football Edit

Tarkanian Classic: Ayton back in form

LAS VEGAS -- Now in year number four, the Tarkanian Classic at Bishop
Gorman High School has become a must stop on the winter trail. On opening day,
2017's former No. 1 player -- seven-footer DeAndre Ayton -- showed that
he's got his game back in order and is playing at an entirely new level.
Ayton back on track
Last summer, DeAndre Ayton didn't play like the class of 2017's best
prospect and he fell from the top spot to No. 4 overall. Following an impressive
28-point performance in a win over Reno Prep, the seven-footer from Phoenix
(Ariz.) Hillcrest admitted that he had a poor summer.
Those summer struggles look to be fading away in the rearview mirror because the
Ayton that took the floor on Wednesday looked nothing like the one from July.
In the best shape of his career, Ayton is a lean and muscled 240-pounder who
showed off a wide array of skills. He spotted up to hit three-point jump shots,
he finished on spins through contact and he dunked aggressively in traffic. When
he wanted to he dominated the glass and though he didn't block too many shots,
he certainly deterred man.
Ayton said that he has fully committed to a healthy diet and that it's given him
much more energy on the floor. He wants to play with a motor all the time and if
what he did on opening day at the Tarkanian Classic is any indication then he's
got a real chance of reclaiming his spot atop the 2017 Rivals150.
On the recruiting front, Ayton said that his current top three are
Duke, Kansas and Kentucky.
Thoroughly impressed by strides DeAndre Ayton made since summer. He played like a legit No. 1 player tonight. #tarkclassic- Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) December 17, 2015
I was impressed with...
A legit 6-foot-5 shooting guard with a strong frame,
Charles O'Bannon Jr. passes the eye test. More importantly the No. 44 player in
the class of 2017 continues to pass the game test and I'm impressed with the
little ways he improves each time he takes the court.
O'Bannon has always been a very good scorer who shoots with confidence, but at
times his shot selection and efficiency haven't been there. Wednesday, he took
smart shots and did as good a job mixing drives and using his strength as I can
remember seeing.
O'Bannon saw N.C. State during the fall and he's planning to take an
unofficial visit to Texas -- head coach Shaka Smart
watched on Wednesday -- sometime during the month of January. Others who he said
have offered include Kansas, UCLA, UNLV, California,
Washington and USC.
I was surprised by...
There are two main reasons why I ranked center Ike Anigbogu in top 40
oft the class of 2016. First is that the future UCLA Bruin is a true rim protector
with college ready strength and the second is that I could see him emerging as a
reliable low post scorer after a few years in college.
It looks as if Anigbogu is accelerating that development rate. In his Corona
(Calif.) Centennial team's win over a scrappy Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines team
Anigbogu dominated the paint on both ends of the floor. He swatted shots and
gobbled up rebounds but it was the jump hooks, spins for dunks and general level
of aggression on the offensive end that was most impressive.
Other thoughts...
Though
they fell to Corona Centennial, Desert Pines junior trio of point guard
Capri Uzan, wing Trevon Abdullah and wing Greg Floyd made it
interesting. A tough as nails 5-foot-11 floor general who can make some deep
shots, Uzan is a competitor and leader on the floor. Committed to Nevada,
Abdullah is a tough wing who is good around the basket. Possessing the highest
ceiling for growth is Floyd. Already ranked No. 101 in the class of 2017, Floyd
is a thin 6-foot-7 wing who has a good-looking jump shot. He moves well and has
plenty of room to add strength. He's not yet consistent and has to get a bit
more of a mean streak but he looks to have made positive strides since July.
The
development of 2018 guard Maka Ellis of Las Vegas (Nev.) Sierra Vista
will be intriguing to watch. At around 6-foot-4 he has good strength, has a nice
feel for the game and is skill and will player instead of somebody who relies on
Gonzaga fans should be happy about landing big man Zach CollinsClick athleticism.Here to view this Link.. The No. 32 player in 2016, Collins was efficient with his scoring around the rim, showed poise on mid range jumpers and was in control on the glass and as a positional defender.
After
a slow start, powerful Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep got things rolling and
cruised to a win behind the play of four-star senior point guard
Skylar Mays, four-star junior combo guard Markus Howard and four-star
junior combo forward P.J. Washington. A true setup guy, Mays is
somebody that LSU could use now but they'll at least be happy to get
him for the 2016-17 season. Mays has good size and strength and is a sneaky
athlete who can finish above the rim when needed. Playing off the ball on a lot
of trips up the floor, Howard was beneficiary of several excellent passes from
Mays and he made them count nailing several threes. His skill level is advanced.
Finally there's Washington. A 6-foot-7 combo forward who has always rebounded
well and scored on the interior, Washington has really expanded his game. He
made some jumpers, attacked some off the dribble and looked more versatile than
ever.
Redemption
Christian of Troy (N.Y.) had two players catch our eye on Wednesday. 6-foot-4
junior shooting guard Christopher Duarte and 6-foot-10 sophomore center
Joel Mensah. A skilled scorer, Duarte has a great looking shot from
deep and he showed that he's fully capable of getting to the rim off the bounce.
With his smooth gait in the open floor, above the rim finishing and long arms,
Mensah is easy to identify as a prospect. The physical tools to be a good
prospect are all there and now it is a matter of showcasing what type of game he
has. He's definitely one that we'll keep a close eye on.
Click Here to view this Link.