National High School Showcase recap
HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- The new, $23 million Wootten Gym on the campus of DeMatha Catholic was the setting for Saturday's National High School Showcase. After a competitive slate of seven games, senior Dorian Finney-Smith (Portsmouth, Va./I.C. Norcom) and junior Torian Graham (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) drew the biggest raves for their stellar play. Finney-Smith kept his name alive for postseason honors, while Graham added a big piece to his high school résumé.
2011, SF, 6-foot-7, 185 pounds
The best senior in the building was on point -- literally -- for Norcom. With his future college coach, Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg, in the stands, Finney-Smith played a complete game. He'll have a chance to earn a paycheck one day because of his versatility. Forwards talk about playing inside and outside, but the No. 27 overall senior does it. Norcom gives him the ball and trusts that he'll handle his inside duties, which he does at a high level on the glass. It sounds simple, but Finney-Smith does his job, thinks during the game and makes winning plays. There are plenty of over-exposed kids who won't have the college career he'll put together. He finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and five rejections.
2012, SG, 6-4, 170 pounds
The transfer to Word of God is working out for Graham. His first two years of high school ball were non-descript but his AAU résumé was rock solid. Graham's talent is exceptional as a potential primary scorer for a high-level college team. Athletically, he attacks the rim and can make jumpers from different spots on the floor. Plus, his ability to command his body doesn't go unnoticed in the paint. He came out and popped National Christian in the first half, giving his team a cushion it needed later. Graham finished with 34 points on 14 of 28 from the floor and his stock is on its way up.
Javon Moore (Fort Washington, Md./National Christian)
2011, SG, 6-1, 160 pounds There were enough college coaches from the right level in the stands that he earned himself a scholarship. Moore smoked seven 3-pointers en route to 34 points to keep his team in contention with Word of God. He's 6-1, which makes him an undersized shooting guard but at the low-major to possibly smaller mid-level, it'll be his perimeter touch that coaches covet. His 34 points came at the right time. Towson, Fairfield and UNC-Wilimington are recruiting him, but haven't offered.
DaVonte Beard (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary's)
2011, PG, 6-2, 175 pounds
At one time, he was committed to St. Francis (Pa.) but that's no longer the case. Once word trickles out, Beard should expect strong mid-major recruitment. He's got good size, speed and range with his jumper. At first glance, he looks like a two guard but he can pass. Problem is, Beard doesn't have any inside options to dump the ball to on SVSM.
Players to watch
Stanford Robinson (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI)
2013, SG, 6-3, 175 pounds
This is a name you'll hear quite a bit more in the coming seasons. The left-hander has high-major attributes and a feel for the game. His stroke is already respectable and he took one charge (he bailed on another) so you know he's at least wired up to play defense and he's rangy enough to be a factor. The stroke, length and approach make him a high-major prospect.
Kavon Glover (Upper Marlboro, Md./Douglass)
2012, SF, 6-4, 175 pounds
There are two facts that stand out about Glover. First, he indicated that no one was recruiting him coming into this event. Second, his father is "Slim Charles" from "The Wire" fame. Glover, a lefty, is a good athlete with a reliable stroke. He's got a lot of energy and he wasn't even guarding one man; Glover roamed. His game has plenty of room to improve. He'll be a priority mid-major recruit if he can string together a handful more performances like this one. He finished with 24 points.
Kennedy Meeks (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte)
2013, C, 6-8, 240 pounds
All you can ask from a big guy is to make strides. Last year, at this same event Meeks sat on the bench and watched everyone else play. This time around, he started and hauled in 17 rebounds. His offensive highlight was a fadeaway jumper. He's a very young big man and true post player with legitimate moves. His body is maturing and he's in better shape than he was in the summer. Meeks is on track to be recruited at the high-major level which should surprise no one.
Jairus Lyles (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha)
2013, PG, 6-0, 170 pounds
Head coach Mike Jones has options at his disposal and a blossoming one is Lyles. A speedster who turns the corner and heads to the rim, has the characteristics of a young combo guard. Lyles is the guy on this particular team who sneaks up on the competition because the unit has two juniors and a senior that are established national names.
• National Christian has a talented roster. Senior point guard Jerel Briggs is a guy for low and maybe mid-majors to see in the spring.
• Josh Newkirk (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) is exceptional at getting in the paint and finishing. In terms of 2013 points, he's going to make a name for himself. W.O.G. is exceptionally talented and deep. Junior T.J. Warren played well and senior center Joseph Uchebo is an excellent rebounder. We knew he had a bunch and the stats folks credited him with 25 rebounds which is a ridiculously-productive performance.
• Trey Davis (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) didn't have a super summer but his senior year has been outstanding thus far. Davis played with renewed confidence and projects as an intricate part of Richmond's roster.
• Michael Gbinije (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) blends in and we couldn't mean that in a more complimentary way. Just as Finney-Smith doesn't seek the spotlight, Gbinije makes basketball plays, has a smooth offensive game and quietly competes. On a good Duke team, he'll carve out his niche but won't dominate the basketball or feel the need to be the primary option.
• Jordan Burgess (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) is now in the Class of 2012 where the small forward has a VCU offer (his brother starts for the Rams) and interest from Penn State and Miami.
• Jerami Grant (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), a junior power forward, scored 12 and had 11 rebounds by doing his damage exclusively in the paint for the Stags.
• One of the most improved players we've seen so far this young season is Beejay Anya (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha). At right around 6-8 and we'll guess in the vicinity of 270, he's a load. However, he's shrunk since last year and had two dunks in the first half.
• DeMatha junior point guard James Robinson owns offers from Notre Dame, Georgetown, West Virginia, Virginia and Miami. Florida coach Billy Donovan was in the crowd Saturday night for an in-person evaluation.
Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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