Commentary

Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy recap

Originally Published: June 27, 2011
By Reggie Rankin and Paul Biancardi | ESPN Recruiting

CHICAGO -- The Amare Stoudemire Nike Skills Academy provided high school players a unique opportunity to be coached by elite coaches and prepare for life on the court as a college basketball player. Every drill and controlled scrimmage provided great preparation for the next level.

Here is a look at three best scorers rebounders and defenders/shot-blockers at the camp.

Top three scorers

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
Natalie BehringJulius Randle is the No. 1 overall player in the 2013 class.

Julius Randle (Dallas/ Prestonwood Christian)
2013, PF, 6-9, 243 pounds
The athletic lefty plays in full attack mode in the post, from midrange and along the baseline. Randle has a great first step for a player his size and can initiate and score through contact with touch, body control or with a powerful above-the-rim finish. He plays with confidence, energy, urgency and he exposes defenders not ready to compete immediately.

Tony Parker (Lithonia, Ga./ Miller Grove)
2012, PF, 6-9, 284 pounds
Parker is a wide-bodied, powerful post player with great hands and touch who finishes drop-off passes above the rim. Parker can also knock down jumpers with range to the arc and score through contact in the low post with drop steps and spins along the baseline. He is hungry to score and can do it in a variety of ways.

Anthony Bennett (Brampton, Canada/ Findlay Prep)
2012, PF, 6-8, 230 pounds
He is a hungry scorer who is hard to guard, has good footwork and a fluid offensive game. In the paint, he has power and explosiveness to dunk over defenders. In transition, he fills the lane, finds the basket and finishes the play. He also can knock down 3s and works the offensive glass, always looking to score.

Top three rebounders

[+] EnlargeShaq Goodwin
Natalie Behring Shaq Goodwin has a final five of Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Memphis and UCLA.

Shaq Goodwin (Decatur, Ga./ Southwest Dekalb)
2012, PF, 6-8, 210 pounds
He is a strong prospect with a thick frame who battles on glass as hard as anyone. He guy can carve out space on the court with his powerful lower body, shield his opponent from the the ball and snatch it off the window. After grabbing a defensive board he has shown the ability to take a few bust-out dribbles to get the break going. On the offensive end, he understands where to position himself based on where the ball is shot from to gain extra possessions for his team. Overall, he is a special rebounder because not only does get his own rebounds, but he takes them away from his opponents with his 7-0 wing span and strong hands.

Robert Upshaw
(Fresno, Calif./ San Joaquin Memorial)
2012, C, 6-11, 250 pounds
The young post with an enormous 7-4 wingspan has been improving at a steady pace. Besides his massive size he is a two-handed rebounder, which is vital to securing the basketball. He is active on both backboards and can get a few misses out of his area because of his pursuit of the ball.

DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./ Jamesville-DeWitt)
2012, C, 6-10, 280 pounds
He has made a name for himself thanks to his rebounding and continued to do so this week. The much better conditioned Coleman moves in the post better than ever. Coleman uses his big frame to take up space and own an area of real estate near the basket. Once he anchors himself in position, he is near impossible to move and he's extremely effective at staying in his area and securing the possession.

Top three defenders/shot-blockers

[+] EnlargePrince Ibeh
Natalie BehringPrince Ibeh is the No. 19-ranked center in the 2012 class.

Prince Ibeh (Garland, Texas/ Naaman Forest)
2012, C, 6-11, 210 pounds
Ibeh grabs your attention right away with his 7-4 wingspan. He runs the floor pretty well and patrols the lane. He blocks shots in and out of his area and what he doesn't block, he changes. He has pretty good timing and puts forth good effort to get to the ball, whether its being shot from the lane or the perimeter. His tremendous length also allows him to recover beautifully from mistakes. His defense is far ahead of his offense and his upside is tremendous with added strength and improved production on the offensive end.

Cameron Ridley (Fort Bend, Texas/ Bush)
2012, C, 6-10, 230 pounds
College: Texas
Ridley is a very good low-post defender. He does a good job of holding his position and making the offensive player shoot over his outstretched hands. He is a good straight-line runner and is alert away from the ball. Ridley is also a good on-ball shot-blocker because he does a great job of making himself a huge obstacle to navigate around or over. Ridley is not a finished product by any means, but has the size and instincts to be an excellent low-post defender.

Christopher Obekpa (Centereach, N.Y./ Our Savior New American)
2012, PF, 6-8, 200 pounds
Obekpa's great length, including a 7-4 wingspan, and great timing make him an excellent shot-blocker. He can chase down a breakaway layup for a block and he is hard to score over in the post. Howver, Obekpa is still very raw on the offensive end.

Notes

Willie Cauley (Spearville, Kan./ Olathe Northwest) displayed a nice skill set and ran the floor with long strides. At 7-1, he handled the ball, hit face-up jumpers to about 17 feet and jump hooks over his left shoulder.

• C Charles Mitchell (Marietta, GA) says he has offers from Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Auburn, Maryland, Xavier, Texas, Ohio State, Georgia Tech with USC and North Carolina watching closely.

A.J. Hammons (Carmel, Ind./ Oak Hill) mentioned Ohio State, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia Tech and Florida. Hammons says he must work to improve his offensive post footwork, but thinks his ability to rebound, block and change shots is a major strength.

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. Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

Reggie Rankin

College Basketball Recruiting

Paul Biancardi

Basketball Recruiting