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November 22, 2009

National Prep Showcase rundown

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The National Prep Showcase is always a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. This year Providence commitment Gerard Coleman was certainly in the good category.

Gerard Coleman (Tilton School)- Providence snagged a big-time player in Coleman. The rangy combo guard plays with competitive energy and makes winning plays. He slashes to the basket going either direction and finishes with authority with his left hand. His right hand drives where he swerves back to his left on the finish are especially dangerous. The jump shot still isn't the most consistent, but it will continue to improve. And you can always count on Coleman to dive a great effort on the defensive end.

Will Barton (Brewster Academy)- A high level scorer, Barton was more impressive with his passing off the dribble than his scoring. He did a great job of finding C.J. Fair on his back cuts for easy buckets. Like Coleman, Barton also plays with an impressive energy level.

C.J. Fair (Brewster Academy)- The Syracuse commitment worked the baseline for a number of easy buckets off back cuts. He didn't do much on the perimeter as he has to play the four and the five for Brewster Academy. Fair did, however, show nice bounce around the basket.

Naadir Tharpe (Brewster Academy)- A nifty ball handler, Tharpe avoided turnovers and repeatedly got into the lane against some tough defenders. Better at dumping the ball off in the lane than finishing in traffic, Tharpe did show a nice shooting touch, however, off the dribble from just inside the three-point line.

Melvin Ejim (Brewster Academy)- The Iowa State commitment had his struggles handling the basketball, but he certainly has a high major physique and the ability to be a finisher in college.

Maurice Walker (Brewster Academy)- The big fella didn't have much of an impact on the game as his minutes were limited. Part of the limited minutes is due to his need to be in better condition, but there is no denying that he is a post player with impressive size and good skill set.

A heavy Pittsburgh lean, Walker is planning to visit Kansas, who had an assistant watching him at the event, on December 18.

"I pretty much have my mind made up with Pittsburgh," said Walker. "But I want to visit Kansas because I like their program and what they've done with Cole Aldrich. I know they have Danny Manning there working with the big men."

Alexander Harris (Bridgeton Academy)- Harris is an attractive mid-level point guard. He has some bounce to his game and a competitive streak. He also looked solid handling and scoring the basketball.

Goodluck Okonoboh (Tilton School)- An impressive looking 6-foot-7 freshman, Okonoboh showed the promise of being a high major prospect.

Lorenzo Brown (Hargrave Military Academy)- Poised to make a big impact at North Carolina State next year, Brown has used his extra year to steadily improve in all aspects of the game.

Jarvis Davis (Hargrave Military Academy)- A lesser known of the Hargrave guards, Davis impressed with his aggressive play at the point guard position. He is deserving of serious looks at the borderline mid-major/high major level.

Bryon Allen (St. Thomas More Academy)- The former West Virginia commitment, played his usual physical brand of basketball. Spending a lot of time at the point guard position, Allen bullied his way into the lane and also shot a solid percentage from the outside.

At this point, Allen has offers from Providence and Charlotte and is entertaining interest from Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He plans to make a decision at the end of the season.

Andre Drummond (St. Thomas More Academy)- The No. 1 ranked prospect in the 2012 class is still working his way into shape after an injury and playing limited minutes. He did hit the offensive glass with authority and showed some nice footwork in the post scoring on moves. Defensively, he has room for improvement in regards to anticipating plays and reaction time.

Drummond refused to comment on his recruitment other than to say that pretty much everyone is recruiting him.


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