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July 10, 2011DUNCANVILLE, Texas- For a while, the annual Great American Shootout which moved to Duncanville from Denton just a few years ago was one of the best kept secrets in the country. Sure there were always coaches, but the event didn't always attract media.
Those days are over as the media and coaching crowds (over 400 have been through the building) swelled to record highs for the 2011 edition. Saturday night, in front of a throng of coaches rising sophomore Emmanuel Mudiay demonstrated why he may ultimately be in the discussion when it comes to talking about the top player in the class of 2014.
Mudiay has talent galore
The future of the point guard position is big, physical guys who make their living making plays off of the bounce in the lane. That's exactly what rising sophomore Emmanuel Mudiay of Family First does best.
After what would be considered a so-so effort by the 6-foot-4 point guard from Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep in his afternoon game, he kicked it into high gear in the evening's final game. Often operating in pick and roll situations with 2012 five-star Isaiah Austin, Mudiay was a beast either getting into the lane or pulling up for jumpers.
There were some mistakes, but then again the kid is only 15 years old and he was operating on zero sleep.
"I just got back from Akron and the Lebron camp," Mudiay told Rivals.com. "I haven't gotten any sleep. I've basically been up for like 24 hours and was just trying to get through the day."
Get through the day he did. With guys like Rick Barnes, Scott Drew, Billy Kennedy, Billy Gillispie and several others on hand, Mudiay showcased a rare blend of speed, size, power and athleticism for such a young player. He saw the floor and most impressively played under control.
"It's great," said Mudiay of playing in front of so many coaches," I'm just trying to show them what I'm capable of. If a coach wants to be my future coach, that's what they come here to see me do. I'm just trying to play hard for them. That's what I always try to do, play hard."
Though he has the size and shooting ability to play off the ball, Mudiay wants to be recruited as a point guard and that's how most schools are approaching him. He currently has offers from Texas, Baylor, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and "most of the Big 12 and Pac-12."
More GASO Standouts
Justise Winslow, SF, Houston Select 2014- Another potential five-star in Texas' class of 2014 is this impressive southpaw wing. A physically strong wing who plays with speed and energy, he's always attacking off of the dribble and is pretty crafty for a guy who goes left almost every time. His jumper is still developing, but he sure can attack the rim in transition and is an outstanding rebounder for his position.
Alex Robinson, PG, DJH5- Yet another talented 2014 player from Texas. The rising sophomore point guard attracted a head coaching crowd that included Texas' Rick Barnes, Texas Tech's Billy Gillispie, Texas A&M's Billy Kennedy, TCU's Jim Christian, SMU's Matt Doherty, North Texas' Johnny Jones and Fresno State's Rodney Terry. A quick lefty who is lean and has some length to his 6-foot-1 frame, Robinson is a natural dribble-drive playmaker and is at his best in the open floor.
Marcus Smart, SG, Texas Assault- What a surprise. Smart waited until things got tight and then took over the game over the final 10 minutes as the Assault held off a very game Texas D1 Ambassadors San Antonio squad. As usual, the physical guard moved over to the point guard spot and made things happen off the dribble, attacked the rim and bullied anybody who tried to stop him. Texas' Rick Barnes was there with an assistant as was Oklahoma -- who is emerging as a sleeper in the race to land him -- head coach Lon Kruger and Baylor's Scott Drew. North Carolina, Kansas State and Marquette were among those that dispatched assistants.
Connor Lammert, PF, Texas D1 Ambassadors San Antonio- There can't be many, if any, players in the state of Texas who have improved as much in the last year as the 6-foot-8 insider from San Antonio. The lefty is a bit dominant in turning to his right shoulder, but he's adding size, strength and is a terror trailing to drain jumpers in transition. Even though he's nearing the start of his senior year he's still only 16 and would appear destined to play high major basketball. He listed Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Nevada and Baylor among others and they were all represented on Saturday night.
Josh Scott, PF, Colorado Chaos- After impressing at a May tournament in Kansas City, the future Colorado big man struggled a bit at NBPA Top 100 Camp. Matched up with the nation's third-ranked player in 2012 -- Isaiah Austin -- on Saturday afternoon Scott took the fight to Austin, overpowered him and actually got the better of the much more highly ranked player. It doesn't mean he's a better prospect, but all that mattered was that game and his physicality in the lane earned his team a win over Family First. Big and strong, his skill level and ability to create out of the high post are better than we'd initially realized.
Michael Hoffman, PF, Texas Select 2013- The 6-foot-7 rising junior was a nice find on Saturday. A big time athlete who tries to dunk everything on offense and block every shot on defense, he didn't back down one bit from the more highly decorated Houston Select 2014 kids. He runs the floor, has a body to grow into and looks to be at least a mid to upper mid major level prospect.
Darryl Milburn, SG, Texas D1 Ambassadors Houston- The Baton Rouge native is moonlighting with the Ambassadors so his playing time was spotty in stretches. He's got an Austin Freeman type body and is looking to score in all situations using his strength, toughness and ability to extend defenses with the jumper. Some of his shot selection isn't the best, but he can fill it.
Phil Forte, PG/SG- Prior to Marcus Smart taking over, it was Forte who did the bulk of the damage. A strong kid who has obviously put some serious time into the weight room, he leads with toughness and knocks down shots.
Final Saturday GASO Notes
Saturday was all about the yin and yang of Isaiah Austin. There were times that that he played point guard, times he protected the rim as a shot blocker, times he hit jumpers and times he totally disappeared. After getting bowled over some in his afternoon game, he responded with a better effort in the nightcap. Austin looks to be th perfect example of a player whose game and style may project better to the NBA than it does college. Also much improved for the Texas D1 Ambassadors San Antonio squad is 6-foot-5 wing Uche Ofoegbu. A physically strong and attacking wing, he's always trying to get into the lane or bust loose in transition to make plays. He claims a Colorado offer and said Gonzaga and Texas A&M have been showing more interest.
Another attraction for DJH5 on Saturday was rising senior big man Chris Washburn Jr. At 6-foot-7, maybe 6-foot-8, the South Grand Prairie (Texas) High product has lost at least 50 pounds over the last year or so and deserves credit for the work he's done with his body. As a result, the power forward has developed himself into a legitimate three-star prospect and looks to have some high major potential thanks to his strength and skill -- clever passer and scorer between the low and high post. Mid-major programs were swarming to watch Deron Williams Elite four man Antoine Burrell. A long and lean 6-foot-7 rising senior from The Colony (Texas) High, Burrell shows a good skill level, makes jumpers and runs the floor very well. What's more impressive is the edge that he plays with despite not having the bulk to be a muscle guy. Effort and nastiness in the lane can solve a lot of problems and he seems to understand that. It wasn't his best night, but it's hard to believe that Taylor Luster of the Texas Assault can't find a home somewhere at a division one program. Still developing physically, he's a hard worker who plays hard and will knock down some open jumpers from the perimeter.
Khadeem Lattin still has a long way to go from a skill standpoint. That's understandable, though, the insider is just nearing the start of his sophomore year. However, he also has game changing length, athleticism and timing as a shot blocker. Finally, one to watch for the future is rising sophomore Omar Sherman of Texas Select 2013. A product of Duncanville (Texas) High, the 6-foot-7 power forward is a potential space eater in the lane. Additionally, the southpaw has tremendous touch and can already nail shots to the three point stripe.