With not much to do on a cloudy Sunday in Orlando I decided to indulge
in some hoops and preview the future of college basketball.
The AAU Super Showcase was held at the Wide World of Sports here at the
Disney complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida last week. While the Vegas
tournaments got more publicity and produced the better pool of players,
there was still plenty of talent on display here in Orlando.
Let me preface this article by saying these are my observations based on
what I saw in one day’s worth of action. Meaning I understand that
someone might have had a bad game, but I will share my opinions about
the games I DID see.
Tyler Hansbrough – 6-9 – St. Louis, MO –
Poplar Bluff HS – AAU Team – St. Louis Eagles – Uncommitted
For me, undoubtedly Tyler Hansbrough was the best player I saw. He’s the
“real deal” folks and worth every bit of notoriety his recruitment has
garnered. Coaches lined both ends of the court for his head-to-head
match up with Julian Wright of the Illinois Warriors. Though his team
came up short, it was a stellar performance by the 6-9 Hansbrough. He
had excellent hands, made numerous catches in traffic, and never had the
ball stripped. He was active on the offensive glass, an efficient
finisher inside, and drew the hoop and the harm on several occasions.
From the foul line? Forget it. He has a great touch. Tyler also
impressed me with his footwork. A lot of times that’s lacking at the
high school level, but Tyler was fundamentally very sound. Tyler led the
break on two occasions and dished off for easy baskets. His versatility
stood out as he scored in a multitude of ways. His face up moves were
deceptively quick and he was more then adept off the dribble -- couple
that with his toughness inside – and you have a sure-fire stud. He was
clearly the best player on the floor.
Louis Williams – 6-1 – Snellville, GA -
South Gwinett HS – AAU Team Georgia Stars – Committed to
The second best prospect I saw was Louis Williams of the Georgia Stars.
Without question Louis produced the most oohs and aahh’s. Williams wears
the number 23 and does remind me a bit of Lebron James. He’s a very
smooth player who makes the game look easy and we was at his peak
performance for a big game Sunday against the Jersey All-Stars. He
destroyed the opposition with pinpoint precision passing and impressive
drives to the basket. He’s a tremendous offensive weapon. Conversely, I
would have to say I was not overly impressed with his defense. Williams
is committed to Georgia (though there have been rumors that he will
continue to look around) but wherever he goes fans are in for a treat.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he were to go pro.
Jeff Adrien – 6-6 – Brookline, MA -
Brookline HS – AAU Team BABC – Uncommitted
He’s become a hot commodity and after seeing him play I understand why.
He was impressive and relentless on the glass against Boo Williams.
Jeff’s work ethic was to be commended. He finished strong around the
hoop and seemed to have a nose for the ball. He was tough and extremely
strong in traffic; lethal combinations for a team looking for an inside
presence. The interest from Kansas has increased though no offer has
been made. Not surprising since he’s seemingly the type of player Self
covets for his high-low offense.
Julian Wright – 6-8 – Flossmoor, IL -
Homewood-Flossmoor HS – AAU Team Illinois Warriors – Uncommitted
Julian is a player whose stock has been on the rise but in the game I
saw vs. St. Louis he was clearly overshadowed by Hansbrough. I was
excited to see him play but honestly, I expected more. Again, maybe it
was an off game for him. There’s no doubt he’s got a college basketball
body and will probably be a small forward at the college level. I didn’t
feel like he was much of a scorer but he showed good passing ability,
and clearly makes the players around him better. He will contribute to a
big name program. Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, and Arizona were in
attendance for his game.
Anthony Farmer – 6-1 – Richland, NJ -
St. Augustine Prep – AAU Team New Jersey All-Stars – Committed to
Anthony Farmer had the tough task of guarding Louis Williams in New
Jersey’s clash with the Georgia Stars. Farmer looked like he was
standing still on defense but he never backed down from the challenge of
guarding a player of Williams caliber. Farmer also got the last laugh by
making the winning shot in what was without question the game of the
tournament. He and fellow Rutgers commit Jaron Griffith have a bright
future playing together.
– 6-8 – Oak Tree Academy (VA) – showed great touch from 15 feet…
– 5-8 – Garinger HS (NC) – small but big in game…excellent point guard
and even better competitor.
– 6-2 – Lawrenceville Prep (NJ) – can really shoot it and has range…
Underclassman who impressed me the most:
– 6-5 – I.C. Norcom (VA)