2008 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic Top Prospects

Nation's top talent was on the Springfield College Campus this weekend

Jan. 24, 2008

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com and Hoopmasters.com


Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.

The Spalding Hoop Hall Classic featured a number of quality individual talent in Springfield, Mass., this past weekend, headed by three of our top six seniors in Ed Davis, Samardo Samuels and Brandon Jennings.


Some of the nation's top talent stepped up and put on quite a show at the Blake Arena on the Springfield College Campus. 


Here's the top talent we observed at the Spaulding Hoop Hall Classic:




John Riek-Suas: 7-foot-2 C Winchendon School (Mass.) - (No.11) - This long drink of water continues to develop his skills beyond his eight foot plus reach.  He scored 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds displaying a pop out jumper from 10-feet to go with in close dunks.  He is adding strength and continues to work on offensive moves.  He could benefit from year in college, but most likely will enter the draft.


Assane Sene: 7-foot C South Kent School (Conn.) - (No.117/Virginia) - Another long and lean shot blocker with an immense upside who can run the floor, block shots and finishes close to hoop.  He only scored five points, but pulled down 11 rebounds.  He has a long way to go offensively, but will add immediate help on defensive end for Cavaliers.


Henry Sims: 6-foot-10 PF Baltimore Mt. St. Joseph (Md.) - (No.61/Georgetown) - He continues to impress us with his offensive versatility, he was stellar in Springfield, going off for 32 points (10-for-16 FG/12-for-16 FT) and grabbed 10 rebounds versus Oak Hill.  He has really improved his game facing hoop and takes post defender off the dribble and finishes with the dunk or pull-up jumper.  Should crack the top 50 in final rankings.


Devin Ebanks: 6-foot-10 PF Oakdale St. Thomas More (Conn.) - (No.13/Indiana) - Athletic scorer can pop the jumper from 17 feet and create a drive to the hoop with either hand.  Similar in many ways to former IU star Jared Jeffries.  He had 22 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's nightcap.  He will be good one for the Hoosiers.


Gregory Echenique: 6-foot-9 (2009) C Newark St. Benedict's (N.J.) - (No.35-2009) - This physical insider does an excellent job on defensive end, as well as the glass, and can score when necessary.  He had 12 points and scores when his team needs it. He continues to impress us with his ability to do what it takes to help his club win.


Samardo Samuels: 6-foot-9 PF Newark St. Benedict's (N.J.) - (No.2/Louisville) - Second half of St. Benedict's twin towers dominates the offensive end. He scored 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting while popping jumpers from the elbow or rolling to the block and finishing with a soft touch off the glass or thunder dunks.  He has been stellar all season long and has moved up to No.2 in the senior class. He will be a difference maker for Rick Pitino at Louisville.


Ed Davis: 6-foot-9 PF Richmond Benedictine (Va.) - (No.6/North Carolina) - Another of our rising senior big men, Davis has become an automatic double-double and didn't disappoint versus St. George's with 21 points and 10 boards in just 22 minutes of action.  He can score from 17 feet or out quick big men around the hoop.  He could crack top five if he continues to play this way down the stretch this season.  He will have an immediate impact at North Carolina next season.


Enoch Andoh: 6-foot-8 PF San Jose Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) - (Bucknell) - This active big man has a real nose for the ball off the glass, he finished around the hoop, and did solid job on defensive end.  He scored 21 points and 8 rebounds versus Flushing Holy Cross.  He will be good from day one at Bucknell.


Laurence Bowers: 6-foot-7 CF Collierville St. George's (Tenn.) - (No.221/Missouri) - He was the one bright spot for St. George's versus Benedictine as he scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds after a slow start.  He has good bounce and is a good scorer off the dribble.  He will add athleticism to Tiger frontline once he arrives in Columbia.


Glenn Bryant: 6-foot-7 (2009) PF Mouth of Wilson Oak Hill Academy (Va.) - This athletic junior continues to improve his overall game, but continues to create highlights with his explosive athleticism on both ends, blocking shots and throwing down dunks.  He had 14 points, 5 boards and 4 blocks versus Mt. St. Joseph.  He will be a high major priority this spring and summer.


Givon Crump: 6-foot-7 (2009) WF Wolfeboro Brewster Academy (N.H.) - This sweet shooting wing man knocked down 5-of-7 threes in route to a 17-point afternoon versus Chinese Junior Nationals.  He is one of the better shooters in the junior class and is getting interest from Nebraska, Iowa State, Rhode Island, Kansas State, Providence, UNLV, SMU, Wake Forest, and George Washington.


Nasir Robinson: 6-foot-6 PF Chester (Pa.) - (No.75/Pittsburgh) - This physical combo forward seems to find a way to help his team win. He had 13 points and 9 boards versus Montverde complimenting Karon Burton as his team won a barnburner.  He definitely fits the Panther mold in the front court.


Collin Chiverton: 6-foot-6 WF San Jose Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) - (No.209/Saint Mary's) - This smooth wing man was a steady performer versus Holy Cross. He scored 19 points and seemed to make key plays offensively when his club started to lose focus.  He may be a little underrated; he is a real steal for Saint Mary's and will keep them in the hunt for the WCC crown in the future.


Eugene Phelps: 6-foot-6 WF Woodland Hills Taft (Calif.) - (Long Beach State) - This wing man showed he can score and board at a high level in Springfield, knocking down 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and added 11 rebounds. He should have an immediate impact at Long Beach State.


Dominic Cheek: 6-foot-6 (2009) WF Jersey City St. Anthony's (N.J) - (No.13-2009) - He played a solid role knocking down 17 points while hitting three of five from beyond the arc.  He is quick off the dribble and finishes in traffic too.  He will be a Big East/ACC priority this coming summer.


Kevin Parrom: 6-foot-6 (2009) WF Bronx St. Raymond's - This junior wing man made a real statement with his game that he belongs in our junior rankings next week.  He hit 17-footers off the dribble and was really efficient hitting 13-of-18 from the field in route to 27 points, while dominating the glass with 16 rebounds versus Taft.  High majors should come calling this spring.


Larry Anderson: 6-foot-5 WF Winchendon School (Mass.) - This slasher and driver was impressive as he finished with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.  He added seven rebounds and just seemed to be around every loose ball.  He is getting looks from Long Beach State, Oregon State, California, Bradley, Wyoming and Xavier, but is still wide open.


Sylven Landesberg: 6-foot-5 SG Flushing Holy Cross (N.Y.) - (No.32/Virginia) - He continues to play at a very high level and this weekend was no different as he scored 26 points including all nine of his free throws.  He has ability to make big plays for his club and will add the same to the Cavaliers in college.


Maurice Cheek: 6-foot-5 (2009) WF South Kent School (Conn.) - (No.64-2009) - He did good job scoring on the baseline with regularity as he finished with 16 points versus Hargrave.  He hit mid-range jumper, but has to work on jumper from beyond the arc, but stroke is there and that should come.  Many big-time programs are involved.


Lance Stephenson: 6-foot-5 (2009) SG Brooklyn Lincoln (N.Y.) - (No.3-2009) - He is coming back from an ankle problem but showed why he is in the hunt for the top spot in the junior class scoring 22 point and pulling down 13 rebounds at the Hoop Hall.  He can flat out score from three or in traffic with people hanging on him.  When he plays hard he is a joy to watch.


Mike Rosario: 6-foot-3 CG Jersey City St. Anthony's (N.J) - (No.51/Rutgers) - This smooth combo can run show or slide to wing and become a scorer.  He hit 7-of-10 from the field in finishing with 17 points in just 21 minutes.  He, like most St. Anthony kids is an excellent defender and will make an immediate at Rutgers.


Brandon Knight: 6-foot-3 (2010) PG Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest (Fla.) - (No.1-2010) - The nation's top sophomore is just coming back from an injury and is rounding into shape going for 26 points and pulling down 19 rebounds at the Hoop Hall Classic.  He's not at 100 percent, but he is an impressive talent.


Varez Ward: 6-foot-2 SG Lenoir Patterson School (N.C.) - (No.192) - This unsigned wing man was solid in Springfield, he scored 13 points and pulled down 4 rebounds from backcourt.  He has good explosion off the dribble to hoop and is fast improving as a wing shooter.  Mid to high majors looking for back court help should check him out.


Darryl Bryant: 6-foot-2 SG Bronx, NY St. Raymond's (N.Y.) - (No.143/West Virginia) - This tough hard nosed wing scorer only had a 13 point outing versus Taft, but showed he can make stop on defense and plays with that tough style with attitude that Bobby Huggins loves at West Virginia.


Tamir Jackson: 6-foot-2 (2009) SG Newark St. Benedict's (N.J.) - (No.98-2009) - This steady combo can knock down perimeter jumpers from beyond the arc or create pull-up or finish drives at the hoop.  He had a solid outing scoring 20 points versus DeMatha in 25 minutes of action.  He has interest from St. John's, N.C. State, Miami (Fla.), St. Joseph's, Virginia Tech, UAB, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Georgetown.


Omari Lawrence: 6-foot-2 (2009) CG Bronx, NY St. Raymond's (N.Y.) - This talented combo guard can score off the dribble or knock down the open three with regularity.  He finished with 23 points versus Taft hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.  He is an excellent defender who makes things happen on both ends of the court.


Eric Atkins: 6-foot-2 (2010) CG Baltimore Mt. St. Joseph (Md.) - This young combo scored 18 points and handed out 4 assists versus Oak Hill.  He is quick off the dribble, knocked down threes and is a good shooter off the dribble too.  Look for high majors to be lining up to recruit him over the next two years.


Brandon Jennings: 6-foot-1 PG Mouth of Wilson Oak Hill Academy (Va.) - (No.1/Arizona) - The nation's top prospect started a little slowly, but came on down the stretch to help his team pull out a tough win at Hoop Hall.  He finished with 32 points and just 3 assists as his teammates struggled to catch & convert.  But, even on an average day he has special moments and had crowd buzzing on a number of occasions.


Courtney Fortson: 6-foot-1 PG Lenoir Patterson School (N.C.) - (No.44/Arkansas) - This explosive prep school point was absolutely a dominant force for Patterson; he makes big play on either end of court and is a defensive stopper.  He scored 21 points pulled down 5 rebounds and handed out 4 assists in club's 68-67 win to go 23-0.  He will be an impact freshman at Arkansas.


Mark Lyons: 6-foot-1 PG Wolfeboro Brewster Academy (N.H.) - (No.176/Xavier) - Another talent that may be pushing for a top one hundred spot in our final rankings this spring.  He is physically strong and finishes in traffic and is a solid shooter off the dribble.  He had 23 points and four assists in just 18 minutes in Springfield.  Lyons should see major minutes as freshman for Musketeers.


Dee Bost: 6-foot-1 PG Chatham Hargrave Military (Va.) - (No.162/Mississippi State) - This physical combo can score from the arc or finish in traffic.  He finished with 21 points including five three pointers.  Add to that five assists for good measure.  He has tools to play right away in the tough Southeastern Conference.


Larry Drew: 6-foot PG Woodland Hills Taft (Calif.) - (No.59/North Carolina) - He was solid at Hoop Hall scoring 16 points while handing out 8 assists versus St. Raymond's.  He is a consummate point guard & leader for Taft.  He will add depth immediately for Tar Heels then become a solid starter down the road.


Dashan Harris: 6-foot PG Montverde Academy (Fla.) - (No.107/Texas A&M) - He had 18 points and kept his team in the hunt down the stretch versus Chester.  He is an excellent passer who sets up penetration & kick with stroke from around the arc.  Harris will be a solid floor leader in the future for the Aggies.


Travon Woodall: 6-foot PG Jersey City St. Anthony's (N.J) - (No.167/Pittsburgh) - He may be a little under-rated based on his play at the Hoop Hall.  He finished with 19 points hitting 8 of 12 from the field.  He is a solid defender who did solid job on Scott County's hot shooting Tyler Portwood.  He will be solid addition to Panthers back court next winter.


Damier Pitts: 5-foot-11 PG Chatham Hargrave Military (Va.) - (Marshall) - This quick ballhandling point showed he can score going for 22 points while handing out 10 assists in win over South Kent.  He made real statement out breaking into our final rankings.  He'll make an immediate impact with the Thundering Herd.


Karon Burton: 5-foot-9 PG Chester (Pa.) - This tough little floor leader went nose to nose with Texas A&M signee Dashan Harris and more than held his own scoring eight points in the final quarter to help his team win a big one over Montverde Academy.  He finished with 23 points and should be seeing his recruitment heat up this spring.


Isaiah Thomas: 5-foot-8 PG South Kent School (Conn.) - (No.90/Washington) - He scored 18 points and handed out 6 assists as his future coach Lorenzo Romar looked on.  He has really improved his game as a floor leader.  He is more than a scorer at this point and as he continues to develop as a floor leader the sooner he will help Huskies in the future.


That completes our look at the top prospects at the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic; we hope you enjoyed the coverage.  We will be updating our rankings of the junior (2009) and sophomore (2010) classes over the next week right here at "Generation Next".


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