Gbinije showcases versatility
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Team Takeover (Washington, D.C.) survived a late push by Each One Teach One Elite (Florida) to win the 2009 AAU 17-and-under Super Showcase 66-57. Future Florida Gator Austin Rivers of Winter Park, Fla., was the only Each One Teach One player to reach double figures with a 25-point effort. The balance of the Team Takeover perimeter was too much, however, as wings Michael Gbinije (Christchurch, Va./Christchurch School) and Jerian Grant (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic) combined for 29 points while playing terrifically on offense and physical defense.
Gbinije displayed ability to score from behind the arc and an excellent midrange game, and Grant was in attack mode on both ends of the floor, getting to the basket and providing constant and consistent ball pressure.
At 6-foot-6, Gbinije has great size and skill on the wing. He can play shooting guard or small forward. He runs the floor in transition and does a great job of picking his spots and letting the offense come to him. Gbinije knocked down the open 3, slashed from the wing and displayed great elevation on his one- or two-dribble midrange pull-up jumper. He is a decent rebounder but could be better given his size and athletic ability.
Gbinije is a good ball handler and passer and is very capable not only of putting up big numbers on offense but also defending both wing positions in a switch situation. With added strength, Gbinije will add to his post-up game to take advantage of his size when being checked by a smaller perimeter defender. Gbinije has steadily improved and is one of the top wing prospects in the Class of 2011.
Class of 2010 Jerian Grant is an attacking wing that played well at the Peach Jam and has continued to look good here at the Super Showcase when I saw him. He is a terrific athlete that has a great first step off the dribble. He attacks the rim with power drives and quick slashes along the baseline. His ability to make scoring plays off the dribble makes him special along with his consistent effort. Grant is a good rebounder that can lead the break and is also a terrific passer on the move. He is unselfish and does a great job getting shots for teammates with his improved ball handling and ability to drive, draw and kick. Grant also has an excellent basketball IQ and proves it by recognizing when he has a mismatch and post up where he can elevate on turn shots or power drop steps. Grant is a streaky shooter at best and must work to improve that area. On defense he sustains his energy and has the ability to defend all three perimeter positions with his strength and athletic ability. Grant wins you over with his effort and intensity.
• Corey Blackwell (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge): At 6-4, 215 pounds, Blackwell is a power wing. He is an excellent scorer who has solid athleticism and is the son of former Wisconsin player Cory Blackwell. Young Corey's game is similar to his dad's. He has a versatile inside-outside game, is strong enough to be a very effective post player and simply overpowers smaller opponents on the block. He also can step out and shoot with range to 19 feet. Blackwell's big body allows him to carve out space inside and be a good rebounder for his position. He is solid off the bounce and can create his own shot. Scouts Inc. watched him score nearly half his team's points in one game. He needs to improve his lateral quickness to be better in space.
• Maurice Harkless (Queens, N.Y./Forest Hills): A 6-6, 190-pound wing forward, Harkless has impressive skills and is very good off the bounce. He has a good handle and is a very good slasher on offense. Harkless is excellent at penetrating into the lane and shooting over his opponents. He can go right or left and is very capable of initiating offense. His jumper is very streaky but has range to 17 feet. He is average on defense but has nice length and is effective playing the passing lanes. Harkless must work to improve his ball defense but is a solid rebounder for his position.
• Bruce Barron (Carbondale, Ill./Brehm Prep): At 6-2 and 175 pounds, Barron is a big, scoring point guard. He is a slasher who is excellent when finishing at the rim, and he is the brother of Washington point guard Justin Dentmon. Barron is a big, strong guard who can overpower most of the players who guard him. He can post or slash in from the perimeter and is a good rebounder for his position. Barron is a streaky shooter with range to 19 feet, and on defense he is not bad when motivated but could be better if he played more intensely.
Reggie Rankin covers basketball recruiting for ESPN Scouts Inc. John Stovall also contributed to this report.
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