Prior to leaving for the 2012 Spalding Hoop Hall of Fame Classic, Oak Hill returned to school after a ten day lay-off. They played Christian Faith Academy and won easily by the score of 87-57. Jordan Adams led the way with 25 points going 10-21 from the floor (1-4 from the 3 point line) and 4-6 from the free throw line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double for another solid all around performance. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera tallied 18 points going 6-11 from the floor (3-5 from the 3 point line) and 3-4 from the free throw line. Tyler Lewis pumped in 17 points going 5-11 from the floor (1-3 from the 3 point line) and 6-8 from the free throw line. Lewis also dished out 5 assists and had 3 steals. AJ Hammons also finished with a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Oak Hill now stood with a 26-0 record and traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts against national powerhouse and the prestigious City of Palms Champions Prestonwood High School of Texas.
Oak Hill jumped on Prestonwood early and never looked back as they recorded an impressive 85-55 win over a really good team. One of the unsung heroes for Oak Hill was 7’0 senior center AJ Hammons. Hammons set the tone early on both ends of the court. While his stat line will not wow you, but it was his enormous frame and girth that created problems for 6’9 Junior All American Julius Randle and 6’9 Kansas signee Zach Peters. Hammons finished with 6 points and 8 rebounds while blocking 4 shots and even dished out 2 assists. More importantly, Hammons altered countless shots for the opposing team and his presence alone in the middle was huge. Leading the way for Oak Hill was Jordan Adams with 23 points. Adams was an efficient 9-14 from the floor (5-7 from the 3 point line) and had 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. Simply put, this was Adams best game of the season and it came at the opportune time. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera tallied 16 points going 5-17 from the floor (2-9 from the 3 point line) and 4-4 from the free throw line and also dished out 4 assists. Tyler Lewis finished with 15 points going 5-9 from the floor (3-4 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the free throw line. Lewis also dished out 10 assists and had 4 rebounds and recorded 4 steals to record an effective and efficient floor game. Charlotte signee 6’6 PF Darion Clark also got into double figures with 10 points going 5-6 from the floor and also collected 6 rebounds.
For Prestonwood, 6’9 PF Julius Randle finished with 23 points going 10-23 from the floor (0-3 from the 3 point line) and went 3-3 from the free throw line. Randle also collected a team high 9 rebounds. Kansas signee Zach Peters tallied 9 points going 3-9 from the floor and 3-5 from the free throw line. Peters also collected 4 rebounds for Prestonwood. Rounding out the bright spots for Prestonwood was 6’8 freshman sensation Mickey Mitchell who some are already touting as the best freshman in the country. Mitchell finished with 9 points going 3-9 from the floor (3-6 from the 3 point line.
For the game, Oak Hill shot the ball extremely well and they went 51% from the floor and an impressive 52% from the 3 point line. They also went 8-8 from the free throw line. On the other hand, Prestonwood shot 38% for the game and only 27% from the 3 point line. That being said, the big difference in the game was the ability of Oak Hill to share the ball as they had 19 assists for the game.
In another marquee matchup on Saturday, Gonzaga (Washington DC) defeated Riverside of New Orleans by the score of 77-65. The star of the game belonged to 6’6 junior Kris Jenkins as he tallied a game high 30 points going 12-16 from the floor (2-4 from the 3 point line) and 4-6 from the free throw line. Jenkins also grabbed 11 rebounds to record an impressive double-double. We went back to the Phenom Hoop Report archives from August 2010 and this is what we had to say about Jenkins two years ago.
Player: 6’6 Kris Jenkins
High School: Gonzaga
Hometown: Upper Marlboro
Phenom Hoop Report: HM-
Jenkins is a strong and powerful PF that uses his strength extremely well. HE may be one of the best young 6’6 PF that really knows how to use his body and post up on the block. He has really soft hands and does an excellent job of finishing in the paint. In addition to being a strong PF, he has the ability to step out and know down the open 15 foot jumper to be a nice face up 4.
It looks like we were again spot on in our evaluation of Jenkins two summers ago!
6’1 junior PG Nate Britt finished with 16 points going 7-16 from the floor (0-1 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the free throw line. Britt dished out 2 assists, but had an enormously high 8 turnovers for the game. For Riverside, it was 6’8 senior PF Ricardo Gathers leading the way with 22 points going 8-21 from the game (0-2 from the 3 point line) and 6-7 from the free throw line. Gathers also grabbed 8 rebounds for the game. Gathers is simply a “man among boys” and his strong physical play always leaves you with a lasting impression of the coveted unsigned senior. Gathers already sports a NBA body and knows how to use his body extremely well in the post area. That being said, we felt Gathers settled for too many midrange jumpers and didn’t attack the basket as in previous tournaments. In addition, he does have a nice mid range jumper. We were also impressed with the play of senior SG Lucas Martin-Julien who finished with 19 points. Martin-Julien went 8-17 from the floor (2-4 from the 3 point line) and 1-2 from the free throw line. That being said, college coaches should put the following names in their SIM card for future reference. 6’1 freshman PG Tharvon Julien finished with 11 points going 4-7 from the floor (1-1 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the free throw line. While he does possess outstanding speed and quickness, the next step in his development is to play more under control and cut down on careless turnovers, which is typical of a young PG. Another name to remember is 6’9 8th grader Khalea Turner who finished with 7 points. This young man has a soft touch around the basket and has huge and soft hands which are a complete luxury for big men.
The game changing stat was the inability of Riverside to take care of the basketball. Riverside committed 19 turnovers and only had 7 assists for the game. On the other hand, Gonzaga had 15 turnovers but had 16 assists for the game.
We will now move to the action on Monday at the 10th Annual MLK Day North Carolina Scholastic Classic and finish with some final thoughts on the 2012 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic.
In one of the day’s most surprising games was between High Point Wesleyan and Greenfield. HPW entered the contest with a 10-3 record and has one of the state’s most talented trios in 6’7 senior SF Montay Brandon (Florida State), 6’5 sophomore WG Theo Pinson, and 6’0 sophomore PG Jaquel Richmond. Greenfield is led by 6’8 senior WF Aaron Roundtree (Wake Forest) and 6’4 senior WF Sam Hughes (UNC-Asheville) who was the difference maker for the game as Greenfield won going away with a 73-64 victory over High Point Wesleyan. Between Brandon, Pinson, Richmond and Roundtree, you have four high major college players, but it was the play of Hughes that made the biggest impression. Hughes finished the game with 22 points while Roundtree had another all around performance with 15 points. In addition, Greenfield got balance scoring as 5’11 senior PG T.J. Hinnant chipped in 14 points while 6’3 junior SG Jordan Sharpe finished with 10 points. Theo Pinson led the way for HPW with 16 points while Montay Brandon chipped in 15 points and Jacquel Richmond finished with 12 points. While Greenfield’s coach Rob Salter is one of the state’s best coaches, he too was surprised with the impressive win over a very talented Wesleyan team. Greenfield who is ranked number 1 in the NCISAA 1-A led by as many as 17 points in the 3rd quarter over the NCISAA 3-A number 5 team in the 3rd quarter. Greenfield now moves to 16-1 for the season while High Point Wesleyan drops to 10-4.
In the city matchup between private school Greensboro Day and Greensboro Smith, it was Coach Freddy Johnson and the Bengals winning easily over cross town Smith by the score of 61-48. As usual, it was a total team effort on behalf of Greensboro Day and balanced scoring once again was the point of the day for the Bengals. 6’3 senior SG Reed Lucas led the way with 17 points and his stock continues to soar. Lucas has always been an excellent catch and shoot player, but he has added strength and athleticism to his game and is able to put the ball on the floor with authority as he made a nifty baseline cross-over move for a beautiful slam dunk that put the explanation point for his MVP performance. Without question, schools in the Big South and Southern Conference should definitely be recruiting his young man. He has outstanding basketball IQ and has a great feel for the game. 6’7 senior PF Quayshad Williams chipped in 10 points and is quickly regaining his stamina after pre-season injuries. Williams made a big time college low post move where he had a drop step and then went in for a reverse layup that showcased his skill and ability. He is another player area schools in the Big South and Southern Conference should be recruiting. 6’7 junior Christian Hairston finished with 9 points while 5’10 PG Eastern Michigan signee Jalen Ross chipped in 8 points. Hairston is a long and athletic WF that rebounded well and has the ability to put the ball on the floor. Ross is simply the engine of the Bengals well balanced team. He is a heady PG that plays with excellent poise and will be an excellent prospect for Eastern Michigan. Greensboro Smith was led by 6’5 senior WF Adrian Wimbach with 15 points while 6’3 senior WG Tracy Gathings chipped in 14 points.
In the fifth game of the day, it was Oak Hill Academy vs. Greensboro Dudley. Oak Hill was fresh off its impressive win Saturday over Prestonwood and flew home Sunday. Oak Hill players attended class on Monday and then made the 2 ½ hour drive down to the Greensboro Coliseum. Oak Hill won easily by the score of 84-58 and it was another good homecoming for senior PG Tyler Lewis. Lewis finished with 21 points going 7-11 from the floor (2-4 from the 3 point line) and 5-6 from the free throw line. Jordan Adams tallied 16 points going 6-15 from the floor (2-7 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the free throw line. AJ Hammons continued his impressive play with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 block shots while RJ Curington enjoyed double digit scoring with 10 points going 4-7 from the floor (1-1 from the 3 point line) and 1-3 from the free throw line. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera finished with 9 points going 4-9 from the floor (1-3 from the 3 point line) The top player for Greensboro Dudley is 6’1 junior PG Sam Hunt who is a legitimate division one prospect. Oak Hill now moves to 28-0 for the season and should secure the number one spot in both USA Today and the ESPN high school poll.
In the final game of the day and the most exciting game, it was High Point Christian squeaking out a 59-58 OT win over Quality Education. Leading 52-48 with less than a minute remaining, HPC could have iced the game on several occasions but missed 7-8 free throws that allowed QEA to get back into the game. Coach Brandon Clifford and HPC moves to an impressive 19-0 record for the season while QEA falls to 12-4. Leading the way for HPC was 5’11 junior PG Diante Baldwin with 23 points. Baldwin is a crafty and quick PG that can easily get into the lane. Without question, Baldwin is a solid division I prospect and area schools in the Big South and Southern Conference should continue to monitor and recruit. Baldwin attended the 8th Annual NC Phenom 150 Camp last October and below is our evaluation of him.
Player: 5’11 Diante Baldwin
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
School: High Point Christian
Grade: 11 (Class: 2013)
Evaluation: IQ Baldwin recently “reclassed” to the 2013 class with his transfer to High Point Christian and he is another name MM schools will want to monitor. Baldwin has “sneaky” athleticism and has exceptional ball handling and passing skills. He sees the floor really well. Baldwin does have good strength and athleticism and even had a few nice dunks in transition. Overall, Baldwin is a very active PG that has good fundamentals and basketball.
Next up for HPC is the ever improving Jackson Kent. The 6’7 junior WF has always been known as a “lights out” shooter, but he has improved his athleticism and especially his lateral quickness. He has also shown the ability to handle the PG responsibilities if need be. Kent also attended the NC Phenom 150 camp last October and here’s what he had to say about him then.
Player: 6’7 Jackson Kent
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
School: High Point Christian
Grade: 11 (Class 2013)
Evaluation: Kent recently transferred to High Point Christian and reclassed to the 2013 class. Kent is another regular at the NC Phenom 150 camp and I’m totally impressed with his improvement over the past year. Basically known as a “dead eye” from the 3 point territory, he has worked hard on his ball handling and passing skills and has really raised his level of play. He even played PG at times at camp. Kent is excellent in transitions and with improved strength and quickness, he is more comfortable attacking the basket and finishing well. He has always been a fundamentally sound player with a high basketball IQ and is a legit D1 prospect.
That being said, Kent continued improvement will garnish interest from mid majors and even some high majors. Currently, Kent has the overall skills and ability to score and the next step in his development is to gain strength. If he continues to improve as much in the next two years as he has in the past year, don’t be surprised to see him playing at a high level. Kent finished with 16 points. 6’11 junior center Chuck Ogbodo played with a severe ankle sprain and gave 100% effort, but it was evident he was having trouble playing on it. He had little to no elevation but one has to give the young man tons of credit for playing with heart and passion. Below is our evaluation from our NC Phenom 150 Camp on Ogbodo.
Player: 6’11 Chuck Ogbodo
Hometown: High Point, NC
School: High Point Christian
Grade: 11 (Class: 2013)
Evaluation: Ogbodo is a very long and athletic center that is starting to garnish interest from ACC schools. He is a quick leaper and is excellent in transition. He has a tremendous wing span and is definitely a defensive presence in the paint. He alters and blocks a lot of shots due to this length and timing. Like many athletic big men, he is more advanced on the defensive end of the floor, but is making huge strides in his overall offensive development. If he continues to improve his overall game in the next year as he has in the past year, he will definitely be a major target of HM schools. When you are 6’11 young, energetic, athletic and have the length, quickness and bounce, high majors will quickly take notice. The next step for his development is play hard consistently on both ends of the court.
Leading the way for Quality Education was 6’4 senior combo guard Tevin Findlay. Findlay tallied 13 points while 6’7 senior PF Dominique Williams tallied 11 points. QEA has tons of talent and 6’9 Freshman Ibrahima Diallo is a promising young prospect that high majors should be all over.
Final thoughts from the 2012 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic
National: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman
2012 Hoophall Classic All-Tournament First Team
Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman
Nerlens Noel, Tilton
Tyler Lewis, Oak Hill
Aaron Thomas, Brewster
Kyle Anderson, St. Anthony
2012 Hoophall Classic All-Tournament Second Team
Dominic Artis, Findlay
Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga
Katin Reinhardt, Mater Dei
Grant Jerrett, LaVerne Lutheran
Jabari Parker, Chicago Simeon
While we were not physically able to watch the Sunday and Monday games in person of the 2012 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic, we were fortunate to tape and watch the games shown on ESPN. After watching Shabazz Muhammad countless times this past summer, there is no question that he is the number one player in the 2012 class and there is no close second. In addition, we simply don’t buy the fact that many scouting experts are touting junior Jabari Parker as the best player in the country regardless of class. I will agree Parker may be the most complete all around player and his overall skill package at 6’8 is second to none. That being said, the Phenom Hoop Report went against “conventional wisdom” and selected 6’11 Nerlens Noel as the number one player in the 2013 class and here are the reason why. First of all, Noel may be the best defensive player at the high school level since a Patrick Ewing or Alonzo Mourning and his ability to change the outcome of the game is unequal without scoring a single point! That being said, his defensive and shot blocking ability is far ahead of his offensive skill set, however after watching his development and improvement on the offensive end of the court against Brewster, we are confidence that Noel may even become the number one pick in the draft by the time he enters his name for the NBA. Below is our evaluation from this past August after watching him at the NBA Players Camp.
August 2011 Report
Player: 6’11 Nerlens Noel
High School: Tilton School
Hometown: Tilton, MA
Phenom Hoop Report: What is there not to like about this young man! Noel is an extremely long and athletic shot blocking machine and is one of the few players in the country that can impact a game without scoring a single point. His length, timing, and quick bounce off the floor are a recipe for many balls ending up in the first and second row of spectators. On the offensive end of the floor, he didn’t get many touches but that had little to no effect on his ability to play hard and with a passion and purpose. While Noel only averaged 7.4 PPG, he put together two strong performances in the semi final game and also in the championship game. (18 & 15 points respectively) His team lost by one point and if his team had won, one could make a strong argument that he could have been named the tournament MVP. The majority of his points came off missed shots and running the floor in transition, but in a few games we noticed him taking a jump hook shot as his main offensive weapon. Without question, Noel has no equal on the defensive end of the floor and reminds me of a younger and lankier Alonzo Mourning.
In the next couple of days, we will be updating our 2012 national rankings!