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July 11, 2010

Baylor Youth: Day Two

HIGHLAND, Ind. - The Baylor Youth Tournament got going in full force on day two as all the teams got it kicked into high gear. With more talent on display there were some impressive matchups, but the scoring display put on by D'Angelo Harrison won't soon be forgotten.

Harrison knows how to get buckets

The Franchize All-Starz are clearly one of the most talented teams on the circuit, D'Angelo Harrison is one prospect that garners a lot of attention. The scoring guard is proving to be an absolute sniper from the outside, and he keeps racking up huge numbers in July.

Franchize played two games on Saturday, one against the Mac Irvin Fire and the other against Meanstreets. Both Chicago based teams were ready for Harrison and what he could do, but neither could come even close to stopping him.

Harrison has a natural ability to make shots. His coach gives him a green light to shoot when he feels necessary, and Harrison takes advantage of that by getting bucket after bucket. What Harrison does best is knock in shots from deep, and that is what he did in a big way on Saturday.

Most impressively Harrison makes shots without much help from his teammates. His pull-up three pointer off the dribble can be money, but also in catch and shoot situations he is just as lethal. While shooting the ball from deep is what he does best, Harrison also makes sure to attack the rim using his quickness.

While Harrison doesn't have the best handle for a guard, it is still above average, and his natural quickness allows him to beat his man and get into the lane. Once in the lane he knows how to creatively finish over taller players by using a floater or simply going all the way to the rim and scoring with a strong move.

In both games on Saturday, Harrison was well over 30 points, and each time Franchize really looked to him during the key moments of the game.

Windy City battle

One of the premier matchups of the day featured Anthony Davis against Mike Shaw. The two Chicago area power forwards are good friends and major competitors on the circuit.

Coming into the event Davis wasn't expected to play because of a knee injury, but when he found out that the Mac Irvin Fire were on Meanstreets' schedule, he decided he had to suit up and do battle with Shaw, and that is what the two of them did from very opening tip.

Even though he wasn't at 100 percent, Davis still looked darn good. The long and rangy forward was rebounding well above the rim on the defensive end, and then he would run the floor and find a way to get buckets on the offensive end. Davis mostly scored around the rim with dunks or short jumpers.

Shaw is simply a basketball player. The kid absolutely refuses to sit out games, and against Davis he went right after him. Shaw is a terror on the glass, and really battled Davis in that regard like few prospects can. Also he is an excellent passer on the offensive end, and finds ways to set up his teammates.

The one problem that Shaw had in the game is that he couldn't get his offensive game going in terms of scoring. Right now Shaw seems to be struggling with his confidence from the outside, and inside he just doesn't have a great feel for how to finish in traffic.

In the end both Davis and Shaw were playing will with Davis getting the better end of things, but Shaw did have a chance to put his stamp on the game. With five seconds left Shaw stole the ball at half court and was driving for the game winning bucket, but a Meanstreets defender was able to track him down and blocked his lay-up attempt as time was running off the clock to preserve the win.

Overall the two of them more than put on a show, and both proved why they are being recruited at such a high level.

Other notable performances

Aaron Simpson - The class of 2012 guard from Chicago is a bad shot taker and a bad shot maker. He is skinny with great quickness, and has the look of an explosive scorer when things are going well. In a morning loss, Simpson found a way to light up the scoreboard, but he did so in a bit of an unconventional manner in terms of the shots he was taking, but to his credit also making. Shot selection and becoming a true point guard are growth areas for him, but the kid can get buckets, and there is no substitute for that.

Anthony Norris - The former Memphis commitment showed why people are so intrigued with his play. He has good size, and really can knock down jumpers. Norris had numerous threes on Saturday, and then when defenders started to close out hard on him he was solid at taking the ball off the dribble and looking to score inside. Being more aggressive near the rim is imperative for him, but with his size and ability to shoot there will be no dearth of suitors coming after him.

Wanaah Bail - Once again Bail showed why people are so high on him. With his long arms and athleticism he has the ability to defend any position on the frontcourt, and then on offense he is continuing his assault. Bail is scoring off the dribble over defenders, hitting fade away jumpers in the mid-range, dunking over people, and knocking in threes. When he plays like this, there just aren't many people on the planet that have an ability to stop him.

Macari Brooks - The athletic combo guard showed out on Saturday for Mac Irvin. Playing against a zone, Brooks was able to find the soft spots down low and corral several offensive rebounds and convert them into buckets. Also he slashed his way to the rim to finish and also hit some pull up jumpers from the mid-range. Improving his outside shot is important, but Brooks still has solid game, and could develop into a big time defender at the college level.

Jerome Brown - This Chicago guard can flat out shoot the basketball. Brown put scorched the nets for Mac Irvin in an afternoon game against Franchize. Mostly a catch and shoot guy, Brown did that well. Also he has long arms and good size for a two guard. Scoring off the dribble isn't his thing, but don't let him get his feet set and have a clean look.

Thomas Hamilton - The talent level that the massive 2013 prospect possesses can be downright silly at times. Hamilton is 6-foot-9 and around 260 pounds, but he shoots threes, takes defenders off the bounce, and has very good footwork down low. Now Hamilton is still more prospect than player, but the tools are there. He isn't a great athlete, and that limits his ability to finish in traffic, but there aren't many young bigs with his kind of skill set and footwork around the rim.

Jabari Parker - Parker is one of the most skilled power forwards around, and he is only a 2013 prospect. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Parker can handle the ball like a guard, and then has the strength to finish down low like a center. Also his mid-range game is simply off the charts. Combine that with the feel for the game that he showed in passing and making others better, and it is easy to see why so many are touting him as one of the elite prospects in his class.

Derrick Randolph - The Mac Irvin Fire go at the younger age group as Randolph goes. The diminutive point guard is ultra tough and ultra confident. Despite only being around 5-foot-7 he knows how to make plays for himself and others, and then competes on both ends of the floor. Randolph can over dribble at times, but other than that he has a great feel for playing the position, and his jump shot off the bounce is lethal.

Charles Harris - The class of 2012 in the state of Illinois is looking for a breakout player, and Harris might be the guy. Harris is 6-foot-4 with good athleticism, and also he can really shoot the ball. Now he does need to attack off the dribble more because he is more than capable of doing it, but he can really knock down shots. When he does attack, Harris' athleticism and long arms make him a problem for defenses. Look for Harris to really see his stock soar if he continues to play like he did on Saturday for the rest of July.

Jay Simpson - There are times where Simpson simply doesn't come to play, but when he is focused and motivated his unreal talent level shines through. Playing up at the 17-and under level Simpson was arguably the best player on the floor for the Wolves at times. Simpson scored at levels on the floor with tip-ins, post moves, mid-range jumpers, and even shots from three point range. While not an incredible athlete, Simpson is plenty athletic and has a super high skill level. The challenge for him right now is bringing it every game, but the Purdue commitment has a world of natural ability, it is just a matter of showing each time out.

Frank Kaminsky - At times Kaminsky can struggle with length of opposing players, but he is a good ability to score around the rim. Kaminsky is comfortable using either hand down low to finish, and also plays hard and runs the floor very well. He does need to get stronger, and that will come in time, but not too many players his size are as coordinated or as skilled around the rim.

Jamari Traylor - Traylor was at his best on Saturday evening. While unskilled, he is a beast with his combination of strength and athleticism. Also Traylor had a bit of a half hook working at times against Bail and the Franchize frontline, but more than anything it was his impressive tip dunks and blocked shots that were the story.

Recruiting Notes

Thomas Hamilton says he isn't hearing from many schools early on, but did note that Illinois is recruiting him hard.

Jabari Parker has an early top group of Illinois, Purdue, Washington, and Kansas, all of them have offered. Also he has offers from Providence, DePaul, Northwestern, and Southern Illinois.

Charles Harris has strong interest from Ohio State, Illinois, Oregon State, Indiana, Northwestern, Penn, Wisconsin, Michigan, Western Michigan, and Bradley

Ross Travis of 43 Hoops picked up an offer from Iowa following a strong start to his spring.

David Sobolewski now has an offer from Northwestern after really impressing on day one of the Baylor Youth event.

Ohio State and Kentucky made sure to dispatch assistants to see Meanstreets after word spread that Anthony Davis was going to be playing.

Purdue and Illinois were closely watching 2013 star Collin Hartman on Saturday.

Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and others made sure to be front and center for Mike Shaw.


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