Austin takes over in Houston
HOUSTON -- The name of the day was Austin as guards Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) and Austin McBroom (Lancaster, Calif./Campbell Hall) continued to put the ball in the basket. Rivers has dominated games for huge stretches, and McBroom is a highly competitive lead guard who can make shots with range past the arc.
2011, SG, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds
Team: Each 1 Teach 1
He plays with off-the-charts confidence and in full attack mode on every catch. If the player defending him is not ready to play, it will be a long game. Rivers can score in a variety of ways and can get his shot off the dribble at will. He hits midrange pull-ups, floaters and slashes between defenders. He sets up the defender with fakes and jabs and has an uncanny ability simply to read the defense and attack. He can knock down the deep 3-pointer, and if he gets in rhythm, he can hit two or three in a row before the defense knows what hit it. He can also handle and pass, but scoring is clearly at the top of his to-do list. He has a good basketball IQ and plays with passion. He can loose his focus on defense at times, but this scoring machine draws a crowd at every event.
DaJuan Coleman (Syracuse, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt)
2012, C, 6-9, 280
Team: Albany City Rocks
He attacked the rim with power drops steps and when he received drop-off passes he power-dunked through contact. He was aggressive on the glass as well. He defensive rebounded and ran the floor and pursued the ball on the offensive glass. Coleman used his massive size and strength to make the offensive post player work for every inch in the low post by working to move him out of the lane. Coleman dominated the post at times and forced his will on the opponent. He can be impossible for one defender when he catches the ball with a foot in the lane. He must maintain the level of intensity to continue to have these types of performances and monitor his weight, but overall a big-time post presence with matching talent.
2011, PG, 5-11, 160
Team: California Supreme
This competitive, high-energy lead guard made a number of shots. McBroom hit 3s in both corners and pushed the ball in transition where he displayed the ability to stop and pop on a dime. McBroom ran the offense and does a good job of keeping the ball moving. He can penetrate and dish as well. McBroom set the tone for the defense with his ball pressure, and he was alert in the passing lanes. McBroom has some possessions that were very impressive.
• Athletes First has a pair of very impressive 2012 players in 6-2 shooting guard Nino Jackson (Ardmore, Okla.) and 6-8 power forward Matt Christiansen (Oklahoma City/Bishop McGuiness). Jackson is a highlight waiting to happen in transition thanks to his ability to attack the rim, while Christiansen can score with his back to the basket and rebound on both ends.
• Louisiana Select sophomore power forward Ricardo Gathers is a 6-7, 245-pound man-child who finishes with power and cleans the glass. He has an NFL body but is very productive on the court as well.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to '90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.