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April 29, 2006Akron, Ohio-A Saturday early morning match up between Triple Threat and the Illinois Wolves drew head coaches from Illinois, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Ohio State, Maryland and Pittsburgh. A number of prospects stood out in the game, the best being silky smooth Evan Turner, who led the Wolves to a close win.
Evan Turner is a smooth athlete at near 6-foot-7 who plays like a budding new age point guard. He finished with 15 points on 4 of 7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 2 assists and 3 turnovers while playing everywhere on the court for the Wolves and sharing point guard duties with Demetri McCamey. Turner guarded every position on the court and was rarely scored on if ever. He did a more than admirable job guarding both Chris Braswell and Jeff Jones.
Offensively, he handles the ball equally well with either hand and has a superb hesitation move going either direction. He definitely needs to get stronger and put on weight, and how well he shoots it from deep is a question mark. But with such a fluid handle, mid-range capabilities, court vision and defensive prowess, Turner is certainly a five-star candidate.
Chris Braswell is another five-star candidate, although in the 2008 class. Braswell scored 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 turnovers in a losing effort against the Wolves. Braswell continued to successful go to the well with power drives and back to the basket power dribbles to his right and then a quick spin back to his left. Braswell looked a solid 6-foot-8 and played with strength around the basket.
A bullish point guard who takes a while to get used to, Demetri McCamey is more athletic than he appears. He has a running backs burst after his crossover dribble, and once he has a shoulder past his man, he keeps him pinned on his hip.
He plays low to the ground with a strong center of gravity both on offense and defense. Once again, he is better laterally on defense than you would expect based on his robust build.
Jeff Jones was one player on Triple Threat that did a good job containing McCamey's penetration. Jones provides a solid presence in the Triple Threat backcourt. He ran the point for most of the game, feed the ball to Braswell inside and drew fouls with his penetration. Didn't have a great shooting game, but that is one of the best things he does.
Lesser known Wolves.
Dwight McCombs, a bouncy 6-foot-7 forward, blocked shots, ran the floor and finished inside. He also made free throws down the stretch. McCombs has offers from Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, Illinois-Chicago and Loyola (Ill.).
Mike Stovall, a 6-foot-7 forward has nice shooting range a solid footwork on defense. Iowa State, ULNV, Arizona State, Purdue and Minnesota are already in the mix.
Ohio Big Fellas
B.J. Mullens played with more aggression on the defensive end and on the boards in his morning game.
His teammate Yancy Gates does a great job of passing the ball up the court after defensive rebounds. Still feel that he has the tools to have a much bigger impact on the game than he has in our two viewings this weekend.
Kosta Koufos is working off the rust after sitting out with his foot injury. A solid 7-footer at 260-pounds, his conditioning is still off a little. Koufos did have some nice moments against the Fox Valley Skillz, the best being a pull up three going left that he drained.
After the game, he did confirm that he has a top three of Maryland, Ohio State and Louisville, while also saying he was keeping his options open. Thad Matta and Gary Williams were at his game.
Tommy Amaker, Bruce Webber and assistants from Connecticut and Michigan State were also in the gym focused on Koufos' 2008 teammate Delvon Roe, who is listing Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois. Roe stated that Illinois and Michigan are presently recruiting him the hardest.
A lefty, Roe is tough to stop inside when he turns to his right shoulder for his ever improving jump hook. He was also very active on the boards.
Alex Legion missed the first day of action due to a track meet. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard told Rivals.com that even though he has decommitted from Michigan, the Wolverines are still on his list along with Illinois, Kansas, UCLA, Villanova, Connecticut and Arizona.
Darquavis Tucker has certainly elevated his game since last summer. The ambidextrous and athletic swing man is hitting threes and getting to the basket. His activity on the boards and in the mid-range make him the most productive player on the Michigan Hurricanes.
And speaking of production, there is little doubt that Corperryale Harris is the most productive player for The Family. Harris has a tremendous feel for the game and is always around the ball. He scores from all three levels, picks up garbage buckets and gets to the free throw line. Able to play all three perimeter positions and defend them as well, Harris is picking up new schools in his recruitment every weekend. Off the top of his head, he listed Michigan (offer), Marquette, Wisconsin (offer), Illinois, Miami (offer), Tennessee (offer) and Indiana as the schools recruiting him the hardest.
Harris' teammate Paul Williams is a 2008 prospect with quite a bright future. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound left handed shooting guard has shot the ball well from the arc and attacks the basket with strength. He should also develop into a very good defender. He lists Michigan State, UCLA, Arkansas, Syracuse and Cincinnati and claims offers from all but UCLA.
Coach Izzo has to be thinking of ways to utilize the high ball screen. Michigan State commit and The Family point guard Kalin Lucas knows how to get down hill in a hurry off the ball screen. Lucas is still a little erratic with his mid-range game, but he does a great job of giving the ball up early to his talented wings like Durrell Summers.
Terrence Boyd is another hot young prospect with Kansas State on his mind. The 2009 power guard has high interest in Bob Huggins' program and also has interest in Illinois and Kansas.
Anthony McClain claims offers from a host of schools, including Georgetown, Maryland, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Wake Forest and Kansas.
Another point guard who gives the ball up early and often is Derrick Rose. Rarely do you find a player so talented, athletic and so capable of dominating a game blend in so well with his teammates. The ultimate catalyst, Rose makes his teammates so much better, and that is why they love to play with him.
Along with his willingness to share the ball, Rose effortlessly gets to the basket at will. He has an array of set up moves to get into the lane and then he extends to the rim with either hand as quick as any guard on the circuit.
But the kicker with Rose is that he can go on scoring outbursts. The bottom line is that he knows how to win and is all about winning, and that is what solidifies him as the best point guard in the 2007 class, behind only O.J. Mayo.