Sunday, November 18, 2012
National Prep Showcase Day 1 recap
By Dave Telep
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -– If you look at the National Prep Showcase with a wide lens, you’ll notice that the event serves two purposes. The high-end talent has a major platform in which to state their case and solidify their standing amongst their peers.
Secondly, the event provides a stage in which seniors – or underclassmen – can either beef up their recruitments or evolve into a legitimate prospect altogether.
Saturday’s action was highlighted by a commanding performance from a top 10 recruit who recently announced he will head to Bloomington, Ind. No. 8 overall prospect and third-ranked power forward Noah Vonleh was simply amazing in leading his team to victory.
Indiana commit Noah Vonleh is the No. 8 player in the ESPN 100.
Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton), PF, 2013 There’s a way that great prospects conduct themselves in the winter of their senior year. The best players find a way. Vonleh was not himself in terms of finishing plays in the first half against Hargrave but through the slump he kept rebounding. In the second half, however, he was an absolute monster. When it was over, he had spearheaded a rally that handed Hargrave its first loss I can remember at this event. Vonleh finished with 27 points (11-20 FG) to go with 18 rebounds. That’s what an All-American performance looks like. I dare you to name a better offensive rebounder in the country than the 6-foot-8 Vonleh.
Kuran Iverson (Windsor, Conn./Fishburne Military), SF, 2013 Iverson was easily the most naturally gifted player at the event. After an opening night that lacked sizzle, he came out Saturday morning on the attack. The kid can really score and thrives in one-on-one situations. He’s a very good tough shot-maker. When he gets to Memphis, the areas of emphasis will be improving his shot selection, beefing up his rebounding totals and playing with more focus and consistency. From a talent standpoint, he’s elite. To complete the circle, he’s got to lock in and approach every game with the same intensity and there’s work to be done on focus. Hit a big 3-pointer to tie up a game late.
Matchup of the Day
Terry Rozier (Hargrave Military, Shaker Heights, Ohio), PG, 6-1, 2013 vs.
Travis Jorgenson (Columbia, Mo./New Hampton), PG, 2013 The head-to-head showdown didn’t really materialize until the second half. Rozier is one of the most athletic guards in 2013 (he’s a post-grad) and is lightning fast and strong to the rim. He’s the best player on Hargrave’s team and combined with Chris Jones and Anton Gill will make Louisville very formidable next year. Rozier is hard to guard and Rick Pitino will want him to eliminate the unforced errors form the point.
Jorgenson is the runner of the team for New Hampton. He didn’t make perimeter shots here but does his best to get into the offense and is conscientious about feeding the post. The question will be can he guard at the highest-level as a starter? Will be able to keep defenses honest from the perimeter? Alabama head coach Anthony Grant was here watching Jorgenson. He’s no longer considering Missouri and is hearing from Creighton, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Arizona State also had an assistant in New Haven eyeballing him.
Miami-bound SG Deandre Burnett is a prolific scorer.
Deandre Burnett (Miami, Fla./Massanutten), SG, 2013
After a cold spell on Friday night, Burnett made amends by going 16-for-19 on Saturday. It’s an easy comparison given their native Miami, but Burnett has Kenny Boynton tendencies. He doesn’t have ideal 2-guard size but he can hoop nevertheless. He got steals, layins and knocked down his share of 3-pointers. He’ll be a guy that Miami can count on for buckets. Burnett is kind of like a gambler on both ends who has big payoffs when he’s hot. This wasn’t the first time he’s dropped 40 points in this early season.
Bigs require seasoning
When a college can sign a big man with even the slightest bit of upside, we’re seeing these guys fly off the board. Last year, Maryland took center Damonte Dodd (Prince Georges, Md./Massanutten). What Dodd really needed was a redshirt year and a weight program. The tools are there but he hasn’t made significant strides since the end of last year yet it’s reasonable to continue holding out hope. You can’t replicate his length and natural athletic ability. Mark Turgeon, who has an affinity for developing bigs, took in his game on Saturday.
At 6-10 and 215 pounds, Trevor Thompson (Indianapolis, Ind./St. John’s NW Military Academy) easily aces the look test. He’s been blessed with a tremendous frame and passes every physical test -- from his board shoulders to the ability to play with athleticism. He’s not a finisher in the lane just yet; from close range he didn’t connect on shots even with marginal contact. Like Dodd, he’s going to need time and perhaps even a redshirt year at Virginia Tech.
Matt Atewe (Fitchburg, Mass./Notre Dame Prep) is an anchor type of big. You simply don’t find many guys this big and college strong at this juncture of their career. Around the bucket he can put it down too. High-majors are looking his way.
Here’s the point: these guys are going to need time. They look the part but they need the reps, teaching and fundamental work that comes with being part of a college program. Because they look like men doesn’t mean they’re ready. Patience is required with these guys.
Youth is served
Chris McCullough (Bronx, N.Y./Brewster), PF, 2014
The recent Syracuse pledge was on the wrong end of an upset but regardless, his talent was undeniable. A Chris Bosh-style forward, McCullough has an added dose of athleticism to go with serious length (a Syracuse trait) and deft perimeter touch inside the 3-point line. He’ll be a rim protector and a scorer for the Orangemen.
News and notes
William & Mary has itself a good two-way guard in Daniel Dixon (Great Falls, Va./Fishburne). He is a reliable guard with a solid stroke and has some swagger as a scorer.
With the premium placed on size this time of year, center Matt Atewe (Fitchburg, Mass./Notre Dame Prep) could hear his number called frequently, with Kansas State, Marquette, Nebraska, Auburn and Memphis all targeting him.
Iverson picked a unique place to sign his letter of intent with Memphis. According to reports, he signed in the lobby of Albertus Magnus College. Not exactly the Ritz Carlton, but it allowed his future college coach to go on ESPNU and comment on his new forward Friday night.
Before Rashad Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Kiski) packs his bags for IPFW (Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne), he orchestrated one of the biggest upsets in the history of the event. Richardson drilled seven 3s as Kiski trailed big early, rallied and held on late to defeat Brewster. Richardson finished with 29 points. But here’s the kicker: IPFW hasn’t been able to obtain a signature from Richardson yet this week. Stay tuned.