Commentary

Under Armour Grind Session recap

Originally Published: September 26, 2011
By Reggie Rankin | ESPN Recruiting

CHICAGO -- The Under Armour Grind Session was held at Lake Barrington Fieldhouse where some of the top high school talents in the country were provided an opportunity to hone their skills in a number of intense basketball specific training sessions and organized scrimmages. The No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Derrick Williams, was there to assist in drills and to share some life experiences on and off the court with the camp.

Standout players

[+] EnlargeShep Garner
Courtesy Kelly KlineShep Garner is one of two Philly natives to recently commit to Penn State.

Shep Garner
(Philadelphia/Roman Catholic)
2014, PG/SG, 6-2, 185 pounds
The combination guard has a very good basketball IQ and feel for the game. He attacks defenders off the bounce and can hit midrange, pull-ups and threes in the flow of the game. Garner uses his court vision to pass the ball on time and on target on a consistent basis. He has good strength for his size and although he is a good, not great, athlete he always gets to where he wants on the floor. Garner is tough and competes. He has offers from Florida, Penn State and Rutgers along with all the Philadelphia area schools including Villanova and Temple with Kansas and North Carolina watching closely.

Andrew Harrison (Houston/Travis)
2013, PG, 6-5, 210 pounds
Harrison is very tough to handle because of his size, skill, strength and toughness. He goes by defenders with ease and to score or find the open man. He advanced passes on the break with either hand and has range to the arc. He is an above-the-rim finisher and just gives opposing perimeter players fits because he has an answer for whatever they throw at him. Harrison can be trusted with the ball in his hands at all times. He mentioned Kentucky, Baylor, Maryland, Villanova, Arizona, Texas and Kansas among others that have offered.

Aquille Carr (Baltimore/Patterson)
2013, PG, 5-7, 148 pounds
Carr's speed, quickness and acceleration are off the charts. He goes by defenders like they are standing still and he lives in the lane where he finishes with touch and body control at a high percentage which is surprising for a player his size. He is fearless and can hit open jumpers with range to the arc. Plus, he can lead and run the offense when he is not pushing the ball down the defenses throat. Carr is at his best when the play breaks down and he has to make something happen, although he is prone to charges at times good things happen mostly. Carr said he has many offers but mentioned that Seton Hall, South Florida, UConn, Memphis and Kentucky top his offer list.

Rashad Vaughn (Minneapolis, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper)
2014, SG, 6-5, 181 pounds
Vaughn is an athletic wing who runs the floor for scores and does a great job of moving without the ball in the half-court set. He must work to be more consistent, but he can knock down a 3 off the catch and make plays from the wing off the bounce. He also will not hesitate to post and score over smaller defenders and is a good defensive rebounder who can initiate the break. He has the makings to be a multiple-position perimeter defender as well thanks to his great frame. Vaughn said he has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State and Tennessee so far.

Theo Pinson (Greensboro, N.C./Wesleyan Christian)
2014, SF, 6-5, 180 pounds
Evaluators know Pinson is a super athlete who can get to the hole on the break as well as in the half-court set, but when he starts off with back-to-back 3s, like he did, it's going to be a long day for defenders. Pinson is long and plays above the rim on a regular basis and if his jump shot continues to improve his game will go to the next level because the wiry athlete is also a capable multiple-position defender. At this point in the process Pinson has Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgetown, NC State, Rutgers and Marquette, among others in the mix.

Conner Frankamp (Wichita, Kan./North)
2013, SG/PG, 6-1, 159 pounds
College: Kansas
Frankamp said he always wanted to play for Kansas and now that he has committed to the Jayhawks he is representing them very well. He is tough, competes and can flat-out shoot the rock from 3, off pull-ups and floaters. He is also a very good ballhandler, crafty passer and more athletic and better off the bounce than he gets credit for. He is already drawing comparisons to Kirk Hinrich.

Breakout player

[+] EnlargeTevon Saddler
Courtesy Kelly KlineMaryland, NC State and VCU are already watching Tevon Sadler.

Tevon Saddler (Baltimore/St. Frances)
2013, SF, 6-4, 200 pounds
Saddler is an athletic wing who has good length and competes on both ends of the floor. He excels on the break and from the wing off the bounce, where he can get to the rim and finish above it with a clear path. He is a slasher who will give a lazy defender nightmares. Saddler can rebound and initiate the break and is a very good and willing passer, but he must work to extend his range and make his jumper a consistent weapon to take his game to the next level. He plays with great urgency and is a capable multiple-position defender as well. Towson has offered while Maryland, NC State and VCU are watching closely so far.

Surprise player

Darrion Strong (St. Paul, Minn./Tartan)
2013, PG, 6-1, 171 pounds
Strong is a good athlete with matching athletic ability. He has a good first step and looks to attack on every catch. He displayed a nice midrange pull-up and 3 off the catch with good elevation and confidence. Strong has a nice floater when he enters the lane, where he has good touch and body control. He is a very good scorer when he is in the flow as opposed to when he tries to force the action. He can get to the rim on the break and is a good passer when he draws a second defender. He will need to hone his point guard skills mostly in the area of getting others involved, but overall has some nice weapons. Strong said he is drawing interest from USC, UCLA, St. Louis and Loyola (IL) so far.

Players to watch

Horace Spencer (Philadelphia/ William Tennant)
2015, PF, 6-8, 190 pounds
Spencer is a very long, active and athletic forward who has a great defensive presence. He blocks shots, rebounds in and out of his area and runs the floor with long strides. Spencer is raw on the offensive end but with skill development, his game will take a huge leap forward. He has incredible upside and the mail is starting to come in already from North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky, among others.

King McClure (Ovilla, Texas/Triple A Academy)
2015, SF/SG, 6-2, 193 pounds
The strong and physical young wing has a great body and uses it to get to the rim and score through contact on the break or from the wing in the half-court set. He rebounds well and plays with energy and urgency on both ends of the floor. He also hit some open midrange jumpers, but must work to extend his range to the arc and make it a consistent weapon. Overall, McClure has all the signs of being a big-time player and his upside is tremendous.

Notes

• Villanova commit C Daniel Ochefu (Westtown, Pa./Westtown) had some impressive plays this weekend. He ran the floor, finished drop-off passes above the rim, hit a couple short corner jumpers and passed well out of the post to teammates cutting from the weak side. However, Ochefu must work to develop his back-to-the-basket game to take his game to next level.

• PF Robert Carter (Thomasville, Ga./Shiloh) has terrific skill and the ability to score inside and out with 3-point range in addition to being able to handle and pass. Carter is visiting Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Florida and Florida State.

• Michigan commit wing Glenn Robinson Jr. (St. John, Ind./Lake Central), who had the best vertical at the event with 36 inches, has continued to improve. He attacked defenders off the bounce, finished above the rim with authority on the break and knocked down midrange jumpers. Robinson is freaky athletic and has all the makings to be special.

• Class of 2014 PG Alex Robinson (Arlington, Texas/Kennedale) has offers already from Houston, Texas A&M, TCU, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Baylor and Texas.

• Class of 2014 PG/SG Dominique Collier (Denver/East) mentioned Colorado, Purdue, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

Reggie Rankin

College Basketball Recruiting