Tournament of Champions recap
WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Washington Community High School was the site 5th Annual State Farm Tournament of Champions. This Thanksgiving event was once again loaded with talent that included ESPN Rise preseason No. 1 Findlay College Prep (Nev.) and ESPNU 100 players such as No. 2 Anthony Davis (Chicago/Perspectives), No. 10 Myck Kabongo (Toronto, Ont./Findlay College Prep (Nev.)), No. 11 Rakeem Christmas (Philadelphia, Pa./Academy of the New Church, and No. 15 Branden Dawson (Gary, Ind./Lew Wallace).
Anthony Davis (Chicago, Ill./Perspectives)
2011, PF, 6-foot-10, 200 pounds
The future Kentucky Wildcat dropped a triple-double against Lew Wallace (Ind.) but Perspectives still lost 97-63. Davis did everything with 37 points, 15 rebounds, 11 blocks, 6 assists and 6 steals, dominating on both ends of the floor. He scored above the rim on the break, from behind the arc off the catch and dribble, on mid-range pull-ups, on wing drives to both his right and left, and turn shots in the post where he simply used his great length to elevate over defenders with ease.
Davis used his great knack for the ball to rebound in and out of his area and blocked shots in transition as well both on and away from the ball, and he is a great passer who was unselfish enough to hit the open man when he drew multiple defenders. Davis is super-talented and skilled to go along with his great size. He plays with urgency and toughness and was a treat to watch.
Branden Dawson (Gary, Ind./Lew Wallace)
2011, SF, 6-6, 220
Dawson displayed his great strength and power mostly in transition, where he repeatedly attacked rim for highlight-reel dunks in traffic. This true small forward has a college-ready body and knows how to use it when he attacks the lane from the wing, where he scores through contact on a consistent basis. Dawson hustled in transition for a some big blocks and rebounded pretty well in his area.
He is capable of defending both wing positions because he is such a terrific athlete. Dawson, who is headed to Michigan State, led his team with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks in a win over Chicago Perspectives.
Max Bielfeldt (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame)
2011, PF, 6-8, 220
This strong, high-energy power forward never takes a possession off. Bielfeldt runs the floor on a consistent basis and simply outworks opposing post players for easy baskets. In the low post he scores with good touch and crafty moves. Bielfeldt is a below-the-rim finisher who can also face and knock down mid-range and open 3-pointers given time and space.
He can drive from the high post as well. Bielfeldt is a good passer and active rebounder on both ends. Bielfeldt dropped 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 73-70 win over McCluer (Mo.), and he won't wow you with athletic ability but will impress with his consistent production. His schools are Illinois-Chicago, Ball State, Western Michigan, Wright State, Dartmouth and Brown.
Kedren Johnson (Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County)
2011, PG, 6-5, 210
This big, strong power guard got to the rim and finished at will. Johnson welcomes contact off the dribble and smaller guards have no chance of keeping him from where he wants to go with the ball. Johnson also displayed the ability to pass the ball with excellent court vision. He did a great job of advance passing the ball down the floor and is good with the drive-draw-and-kick delivery as well.
The Vanderbilt signee made a couple mid-range pull-ups and open 3s when the defense backed off because of the constant threat of his physical dribble penetration. Johnson also rebounded well and pushed the ball. He could also be very effective from the wing as a point forward. Johnson played terrific and finished with 42 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assist en route to a 80-70 win over Limestone (Ill.)
Players to Watch
Nigel Williams-Goss (Portland, Ore./Findlay College Prep (Nev.))
2013, PG/SG, 6-3, 180
Williams-Goss is a natural scorer from either the point or shooting guard positions. He can get to the rim on the break or in the half court, where he can consistently finish and knock down mid-range jumpers with range that extends to the arc. His handle is tight and his ability to put the ball on the money when he draws a second defender is flawless.
Williams-Goss makes great decisions with the ball in his hands. He plays with energy and urgency, especially on defense where he worked to pressure the ball and keep the offense in front of him. He has a complete game and is already hearing from UNLV, Arizona, Oregon State, Oregon and Washington.
Kris Brewer (Memphis, Tenn./Brehm Prep (Ill.)
2011, SG/PG, 6-4, 185
Brewer is an excellent athlete who can score. He attacked the rim on the break, where he got a bucket or drew the foul. He spotted up and knocked down open 3s and mid-range jumpers off the catch. Brewer also spent time at the point where he did a nice job of drawing defenders and hitting the open man.
He is capable of defending both guard positions as well. He competed and played with toughness, finishing with 25 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in an 86-65 lost to Findlay Prep. Brewer is hearing from LaSalle and Duquesne.
Bruce Barron (Carbondale, Ill./Brehm Prep)
2011, PG, 6-4, 190
Barron is a strong, physical lead guard who plays with great intensity and pace. He pushes the ball and gets to the rim, finishing through contact on a regular basis. He is a excellent defensive rebounder and a threat to take the ball coast to coast. Barron knocked down-mid range jumpers and wide-open 3s as well.
Barron has great snap on his passes and is really a terrific drive-draw-and-kick passer. He works to pressure the ball and has the size and athletic ability to defend both guard positions. The future Oregon Duck controlled the game in route to finishing with 33 points and 9 rebounds in a 70-69 overtime win against La Lumiere.
Savon Goodman (Bryn Athyn, Pa./Academy of the New Church)
2012, PF, 6-6, 210
This powerful and super-athletic combination forward is as tough as they come. He competed on both ends of the floor and played with great urgency. Goodman is a terrific rebounder on both ends of the floor in and out of his area and in traffic where he simply beats opponents to the rock. He scores on the break by sprinting the floor and will finish above the rim without hesitation.
In the half-court he is a matchup nightmare because of his ability to attack the rim off the dribble, especially along the baseline. He moved well without the ball and his take-no-prisoners approach to the game is impressive. Goodman dropped 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 56-50 win over a loaded Findlay College Prep team.
Jaron Hopkins (Chandler, Ariz./Basha)
2013, SG, 6-4, 170
Hopkins was an attention-getter right away with his ability to get to the basket. This combination guard attacks on the break and beats defenders off the bounce with his good first step and variety of dribble moves, including a nice right-to-left crossover and right-handed inside-out dribble. He has great touch and body control on his floaters in the lane that he can use from both the right and left wing.
He makes good decisions and always seems to be under control. Hopkins is a good passer as well, which allows him to excel at the point. He must work on his jumper and explosiveness but this young guard has a nice skill package. Hopkins reportedly has a 4.2 GPA and is hearing from Stanford, UTEP, Arizona, New Mexico State and Boston College.
• 6-10 Sophomore Mangok Mathiang (Chicago, Ill/Brehm Prep) is a native of Sudan who had some very impressive possessions. This extra-long post moves extremely well and finished inside with either hand on drop steps, and also displayed excellent body control in addition to being a good weakside shot blocker. Iowa, Illinois, DePaul and Southern Illinois are on his list so far.
• Class of 2012 prospect Landen Lucas (Portland, Ore./Findlay Prep (Nev.)) is a 6-9, 235-pound post who finished drop off passes and rebounded on both ends in addition to being a good on-ball shot blocker. He has great upside. Lucas is hearing from Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Washington and Kansas.
• Senior 6-foot PG Kevin Kaspar (Turkey/Findlay Prep (Nev.)) is a tough-minded player who can find open teammates and knock down shots with range to the arc on a consistent basis. Kaspar has continued to improve and is currently hearing from BYU, San Diego State, Hawaii and Illinois-Chicago.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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