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College Basketball Recruiting

Orlando Super Showcase Notebook

By Kristi Chartrand

Augst 11th, 2004



With not much to do on a cloudy Sunday in Orlando I decided to indulge in some hoops and preview the future of college basketball.

The AAU Super Showcase was held at the Wide World of Sports here at the Disney complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida last week. While the Vegas tournaments got more publicity and produced the better pool of players, there was still plenty of talent on display here in Orlando.

Let me preface this article by saying these are my observations based on what I saw in one day’s worth of action. Meaning I understand that someone might have had a bad game, but I will share my opinions about the games I DID see.

Tyler Hansbrough – 6-9 – St. Louis, MO – Poplar Bluff HS – AAU Team – St. Louis Eagles – Uncommitted
For me, undoubtedly Tyler Hansbrough was the best player I saw. He’s the “real deal” folks and worth every bit of notoriety his recruitment has garnered. Coaches lined both ends of the court for his head-to-head match up with Julian Wright of the Illinois Warriors. Though his team came up short, it was a stellar performance by the 6-9 Hansbrough. He had excellent hands, made numerous catches in traffic, and never had the ball stripped. He was active on the offensive glass, an efficient finisher inside, and drew the hoop and the harm on several occasions. From the foul line? Forget it. He has a great touch. Tyler also impressed me with his footwork. A lot of times that’s lacking at the high school level, but Tyler was fundamentally very sound. Tyler led the break on two occasions and dished off for easy baskets. His versatility stood out as he scored in a multitude of ways. His face up moves were deceptively quick and he was more then adept off the dribble -- couple that with his toughness inside – and you have a sure-fire stud. He was clearly the best player on the floor.

Louis Williams – 6-1 – Snellville, GA - South Gwinett HS – AAU Team Georgia Stars – Committed to Georgia
The second best prospect I saw was Louis Williams of the Georgia Stars. Without question Louis produced the most oohs and aahh’s. Williams wears the number 23 and does remind me a bit of Lebron James. He’s a very smooth player who makes the game look easy and we was at his peak performance for a big game Sunday against the Jersey All-Stars. He destroyed the opposition with pinpoint precision passing and impressive drives to the basket. He’s a tremendous offensive weapon. Conversely, I would have to say I was not overly impressed with his defense. Williams is committed to Georgia (though there have been rumors that he will continue to look around) but wherever he goes fans are in for a treat. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were to go pro.

Jeff Adrien – 6-6 – Brookline, MA - Brookline HS – AAU Team BABC – Uncommitted
He’s become a hot commodity and after seeing him play I understand why. He was impressive and relentless on the glass against Boo Williams. Jeff’s work ethic was to be commended. He finished strong around the hoop and seemed to have a nose for the ball. He was tough and extremely strong in traffic; lethal combinations for a team looking for an inside presence. The interest from Kansas has increased though no offer has been made. Not surprising since he’s seemingly the type of player Self covets for his high-low offense.

Julian Wright – 6-8 – Flossmoor, IL - Homewood-Flossmoor HS – AAU Team Illinois Warriors – Uncommitted
Julian is a player whose stock has been on the rise but in the game I saw vs. St. Louis he was clearly overshadowed by Hansbrough. I was excited to see him play but honestly, I expected more. Again, maybe it was an off game for him. There’s no doubt he’s got a college basketball body and will probably be a small forward at the college level. I didn’t feel like he was much of a scorer but he showed good passing ability, and clearly makes the players around him better. He will contribute to a big name program. Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, and Arizona were in attendance for his game.

Anthony Farmer – 6-1 – Richland, NJ - St. Augustine Prep – AAU Team New Jersey All-Stars – Committed to Rutgers
Anthony Farmer had the tough task of guarding Louis Williams in New Jersey’s clash with the Georgia Stars. Farmer looked like he was standing still on defense but he never backed down from the challenge of guarding a player of Williams caliber. Farmer also got the last laugh by making the winning shot in what was without question the game of the tournament. He and fellow Rutgers commit Jaron Griffith have a bright future playing together.

Other notables:
Eric Whitehurst – 6-8 – Oak Tree Academy (VA) – showed great touch from 15 feet…
Jeremy Goode – 5-8 – Garinger HS (NC) – small but big in game…excellent point guard and even better competitor.
Craig Moore – 6-2 – Lawrenceville Prep (NJ) – can really shoot it and has range…

Underclassman who impressed me the most:
Ben Finney – 6-5 – I.C. Norcom (VA)

Learn more about the author Kristi Chartrand and how to contact her here.



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