Beach Ball Classic recap
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- As one would expect, sophomore Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) separated himself from the rest of the field yet again. This time, on a significant national high school stage, Randle put on a show. Typically a senior-dominated event, the Beach Ball Classic's two best show stoppers were 2013 prospects. Sharp shooter Stephen Clark (Oklahoma City, Okla./Douglass) isn't tall, but with a jump shot like his it doesn't take long to see what all the fuss is about.
Malcolm Brogdon (Atlanta, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian)
SG, 6-foot-5, 205 pounds
Virginia has itself a college-ready guard who doesn't mind a little contact and isn't afraid to be the leading man on his ball club. Brogdon's a physical two-guard and a secondary ballhandler. He's a better finisher at the rim than overall athlete; as was former Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds. He's stronger inside the arc.
Damien Leonard (Greenville, S.C./JL Mann)
SG, 6-5, 190 pounds
He has a skill that translates regardless of level: he can shoot it and deep. Leonard has the consummate green light and he's not afraid to run a yellow either when it comes to shooting. He needs little space and doesn't waste motion in launching his shot. He is capable of shooting 40 percent in college. What will need to happen for South Carolina is for him to become economical with his shots.
Eye on underclassmen
Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian)
2013, PF, 6-9, 225 pounds
When you're considered the best sophomore in America, all eyes are on you and Randle delivers the goods. The left-hander brings it and works just as hard on the glass as he does to score points. His long term vision is to play the small forward; colleges are recruiting him as a combo. Currently, he's a monster on the block because of his quickness, size and instincts. From last summer to now, there doesn't appear to be any drop off. We'd like to see his perimeter game improve -- his shot has a tendency to flatten out -- but you can't forget this guy is merely a sophomore. North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma are all over him early; Kansas owns a commitment from Zach Peters, his high school front court teammate so you know the Jayhawks are using all their evaluations on him. Randle was hands down the best player in attendance and he's in the conversation as the top overall prospect in high school basketball.
Tony Parker (Lithonia, Ga./Miller Grove)
2012, C, 6-9, 274 pounds
The fun-loving Georgian refined his body and is in probably the best shape we've seen him in years. He's the type of player who isn't built to play three games a day in the summer. High school season is where he's at his peak. The weight loss allows him to chase boards and play wtih more energy, especially in traffic. Dump it down to him inside and he's putting it away. Duke, Georgetown, Georgia and Florida are the big boys Parker pointed to as doing the best job so far.
Grant Jerrett (La Verne, Calif./Lutheran)
2012, C, 6-8, 200 pounds
He's right on track to be a standout for the Arizona Wildcats. Jerrett has a lot of growing to do and he's already quite a big young man. He's got a Loren Woods-type frame and has plenty of room to carry the added weight. He's in an elite category of center prospects because of his ability to be a factor at both ends. He's not raw offensively, but still can boost his post-up game; he has very good touch. On defense, he's a factor as a shot blocker and is a better rebounder each time out.
2013, SG/PG, 5-10, 150 pounds
We've seen guys similar to him in recent years. UTEP featured Randy Culpepper and Arkansas utilizes Rotnei Clarke as its sniper. Clark is 5-10 on a good day but he's a bombardier from downtown and a lot of fun to watch. He's own point guard size and scoring guard tricks. His DNA is that of a scorer though he did demonstrate a hooper's IQ with some of his assists. A gambler on defense, Clark will play the lanes for steals. Marquette offered him already.
Wesley Myers (Brooklyn, N.Y./Boys & Girls)
2013, PG, 5-10
This is one you had to be paying attention closely to get a pulse on. Myers comes off the bench and plays behind older guards. However, when he enters the game he brings energy, value for the ball and speed. If we're correct, he'll be a young man who only improves and next year we're guessing he takes over the controls for the Kangaroos.
Tony Hicks (Chicago, Ill./ St. Rita)
2012, SG, 6-1, 175 pounds
Gary DeCesare's team is riddled with injuries and Hicks took it upon himself to nearly engineer an upset of LaVerne Lutheran. The undersized shooting guard has mid-major potential and a scorer's mindset. Down the stretch in his first game -- a loss -- Hicks stepped into the big shots and knocked them down. He's receiving college-level coaching at St. Rita and should make the transition from high school without any issue. Interest is coming from all directions, but we bet the heaviest traffic winds up coming from the mid-majors.
Devonte Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Douglass)
A few years ago at this same event, Memphis Ridgeway point guard Jordan Mincy emerged. Mincy didn't have a scholarship offer but received one a few months later because he could pass the basketball. Today, after playing for Kent State, he's an assistant there. Smith may be a similar case. Douglass is high-octane and he's a creator, facilitator type. If you're a low or maybe even mid-major he's worth investigating. In two games, he had 19 assists and one turnover.
• Father Henry Carr has a quartet of lower potential Division I players. Possibly the best of the bunch is junior wing Richard Audu.
• Chicago St. Rita has a freshman to watch for. Dominique Matthews, a 6-1 wing, has all the attributes.
• Loyola-Marymount will welcome in a wing athlete and leaper from LaVerne Lutheran in California next year. Bruce English, a slasher with athleticism to finish is going to be a player for the Lions.
• Gonzaga is a year away from making a national splash. Sophomore point guard Nate Britt meets all the markers for a high-major recruitment.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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