Commentary

2012 star Muhammad impresses

Originally Published: April 19, 2010
By Marty Richter | Special to ESPN Recruiting

DENVER -- This past weekend's Double Pump Spring Tournament featured a talented group of teams from the West Coast and Midwest. The championship game in the 17 and under category came down to the last minute, with the Kansas City Pump N Run pulling off a 76-72 win against Nevada's Dream Vision -- despite a 31-point effort from Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). In the 16 and under category, D' Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis/North Central) of the Indiana Elite scored 41 points and led his team to a 77-62 victory over the Kansas City Pump N Run.

[+] EnlargeShabazz Muhammad
Liam Foley/Icon SMIShabazz Muhammad is the No. 3 rated player in the 2011 class.

Standout players

Shabazz Muhammad, SF (6-foot-5, 195)
2012, Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman

Muhammad showed fans that he is one of the best recruits in the 2012 class with powerful displays of speed and athleticism, knowledge for the game and a desire to win. He scored points by slashing to the rim in the open court, posting up and using his quickness to go by his defender. He also has no trouble shooting over smaller defenders.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, SF (6-3, 215)
2012, Indianapolis/North Central
Smith-Rivera scored from all over the court. In the championship game, he made a living attacking the basket with an assortment of dribble moves to beat the first defender and acrobatic finishes with either hand to score over help defenders. D'Vauntes had KC Pump N Run players at a loss for how to guard him.

Surprise players

Christian Kirk, PF (6-7, 215)
2011, St. Charles, Mo./St. Charles West
Kirk illustrated that he is well schooled in post play. He has a variety of moves in the post and loves to use fakes to create scoring opportunities. He is quick off the floor when he goes to finish dunks or layups. Defensively, he challenges all shots that are taken in the lane.

Jonah Travis, PF (6-6, 215)
2011, Minneapolis/De La Salle

Travis is a tough, hard-nosed player. When he drives the ball to the basket, he is looking for contact with his opponent. In the post, he has great footwork and spins off his defenders to get the angle to the rim.

One to watch

Kenyatta Smith, PF (6-8, 240)
2011, La Canada, Calif./Flintridge Prep
Smith has clearly made great strides in his game over the last few months. He showed that he is explosive finishing around the basket and finished often with one or two handed, thunderous dunks in traffic. In the post, Kenyatta loves to create contact and finish through his defender.

Tournament notes

• Class of 2011 shooting guard Norman Powell (San Diego/Lincoln) was outstanding all weekend. His ability to score by slashing to the basket and finish with athletic layups helped lead his team to the quarterfinals.

• BJ Young (St. Louis/Hazelwood Central) demonstrated a great feel for the game, and that allowed him to stand out as an intriguing prospect. Young has a long, athletic body and an ability to break down opponents with the dribble and score or set up teammates.

Rosco Allen (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) proved to be a versatile forward able to play inside and out with remarkable passing ability.

Chris Thomas (Landham, Md./Princeton Day Academy) made it difficult for defenders to keep him from getting to the basket. Chris has bursts of speed with the ball and can easily finish over or around defenders.

Marty Richter is a contributor to ESPN.com's recruiting coverage.