Sullinger, Irving worth seeing
This weekend's Hoophall Classic is one of the most star-studded events of the high school season. In the past, the event has featured future NBA standouts such as Kevin Durant and Brandon Jennings. Here's a look at 10 players to watch at this year's event:
Jared Sullinger, PF (6-8, 260)
Columbus, Ohio/Northland, committed to Ohio State
Rank (position rank): 2 (1)
Arguably Ohio State's most touted recruit since Greg Oden, Sullinger is the best low-post scorer and rebounder in the Class of 2010. One of his most underrated and valuable contributions to his team is his ability to pass out of double-teams on the blocks. Sullinger, the prototypical college 4-man, has shown improvement with his face-up game.
Kyrie Irving, PG (6-1,172)
West Orange, N.J./St. Patrick, committed to Duke
Rank (position rank): 6 (2)
One of the few elite point guards in the class, Irving has a well-rounded game offensively. He understands how to run a team and is an outstanding passer. He scores big when his team needs it and has a high basketball IQ.
Tobias Harris, PF (6-8, 210)
Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West, committed to Tennessee
Rank (position rank): 7 (3)
Harris is an extremely versatile offensive forward. At present, he's a power forward with great ability to score off the dribble-drive or with the jumper. He's excellent in the high-low game and goes inside when needed. He has a chance to become a small forward with his versatility and athletic ability.
Josh Smith, C (6-10, 270)
Kent, Wash./Kentwood, committed to UCLA
Rank (position rank): 1 (10)
One of the few true centers in the class, Smith is big and very powerful around the hoop. He blocks shots, pulls down rebounds and finishes inside. He needs to work on his free-throw shooting. He has good hands and runs the floor very well for a player his size.
Reggie Bullock, SG (6-6, 190)
Kinston, N.C., committed to North Carolina
Rank (position rank): 13 (2)
At 6-6, Bullock has a big, strong NBA-type body. He's an excellent jump shooter who rebounds well on both ends of the floor. He rebounds the ball well, is defending better and is working on becoming a complete 2-guard.
Roscoe Smith, SF (6-8, 190)
Baltimore/Oak Hill Academy, committed to UConn
Rank (position rank): 16 (4)
Smith, a recent UConn commit, is the best long-range shooter in this class. In fact, he is an excellent jump shooter from anywhere on the floor; with time and space, he can knock down any big shot. He's not just a stand-still shooter, however; his athleticism allows him to get to the hoop on a frequent basis.
Kendall Marshall, PG (6-4, 180)
Dumfries, Va./Bishop O'Connell, committed to North Carolina
Rank (position rank): 19 (4)
Marshall is the best passer in all of high school basketball. He advances the ball in transition with the throw-ahead pass exceptionally well. He delivers the ball to his teammates on time and on target and in a scoring position. He can score off the drive when needed from 15 feet and in and will knock down the open 3 on occasion.
Cory Joseph, PG (6-3, 180)
Toronto/Findlay Prep, uncommitted
Rank (position rank): 30 (6)
Joseph is a high-level scoring point guard. It's easy for him to score from the jumper or the drive. He loves transition. He's doing a tremendous job running the show and being a creator this year for one of America's elite programs.
Class of 2011
Mike Gilchrist, SF (6-7, 190)
Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick, uncommitted
Rank (position rank): 1 (1)
Gilchrist plays the game with great passion and intensity. He does a little bit of everything very well. He can score from any spot on the floor and is a consistent rebounder. His perimeter game is improving.
Austin Rivers, SG (6-4, 189)
Winter Park, Fla., committed to Florida
Rank (position rank): 2 (1)
Rivers is a prolific scoring guard who is unstoppable in transition. He can get to the rim and beat you or pull up for a 3. He has great distance on his 3-point shot. He now has added the midrange jumper and floater to his game. He keeps getting better.
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