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May 30, 2004
TOC: Day Two Player Evaluations
A multitude of prospects came through the Dean E. Smith Center during day two of the Tournament of Champions. Here is a breakdown on several of them.
BIRMNGHAM RAPTORS 16-under
Stanley Robinson- At 6-foot-8 Robinson is an elite prospect because of his skills with the ball. He was the Raptors' go-to-man against the press, breaking it with both the dribble and the pass. And the half court offense ran through him in the high post. From there he either drove it to the basket or made the set up pass. When he gets stronger, he will also be a force around the basket. Listing offers from Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Demetrius Jemison- Jemison was a powerful force down low in the first game of the day until he turned his ankle. Right now he is a 6-foot-6 tweener making the transition to the small forward position. Jemison claims offers from Cincinnati, Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Taurus Dortch- Dortch is a physically strong point guard who is extremely good with his left hand on the dribble, pass, and finish. Ironically, he had several plays where he was not strong with the ball and got it ripped from him. Did not shoot from the outside, but he made 9 of 10 free throws. Presently he favors Cincinnati and also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, UAB, and Ole Miss.
Cordell Pope- Despite his lack of foot speed, strength, and intensity, the 6-foot-6 wing player is still a top 2006 prospect because of his length and ability to shoot the ball.
KANSAS CITY PUMP N RUN
Leo Criswell- Although listed as a power forward, the 6-foot-8 Criswell played much more like a small forward. He shot the ball well from behind the arc and off the dribble. Handled the ball adequately, but he did nothing special with his passing. He played hard but was not very physical around the basket.
Al Graham- This 2007 point guard prospect got into the lane, passed the ball well, and made several three pointers. His shot is not the smoothest, but he knocked them down in this game. He is strong with the ball and physical on defense.
Monta Ellis- The Mississippi State commitment put on another show today scoring 33 points. The electric shooting guard can hit from anywhere and is extremely dangerous when following his shot.
Javaris Crittenton- The 6-foot-5 guard ran the point for the Celtics and repeatedly got to the rim with his right hand with mixed results. Other than with his penetration, he did not have much more impact on the game.
DeAndre Thomas- The 6-foot-8, 250-pound power forward is surprisingly mobile for his size. He also has very nice touch in the paint. The downside of his heavy size is poor conditioning. He has a good feel for the game and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. If Thomas drops some serious weight, he could make an impact on the high major level.
SPIECE INDY HEAT
Michael Conley, Jr.- Conley is the consummate winning point guard. He lets the game come to him and can do whatever his team needs him to do whether it is to distribute the ball quickly, draw the defense to create a shot, shoot from three, or create his own shot off the dribble. He is listing Wake Forest as his leader, with Indiana, Xavier, Michigan State, and Kentucky on his list. Wake Forest and Indiana have offered.
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ
Tazmin Mitchell- Mitchell had a better day today, hitting from behind the arc and scoring off the dribble on mid-range back to the basket moves. Around the basket he drew fouls although he does not get great elevation. Mitchell is one of those players that is good at everything but not necessarily great at anything.
Lewis Clinch- At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, Clinch is a shooting guard that can fill it up. Against the NC Gators he scored 27 points on an array of shots. He creates a natural separation on his jumper by bring the ball back on his release.
Eric Boateng- Boateng scored 16 points in a close win over the Illinois Wolves. He made his free throws, blocked numerous shots, and scored on several nice post moves against the much smaller Wolves. He has tremendous upside but must become more physical and improve his outside range.
Josh Thorton- Thorton can shoot it and loves to shoot it, but the 6-foot-1, 165-pound shooting guard is primarily just a shooter. He had difficulty scoring off the dribble, where he had to float to create space. But he is a pure shooter off the pass.
Bobby Frasor- Frasor is a complete guard and he displayed that fact again while scoring 22 points to keep the Wolves in the game against the Sharpshooters. He has a feathery soft jumper and can make the deep three off pass or dribble, the mid-range pull up, and the tough finish at the basket. Pure and simple, he is one of the best guards in the class of 2005.
Look for more player evaluations from the TOC in the coming days.