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HOOPHALL CLASSIC 2012: MONDAY RECAP
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The 2012 Hoophall Classic came to a close on Monday highlighted by four national games all broadcast live on national television. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky front man John Calipari were front and center all day each flagged by two assistants. They were joined by a host of other coaches all trying to make an impression on the many uncommitted talents in action. While Shabazz Muhammad, Jabari Parker, Tony Parker, and others were the focus of these coaches, a senior guard who has already made his college decision stole the show and he receives top billing today.
Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei 2012) – signed with UNLV – After watching Reinhardt for a week at the City of Palms in Florida last month I came away seriously underwhelmed. He struck me as a player that forced shots, was careless with the ball, and cared more about making the flashy play than the right play. After dropping 35 points on a Hoophall Classic record tying nine three-pointers it’s safe to say he has changed my mind. Reinhardt got in the flow early with an easy dunk and once he found a rhythm the shots just kept falling and falling. Equally adapt off the catch or the dribble he made shots from well beyond the college 3 point line and was able to get enough elevation on his shot to make them over defenders. Not exclusively a shooter (although it was clearly his calling card today) Reinhardt used a low, tight crossover to get in the lane and finished a pair of floaters over help defenders. He also showed passion and aggression on the defensive end forcing Uconn commit Omar Calhoun into a miserable 6-22 shooting day. For now I’m willing to label Reinhardt a streaky shooter that has the ability to single handedly take over a game when he’s on a hot streak. If he can string together consistent performances like today’s I’ll be forced to simply label him a great shooter.
Sleeper Performance of the Day:
Winston Shepard (Findlay Prep 2012) – Shepard’s not a true sleeper as he’s a top 100 player and a fairly well known commodity but his recruitment (catalogued below) doesn’t match up to his immense talent and thus I’m placing him here. Shepard is a jack of all trades for Findlay Prep and told me after the game that his coaches have compared him to Scottie Pippen based on his skills as a point forward and his formidable defense. While he was impressive offensively (16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) Shepard’s defense on top 2013 player Jabari Parker left the biggest mark. Parker ended with 24 points but needed 22 shots and 4 more free throw attempts to get there as Shepard hounded him all over the floor using his length and quickness to bother the potent scorer.
Other Top Performers:
Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman 2012) – Muhammad scores so consistently every time out that I have a tendency to take his greatness for granted. Make no mistake about it, 2012’s top player was great in his matchup against Dematha Catholic. Dematha primarily used 6’8” Syracuse signee Jerami Grant to defend Muhammad but his length and quickness were no match for the power and sheer will of the 6’6” lefty. He racked up 37 points on 12-22 shooting but it’s the 14 free throw attempts that tell the story. Muhammad attacks every second he’s on the floor and leaves defenders no choice other than to foul or get dunked on. Both options were in play on Monday as he had quite a few rim rocking dunks during his standout performance.
Dominic Artis (Findlay Prep 2012) – A high profile stage like the Hoophall Classic is nothing new for Dominic Artis as both Findlay Prep and his summer team the Oakland Soldiers are among the most prominent groups in the country. Artis had arguably the best performance I’ve ever seen from him going for 21 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds while leading his team to victory over # 1 ranked Simeon. Known for his quickness with the ball and perimeter shot making, Artis has clearly been spending time in the weight room and looks to have added 5-10 pounds of muscle since the summer. This added strength allowed him much more success finishing at the rim which combined with his outside shot make him devastating in pick and roll sets.
Kyle Anderson (St Anthony 2012) – signed with UCLA – The nation’s top basketball IQ was on display as Anderson did everything it takes to win in his morning matchup with Miller Grove. 18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals only begin to tell the story of how much impact he had on this basketball game. Every time St Anthony needed a big play, Anderson delivered whether it be a 3 pointer, getting to the rim, a key defensive rebound, forcing a turnover off a trap, or setting up a teammate with an easy look. SloMo as he has been affectionately called for years was his usual terrific self on Monday with a pair of UCLA assistants on hand to watch.
Jairus Lyles (Dematha Catholic 2013) – With frontcourt stars BeeJay Anya and Jerami Grant saddled with foul trouble, Lyles stepped up and kept Dematha in the game with his aggressive play. He’s very fast from end to end with the ball in his hands and was able to start the break just by taking off and forcing the issue. Once Lyles gets a defender on their heels they’ve lost the battle and he repeatedly finished at the rim or drew contact. He also showed a developing although streaky perimeter stroke knocking in a pair of threes on his way to 17 points.
Josh Brown (St Anthony 2013) – committed to Temple – Brown is a 6’3” lefty combo guard with some major athleticism. He was very difficult to handle in the open floor and also made plays on the offensive glass by out jumping opponents. Brown needs to continue working on running a team as he tries to transition to the point guard spot full time. He should have ample opportunities to do just that learning from hall of fame coach Bob Hurley especially next year after Kyle Anderson has moved on to UCLA.
Jabari Parker (Simeon 2013) – Parker didn’t have his best day with Winston Shepard hounding him as referenced above but his elite talent is still obvious every time he steps on the floor. He had very little help from his Simeon teammates but continued working and willed his way to 24 points. I was impressed that when Parker’s outside shot wasn’t falling he changed gears and started crashing the offensive glass to get himself easy opportunities. Jabari Parker is very simply a pro and it is evident in the way he carries himself, his physical body, his advanced offensive moves, and his open court skills. A top 2 player in the 2013 class (along with Nerlens Noel) Parker appears poised to be one and done at the college level.
Hoophall Classic Free Throws:
Italian import Amadeo Della Valle had little impact for Findlay Prep but it was very difficult to evaluate him. A natural point guard he is currently playing out of position at forward with Anthony Bennett injured because his 6’5” size allows him to compete defensively… It feels like Nigel Williams-Goss has been at Findlay Prep forever but the talented point guard is only a junior and made big contributions today with his patented floater… Notre Dame football commit Ronnie Stanley may be getting some sit downs with Mike Brey begging him to join the basketball team. He is a dominant post defender shutting down BeeJay Anya today after Anya was one of Saturday’s most impressive prospects… Bob Hurley showed why he is a Hall of Fame coach today using trapping defensive schemes to completely bottle up massive post player Tony Parker… Someone needs to setup a game between Findlay Prep and Brewster Academy. I’d pay to see that as would fans of Michigan, NC State, Xavier, Florida State, Arizona, Oregon, and the host of schools after Findlay’s uncommitted talent… UConn signee Omar Calhoun struggled to put it in the basket today but his mindset of attacking at every opportunity and playing with great passion will serve him well under Jim Calhoun… Rosco Allen looked lost at the City of Palms but he was a different player today. His aggressiveness and welcoming of contact need to become a constant for his game to jump to the next level… Xavier Johnson has what I refer to as grown man strength. He is too physical for the high school game and will bring toughness, energy, and talent Colorado next year… One more note on how good Findlay Prep is; they beat the # 1 team in America by 25 points while top 10 senior Anthony Bennett watched from the bench with a hamstring injury.
Tony Parker (Miller Grove 2012) – Parker’s recruitment seems to take a new turn every time the national media gets a crack at him and today furthered that trend. His set list of Duke, UCLA, Ohio State and Memphis remains but after adding Kentucky to the fold last week he now states that Jim Calhoun and UConn have gotten involved as well. Parker has already visited the first 4 schools and plans to use his one remaining official visit to see either Kentucky or Uconn. Ohio State appears to be the favorite as you can see the big man’s face light up as he talks about his relationship with Jared Sullinger and how well they utilize big men in Buckeye country.
Jairus Lyles (Dematha Catholic 2013) – Lyles is currently a combo guard but plans to play the point exclusively in college and is being recruited to do that. He is looking for a school with strong academics as well as a strong defensive team much like the situation he currently plays in at Dematha. Oklahoma State has offered with interest coming in from Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Virginia, NC State and Miami.
Winston Shepard (Findlay Prep 2012) – Shepard is working towards a decision from a list of 5 schools all of which have offered. San Diego State, New Mexico, UNLV, UTEP and Oklahoma State make up that list. He stated that St. John’s and Oregon have started to express interest but in the next breath reinforced that he is down to 5 schools and is comfortable choosing from those 5.
Amadeo Della Valle (Findlay Prep 2012) – The Italian product is still new to the states so he is taking the recruiting process slowly and mulling all his options. His lengthy list includes Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgetown, California, Oklahoma State, St Mary’s and Portland. Della Valle’s 3 keys in making a choice which he listed in order of importance are the ability to play right away, a great coaching staff, and an up tempo style of play. He plans to make a decision in March or April.
Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep 2013) – The former UNLV commit is wide open at the moment and couldn’t have been clearer in stressing that fact. He is considering offers from Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Harvard, Miami, UNLV and Oklahoma. Big East powers Georgetown and Louisville have expressed major interest but have not offered at this point. Williams-Goss doesn’t plan to make a decision until sometime next year during the high school season.
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