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CITY OF PALMS – DAY FIVE

December 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The 2011 City of Palms Classic came to a close on Wednesday night with a wild day of hoops culminating in an all Texas title game between Prestonwood Christian and Grace Prep. Local fans, scouts, and college coaches packed the gym to the rafters and created a high intensity atmosphere for these young players. Even legendary ESPN analyst Dick Vitale stopped by to enjoy the action offering a few words to the crowd before the championship game. Prestonwood Christian turned the final into a laugher prevailing 62-42 with stud junior forward Julius Randle taking home MVP honors. While Randle led the team throughout the week, it was a freshman who carried Prestonwood on his back tonight while the big man sat for much of the game in foul trouble.

Top Performance of the Day:

Mickey Mitchell (Prestonwood Christian 2015) – After viewing Mitchell for 4 games this week I feel very comfortable saying that he is in the running for top player nationally in the 2015 class. Offensively, Mitchell does a bit of everything as a 6’7” guard including making jumpers, exploding to the rim, making high level passes, and crashing the glass. While all this is very impressive, it was Mitchell’s defensive ability that left the biggest mark. Over the course of 3 days he defended 5 star wing Shabazz Muhammad, 4 star big man Ricardo Gathers, and 5 star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. It speaks volumes that Prestonwood’s coaching staff chose to use their freshman as the defensive stopper against this wide array of players. As long as Mitchell continues to work hard (which is basically all he talked about in a post game interview) the sky is the limit.

Sleeper Performance of the Day:

Benji Bell (Blanche Ely 2012) – A 6’2” combo guard, Bell was one if the tournament’s leading scorers despite coming in with little or no fanfare. He does his damage by attacking with right handed drives and finishing in the paint as well as by coming off baseline screens and making catch and shoot jumpers. Bell plays with an intensity and passion that fuels his team and helped lead Blanche Ely to an upset win over Gill St. Bernard’s in the consolation final.

Other Top Performers:

Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy 2013) – Hill is lightning quick with the ball in his hands and didn’t face a defender this week that could stay in front of him. He is also a very high level defender tallying 5 steals by putting massive pressure on the ball and jumping passing lanes. Once Hill turns an opponent over it’s off to the races in transition where his speed makes him unstoppable. He is a clear top 20 player in the 2013 class.

Nerlens Noel (Tilton School 2013) – Playing in the Signature Series rather than the main tournament, Noel went somewhat unnoticed this week but he put up a monster performance today. He finished with 8 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 4 assists in a 14 point Tilton victory. Multiple times after corralling a defensive board Noel took off and led the break himself showing off his improved handle and impressive end to end speed. His offense continues to improve as he showed aggression attacking the rim and finished a pair of highlight reel dunks in the half court.

Wayne Selden (Tilton School 2014) – After looking rusty coming off an injury a month ago at the National Prep Showcase, Selden appears back to his normal dominant self. He had 27 points today on a series of acrobatic finishes at the rim and deep jumpers. Selden also showed off developing point guard skills running Tilton’s offense in the half court and making some very high level passes to setup dunks.

Michael Frazier (Montverde Academy 2012) – signed with Florida – Frazier had easily his best performance of the week in Montverde’s semifinal victory by making 3 point shots and crashing the offensive glass for put backs. He competes hard defensively and drew a pair of charges for his efforts. Developing the ability to make plays for others and not just his own offense could take Frazier’s game to the next level.

Amile Jefferson (Friends Central 2012) – Jefferson used his extraordinary length to make plays around the rim on both ends of the floor. He scored mostly on post ups and 1 or 2 dribble moves usually spinning back to his dominant right hand to finish. Also a skilled passer, Jefferson found open teammates as help defenders tried to cut off his path. He still needs to add strength as some physical play early caused him difficulty but he was able to overcome it and find ways to be effective.

Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei 2012) – signed with UNLV – After struggling for most of the week Reinhardt finished the City of Palms with a complete offensive performance. He scored the ball from all 3 levels and also made plays for others dishing out 4 assists. His midrange game is most impressive to me as he can score off post ups, by shot faking and using 1 dribble pull-ups, or coming off curls. Reinhardt does have a tendency to be overly flashy which sometimes causes turnovers but that is easily solvable.

Conrad Chambers (Friends Central 2014) – Jefferson’s running mate for Friends Central, Chambers is a power point guard who got into the lane at will and scored on midrange pull-ups and by getting all the way to the rim. He also used his penetration to create opportunities for others totaling 4 assists of drive and kick situations.

City of Palms Free Throws:

Vanderbilt signee Kevin Bright from Urspringschule in Germany is a physical wing who can shoot it from deep and finish through contact inside. Commodore fans should be happy with the pickup… Dartmouth signee Alex Mitola may have been the crowd’s favorite player of the week. Every 3 point attempt from the 5’8” guard seemed to scrape the ceiling and draw massive cheers… Freshman point guard Charvon Julien of Riverside Academy once again proved he has high major potential down the road… Freshman center D-Jery Jean-Baptiste of Wilbraham and Monson blocked Nerlens Noel a couple times at the rim and didn’t back down from the challenge. He’s going to be a good one… Washington and California were once again at Jabari Bird’s game in the morning. Someone from each staff was on hand for every minute of Bird’s action this week… Lake Wales capped off a successful week by upsetting Tony Parker and Miller Grove in an early morning game.

Recruiting Updates:

Amile Jefferson (Friends Central 2012) – Jefferson’s list consists of Ohio State, NC State, Kentucky, Villanova and Connecticut. None from the group particularly stand out to him at this point and he doesn’t have a specific timetable for when he will commit. Jefferson said that he’s thought he was decided a couple of times but slept on it and woke up with a change of heart. He doesn’t have any more visits planned but may stop at any of his listed schools to check out a game if the opportunity arises.

Conrad Chambers (Friends Central 2014) – Still early in the process, the sophomore guard already holds offers from Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Iowa State and Temple as well as major interest from St. John’s, Connecticut and Villanova.

Benji Bell (Blanche Ely 2012) – Ely currently holds no offers and has only College of Charleston and Sam Houston State expressing interest. After his play this week and the buzz among college coaches on hand, that is going to change very soon.

Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy 2013) – Hill’s list is a compact 4 schools with Florida, Louisville, Florida State and Kentucky involved. He mentioned that Florida stood out among those 4 because of Coach Billy Donovan. Hill liked that Donovan is a former point guard and would be able to help develop him into the best point guard he can be.

Mickey Mitchell (Prestonwood Christian 2015) – Mitchell stressed that it is very early but acknowledged offers from Florida and Oklahoma already. He said that he likes the SEC as a conference and that he has been a Florida Gator fan his whole life.
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The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .





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