Gooden Soldiers take Fab 48 title
LAS VEGAS -- With LeBron James sitting in the stands, the Drew Gooden Soldiers continued their dominance at the inaugural Fab 48 and rolled to the championship with a convincing 86-66 win over the Iowa Barnstormers. The slick-shooting Jabari Brown (Oakland, Calif./Oakland) tossed in 19 points and earned MVP honors, but that award could have easily gone to Nick Johnson (Gilbert, Ariz./Findlay Prep), who scored 16 points and handed out eight assists. The Soldiers are so talented that Kyle Wiltjer (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), who is one of the most skilled 4-men in the country, didn't even make the all-tournament team.
D'Angelo Harrison (Missouri, Texas/Dulles)
2011, SG, 6-foot-2, 165 pounds | AAU Team: Franchise All Stars
Harrison put on a shooting clinic and demonstrated why he is one of the elite combo-guards in the country. He doesn't have elite speed and quickness, but he changes speeds very well to separate from opponents and his handle is tight. Once he separates from his defender, he can shoot the jump shot in a variety of ways (step-backs, pull-ups, etc.). He has deep range on his shot and his release is quick. In addition to his shooting, he was savvy enough to run some point at the next level. He advanced the ball well in transition and delivered some nice assists in the half-court set.
Antwan Space (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto)
2011, SF, 6-7, 180 pounds | AAU Team: Urban DFW Elite-17s
Space is a prototypical wing who can do a little bit of everything on the court. He has a long, lean frame that oozes potential and a feathery touch from the outside. His stroke is effortless out to 22 feet, but it's not as consistent when he has to shoot it off the bounce because he has a tendency to drift. In addition to his shooting, he even posted up and dropped in a nice-looking jump hook. After dropping 24 points in the first half, the defense clamped down and he struggled to get good looks. He needs to learn to move without the ball, continue to hone his perimeter skills, and most importantly play with a sense of urgency all the time. He has Gonzaga, Maryland, Texas A&M, and FIU tracking his talents.
One to watch
Kyle Anderson (Fairview, N.J./St. Anthony)
2012, 6-8, 210 pounds | AAU Team: NJ Playaz
Anderson may be the most intriguing prospect in the country. He is a point forward with a remarkable skill set (mid-range game) and is savvy beyond his years. He doesn't have great quickness or bounce, but he is very deceptive with the ball. He changes speeds very well and has an innate ability to get to the rim and make a play. His touch is smooth out to the stripe and he has an assortment of shots at his disposal. It doesn't appear he is playing with much effort, but he had an impact on almost every possession during his team's semifinal loss to the Drew Gooden Soldiers. Overall, Anderson possesses the talent and feel for the game to be a top-15 national recruit in the future.
• Memphis Magic Elite have a dynamic senior duo in 6-6 Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Tenn./Melrose) and 6-2 Andre Hollins (Memphis, Tenn./White Station). Thomas may be the most explosive athlete in the senior class. His game needs polishing (average skills), but he impacts the game on many levels due to his athletic prowess. Hollins, on the other hand, is a prolific jump shooter both off the catch and in transition.
• Jarrod Uthoff (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) is a 6-8 skilled face-up 4-man who can stroke the 3-point shot. The Wisconsin commit needs to gain a significant amount of strength to bang in the Big Ten, but he reminds me of those prototypical skilled Badgers big men.
• The New Jersey Playaz received solid performances from 6-2 Myles Davis (Planfield, N.J./St. Peters Prep), 5-9 senior Myles Mack (Patterson, N.J./St. Anthony) and 6-9 senior Desmond Hubert (Cream Ridge, NJ./New Egypt).
• Davis has one of the smoothest jump shots in the country, while Mack possesses elite speed and quickness from the point guard position. Hubert is a lengthy 5-man who can block shots at a high-level rate.
• Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill./East Aurora), a 5-11 senior, is right there with Myck Kabongo (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep) in terms of speed and quickness. In their matchup, Boatright blew by Jahii Carson (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa) repeatedly and either made plays at the rim or set up his teammates for easy scores.
Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.