball defender who can pick-up the length of the floor.
Although Adams' stock has continued to rise he has managed to narrow his favorites to six schools.
"I have offers from Boston College, DePaul, Illinois and Oklahoma State. I like those four along with Florida and UConn," Adams said. "All of those schools have playing time and I also like their style of play."
Quick, fast and in a hurry-Prospects on the rise
Shooting guard Gerald Green was perhaps the most impressive player of the night with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in Houston Elite's win. Green, 6-foot-8, and one of the more versatile players in the 2005 class, has an impressive offensive arsenal that includes the three, mid-range jumper and low post game. He has a long list of suitors which includes Kansas, Arizona, Indiana, Texas, Louisville, Oklahoma and UCLA among others.
South Florida small forward Brian Asbury continued his impressive summer tour by pouring in 21 points and 10 rebounds. Asbury is a wafer thin 6-foot-6 athlete who gets to the basket and with impressive hops finishes in style. Likes to shoot it from outside the arc but his game is basically 15-foot and in. Florida, Florida State, Louisville and Miami are the early favorites.
2006 Birmingham Raptor wing guard Cordell Pope is one of the best pure shooters in his class. In his opening round game he knocked down five 1st half treys and finished with 20 points. Although, he is limited defensively he will have plenty of high majors to choose from. UConn, Cincinnati, Kentucky and UCLA make up his early wish list.
Another 2006 prospect from the Birmingham Raptors, Stanley Robinson also was impressive with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 small forward is basically a three or dunk guy but his handle has improved and his mid-range game has improved. Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida State and Cincinnati are showing early interest.
Houston Elite 2006 small forward Dale Van Wright is another impressive underclassman from Texas. Wright, 6-foot-6, doesn't excel in any one area but is solid all over the floor. Playing on the loaded Elite team he managed to hold his own. Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Houston are the frontrunners.
Southeast Elite point guard Kegan Bell will be one of the top prospects at his position in the 2007 class. Bell, 6-foot-1, has a natural feel for the game and with good handle and great floor vision is fully capable of running an offense. The Huntsville (Ala.) native still has a tendency to try and do too much but he has excellent handle and a long range jumper that give him plenty of options. Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana are some of the schools he favors.
***Mark Reeves contributed to this report***