Commentary

AAU Nationals Day 2 recap

Rodney Purvis' heroics and Jhaustin Thomas' play versus Andre Drummond stand out

Updated: July 30, 2011, 4:49 PM ET
By ESPN Recruiting | ESPN.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- We're entering the finishing leg of July's AAU season. As play winds down at the AAU Nationals, we take you inside the games of Friday's standout players.

Standout performers

Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room)
2012, SG, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds
The scoring machine was on top of his game, and CP3 needed every point against Atlanta Express. Purvis is as physical of a finisher as there is in his class. His position and role on a team have been debated for two years now: Is he a point or a shooting guard? He has the DNA, and once you accept that concept you see the value he brings as a player who can get buckets. He put CP3 on his back down the stretch.

[+] EnlargeRobert Carter
Davide De PasESPNU 100 PF Robert Carter is the No. 21 overall player in the 2012 class.

Robert Carter
(Thomasville, Ga./Thomasville)
2012, PF, 6-8, 250 pounds
When measured against the bigs in his class, Carter stacks up well because he has an outside touch. Be it a hook, finish or midrange shot, Carter's accuracy is uncanny for a player his size. He's on a short list of bigs you can dump it to in the post or toss it to facing the bucket on the wing and trust to make a scoring move.

Brannen Greene
(Monroe, Ga./Mary Persons)
2013, SG, 6-7, 180 pounds
He is an offensive machine who is a good (though a little streaky) shooter with range to 22 feet. He can score off the dribble and is an effective slasher to the basket. He has a floater in the lane and can finish above the rim. Greene needs to learn to utilize his teammates better and become a better defender, but he has the tools for greatness.

Elijah Macon (Columbus, Ohio/Huntington Prep)
2012, PF, 6-9, 230 pounds
The Ohio power forward asserted himself early and often in a great matchup with the strong front line of the Florida Rams Blue. Macon controlled the paint, rebounding balls and challenging shots at the rim. On the offensive end of the floor, Macon powered balls into the rim and showed a nice soft touch from 10 feet and in. With his performance on Friday night, Macon showed why he could potentially be an All-Big Ten-type power forward.

Surprise players

Landry Nnoko (Montverde, Fla./Montverde)
2012, C, 6-11, 220 pounds
He's gotten the attention of schools at the high- and mid-major levels and for good reason. Getting the ball to the rim is a chore against him and he finishes off plays offensively with good efficiency. His offense isn't complicated; it's around the basket and efficient.

Jhaustin Thomas (Decatur, Ga./Columbia)
2012, PF, 6-7, 240 pounds
For someone SEC/ACC schools have been pursuing on the gridiron, Thomas showed he can hold his own on the hardwood. Early in the day, Thomas sparked our interest with strong play around the rim offensively and defensively, but the night cap produced his game of the summer. Thomas went head to head against Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn./St. Thomas More) and more than held his own. Thomas had coaches in the stands buzzing with several thunderous finishes at the rim.

Hakim Saintil (Roselle, N.J./Roselle Catholic)
2013, PG, 5-11
He's a scoring point guard who can make open 3-point shots off the catch as well as in a pick-and-roll situation. He reads his defender going under the screen and can step back and knock down a 3. Plus, once he gets into the painted area he can score the ball or find his open teammates and deliver an assist. Defensively, he has quick feet and active hands and at times he can pick the ball handler for a clean steal.

Robert Knur (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein)
2013, PG, 5-11, 175 pounds
He may not pass the look test, but he is tough and impacts the game with his hustle, tenacity and skills. Knur is a good shooter to 20 feet with his feet set and has a good basketball IQ. He is an excellent passer who knows how to make his teammates better and is a coach's dream.

Demetrius Floyd (St. Louis/McClur)
2012, SG, 6-1, 175 pounds
He is a big-time scorer who is a good shooter to 20 feet and can create for himself off dribble. Floyd has the skills to play point guard and is one of the better scorers in his class. He should be receiving a lot of interest from schools at all levels very soon.

Jameel Warney (Roselle, N.J./Roselle Catholic)
2012, PF, 6-8, 190 pounds
He is an inside presence who is an excellent finisher even against bigger, athletic posts. His post-up game is ahead of schedule, and he works to make and maintain contact with his defender to score with his back to the basket. He also has some good low-post moves, including a baseline spin move. Warney works the blocks and does a good job of catching high and finishing up at the rim through contact. Warney knows who he is and plays to his strengths.

Eye on underclassmen

Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy)
2013, PG, 6-0, 170 pounds
The turnover troubles that plagued him a week ago are in the rearview mirror. In Orlando, Hill has been more efficient yet equally difficult to guard going to the rim. He has carved out an identity for himself as one of the elite guards in his class, and it suits him well.

Bobby Portis (Little Rock, Ark./Hall)
2013, PF, 6-9, 225 pounds
The growth in his game from the Peach Jam through the AAU's is noticeable. He doesn't come onto the floor, he takes the floor. Portis has moves in the pivot and a presence in the lane on both ends and plays exceptionally well alongside rim-protector Moses Kingsley (New Albany, Miss./New Albany).

Justin Jackson (Houston/HCYA)
2014, SF, 6-6, 171 pounds
Regarded as one of the elite prospects in his class, Jackson has only enhanced that reputation at the AAU Nationals. He's wiry, long and skilled. Once his strength comes, his game is on target for an explosion.

Dayshawn Watkins (Jacksonville, Ark./North Pulaski)
2013, PG, 5-10, 165 pounds
The small, quick point guard has consistently shown he belongs in the talk of high-major point guards in the 2013 class. Watkins consistently gets in the paint to score over defenders with floaters or dishes to teammates for easy baskets. He uses his quickness to get under guys and defend the ball. He even won his head-to-head battle with Florida commit Braxton Ogbueze (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith Christian) on Friday afternoon. Watch for his stock to rise when the next rankings come out.

Notes

Terry Henderson (Raleigh, N.C./Neuse Baptist) said he will visit West Virginia and Richmond. The Spiders entered the month as the leader, but traffic is coming from George Mason, Penn, Charlotte, Appalachian State, Jacksonville and Chattanooga.

Chris Washburn (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville) said Texas A&M and UTEP are his leaders. His brother attends UTEP.

• The trio of Auburn commit SF Shaquille Johnson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), SF Brandon Morris (Lithonia, Ga./Miller Grove) and Jhaustin Thomas proved to be too much for the CBC. Thomas showed he was ready, as he had three monster dunks, two of which came head on against Drummond.

• Tony Sabato (Cincinnati/Moeller) is a lunch pail-type inside workhorse. He is probably the only Division I prospect on his team, yet as a unit the team plays together well, defends and wins games. Sabato has really improved since the high school season and has made himself into a low- to mid-level Division I prospect.

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. Paul Biancardi, Mike LaPlante and John Stovall contributed to this piece.