2008 RBK Summer Championships: Top 20
The 2008 RBK Summer Championships was not filled with it's usual long list of elite talent. However, there was plenty of talent to see nonetheless, including several head to head match-ups of the top guards in the Class of 2009. Here is my top 15 players in the Class of 2009 and the top 5 of 2010 at the Summer Championships in Vegas.
Class of 2009
John Wall 6'4 PG Raleigh, NC. D-One Sports (NC.)
The North Carolina based point guard separated himself from the pack in Las Vegas. His ability to get into the teeth of the defense on every possession was phenomenal. In transition, his speed creates a "one man fast break". He has a wiry frame but has no problem making contact and finishing. He did turn the ball over quite a bit, but I blame that on the fact that he hasn't developed a consistent outside shot yet, so he drove to the cup too often and got called for a travel or an offensive foul. But overall his decision making was terrific. He played stellar in all areas averaging 23.6ppg and 8apg. And on Day 2, had a statement game against DC Triple Threat where he "stuffed the stats" with 26pts, 9rbs, 11ast, 4blks and 5stls. He took his team to the finals and loss to Team Breakdown (FL.). Still he stated his case as the #1 overall player in the class of 2009.
Kenny Boynton 6'2 PG/SG Pompano, FL, Team Breakdown (FL.)
A flat-out scorer from anywhere on the floor. His ability to stroke it from deep is very impressive. It's not the most "picturesque" looking jump shot, but his confidence in his ability to rise-up from anywhere on the floor makes him deadly. His ability to shoot with a man in his face is truly remarkable, and when he gets on a roll, watch put! KB can get to the glass and scorer with a variety of floaters, off-balance runners and at times flush it with style! He brings the goods every time out and had several 30 plus performances and finished averaging 22.2.
Avery Bradley 6'3 SG Tacoma, WA. Northwest Panthers (WA.)
Bradley is one of those athletic Seattle wings that can score with athleticism, and has all around skills in the mold of Brandon Roy or Jamal Crawford. Has a solid stroke from deep but can also slash to the rim with the best of them and finish strong. He had games of 37, two 35 pt performances and a 40 pt explosion against Colorado Chaos, finishing up 2nd overall in Vegas averaging 29.4ppg.
Abdul Gaddy 6'3 PG Tacoma, WA. Northwest Panthers (WA.)
Gaddy proved his case as one of the top PG's in the Class of 2009. Although he and Bradley got destroyed by the Knight-Boynton duo, Gaddy showed what a gifted playmaker he is throughout the event. Has great size for the position, a solid handle, can run a team with great decision making (which Avery Bradley benefited from) and has a decent stroke from downtown. Rumor has it that Arizona is still the leader for his services, despite his decommitment from "point guard U".
Ray Penn 5'8 PG Houston, TX. Houston Superstars (TX).
Penn came into Vegas virtually an unknown outside the state of Texas, but left Vegas with his name and number on speed dial of every college coach in attendance at the RBK Summer Championships. No player was able to defend Penn all week. Short in stature (5'8...and that's a stretch) he can create space for his ULTRA-QUICK release of his pretty stroke from deep. He has a very slick and creative handle that allows him to get anywhere on the floor. And he is more than just a deep shooter, excellent mid-range game, impressive penetrator and a solid free throw shooter. Aside from the scoring prowess, Penn is a tremendous passer to boot, with the ability to set teammates up for easy buckets. How about these numbers from a 5'8ish (more like 5'6) PG: games of 43, 37 and 44. Led the tournament averaging 35.8ppg. Any list of players from Reebok is incomplete without this guy!
Ryan Kelley 6'10 Louisburg, NC. D-One Sports (NC.)
For this AAU event I decided to sit in the section with AAU team and/or H.S. coaches, parents and participating players instead of the media section. And in D-One Sports first game, Ryan got the ball about 22 feet out, and coaches and parents begin yelling "make him put it on the floor!". Well Ryan did, with a sweet cross-over left then a spin back right with a sweet, fade-away from 18ft...All net! Next possession he got it in the same spot, again they yelled "back off him an' make him shoot". Well Ryan did, a deep 3...All net! Ryan Kelley is a VERY SKILLED big man. He has the ability to both play facing or with his back to the basket and his impressive skill-set will only improved with the right coach and situation. Not sure where he is leaning...but Gonzaga and/or Notre Dame would be a perfect fit.
John Henson 6'10 PF Austin, TX. Franchise All-Stars (TX.)
Standing 6'10 and weighing just a "blade of grass" over 190lbs, North Carolina commit Henson had a solid week at the RBK. Still very raw in the paint because of his size, but no-one can question his effort. He was grabbing boards, kicking out to the guards and then beating everyone down court. He had a tremendous game against Renardo Sidney and L.A. Dream Team with 25pts & 14rbs.
[player: Michael Snaer] 6'4 SG Moreno Valley, CA. Inland Reebok (CA.)
Snaer was solid in Vegas on both sides of the ball. Showed an improved offensive skill-set and some serious range on his stroke from downtown. His perimeter defense was very impressive all week in Vegas. He put up 30pts on D-One Sports (John Wall) and left Vegas averaging 24.3.
Jonnie Richardson 6'7 PF Missouri City, TX. Houston Elite (TX.)
Jonnie "Big John" Richardson deserves to be on this list because of his strong post-play. Teamed with athletic-slashing PG Tim Frazier to lead Houston Elite to a surprising run to the semi-finals at the RBK. A 6'7 and a solid 230lbs has an array of "back to the basket" moves that led to buckets in the paint. And when he gets it deep in the post, it's over. Did get into some foul trouble in games, but was very solid overall.
Nolan Dennis 6'5 SG North Richland, TX. Dallas Mustangs (TX.)
The Dallas Mustangs had an athletic and exciting backcourt of Nolan Dennis and 6'4 PG Nick Russell (Duncanville, TX.). While Nick was running the team at the point with his handle, slashing ability and creative finishes around the basket, it was Nolan that was displaying the skills that will fit perfect on John Calipari's roster next season (verbal to Memphis). A long, thin SG with a sweet handle, can create his own shot and score in a variety of ways...a more fluid, smaller version of former Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Renardo Sidney 6'10 PF Los Angeles, CA. L.A. Dream Team (CA.)
Sidney is on my list based on potential, not effort. And in every game, he was the biggest (6'10 270lbs) and most talented player on the floor (for his size). But averaged a pedestrian 11.0ppg. When he should've been dominating every post player in Vegas. In a game against the Franchize All-Stars (TX.) and North Carolina commit Henson (6'10 and only 190lbs), Sidney got out-played by the 6'10 string-bean. Although he has has supreme talent, unfortunately he appears to have bought into all the hype and stopped working hard at his game.
Maurice Creek 6'5 SG Temple Hills, MD. D.C. Triple Threat (DC.)
The Indiana commit (verbal) got off to a solid start with a 31pt effort in their first game against Belmont Shore (CA.). Maurice showed a solid handle, along with the ability to score in transition and a much improved deep jumper. His release is one of the purest in the entire class. Quick hands an' feet on defense may be his calling card at the next level...was a real pest on D in Vegas. Unfortunately he faded on the last day.
Tim Frazier 6'2 PG Houston, TX. Houston Elite (TX.)
Tim came into Vegas nowhere near any of the major recruiting services Top 150 List. But I am sure that will soon change after the impressive showing at the RBK in Vegas. He put up solid numbers all week long but made his case for being among the elite when he dropped 21pts 5ast and 8rbs against Kenny Boynton and Brandon Knight of Team Breakdown.
Darius Morris 6'3 PG Los Angeles, CA. Belmont Shore (CA.)
Darius actually grew a few inches since participating in last summer's RBK. Now standing a legit 6'3 ½ which is great size for a PG. Darius was very impressive in Vegas. Not only is he an excellent floor general, but showed the ability to score when called to do so. In his teams first game of the RBK, he put-up a solid line of 20pts 4ast & 3stls against D.C. Triple Threat. The quiet rumor around the gym...Michigan may be the winner for the West Coast PG.
Marcus Falley 6'4 SG Las Vegas, NV. Triple Double Elite West (NV.)
Three local teams participated in the RBK this summer. And TDE West (NV.) was the only one that went win-less. But it wasn't because of the efforts of their two star wing guards. Marcus Falley, Durango H.S. (NV.) and Kenneth Peters 6'2 SG, Liberty H.S. (NV.) who were phenomenal averaging 20.8ppg and 19.0ppg respectively. They both can use the bounce effectively to get their shots and they both can flat-out stroke it. Falley had a high game of 29 against Team CBIZ (OH.) and Peters bombed 25 on John Wall in a loss to D-One Sports (NC.). And they both benefited from the solid PG play of unknown and unheard of 2009 prospect 5'10 PG Czar Robotham of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman H.S. (NV.).
Class of 2010
Brandon Knight 6'3 PG Coral Gables, FL. Team Breakdown (FL.)
I don't believe there will be much of a debate for the #1 overall player in the Class of 2010. Brandon has had that distinction for the past two season and just to make sure...(if there was any doubt) Brandon displayed his vast array of skills all week long in Vegas. No-one PG in years has this kind of control over his game. He can drive, find open players in transition and in half-court, has a better than average stroke and is very good defensively.
James Terrell 6'4 SG Burlington, NC. D-One Sports (NC.)
This athletic WG played alongside John Wall and was an excellent 1-2 punch. A deep shooter with the ability to use the bounce and big time finisher on the break. Has already given a solid verbal to play in the ACC (Wake Forest).
Phillip Taylor 6'0 PG Marietta, GA. Worldwide Black (GA.)
A rail thin PG from the Peach State showed flashes of being a big time recruit. Solid with the bounce, but behind the arc is where he is most dangerous. He was one of many guards at the RBK that fell victim to Ray Penn of the Houston Superstars and got lit up for 43. But other than that, he played well.
Isaiah Epps 6'2 PG Plainfield, NJ. Playaz Red (NJ.)
Isaiah has the typical East Coast Jersey game: slash n' dash with style. This slick ball handling lefty PG showed a variety of skills in Vegas. He can get to the rim with ease, and has quick hands on defense and a nice stroke from deep.
Pe'Shon Howard 6'3 SG Oak Hill Academy VA. Team Breakdown (FL.)
Pe'Shon didn't put up stellar numbers in Vegas for Team Breakdown. But when the Stars (Boynton and Knight) took to the bench for a breather, Team Breakdown didn't loose a step. Their second team backcourt duo of Howard and diminutive 5'6 PG Ray Taylor (Miami, FL.) kept the pressure on. Howard's on the ball defense, creative handle and timely 3 point shooting definitely puts him in the elite of the Class of 2010.