Commentary

Chick-fil-a Classic recap

Originally Published: December 27, 2010
By Mike LaPlante | ESPN Recruiting

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. -- The 2010 Chick-fil-a Classic pitted some of the top rated players in the country in head-to-head competition and tournament director Gary Fulmer gave the fans in the greater Columbia area a great pre-Christmas treat. United Faith Christian Academy (N.C.) defeated Keenan 75-57 in the Classic I Championship game, while Irmo (S.C.) took care of Central (Tenn.) 56-50 in the Classic II bracket.

Standout players

Paris Roberts-Campbell (Charlotte, N.C./ United Faith Christian Academy)
2011, SG, 6-foot-3, 170 pounds
Roberts was consisitently dominant and was named the MVP of the Classic I Bracket. Although the East Carolina signee is not an overpowering athlete, he is a smooth scorer who plays at a nice pace and understands how to get his shot. He moves well without the ball and is fearless about taking the big shot.

Michael Gbinije (Richmond, Va./Benedictine)
2011, SF, 6-7, 205 pounds
Gbinije is multi-talented and possesses good size at his position for next level. He is strong with the ball driving to the basket and knows how to finish around rim. The Duke signee is a difficult matchup because of his inside/outside game because he can post up smaller defenders or drive by bigger ones. He also runs well in transition.

Jarnell Stokes (Memphis, Tenn./Central)
2012, PF/C, 6-8, 250 pounds
Stokes has a body that is ready for the next level. He is strong at attacking the basket off the dribble and is a powerful finisher in the low post. He has great hands and is a superior rebounder that is surprisingly athletic for his size. He has a soft touch when facing up and can hit shots from 15 to 18 feet.

Aaron Brown (Lansdowne, Pa./Penn Wood)
2011, SF, 6-5, 190 pounds
The left-hander is a tough, hard-nosed player that has a knack for finding the basket and should be a perfect fit in Bob Huggins' program at West Virginia. He showed a well-rounded offensive game scoring in both half-court and transition settings. He is a high-energy competitor that attacks the basket and can finish through contact.

Surprise players

Benard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County)
2011, SG, 6-3, 185 pounds
Thompson, who has been operating under the national radar, is beginning to generate some buzz on the recruiting trail with his stellar play. He is a long, bouncy athlete with a well-rounded game. He is a good secondary ballhandler with a nice feel and can finish in traffic. He is an energy guy that gets after it defensively and rebounds his position. He can knock down the 3 off the dribble or the catch and is a consistent shooter from the free throw line. He showed a nice feel for passing in both the half-court sets and transition.

Jordan Roper (Columbia, S.C./Irmo)
2012, PG, 6-0, 160 pounds
Roper, who led his team to the championship of the Classic II bracket, is a high-level athlete that thrives is an up-tempo environment. The lefty point guard has a scorer's mentality and is able to get into the paint at will. He is a speed demon that dictates tempo on both ends because he is able to pressure the ball 94 feet with his tremendous lateral quickness.

Players to watch

Mitchell Wilbekin (Gainsville, Fla./The Rock School)
2014, PG, 6-0, 160 pounds
Wilbekin is a smart, savvy point guard that can score and he is an excellent shooter that can create space for himself. He changes speed and directions on a dime and runs a team like a seasoned veteran. Projects as one of the best at his position in the 2014 class.

Tyrell Williams (Miami, Fla./Norland)
2014, PF, 6-6, 205 pounds
Williams is a young post who easily passes the look test in projecting as a high-major prospect. He has tremendous length and is surprisingly skilled as he uses both hands around the rim and showed a left-handed baby hook over a bigger defender. He has to add some muscle to his body, continue to develop his low-post game and he has to learn to position himself better on the block.

Notes

• Darian Barnes (Lansdowne, Pa./Penn Wood) is a 6-8 long, thin power forward that is active on the glass. Not overly explosive, but uses length to rebound and defend. He will be more of a skilled, face-up 4-man in college because he can put it on the floor and pass.

• Rod Booker (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) is a 6-7, thin, athletic combo-forward with a quick bounce that gets his team extra possessions. Most of his offense is around the basket, where he is an excellent finisher in transition.

• PF Deshan Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) is an active rebounder on both ends who runs the floor and can shoot the face-up jumper out to 15 feet. He has good size and could be effective in pick-and-pop situations.

• Junior Henry Uwadle (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith Christian Academy) is a developing post that is not a consistent producer yet and is a step slow reacting to the ball, but has a high-level body. He gives good effort when posting and is an adequate defender using his length, but should blossom with strength development. He will get strong high-major consideration based on potential.

Cleon Roberts (Miami, Fla./Norland), a 6-5 small forward in the 2012 class, struggled to find his range from behind the arc, but showed enough in other areas to make up for it. The long athletic wing, playing with a heavily-tapped hand, finds a seam when he drives it to the goal and is adept at drawing contact.

• At 6-5, 210 pounds, junior small forward Andre Applewhite (Memphis, Tenn./Central) is a phyical specimen who has a college-ready body. He has improved his jumper out to the 3-point arc and is a competitor that fills a box score.

• Indiana-bound, 7-0 center Peter Jurkin (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith Christian Academy) is still progressing offensively and although he needs to gain strength and put on some weight in his lower body he should be an instant impact altering shots on the defensive end.

• Future Miami Hurricane Chris Bolden (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) is a 6-2 junior shooting guard with a strong body that is steady from behind the 3-point arc. He is improving off the dribble and can defend three positions.

• Junior 7-0 center Isaiah Austin (Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep) showed his all-around abilities when he put up a triple-double during the tournament. He has tremendous skill level and could evolve into a combo-forward at the highest level.

Mike LaPlante, a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting, has over 20 years of coaching and recruiting experience.