Coverage includes recaps of Troy Gillenwater, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Mamadou Diarra, Kene Obi, Jin Soo Kim and others.
6'7, Junior, PF, Stoneridge Prep
Of course Gillenwater doesn't have immediate one and done potential like some of the other top prep players have due to his lack of size and freakish athleticism, but that is one thing that colleges absolutely eat up. They know that they're getting a guy who will most likely be there for four years, and is going to be incredibly productive throughout the duration of his college career. Honestly though, it is scary how well he has already adjusted to being an undersized power forward constantly facing athletic 6'10 big men on the prep level, so his transition in college should not be that difficult. I guess his ability to consistently gain experience of playing against top level players is one (of the few) benefits that prep school basketball has to offer players today, and will help him greatly once he lands in the NCAA.
6-9, Power Forward, Senior, South Kent (Committed to Washington)
Bryan-Amaning used his athleticism on countless opportunities to get in front of the defense in transition and throw down some impressive finishes, but when asked to produce when the half-court, his weaknesses were really exposed. His ball-handling skills for one still need plenty of work, and his outside shot is both ugly and inconsistent. His body, length and athleticism leads you to believe that he's got a huge upside to develop, but his feel for the gameor rather lack thereofmakes him more of a down the road prospect than an elite one at this point, from what we saw at least. South Kent cruised to an easy win over a extremely weak opponent and Bryan-Amaning seemed to be enjoying himself out there.
7-0, Center, Post-Graduate, Stoneridge Prep (Undecided)
On one hand Diarra will struggle to catch easy passes in the post and finish over players 5-6 inches shorter than him due to his non-existent post moves. But just when you're ready to write him off, he'll come up with a huge block on one end and then run the floor and spot up for an NBA range 3-pointer, swishing it effortlessly as if it were nothing for him. The fact that he hit two of these 3-pointers and looked absolutely terrific doing so in terms of his mechanics and confidence leads you to believe that it isn't just a flash in the pan.
Diarra's biggest problem is the fact that he has terrible hands for a 7-footer. He bobbled at least a dozen post entry passes and rebounds tonight, and generally got outhustled and scored on by players who had no business doing so. He's extremely raw and lacks a great sense for where he is on the floor at any given moment, but it's nearly impossible to ignore the fantastic tools he brings to the floor. Diarra is a legit 7 footer with an NBA body, something that will certainly make him a hot commodity on the recruiting scene as long as he remains uncommitted. USC, Arizona, Tennessee, Baylor, Fresno State and UConn are all vying for his signing.
5'11, Junior, PG, Stoneridge Prep
On the bright side, the junior continued to show that he has the ability to break down just about anybody off of the dribble, and finish in the lane despite his small stature. He used his body incredibly well in the paint, allowing him to finish over much taller and more athletic defenders all weekend long.
The biggest question that college coaches will ask themselves is Can this guy run my team? To be honest with you, I cannot tell you how well Johnson will be able to run a team at the high major collegiate level, considering that he can't even run a team at the prep school level. It is clear however that he can score on just about anyone in the country, from absolutely anywhere on the court. It must be noted that Johnson was an original member of the class of 2006 at Minneapolis Henry HS, and has since reclassified two years below to the class of 2008, making him yet another casualty in the prep school reclassification game.
7-1, Center, Senior, South Kent (Uncommitted)
Obi is about as raw a big man as you'll find. Whether its getting rejected by the rim on a dunk attempt, not recognizing the 3 seconds in the paint rule or tripping all over himself in the layup line or while going after a rebound, everything looks completely new to him. He's got phenomenal size and an incredible wingspan, but his body is extremely unproportioned, with a fantastic upper body compared with two of the skinniest legs you'll find around. Until he finds his coordination and gains quite a bit of experience in actual game-time situations, Obi will remain a project of the highest order.
Jin Soo Kim
6'9, Sophomore, SF, South Kent
In his limited playing time, Kim showed that he truly is a small forward at a legit 6-foot-9. He showed flashes of potential, especially when he knocked down two three pointers (one from a stand still, one off the dribble) in the last two minutes of South Kent's win over Massanutten Military Academy. He has a sweet stroke from beyond the arc, but showed little else in his sparse playing time this weekend. The sophomore wing seemed to struggle on the wing against smaller, quicker players making one wonder how he is going to be able to defend at the collegiate level. He was also incredibly passive, literally forcing South Kent coach Ralph Chillious to yell at him to shoot the ball, in which he missed badly.
It was clear to all in attendance that Kim was a very talented player, but just didn't seem to have the confidence and/or fit in the with prep school style of play. It seemed like he would fit in much better at a school where he would be able to be the focal point of the offense (like he was in California last year), which would allow him to gain confidence in his game so fans could truly see how talented the young Korean actually is. Either way, we were still looking at a 6'9 small forward, with high major potential written all over him.