Beal, Rivers carry their teams to final
Bradley Beal and Austin Rivers each dropped 30-plus in Super Showcase semifinals
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The semifinals were the buzz on Day 3 of the U-17 AAU Super Showcase, as the St. Louis Eagles beat Team Takeover and Each 1 Teach 1 took care of the Georgia Blazers. Bradley Beal (St. Louis/Chaminade) led the Eagles with 36 points and Each 1 Teach 1 scoring machine Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) finished with 37 points to set up the Super Showcase final. This game features two of the top scorers the Class of 2011 has to offer, but it may be a tough chore to top their semifinals performances.
Here is a look at the players who impressed us on Day 3:
2011, SG, 6-foot-3, 177 pounds
AAU Team: St. Louis Eagles
Beal scored the ball in a variety of ways. The future Gator finished above thre rim on the break, slashed in between defenders and continued to knock down deep jumpers from all over the floor. Beal's shooting stroke is quick, smooth and looks effortless. He makes shots on such a consistent basis that we were surprised when he missed. Beal had an answer for whatever the opposing defense attempted.
2011, SG, 6-4, 189 pounds | AAU Team: Each 1 Teach 1
Rivers is a master of taking and making tough shots. He got into a scoring rhythm and was unstoppable on a number of possessions. One-on-one moves, floaters or deep jumpers, Rivers had it going and it didn't matter who was defending him. He has off-the-charts confidence, swagger and is a treat to watch when he displays his killer instinct on the offensive end of the floor. Duke, Florida, North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas and Kentucky are in hot pursuit.
Michael Gbinije (Richmond, Va./Benedictine)
2011, SG, 6-6, 194 pounds | AAU Team: Team Takeover
Gbinije is a tough wing to match up with. He has great size and scored his 22 points from the lane out to the arc. He was terrific at finishing along the baseline and the Duke commit can rebound or score through contact as well. However, his mid-range game is what makes him special and he should be very successful in coach Mike Krzyzewski's motion-style offense and pressure man defense.
Shaquille Boga (Florissant, Mo./McClure)
2011, PG, 5-10, 170 pounds | AAU Team: St. Louis Eagles
Boga got our attention with his toughness and by putting constant pressure on the defense in transition and in the half court. He pushed the ball at high speeds, played in full-attack mode, made the right decisions and was one of the reasons the Eagles won the game. The lefty lead guard is fearless and finished in traffic at a steady rate. Boga's list includes Boston College, Nebraska, Wichita State, Missouri State, Iowa, Bradley and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Julian Dubose (Beltsville, Md./Saint Johns)
2011, SG, 6-4, 200 pounds | AAU Team: Team Takeover
Dubose has steadily improved. He is an athletic, aggressive wing that can get to the rim. Dubose has a quick first step and can make the open three with needed time and space. He is a multiple position defender and can score inside and out. Dubose likes Siena, Delaware, Mount St. Mary's, Rice, Virginia, Vermont, VCU, Penn and Harvard.
Player to watch
Darion Atkins (Clinton, Md./Landon)
2011, PF, 6-8, 214 pounds | AAU Team: Team Takeover
He made plays on both ends of the floor and simply had a terrific game. Atkins rebounded, finished above the rim and blocked shots on and away from the ball. He faced up and hit 15- to 17-foot jumper and elevated on his turn shot in the low post. He was active, aggressive and most importantly very productive. Atkins says Wake forest is out in front for his services but that Maryland, George Washington, George Mason, VCU, Penn, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and Providence are also in the mix.
Notes• Julian Royal (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton High School) is a skilled inside-out forward for the Georgia Blazers, who listed Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, and Wake Forest as the schools that are following him the most.
• Henry Brooks (Lithonia, Ga./Miller Grove) is another standout forward for the Blazers. While he doesn't have quite the impact that Royal does, he has a similar combination of size and skill. Brooks reports offers from Boston College, Penn State, Harvard and Penn with additional interest from Clemson and Texas.
• Each 1 Teach 1's Trevor Lacey (Huntsville, Ala./Butler High School) claims offers from Alabama, Auburn, Memphis, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina. He said he had no favorites and hopes to take several visits in the fall.
• Ben McLemore (St. Louis/Eskridge High School) also listed a long list of high-majors among his suitors. Kansas, Missouri, Purdue, Tennessee, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Providence are all giving him chase. McLemore is a long, athletic wing who can make a series of scoring plays off the dribble.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season. Paul Biancardi and Adam Finkelstein contributed to this piece.