Commentary

Complete City of Palms Classic recap

Originally Published: December 23, 2010
By John Stovall | ESPN Recruiting

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This was advertised as the best field in the 38-year history of the City of Palms Classic and the event lived up to its billing! The tournament featured no less than 50 Division I college prospects.

After four days of great play, the championship game topped everything as Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton and Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick battled to the wire. The game was won by St. Patrick on a last-second 3 pointer by senior PG Jarrell Lane, 69 - 67. Julian Royal lead Milton with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Shannon Scott added 17 and Evan Nolte chipped in 12. Michael Gilchrist lead St. Pats with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Derrick Gordon scored 20 points. Dakari Johnson contributed nine points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Standout players

Rakeem Christmas (Bryn Athyn, Pa./ Academy of New Church)
2011, PF/C, 6-foot-9
He is a long, athletic and skilled combo post with tremendous upside. The Syracuse signee is an excellent shot blocker that can step out and shoot effectively to 15 feet. He has already shown vast improvement from the summer.

Savon Goodman (Bryn Athyn, Pa./ Academy of New Church)
2012, SF, 6-5
He is a super athletic wing that is great in transition. The Villanova commit uses his strong body and athletic ability to finish above the rim, but he's a streaky shooter inside 17 feet.

Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas, Nev./ Gorman)
2012, SF, 6-5
He is a great natural scorer that finishes very well inside. Muhammad is a good shooter facing the basket out to 17 feet, a great rebounder for his position and an excellent slasher going to his left. When he is on the floor he gets buckets.

DeMarcus Harrison (Asheville, N.C./ Christ School)
2011, SG, 6-4
He is a solid wing that can slash, score, shoot and finish above the rim. He has signed with BYU.

Marshall Plumlee (Asheville, N.C./ Christ School)
2011, C, 7-0
He is a good athlete and is more than willing to dunk on an unsuspecting opponent. Plumlee is raw but has been improving offensively and is a solid shooter inside 12 feet, facing the basket. He is joining his two older brothers, Miles and Mason, at Duke.

Omar Calhoun (Middle Village, N.Y./ Christ the King)
2012, SG, 6-4
One of the better wings in the 2012 class, Calhoun is a slasher who can score in bunches, when he gets hot.

Angel Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./ Dr. Krop)
2011, PG, 5-10
He is a solid point guard that can score, dish has has good range on his jumper to 19 feet. Rodriguez is very tough, smart and will be a real asset for Kansas State.

Xavier Johnson (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei)
2012, SF, 6-7
The athletic lefty is an inside/outside performer. Johnson is a very good face-up shooter inside 19 feet, but can do it all and will be a major recruit over the next 12 months.

Katin Reinhardt (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei)
2012, SG, 6-5
He is a skilled, athletic shooting guard that can also play point in a pinch due to his excellent vision and passing skills. Reinhardt is a superb shooter with range to 22 feet and is good off the dribble.

Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Tenn./ Melrose)
2011, SF, 6-6
He is a super athletic wing that scores mostly inside 15 feet and must continue to develop his perimeter game. The Memphis signee is also hard to guard in the paint with his strength and athleticism.

Shannon Scott (Alpharetta, Ga./ Milton)
2011, PG, 6-2
He is a smooth point guard that can score and pass equally well. The Ohio State signee has nice toughness, quickness and is a good shooter with range to 20 feet. He should be an immediate contributor for the Buckeyes.

Julian Royal (Alpharetta, Ga./ Milton)
2011, PF, 6-8
He has turned potential into production. Royal is a good scorer in the paint who can also face and shoot out to 19 feet. The Georgia Tech signee is also a factor on the boards and plays with much more aggression.

Dai-Jon Parker (Alpharetta, Ga./ Milton)
2011, SG, 6-3
He is an explosive, athletic wing that is a good shooter with range to 20 feet. The Vanderbilt signee is great in transition and is Milton's best perimeter defender.

Evan Nolte (Alpharetta, Ga./ Milton)
2012, SF, 6-7
He is a wing with deep range on his jumper and the ability to hit 3s from beyond 22 feet. Nolte is much improved from a year ago.

James McAdoo (Norfolk, Va./ Christian)
2011, PF, 6-8
He is a super talented high-post player that can beat his defender on the perimeter with slashes or jumpers. The North Carolina signee can also operate on the block with his athletic ability and touch.

Ricardo Gathers (Reserve, La./ Riverside)
2012, PF, 6-7
He is a big, strong and athletic insider that looks more like an NFL defensive end. He is a real force in the paint with his scoring and rebounding.

Alex Murphy (Southborough, Mass./ St. Marks)
2012, SF, 6-7
He is a solid wing that is a good athlete and good slasher to the basket. Murphy is a streaky shooter and reminds us of a young Mike Dunleavy.

Kaleb Tarczewski (Southborough, Mass./ St. Marks)
2012, C, 7-0
He is a big insider that scores almost exclusively inside 10 fee and is learning to become dominant. Tarczewski is a solid athlete for someone his size and will dunk on his opponent in the paint. He is also a good rebounder and shot blocker.

Michael Gilchrist (Elizabeth, N.J./ St. Patrick)
2011, SF, 6-7
The Kentucky signee is the hardest player in his class and simply out-efforts his opponent. Gilchrist is very athletic, explosive and quick athlete who scores best inside 17 feet with short jumpers or slashes to the rack. His effort shows in his rebounding and defense.

Derrick Gordon (Elizabeth, N.J./ St. Patrick)
2011, SG, 6-2
He is one of the more underrated players in the country but Gordon is a notorious big-game player. The Western Kentucky signee really showed up in this tournament, finishing as one of the top five scorers at the event. He is a solid shooter to 20 feet and is a good slasher.

Kevin Bright (Ulm, Germany/ Urspringschule)
2012, SF, 6-5
His club team came over from Germany and Bright showed he has international talent. He is a good vertical athlete and a very good shooter with his feet set. He said he would like to play in the United States and is already drawing some college interest.

Bogdan Radosavljevic (Ulm, Germany/ Urspringschule)
2012, C, 7-0
He is a bit of a project but has great tools. He has the ability to score in the paint with either hand, is a good rebounder in his area and has solid feet and hands. Great upside on this kid.

Deuce Bello (High Point, N.C./ Westchester)
2011, SG, 6-4
He is a super athletic, slashing wing that is known as one of the better athletes in the country. The Baylor signee is tremendous in transition and finishes well above the rim.

Sam Thompson (Chicago, Ill./ Whitney Young)
2011, SG, 6-6
He is an athletic wing with solid skills that is very good in transition and is a good shooter to 20 feet. The Ohio State signee needs to continue to improve and work on his in between game but he has great talent.

Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./ Winter Park)
2011, SG, 6-4
The best prospect in America right now. He is a dynamic scorer and the best "tough shot" maker in the country. The Duke signee has the full package offensively with good quickness and explosion. He has the deep jumper, a great pull up game and is athletic enough to finish above the rim. He even has great instincts defensively. He just needs to be more intense on that end of the floor.

Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./ Winter Park)
2011, SG/PG, 6-3
He is a great playmaker that is good in transition and is a good penetrator. The Florida Atlantic signee also has very good vision and is an excellent passer.

Notes

Fabulous freshman
This event was loaded with some of the top freshmen in country. PF/C Jahlil Okafor (Chicago, Ill./ Whitney Young) and C Dakari Johnson (Elizabeth, N.J./ St. Patrick) are quite possibly the best two big men in the country. SF/SG Shaqquan Aaron (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei) and SF Paul White (Chicago, Ill./ Whitney Young) are two of the most talented wings in the country. Other freshmen standouts include: SF Trevon Woods (Reserve, La./ Riverside), PG Noah Robotham (Las Vegas, Nev./ Gorman), SF Stanley Johnson (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei), PG Kevin Zabo (Southborough, Mass./ St. Marks) and SF Josh Levels (High Point, N.C./ Westchester).

Big-time sleepers
There were some players you expected to be great (Rivers, Gilchrist, McAdoo etc.), but there were also some other players that established their own reputations based off this event:
2012 C/PF Tyrone Haughton (Miami, Fla./ Dr. Krop) -- He is a developing post player that is active and aggressive. He will definitely be a mid- to high-major prospect.
2013 SG/PG Isaiah Lewis (Middle Village, N.Y./ Christ the King) -- He's a skilled combo guard that has great vision and shot it well over the course of the tournament.
2012 C Joell James (West Palm Beach, Fla./ Dwyer) -- There is big-time potential in this big-bodied low post player. He has good hands, good feet and tremendous upside.
2011 SF Greg Louis (West Palm Beach, Fla./ Dwyer) -- He stepped up his game versus Winter Park and should have a great career at Penn.
2011 SG/PG Evin Graham (Ft. Myers, Fla/ Fort Myers) -- He's a long, athletic combo guard that's more of a shooting guard, but can do a little of everything.
2012 SG Jordan Montgomery (Orlando, Fla./ Christian Prep) - He has a great basketball body with solid skill.
2011 SF/PF Isaac Cohen (Orlando, Fla./ Christian Prep) -- He just made plays all week. He may not have a true position, but he has a great IQ and can make shots.
2012 SG/PG Louis Dabney (Reserve, La./ Riverside) -- He is a solid combo guard that can score on the wing or play lead/point guard effectively.
2012 SF Donald Thomas (Reserve, La./ Riverside) -- He's a long and lanky wing that is a great standstill shooter.
2012 SF Nikolas Stauskas (Southborough, Mass./ St. Marks) -- He's a great shooter with a good feel for the game.
2013 PF/C Thomas Hamilton (Chicago, Ill./ Whitney Young) -- He may not be much of a sleeper but he has a tremendous future ahead of him.
2012 SF Billy Dee Williams (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) -- He is a natural wing that plays inside in high school. He is a great athlete with developing skills.
2011 PF/C Malcolm Gilbert (Bryn Athyn, Pa./ Academy of New Church) -- He's a long inside shot blocker that should have a great career at Pitt.

Super athlete
Jacoby Brissett (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./ Dwyer) just led Dwyer to a football state championship and five days later he was the best player on his basketball team. He is quick, athletic and dynamic in basketball and could be at least a mid-major player on the hardwood. However, the big-time QB is choosing between Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Alabama, among others.

Lone wolf
The assistant coach from Milton had a family emergency as soon as the team arrived in Florida and had to return home. Head coach David Boyd had to coach the entire tournament alone with no assistants. He still led his team to the championship game.

Toughness incorporated
Orlando Christian Prep is a team that is very fun to watch. Despite having no elite-level players it was one of the tougher teams to play against. The team features constant pressure defense, balanced scoring and extreme toughness.

Pick your poison
Milton is one of the better teams in the country because its starts four high-major Division I players (Scott, Nolte, Parker and Royal). They all average double figures and could all lead the team in scoring on any given night. All four play together in the summer for the same club team (Southern Kings), which adds to their incredible chemistry.

John Stovall, a recruiting coordinator, has worked as director of scouting for Prep Spotlight Scouting Service and magazine for 15 years.

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