|Doneal Mack (6’5″, G) College Experience: Memphis– One of the better overall players at the event, he is a natural scorer that knows how to score the ball in numerous ways, he knocked down midrange and perimeter shots at a high rate and go to the paint at will for buckets or drawing fouls. For a Combo Guard he has good height which allows to see over defenders easily and to get off his shot without too much difficulty, his scoring ability and the way he scores the ball reminds me a little bit of how James Harden scores in the league. Both are smooth lefties with nice ball handling skills that understand how to use different angles to attack defenders and ways to put the ball off the glass for easy buckets. To make it plain and simple Mack is a bucket getter and even good defenders had issues with trying to slow him down once he gets going. Another attribute that was impressive was his overall team leadership throughout the game, he was constantly communicating with his teammates, at the beginning of the game his team was down by quite a few points and they just seemed to be out of whack with each other. So Mack asked the coach to take a timeout, he talked to his teammates about what they all could do differently and once they game resumed his team looked like an entirely different squad, when he made a bad pass on a play he wasted no time in raising his hand and letting everyone know that it was his fault. He also is a gifted passer which is a skill that can be sometimes be overlooked due to his high level scoring ability, but he definitely is a talented passer. Defensively he was solid and with his height has no problems guarding wings and even some bigs , he is a player that battles constantly and that you cannot take a play off on, there’s no doubt in my mind that he is a Pro.
Preston Ross (G, 6’4″) College Experience: Winston-Salem State– Had a solid showing throughout the day, in drills and games he showed that he is a very athletic player that finishes plays above the rim in transition but can also play the game in a half court setting by using his strong frame to battle with players inside. Can knock down the elbow and short corner jumper with consistency and showed some ability to knock down the trey ball but looks even more comfortable when he playing inside the paint. He crashes the offensive boards consistently and is always looking for the opportunity to make a play off the rim or provide an extra possession for his team. Defensively I loved the intensity he brought and his willingness to take on any challenge of who he was going to guard whether if it was a post player or a wing player it did not matter. What I liked most about Preston is that he didn’t try to do too much or force the issue, if his shot was not dropping then he crashed the boards or impacted the game in some type of way. Also showed how good of a teammate he is by being unselfish, at the beginning of his first game he got off to a quick scoring start but once his offense slowed down he still competed hard and only attempted to get the win instead of being a ball stopper or attempting to get his own stats up.
|Vernon Payne (SF, 6’6″) College Experience: Campbellsville– was impressive throughout, brings a workman like attitude to the game, didn’t show a lot of flair or anything of that nature to his game but he flat out go it done. He has a very good motor so he’s constantly all over the floor, diving for loose balls, getting chase down blocks and do all the small things to come up with those 50/50 plays that can be the difference in a team win or loss. Has a very nice mixture of a long wingspan and athleticism that he uses well especially on the defensive end of the floor to come up with deflections, grab rebounds and play the passing lanes for steals. Vernon is the type of player that you do not need to draw up plays for and he still will end up with nice numbers, put back layups and all the dirty plays that some guys take off are plays that he loves to make. He is not the type of player that needs to dribble a lot to get points but instead moves with the ball very well he is a good shooter that knocked down shots when catching and shooting the ball, whether it was from a pass coming from out of the post or a pass from a guard the result was the same. Even though he does not force shots, he showed his ability to make difficult shots throughout the day, has a nice off balance floater that he makes pretty consistently.
|Kyree Bethel (G, 6’2″) College Experience: Chowan– One of the best shooters at the event, was curious to see how he would perform play the PG position since he played off the ball quite a bit in college. Kyree was very solid throughout and played the PG spot well, didn’t try to over dribble and make the easy plays for his squad instead of trying to make the home run play. On defense he was constantly applying pressure and attempting to keep his opponent guessing as to what move to make next. On the offensive end he shot the ball from the perimeter very well and even had some plays where he got to the basket and finished plays without too much of an issue. Can be considered to have somewhat of a lean frame but plays pretty strong on both ends of the floor, especially offensively when getting to the basket and embracing contact. Has a good IQ for the game, and catches on to his opponents strength and weaknesses rather quickly, knows when to go over and under a screen defensively or even which defender would jump at a quick shot fake.
Phillippe Harris (PG, 5’11”) College Experience: Fayetteville State– Does all the things you want from a PG, has very good ball handling skills and quickness that he uses to get wherever he wants to go at whatever time he wants to get there. Also has a very strong frame which he uses to finish plays and fight through screens that are being set by much taller opponents. He is a pass first type of guard that always look to get his teammates going first but can create his own offense when the opportunity presents itself. Makes very good reads and on point passes to teammates to put them in positions to score very easily, when he looks to create his own offense he is pretty efficient , Has nice form and lift on his shot and seems to be the most comfortable when shooting the ball from the midrange area. Defensively he was one of the best on ball perimeter defenders throughout the entire event, he applied constant full court pressure and came up with a high amount of steals.
Aaron Brackett (F, 6’8″) College Experience: UNCG– One of the better passing bigs at the event, he plays the game at his own pace and does not allow himself to be speed up by opponents. The patience that he displayed especially on the offensive end of the floor is what truly makes him such a special and productive player in my opinion, he also has the ability to stretch the floor and knock down the shot, as well as beat opposing bigs off the dribble for buckets. When he gets the ball in the post he not only looks to use one of his many post moves but also surveys the floor to see where an open teammate will be and which play will be the most beneficial. His ability to make good decisions very quickly is something that you don’t see very often, simply put Aaron knows how to play this game at the highest level and make winning play. He is also a high volume rebounder, although he’s not the tallest or most athletic he always finds a body to box out every time a shot goes up which gives a great opportunity to secure rebounds.
Curtis Withers (F, 6’8″) College Experience: Charlotte– Is a veteran player that really knocks the game and can stretch the floor, puts the ball on the floor well and is a gifted passer. Can score the ball, as well as facilitate almost as if he playing the Point Forward position, making plays for himself and others. Is very comfortable in the post, and makes good passes from all over the floor. Was constantly seen instructing players on where they should be and what do in order to be efficient as a team, which is an attribute that you love to see from payers these days. Curtis also does a great job of making himself a good target for his guards to get the ball into and knows how to seal off his man well. Although he didn’t display jaw dropping athletic ability he definitely was productive by drawing fouls and getting to the line at a very high rate.
Tony Gallo (G, 5’11”) College Experience: Coppin State – Another player that definitely has played basketball on the pro level, has a certain poise and confidence that you only see from guards that have played this game for a long time. Tony knocks down the trey ball at a very high rate and makes sure that the ball moves very quickly when he is running the offense. He is a very craft ball handler but does not use that as a reason to over dribble but instead uses this ability to beat defenders off the dribble and cause the defense to collapse. Is a low turnover guard that can play the game at multiple speeds and seems to be comfortable playing against intense defensive pressure. One attribute that I really like about Tony was his competiveness, he doesn’t back down from any challenge no matter how tall an opponent is, which is something you have to love in your PG.