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April 13, 2008

Boo Williams: Day two notebook

MORE: Boo Williams: Saturday evening | Boo Williams: Day One | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

HAMPTON, Va. - The host squad of the Boo Williams Invitational finally faced a challenge in the quarterfinals of the Gold Division playoffs Saturday night. Boo Williams, however, came out on top of the New York Gauchos without too much trouble. Tristan Spurlock, who has been one of the most impressive prospects in the tournament, had another impressive performance and spoke about his recruitment with Rivals.com.

One of the better small forwards in the class of 2009 Spurlock broke down his school list. At the bottom of the list are Maryland (offer), Wake Forest (offer), North Carolina, Texas (offer) and USC. On the middle level are Virginia (offer), North Carolina State (offer) and Florida State (offer). And sitting at the top of the list is Georgetown (offer).

"Georgetown is close to home, and I like the way they play," commented Spurlock. "I've been able to get to know Coach Thompson well, and Georgetown is just right across the river from me."

Another strong impression

Mark down the name Mouptaou Tarou has prospect on his way to blowing up this spring. A hardnosed 6-foot-9 power forward at Massenutten Military Academy, Tauro made a quick mark on this event with strong play in his first tow games against the Alabama Challenge and the New York Gauchos. Tarou plays with a strong motor, running the court, defending and rebounding. He also has the potential to be a skilled offensive player down the road, showing flashes of handling the ball and converting some tough shots.

According to Massenutten Military Academy head coach Cedrick Broadhurst, only New Mexico State and some A-10 schools are aware of Tarou at this point. Look for a slew of high majors to become well aware of Tarou over the next couple weeks.

16-under action

Travis McKie has been making a lot of noise for the Boo Williams 16-under squad. He continued the strong play during the first half of his third pool play game. The wiry 6-foot-7ish athlete had his way around the basket registering 15 points and 6 rebounds in one half of basketball. Look for McKie to register as a five-star in the soon to be updated 2010 rankings.

The Alabama Challenge lost a tough battle to the Metro Hawks, despite a strong second half effort by Ralston Turner. On 3-3 shooting from the arc and a couple of two-pointers mixed in, Turner scored 16 points in the second half. A fluid shooter with size, Turner is a very difficult match up on the 16-under level.

Scouting tidbits

Pittsburg is getting a good one in 6-foot-5 shooting guard Lamar Patterson. Poised and talented, Patterson is a subtle yet commanding presence on the court. There is not a lot of flash to his games but he makes all the right plays. Long and strong for his position, Patterson has passed the ball extremely well, slashed to the basket, hit jumpers and defended and rebounded his position. And to top it all off, he rarely makes mistakes. Solid is what he is, but that term just doesn't seem to do him justice.

Deshawn Painter has struggled to make plays around the basket due primarily to a lack of strength, but he has demonstrated the ability to knock down midrange jumpers. Painter runs the floor well and gives a strong effort, but the key to developing his game is the key to the weight room.

Ferrakohn Hall's ability to pass the ball and defend multiple positions as been impressive here. The combo forward did a nice job defending shooting guard Scott Wood, who is headed to NC State.

You can't help but think about Jai Lucas when watching undersized 2010 point guard Phil Pressey play for BABC 17-under squad. With a NBA lineage and NBA workout routine, Pressey can make all the difficult shots that a little guy needs to be able to make amongst the tall lumber. There are still questions about his long range shot, but there is no question about his ability to handle the rock and deliver the ball to teammates.

Pressey's teammate Alex Oriakhi must be commended for the steady improvement he has made over the years. Looking close to 6-foot-10 and well developed, Oriakhi is not just a physical presence around the basket, he is also an adept finisher. He has dropped in multiple left handed shots amongst other difficult finishes. Perhaps one of the best things he does offensively is cover a lot of territory with one strong power dribble in the paint.

His present teammate on BABC and future teammate at Connecticut Jamal Coombs had a strong game along with Pressey and Oriakhi in an impressive playoff win over Howard Pulley in the Gold Division playoffs. His slashing to the basket resulted in points, and he pulled off some impressive passes. Always active, Coombs doesn't always get max production from the activity, but he did in this game. As is the case for a lot of these prospects, getting stronger might be the critical factor in raising production and a consistent basis.

There is no denying that Boo Williams shooting guard Steven Pledger is a big time shooter with a high major body.

Tevin Baskin of the New York Gauchos appeared to run out of steam against Boo Williams Saturday night, but he was a terror to opponents in pool play. With one of the best motors in the class, Baskins is constantly attacking the glass for rebounds, attacking the rim with the basketball and making defensive plays with his athletic hustle.

Royce White won't blow you away with his athleticism, but he is a well built forward with a game that looks well suited for the Big Ten. He is smooth with the basketball, can make plays off the dribble and has shot the ball efficiently from the outside.

Now his Howard Pulley teammate Rodney Williams has electrifying hops and will blow you away with his athleticism. He has aggressively made good use of his leaping ability around the basket. It is critical, however, that he iron out the kinks in his jumper and gain some type of trust in a midrange game.

There is a lot of Royce White in Team New Jersey's Paris Bennett. Well built and crafty with the ball, Bennett looked like a natural scorer as a combo forward against Team Melo.

Dante Taylor has an impressive physique, runs the floor well and is potent around the basket, but there is still work to be done with his perimeter game. There is no denying he has a very high ceiling if he can make strides with his jumper and ability to attack the basket with the dribble.

Josh Selby is a 2010 point guard with a whole lot of promise. Well built and fast with the ball, Selby has the physical tools to make the plays a big time point guard needs to make.

And finally, speaking of big time point guards, John Wall, himself and others continually bring up the Derrick Rose comparison. Yes, there are many similarities between the two players. But along with his over the top athleticism, the critical factor in Rose's game was his ability to involve teammates, avoid over dribbling and maintain a sole focus on winning the game. For the immensely talented Wall, developing this type of mentality is essential for him to become a truly elite prospect like Rose.



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