Davis dominates at King City Classic
CLEVELAND -- All around the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State, the buzz was around LeBron James and his future destination. On the court at the for the King City Classic, the buzz was around the 80 future stars who were competing hard in the eight-team tournament.
Anthony Davis (Chicago/Perspective)
2011, PF, 6-foot-9, 187 pounds
The versatile forward with a 7-foot-2 wing span continued to improve and produce. What's so impressive about Davis is that he only wants to make the right play for his team and he always seems to have great sequences throughout the game. For example, he will block a shot, start a fast break, sprint the floor and follow up his teammate's missed shot for an offensive rebound and a put-back. On defense, he protects the rim with his ability to block shots or change his opponent's attempts. He is also an active rebounder, but his ability to handle the ball and score sets him apart from most bigs.
Nick Faust (Baltimore/City College)
2011, SG, 6-6, 172 pounds
The long, athletic shooting guard has the all the tools to score the basketball. In transition, Faust is extremely dangerous because he gets out and fills the lane for a dunk or can stop and pop from behind the arc. When the game is in the half court, he can create for himself with a low dribble drive to get all the way to the basket or he can pull up from just about anywhere and knock down the jumper. When you watch him execute a pick-and-roll, you can't help but be impressed as he splits between two defenders and drives down the lane. This scoring machine also doesn't have a lot of wasted motion with or without the ball, which bodes well for him to be an effective, explosive scorer.
Player to watch
Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room Christian)
2013, SG, 6-4, 187 pounds
He is comfortable and confident with the ball in his hands or playing off the ball, but make no mistake about it: Purvis is tough to stop with just one defender. With his strong frame and the ability to absorb contact, he displays excellent body control in the lane on his attempts. He is more than just a penetrating guard who gets to the charity stripe. Purvis is also very good at taking mid-range, pull-up jumpers and he's learning the art of pick-and-roll basketball. Overall, he is a young, exciting player who performs well on a consistent basis and can dominate at times.
• Texas A&M commit Jamal Branch (Humble, Texas/Grace Prep) had two very good performances shooting the ball while still running his team. When Branch is aggressively looking to score but is simultaneously selective with his shot selection, he makes buckets and becomes an even better passer because defenses have to help. This allows him to find open teammates quickly.
• The matchup between Branden Dawson (Gary, Ind./Lew Wallace) and Ben Mclemore (St. Louis, Mo./Eskridge), which took place in the afternoon session, was outstanding. These are two of the most athletic, competitive players in the Class of 2011. It was a treat to watch them attack and defend each other. Dawson drove the lane and made jumpers at a high percentage, while Mclemore rebounded and slashed his way to the hoop.
• Two of North Carolina's best, Xavier commit Dezmine Wells (Raleigh, N.C./Hargrave Military) and UNC commit P.J. Hairston (Greensboro, N.C./Hargrave Military), tore up the competition. Wells was outstanding in driving past defenders, carrying them into the lane with his strength and finishing with clever floaters. Hairston aggressively looked for his shot and fired 3s from distance. However, both could add more to their games. If Wells adds a 3-point shot, he would be one of the toughest matchups in the country, while Hairston needs a mid-range game to complement his long-range shooting.
• Perry Ellis (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Heights) has been working hard on his skills all spring. He worked hard to get open and made the most of his open shots, knocking down mid- and long-range jumpers. Ellis also battled on the glass, ran the floor and made himself productive.
• LaQuinton Ross (Jackson, Miss./Life Center Academy) has a ton of potential, but it still has not transferred onto the court. He is looking at Ohio State, West Virginia, Syracuse, Maryland and Baylor.
• Rodney Hood (Meridian, Miss./Meridian) has had a great week of camp and games. The left-handed, versatile forward lists FSU, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi State, Ohio State and Tennessee as schools he's interested in.
• Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd) is blossoming on both ends of the floor. Thanks to his long, super-athletic body he aggressively gets the ball up to the rim quickly and scores. He is also starting to set more ball screens and understands when to roll, pop or quickly slip screens. He says California, Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Arizona are his top schools.
Paul Biancardi is a veteran of the coaching ranks with years of college experience. He has recruited on a national level with stops as an assistant coach at Boston University and Boston College, associate head coach at Ohio State and most recently as an assistant at Saint Louis University. Biancardi was head coach at Wright State University from 2003 to 2006. In 2004, he was named Horizon League Coach of the Year. He is a selection committee member for the prestigious McDonald's All-America Game and the Gatorade Player of the Year award.