Monday, July 11, 2011
Andrew White makes case at Big Shots
By Dave Telep and Michael LaPlante
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The Big Shots event is turning into a must-stop on the circuit for high-major and mid-major programs from the Southeast on their way to the Peach Jam. Over two days, we evaluated a ton of good looking prospects and witnessed the rise of a few more who have the full attention of high-major programs nationally.
Andrew White (Richmond, Va./Miller School)
2012, SF, 6-6, 180 pounds
Chalk up another excellent event for him. He has made a name for himself with his stroke, but at Big Shots, he took his game to the next level with his work on the glass and the use of his athleticism. At this point, there's little doubt he's a high-major wing and multiyear starter for a big program. White is on the verge of transitioning from shooter to scorer. White indicated Wake Forest and NC State were on him the hardest, while Louisville is coming on strong. He's already visited Richmond, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and NC State.
Jake Layman (Wrentham, Mass./King Phillip)
2012, PF/SF, 6-8, 190 pounds
Picture a near 6-foot-8, long and rangy forward at the top of the press for teams that value length and defense. That's Layman. Now factor in that he's somewhat of a late-bloomer, isn't done growing and owns a jump shot and you've got not only a future ESPNU 100 player, but someone whose stock we're comfortable touting as very high. Layman is scratching the surface and hawks the ball as well as or better than most stretch 4-men in his class.
Brice Johnson (Edisto, S.C./Edisto)
2012, PF, 6-9, 210 pounds
Johnson's July has been impressive. It seems as though he's scrapped the notion of being a skilled 3-man and bought into using his strengths. He's an above-the-rim rebounder who uses his leaping ability in traffic, and he's refined his approach to the point where he's developing a nasty streak as a board man. He has enough skill to play facing the basket, but the colleges have taken notice of his willingness to mix it up.
Shaquille Calhoun (Rome, Ga./Model)
2012, SG, 6-3, 185 pounds
Calhoun turned heads all day with his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He has a scorer's mentality and the ability to go on some amazing runs. He needs to improve his ball handling and decision making, but his ability to shoot the basketball forgives a lot of sins. He is a solid mid-major to mid-major-plus prospect who is starting to generate a lot of interest.
Willie Clayton (Thomasville, Ga./Thomasville)
2012, PF, 6-7, 220 pounds
Clayton is a high-energy guy who impacts the game with his effort. He embraces his role and is a great backside rebounder who gets extra possessions for his team. He is limited offensively as most of his offense is eight feet and in, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder and few can match his intensity in the trenches. Elite mid-majors are all over him and the high-majors are taking notice.
Tonye Jekiri (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat)
2013, C, 6-11, 210 pounds
The long, bouncy center is a Nigerian transplant who is developing exponentially each time out on the circuit. He is still very raw offensively, but he runs the floor effortlessly and blocks or alters shots at a high level. Although he needs strength, he gets it done on the glass at both ends. He should be a big-time target for the high-majors after the summer evaluation period is over.
Chris Bolden (Norcross, Ga./North Gwinnett)
2012, SG, 6-3, 180 pounds
There's no questioning Bolden's ability to shoot the basketball; he's got an elite-level stroke and consistently stretches the defense. The former Miami commit's stock continues to rise because he is a deceptive athlete with a high skill level who can get to the rim and finish. He also has a very good basketball IQ and can be a secondary ballhandler against the press.
Charles Mitchell (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler)
2012, PF/C, 6-7, 250 pounds
The trimmed-down Mitchell looks as good as we've ever seen him. He is more bouncy and athletic; he uses his wide body to create space in the paint and has a knack for scoring the ball around the rim. The charismatic post has a great personality and is a tremendous teammate.
Sindarius Thornwell (Lancaster, S.C./Lancaster)
2013, SG, 6-4, 185 pounds
Thornwell is a smooth, athletic guard who can get to the rim on just about anybody. He handles pressure and advances the ball up the floor quickly after rebounds. His game is built for an up-tempo style and he's a handful in transition as he attacks the defense. He can finish at the rim and possesses the ability to be a big-time playmaker, but he is still learning the nuances of the game.
Marcus Lee (Missouri City, Texas/Home schooled)
2013, PF, 6-8, 215 pounds
Lee is a good looking, young post who plays for Derek Minniefield's Texas Cagers. He's a high-level runner and jumper who is skilled enough to play in the high post and showed the ability to pass the ball. He gives you good effort on the defensive end and showed a good nose for the ball on the offensive glass. If he continues to develop his perimeter jump shot, he could evolve into a very effective, high-level, face-up 4-man.
A.J. Astroth (Tampa, Fla./Oldsmar Christian)
2011 or 2012, SF
He was one of the key revelations at Big Shots. The 6-6 small forward with game from behind the line made considerably more than he missed. He bounced around high schools in Florida, which may have contributed to his stealthy senior year. He's a potential high-level prospect, especially since he's available this late in the game. If enough big boys come at him, maybe he picks a college for the fall; if not, he'll prep at Oldsmar Christian.
Caleb Martin and Cody Martin (Mocksville, N.C./Davie County)
2014, SG/SF, 6-5, 180 pounds
Both are high-major players from a small town near Winston-Salem, N.C. The identical twins have mirror-image games. They're 6-5 with blossoming skills and athleticism. The missing piece is a consistent jumper, but it will come because their talent level dictates nothing but high-major recruitments. Every event they've participated in, they've become more confident and visible to college coaches.
Eye on underclassmen
T.J. Williams (Wilmington, N.C./Ashley)
2013, PF/C, 6-7, 200 pounds
At the very least, he's earned himself a nice mid-level scholarship and he impressed enough larger programs to add him to their watch list. Williams accomplished this despite being a 6-7 shot-blocker. Because he owns great length, it enables him to play bigger than his listed height on defense. He has excellent timing and natural shot-blocking instincts. His defense trumps his offense at this stage, but with his effort here, he's put himself under the microscope of most teams in his natural region and they'll watch his development closely. Asheville and Greensboro are rooting for him to be good, but not great since they were the first schools to hit him up before the summer.
Rashawn Powell (Orlando/Dr. Phillips)
His approach at the Elite 100 was much different than the style he employs with his team. Our initial read on him was volume scorer in a point guard's body, but at Big Shots, he displayed much more ability to run a team with speed, and his shot selection was more crisp. Powell owns a get-by gear and he's finding himself as a lead guard. High-majors will pay close attention to him.
• Brandon Channer (Tampa, Fla./Blake) revamped his body and it's proven to be a powerful recruiting tool. The lead guard has offers from UTEP and Central Florida.
• PG Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, Ga./Paideia) is the nephew of Georgia assistant Stacey Palmore. Gardner-Webb, Kennesaw State and FAU offered him; Old Dominion trailed him the entire event.
• Demetrius Henry (Miami/Northeast) said Virginia Tech is working him big time. Central Florida, Clemson, Wake Forest, Miami and Alabama are in the mix as well. The Hokies didn't miss a game of his at Big Shots and each program on his list was represented.
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 email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Mike LaPlante, a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting, has over 20 years of coaching and recruiting experience.