Commentary

Prime Time Shootout Pa. recap

Originally Published: January 31, 2011
By Reggie Rankin | ESPN Recruiting

PHILADELPHIA -- The Prime Time Shootout Pennsylvania session showcased some of the most talented high school teams and players in the country from the East Coast and Midwest at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.

Standout players

Jaylen Bond (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh)
2011, SF, 6-foot-7
Bond is a high-energy combination forward with a non-stop motor. He ran the floor like a gazelle and a caught a one-handed lob that brought the crowd to their feet. The future Pitt Panther displayed the ability to rebound and push the ball off the defensive glass and tip-dunk on the offensive end. He struggled at times from behind the arc and the free throw line, but his shooting form is not bad and we think he is a better shooter than he displayed. Bond's turnaround jumpers in the low post from either side of the lane were deadly. He elevated over defenders with ease and attacked defenders from the high post area with strong straight-line drives to the rim. Bond also has the size and athletic ability to defend both forward positions as well. He dropped 26 points in the 53-50 Plymouth-Whitemarsh win over Sanford (Del.). Bond will eventually develop into a fulltime small forward and he simply wins you over with his consistent effort.

Rakeem Christmas (Philadelphia, Pa./Academy of the New Church)
2011, PF, 6-9
Christmas would have made his future coach Jim Boeheim proud the way he attacked and played with energy, scoring 20 points in the ANC win over the Hun School (N.J.). He ran the floor at high speeds on a consistent basis and scored around the rim with power and floaters from the high post area like a wing. The No. 2 center in the 2011 class rebounded at rim level with two-hand snatches on the defensive end, and on the offensive glass Christmas had an impressive tip dunk. He played like he has to in every game in the Big East next season. Christmas' talent is undeniable and when he plays in attack mode he is a treat to watch compete.

LaQuinton Ross (Jackson, Miss./Life Center Academy)
2011, SF, 6-8
His size, talent and skill make him special. Defenders are at his mercy when he attacks with a variety of moves off the dribble, along the baseline or from the wing. Ross is a bad matchup for both forward positions because he has the size and skill of both, although he will have to add strength. He rebounds, leads the break and can get a teammate a shot with his ability to drive, draw and kick. Ross used a nice shot fake and showed great body control on straight-line drives. He scored an easy 25 points including the game-winning 3-pointer against Westtown (Pa.) that could have been 35 points if he would have attacked throughout the game. The future Ohio State Buckeye draws comparisons to Rudy Gay.

Desmond Hubert (Cream Ridge, N.J./New Egypt)
2011, PF, 6-9
The extra long and athletic power forward, who will decide between North Carolina and Maryland, displayed the ability to change and block shots in and out of his area on a regular basis. He has great timing and if he misses the ball with his right, the left will clean it up. Hubert runs the floor extremely well and can catch and finish on the break at high speeds thanks to his excellent hands. He scored on the block over his left shoulder, mostly from the left side of the lane. Hubert is a willing and able passer and is very unselfish. He repeatedly kicked out passes and hit teammates cutting to the basket. Hubert finishes with his length, not strength, and as he gets stronger his ability to finish better in traffic will be a direct result. He has comfortable range to about 15 feet and his upside is tremendous. He positively affects the game with his length and ability to cover the court.

Player to watch

Junior Fortunat (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic)
2011, PF, 6-8
Fortunat displayed high-level explosiveness around the basket when he received drop-off passes created by dribble penetration. He also finished with either hand around the basket with excellent touch and repeatedly posted and ducked in, welcoming contact. He also made some nice passes out of the post when he drew a crowd. Fortunat competed for rebounds on both ends including some impressive put-back baskets. He had some great defensive possessions in the post as well as he contested and changed shots in and out of his area. The long, athletic and active power forward runs the floor with great urgency and has improved a great deal since we last saw him. Seton Hall, Missouri, Illinois and VCU are watching very closely according to Fortunat who is just oozing with potential.

Surprise player

Khallid Hart (Newark, Del./Sanford)
2012, PG, 6-1
Hart did a good job of knocking down open 3s with a very confident looking stroke and played in full attack mode scoring 25 points in the 53-50 loss to Plymouth-Whitemarsh. Hart ran his team and passed the ball on the break, when he wasn't getting to the rim and scoring through contact with great touch and body control. Hart has the handle to beat his defender and make a play off the dribble for himself or deliver the ball to a cutting teammate. He was also very impressive on the defensive end of the floor by pressuring the ball and being alert in the passing lane, where he came up with a few timely steals. Hart made free throws in crunch time, competed and played with toughness the entire game. He mentioned Mt. St. Mary's, Delaware, Rider and Boston University as interested teams.

Notes

• Monmouth signees, teammates PG Austin Tillotson and combination forward Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) played very well, although they lost to a deep Chester (Pa.) team 88-77 after leading 44-39 at the half. Tillotson is a tough point guard who can run the team, score when needed and has a very good basketball IQ. Nicholas is a very skilled, competitive forward with 3-point range. Both should be great fits for the Hawks.

• Class of 2014 SG Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln, N.Y./Lincoln) attacked the basket, hit midrange jumpers and made terrific passes on the break. He is a true wing that is capable of helping at the point in a pinch. He is tough, competes, makes plays with the ball in his hands and is better each time we see him.

• Class of 2012 6-4 SF Marquis Marshall (Reading Central Catholic, Pa.) has a nice midrange game. Knocks down pull-ups and slashes to the rim with good hang time and concentration on the rim. When he gets stronger, look out! Marshall has great upside and is hearing from Rider, Mt. St. Mary's, Siena and George Washington so far. Marshall is also the son of former UConn great and NBA player Donyell Marshall.

• St. Peter's Prep (N.J.) center Keith Lumpkin is 6-9, 285 pounds and knows how to use it in the low post, where he scored with power drop steps through contact and with a nice half hook over his left shoulder. He also made some terrific passes out of the post when he attracted a second defender. By the way, Lumpkin will be an offensive tackle for Rutgers' football team next season.

• Roman Catholic (Pa.) 6-1 freshman combination guard Shep Garner has all the makings to be a special player. He can handle, pass and score out to the arc. Garner is also very unselfish and is patient. He kid doesn't play like a ninth grader and has already heard from Louisville, West Virginia, NC State, Florida and Villanova.

• Class of 2012 6-10 center Daniel Ochefu (Westtown, Pa.) is a true center that has continued to improve. He has a good basketball IQ and terrific upside. The latest list for Ochefu is Georgetown, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia, Villanova, Texas, Kansas and North Carolina. Ochefu scored 20 points in the 54-51 loss to Life Center (N.J.).

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.

Reggie Rankin

College Basketball Recruiting