Favors, Joaquim battle down low in marquee matchup
The second day of action at the adidas Super 64 featured some marquee matchups, highlighted by the Atlanta Celtics taking on the Pump-N-Run Elite. With a plethora of high-major Division I prospects on both rosters, this intense contest had a good flow, with both teams trading blows and playing with good energy. The Celtics, after gaining a win despite lethargic play the previous day, played with much more passion and energy in this contest, but could not outlast Pump-N-Run Elite for the victory.
Six-foot-9 PF Derrick Favors (Fayetteville, Ga./South Atlanta), the top player in the ESPN 100, followed up yesterday's pedestrian performance with a dominant showing, especially on defense. He contested almost every opposition shot in the paint. Favors struggled a little on offense due in large part to the defensive presence of 6-11 C Vander Joaquim (Fayetteville, Calif./Christian), who used his length to bother Favors. Led by the sweet shooting of 6-8 SF Tyler Honeycutt (Sylmar, Calif./Sylmar), Pump-N-Run gutted out a hard-fought win over the Celtics.
Derrick Favors, 6-9, PF
Senior, Fayetteville, Ga./South Atlanta
Favors had problems finishing around the basket and will improve once he adds better footwork and counter moves to his offensive arsenal. He made a impact on the game on defense, blocking a number of shots and starting fast breaks for his team. Favors rarely swatted the ball out of bounds but intelligently kept the shots in play, leading to the numerous breaks for his squad. Favors also hit the glass on both ends of the court.
Anthony Wroten, 6-5, PG
Sophomore, Seattle, Wash./Garfield
Wroten has a mature feel for the game despite his youth. He uses his first step well to break down defenders. He also uses his foot speed to play good on-ball defense and anticipate in passing lanes for steals. Wroten's excellent vision and passing skills create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Anthony Brown, 6-6, PG
Junior, Fountain Valley, Calif./Ocean View
Brown has a mature offensive game and, given his length, will gain even more size to go along with his advanced offensive skill set. His jumper range extends to the 3-point line, where he connects consistently. When Brown gets in the midrange, he easily shoots the pull-up and falls away a little on the shot, but it does not affect his follow-through and release, making the shot even more difficult to defend. Brown also does a good job passing the ball and involving teammates.
Vander Joaquim, 6-11, C
Senior, Bonita, Calif./Christian
Joaquim has decent athleticism and leaping ability, but he uses his length to place his imprint on the game. He contested shots constantly and rebounded the ball on both ends of the court. Although he's not a great athlete, he runs the floor well and looks to finish on the break after starting it with a defensive rebound or blocked shot. Joaquim can hit the 3-point shot if left open, but he does not rank as a shooter at this point.
Lance Stephenson, 6-6, PG
Senior, New York/Lincoln
Stephenson uses his strength to get to the rim. He does not have great quickness or athleticism, so he relies on change of pace dribbles to get defenders off-balance. Stephenson has a tendency to over-dribble and turn the ball over. Stephenson needs to improve his jumper in addition to elevating his defensive intensity.
Tyler Honeycutt, 6-8, SF
Senior, Sylmar, Calif./Sylmar
Honeycutt has a versatile offensive game, connecting on an array of shots with relative ease. He has a smooth release and good mechanics, allowing him to shoot 3-pointers off the dribble and spot up 3s off dishes from penetrating guards. Honeycutt also creates offense off the dribble. Despite his offensive gifts, he does a good job of staying within his team's offensive concept.
Karron Johnson, 6-8, PF
Senior, Springfield, N.J.
When dialed in, Johnson ranks as a force on both ends of the court. He crashes the offensive and defensive boards, starting a number of run-out opportunities through his defensive glass and shot-blocking prowess. Johnson runs the floor well and finishes breaks above the rim. He avoided the tendency to drift out on the perimeter and settle for jumpers.
Roberto Nelson, 6-4, combo-guard
Senior, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Nelson has decent quickness and athleticism, and he's always in attack mode on offense. When he has the ball, he usually looks to drive to the rim and draw contact, resulting in either a basket or free throws. He tends to dribble into traffic and get out of control. He could alleviate this by adding a midrange game. Nelson does not have great shooting, but he can knock down uncontested 3s.
James Padgett, 6-8, PF
Senior, Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln
Padgett maintained a high level of activity throughout the game. He has a good build and the strength to establish prime position on the block for scoring and rebounding. Once he got the ball in the paint, usually from offensive boards or run-outs, Padgett looked to finish above the rim with authority. Padgett also did a nice job contesting shots and shutting down the lane on defense.
Joe Burton, 6-8, PF
Senior, Hemet, Calif./Hemet West Valley
Burton does not have great athleticism or quickness, but he does a good job using his thick body to get deep position in the post. On the low blocks, Burton has a nifty left-handed jump hook. He must improve his conditioning and develop counter moves to negate his lack of athleticism. Burton has great vision and passing ability for his size. He can get chippy and let his emotions get the best of him at times.
Xavier Thames, 6-4, PG
Senior, Sacramento/Pleasant Grove
Thames has a quick first step breaks down defenders and gets into the teeth of the defense. Once in the paint, Thames has the vision and mentality to locate open teammates for easy shot attempts. He can also effectively finish at the rim due to his ability to adjust in the air when defenders contest his lay-in attempts. Thames' lateral foot speed and intensity make him a good defender.
Shannon Sharpe, 6-3, PG
Senior, Corona, Calif./Corona Centennial
Sharpe has good leaping ability and athleticism and is a perfect fit for an up-tempo, intense game-plan. Sharpe stays within himself on offense, but he excels on defense. He pressures opposing ball-handlers and hassles them into mistakes, but does so without getting into foul trouble.
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.