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July 14, 2012
Adidas Invite: Hammonds impresses
On the third day of the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, the college coaches in attendance Friday focused heavily on some younger prospects from the 2015 class, as well as some rising seniors from Texas.
Leyton Hammonds, 6-6, SF, Richland (Texas) High School 2013: Hammonds is a defensive stopper with a lot of passion who thrives on taking advantage of opponents' mistakes and converting them into easy buckets. The three-star wing has terrific length as a pass deflector, good size for a perimeter prospect and can really get up and down the floor with speed. Offensively, Hammonds is best at attacking off of the dribble or running the lane to wait for a guard's pass and finish it with a dunk. Hammonds will still need to continue to improve his jumper, but he shows a diverse offensive skillset as a shifty ballhandler that can score or pass the ball.
Zach Coleman, 6-7, PF, Dallas Woodrow Wilson 2013: Coleman is a three-star combo forward who is already committed to Missouri; Friday morning the Michigan Mustangs prospect had his future college coaches salivating with his all-around play. Coleman is a gifted scorer who can hurt you from outside with his jump shot, take you off the dribble and score on bigger players, or post up smaller prospects. He's as comfortable on the wing as in the high or low post, and he shows the athletic and physical tools to guard either area. What impressed most about Coleman was his level of energy, which sparked his team to consecutive blowout victories. The overall skill package, level of effort and athleticism of Coleman make him a solid recruiting coup for the Missouri Tigers.
Emmanuel Ezechinoso, 6-11, C, Marietta (Ga.) Covenant Christian 2013: Ezechinoso is a hidden gem from the Atlanta Celtics. He has a mature body and a massive frame to go along with athleticism. The 6-foot-11 center is a shotblocking master who times his jumps well, explodes with power and embraces the role of enforcer around the basket. He doesn't have a ton of offensive game at this point; but when he catches the ball down low the big fella is going up to the rim with power and can finish over the top of even the biggest prospects with two-handed dunks. Look for more news to come out of his camp as July continues to progress, as more high-major coaches continue to track him.
Roschon Prince, 6-5, SF, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2013: Prince is a junkyard dog who will give you a little bit of everything as a versatile combo forward. He's a high-level athlete that will block shots, defend the wing of post, run the floor and is also capable of pushing the break himself and making a play offensively. The energy of Prince was what sparked his team to a comeback win over the Ohio Phenoms on Friday night, as the 6-foot-5 forward was all over the boards and also finished two plays with impressive power above the rim. Prince can slip under the radar some because he doesn't focus too much on scoring the basketball, but he's the type of winner that every team needs; and no coach will mind having a kid with that type of athleticism on the team.
DeShaun Mormon, 6-4, SG, Washington (D.C.) Coolidge 2013: Mormon's effort for his Virginia Assault team is what sets him apart from other prospects participating in Indianapolis. The three-star guard runs the floor hard in transition, defends with a purpose and loves to bully people with his physical abilities. For a player who chooses that style of play, Mormon is also a very skilled prospect. In a loss to the Atlanta Celtics, Mormon really impressed with his athleticism and scoring abilities. He's a smooth slashing guard that can handle and pass the ball in the lane, while also displaying a nice stroke from behind the three-point line on the spot up.
Brennan Gillis, 6-6, PF, Indianapolis Ben Davis 2015: Gillis is a super aggressive rebounder who kept his high motor running from start to finish in a competitive loss to Urban DWF on Friday night. Offensively he's still somewhat raw but he does an excellent job of using his physical tools to create mismatches, and generate hustle points in the paint. Gillis is a good athlete with strength, and while he might not get much taller he should project as a prototypical power forward prospect because of his energy and skill set. The Eric Gordon All Stars forward spent a lot of time at the foul line on Friday night, and showed solid mechanics in converting the majority of his attempts.
Kenneth Barnette, 6-6, PF, Raleigh (N.C.) Cardinal Gobbins 2015: Barnette was impressive in Rivals' first viewing of the young North Carolina big man from the Garner Road Bulldogs. He has nice size for a young power forward, is mobile and plays with high energy as a competitor. Barnette is a skilled power forward who can hit the mid-range jump shot and likes to face up and attack out of the mid-post area. He works hard to secure rebounding position and is willing to play with physicality in the paint on defense. Against Indiana Elite on Friday, Barnette was the top prospect on the court; consistently making productive offensive plays despite double teams.
Hyron Edwards, 6-0, PG, Evansville (Ind.) East Chicago Central 2015: Edwards is one of the highest regarded young guards in the Midwest, and the amount of high-major college coaches that tracked him on Friday (Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Xavier to name a few) proves that. He's a speedy pace-changer who excels at shifting gears in the full-court. According to coaches, you simply can't teach his efficiency as a scorer in the transition game, and he already shows a college level understanding of the pick-and-roll situation as a ballhandler. Edwards isn't a great shooter yet but he's very crafty at attacking the rim and scoring; while also showing signs of being a good distributor. Playing at an advanced pace for such a young age, Edwards' understanding of tempo, time and score makes him such an intriguing young floor general.
Tyler Williams, 6-5, SG, Dallas Hebron 2015: Williams is a shifty slasher who loves to compete against high-level competition. The Urban DFW wing was able to score the ball prolifically in a win over Eric Gordon All Stars on Friday by constantly looking to be aggressive with his dribble, and using his superior size for a rising sophomore guard to rise over defenders. Williams showed signs of having a mature mid-range jumper, but was more aggressive playing off the wing and attacking the basket with straight-line drives to the rim. He's a good athlete who can play a variety of positions at 6-foot-5, and is willing to use his size to his advantage on the defensive end.