CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Hawk Kreul Classic tipped off this weekend celebrating its 20th year in awarding academic scholarships. To date this non-profit organization has awarded more than $500,000 to South Florida students. When it comes to playing basketball for a great cause, the Kreul Classic is at the top of the list. Director Jim Reilly has put together another tremendous field of teams and players from across the country. Top performances over the weekend were plentiful, and the nation's top uncommitted player, PG Brandon Knight (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest School), showed no signs of rust from the injury that he suffered during the July evaluation period. Knight scored 46 points in two games while facing a box-and-one, full front denial and trapping defenses. His team finished the weekend 1-1 after beating Coral Springs Christian (Fla.) 81-63 on Friday and dropping a hard fought battle 55-51 to Northeast (Fla.) on Saturday night. Northeast was led by junior wing Daniel Sapp (Oakland Park, Fla./ Northeast) who scored 20 points while making winning plays on both ends of the floor.
Brandon Knight, PG (6-foot-3, 183)
2010, Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest
Knight shot the ball as well as I have seen him shoot it. He made 3s off the catch and dribble in addition to midrange jumpers on the break and within the half-court offense. His elevation and follow-through were very smooth. Knight also attacked the lane where he is terrific at accelerating by defenders to finish at the rim with an acrobatic layup, which he can shoot with either hand. Knight is a terrific athlete and is extremely strong for a guard. He is also a very unselfish player. Knight will make a simple pass to an open teammate without hesitation or he will penetrate, drive, draw and kick at high speeds to set up an easy basket. He also understands when it is time for him to take over and make a winning plays. He rebounded pretty well and is a threat to go coast to coast. All eyes were on Knight this weekend, and he maintained his composure while dealing with multiple junk defenses. He had stretches in the games during which he did exactly what he was supposed to: dominate.
Daniel Sapp, SG (6-3, 175)
2011, Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast
Sapp is an aggressive shooting guard who can score in a variety of ways. He attacks the rim in transition and can throw it down with a clear path. He knocks down the open 3 when he is set and is a slasher along the baseline and from the wings where he can finish in traffic with excellent touch and body control. Sapp is a good passer -- especially in the open court -- and he also manages to be an excellent rebounder who provides key baskets on the offensive glass. Sapp will sprint from the perimeter, and he also does a good job following his own shot at times. He is an excellent athlete, and he competes on both ends of the floor. He can easily defend both guard positions. Sapp will need to add strength and have better shot selection at times, but this young guard plays with energy and urgency and makes plays to help his team win.
• The backcourt of senior Dennis Mavin and junior Scott Wilbekin combined for 55 points (Mavin 29, Wilbelkin 26) as The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.) beat a very talented and deep Quality Education (NC) team 72-67. Mavin and Wilbekin attacked the rim throughout the game and converted at the free throw line. ESPNU Super 60 combination forward Quincy Miller and Baylor-bound point guard Stargell Love made a late run and combined for 34 points (Miller 18, Love 16). Still The Rock was solid enough to hold on for the win.
• Miami Norland has a terrific inside-out punch in Georgia Southern signee Marvin Baynham, a 6-7 PF, and sophomore wing Cleon Roberts. Roberts is 6-5 with a great middle game and Baynham is a high-energy rebounder and above the rim finisher.
• Power forward Zach Peters (Plano, Texas./Prestonwood Christian Academy), a 6-9, 240-pound sophomore, is a physical and powerful presence in the lane with comfortable range to about 15 feet. This kid is a high-major prospect for sure -- think Tyler Hansbrough.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-1990 and was an all-MAC first teamer his senior season.