Commentary

Las Vegas Day 3 recap

Marcus Smart's desire, Ricardo Gathers' poor free throw shooting stand out on Day 3

Originally Published: July 25, 2011
By ESPN Recruiting | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- Here's a look at what jumped out at us on Day 3 of the adidas Super 64 and Las Vegas Fab 48.

Standout players

Marcus Smart (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus)
2012, SF, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds
He is an All-American player who is a young man consumed with winning. Capable of finishing with both hands at the rim, running a team and scoring as needed, he's one of the only wings in the class with a perimeter and post-up game. He's as unselfish a player as there is in the 2012 contingent. The line of thinking on him is this: Others have bigger ceilings, but he is likely to win more games in college than anyone else. Think of him as the wing version of Tyler Hansbrough. As is the case with Hansbrough, other prospects had physical attributes and "upside" but couldn't match his intensity or desire.

[+] EnlargeGathers
Andrew Shurtleff for ESPN.comRicardo Gathers is the No. 30 overall player in the 2012 class.

Ricardo Gathers (LaPlace, La./Riverside Academy)
2012, PF, 6-7, 240 pounds
He brings the noise in the paint. When Gathers is anywhere close to the rim, he's a collision waiting to happen. He prefers to catch it, rip and assault the rim. He was in beast mode on Sunday, but the major issue he has right now is his free throw shooting. Gathers is a volume free throw shooter because of his style, but he shoots around 50 percent and leaves easy points at the charity stripe.

Brandon Taylor (Los Angeles/Pacific Hills)
2012, PF, 6-8, 235 pounds
Taylor's niche is his ability to stretch opposing defenses as a pick-and-pop guy. But with his natural size and strength, he's always had the potential to evolve into a matchup problem. That evolution is moving forward at an increased rate now that Taylor is showing more toughness battling inside the paint, while also becoming a more consistent low-post scoring threat. He'll need to continue to polish his game on the interior and cut up his physique to take things to the next level, but if Sunday morning's performance was any indication, he's well on his way.

Ray Lee (Romulus, Mich./Huntington Prep)
2012, PG, 6-3, 180 pounds
The list of available high-major shot-makers might have gotten one name deeper this week as Lee is proving himself from behind the arc. The attacking combo-guard is best known for his explosiveness, but he drilled four 3-pointers for the second time in as many days on Sunday en route to a 29-point performance. Although not necessarily a pure shooter, Lee has deep range and can make shots in bunches when he gets going, which only makes him that much more dangerous off the dribble as defenders are now paying the price for giving him cushion.

Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon)
2013, WF, 6-7, 215 pounds
Parker continues to display to the country why he may be the best all-around high school player, regardless of class. The skilled wing has improved his outside shot and was able to nail a few baseline pull-ups that were extremely difficult. What's amazing about Parker is his approach to the game. He has an amazing demeanor about him, regardless of the situation, and he never changes his expression. Although he is an innate scorer, the ball never dies in his hands, and his patience for the game resembles that of a seasoned veteran. He can score in a variety of ways inside and out and his passing is high-level. In addition, because of his much-improved physique, he is now able to finish over the competition -- he converted a James Worthy-like spin move along the baseline with a tomahawk throwdown that left the crowd buzzing for minutes.

Josh Scott (Monument, Col./Lewis-Palmer)
2012, PF/C, 6-9, 210 pounds
This was our first look at Scott, and we came away impressed. The Colorado commit has a solid frame with nice length as well as a soft touch out to 15-feet. In his matchup against his future rival, Arizona commit Grant Jerrett (La Verne, Calif./La Verne Lutheran), Scott was able to display his versatile skill set. In the beginning, he struggled finishing through contact, but then took Jerrett out on the perimeter and knocked down some shots. Later in the second half, he became more aggressive and backed Jerrett down on the low block to convert some hard-nosed finishes. Both of these bigs (Scott and Jerrett) are a college-level weight program away from being very productive All-Conference performers.

Zena Edosomwan (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake)
2012, PF, 6-7, 215 pounds
Many pundits and coaches can question his hands and ability to finish over length, but they can't debate whether Edosomwan is a winner. He is a high-energy player with a blossoming skill set and nasty streak to boot. His footwork has improved considerably in the past year along with his post moves. Whether it's diving on the floor for a loose ball, finishing over the rim in transition or displaying a blue-collar mentality in the paint area at both ends, he is a no-brainer for the high-major level.

Gervaughn McGhee (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist)
2012, WF, 6-5, 205 pounds
McGhee was a beast against Mac Irvin Fire in its highly-contested playoff game. He is a physical wing-type with a great burst off the dribble. He can knock down the 3-point shot and he gets great lift on it. In addition, when his team needed someone to step up, he took command and converted a number of high-level finishes through contact at the rim. Overall, he is a hard-nosed winner with all the physical intangibles to be a high-level wing at the next level.

Featured matchup

Zach Auguste vs. Phillip Nolan
The Class of 2012 holds undeniable star power with the likes of bigs Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn./St. Thomas More), Isaiah Austin (Mansfield, Texas/Grace Prep), Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster), DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt), Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./Findlay Prep) and Kaleb Tarczewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark's), but the high-major supply dries up pretty quickly thereafter. This matchup featured two of the premier second-tier, high-major big men in the country and was particularly intriguing because Auguste and Nolan are both cut from the same cloth as long and athletic skilled-types. While the game between Mass Rivals vs. DTA Devin Harris turned out to be a triple overtime thriller, the individual battle was much less contested. Auguste, from Marlborough, Mass., held a clear advantage in terms of his skill set and overall impact, proving himself capable of making perimeter jumpers but refusing to settle and attacking aggressively with positive results. He even held a physical advantage, showing more power on his frame and a consequent edge on the glass. Ultimately, Nolan's DTA Devin Harris squad moved on to the second round, but Auguste left having made his point.

Notes

• One of the best shooters we've seen all summer is Phil Forte (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus). Unofficially, he was 8-for-10 from 3-point range in a game against the Las Vegas Prospects.

Zena Edosomwan (N. Hollywood, Calif./Harvard Westlake) will narrow his college list in August. He will likely visit Harvard, Texas and Washington State. Southern Cal and Colorado have ramped up interest in him as well.

• One of the toughest guys we've seen on the circuit is mid-major prospect Zak Showalter (Germantown, Wis./Germantown). He took an elbow to the chest and didn't flinch. Intensity isn't a problem either. They tried to sub him out and he protested like it was an NBA Finals game. The kid has the makings of a throwback player.

• The coaching section was packed for the Mass Rivals vs. DTA Devin Harris. Coaches included Bill Self (Kansas), Buzz Williams (Marquette), Steve Donahue (Boston College), Ed Cooley (Providence), Lon Kruger (Oklahoma), Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest), Tim Floyd (UTEP) and Dave Rice (UNLV). Assistant coaches were on hand from Duke, West Virginia, Washington State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Notre Dame, Missouri, Oregon, Memphis and Auburn.

• Michigan commit Nik Stauskas (Missisauga, Ontario/St. Mark's) has gotten stronger and more explosive in the lane, while maintaining his niche as a lights out shooter from the perimeter. Those developments have him on the verge of taking his game to the next level, but he needs to do a better job of harnessing his emotions when the whistle isn't going his way.

• After a pedestrian first half, 6-4 junior Isaac Hamilton (Los Angeles/Crenshaw) put on a scoring spree that makes him such an attractive prospect. He has great ball skills and has a knack for scoring at all three levels.

• Team Jones Oregon has a number of prospects, including 6-9 Oregon State commit Maika Ostling (Lafayette, Ore./Dayton), 6-2 James Reid (Bend, Ore./Mountain View), 6-3 Cole Gatewood (Portland, Ore./Westview) and 6-7 Jake Ehlers (Corvallis, Ore.). Ostling is productive and has good hands, but he is a rim-level player. Reid is a heady point guard and pinpoint passer who can knock down the 3-point shot. Gatewood is an athletic scoring guard while Ehlers appears to be the best prospect of the bunch -- a stretch 4-man with ball skills and bounce.

Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at espndt@gmail.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Adam Finkelstein has been a coach or scout at the high school, college and pro levels. He was an assistant coach in Division I by the age of 24 and also worked as a scout for Marty Blake, the NBA's director of scouting. Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.