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July 24, 2010

Orlando: Underclass Showcases wind down

ORLANDO, Fla. - The 15-and under AAU Super Showcase came to an end on Friday, and the 16-and under level began bracket play to serve as the appetizer for the loaded 17-and under event which gets going on Saturday. With a lot of good ball going on, Rodney Purvis and CP3 were the big winners and came home with the Super Showcase title.

Going for the No. 1 spot

One of the most entertaining matchups of the summer came in the 15-and under semi-finals between the CP3 All-Stars and the Texas Titans. In that game arguably the two best prospects in the 2013 class went right at each other. It was Rodney Purvis for CP3 and Julius Randle for the Texas Titans.

Purvis is a shooting guard and Randle a power forward so the two didn't exactly guard each other, but they sure as heck did everything humanly possible to help their respective teams get the win.

For the first three quarters of the game it was all about Randle and Mathew Jones of the Titans. Jones was absolutely on fire from three point range and was getting it done in every way for them. He was hitting shots, making plays on defense, and overall just starring and making himself into a major prospect.

While Jones was scoring, Randle simply did it all. The kid rebounded like crazy, showed a unique ability to handle the ball in traffic, and then fed Jones on a lot of his buckets with impressive passes. After doing all of that, Randle also decided he could score when he wanted, and CP3 really didn't have too much of a chance to stop him.

Quite honestly at times it looked like a case of a man going against boys, and that was obvious when looking at the scoreboard. The Titans held a 15 point lead going into the fourth quarter, but that is when Purvis came alive.

After going scoreless in the third quarter, Purvis simply took over the game. Outside of Jones, the Titans don't have physical guards who can matchup with Purvis at all, and smelling blood he went to the rim at will. Time after time Purvis would attack and use his athleticism and ability to get to the rack and finish. When he didn't finish it would be Greg McClinton who did, and in a hurry CP3 was back.

Along with Purvis simply dominating the game, the Titans also fell a part because their guards couldn't handle the CP3 press. The Titans temporarily solved that problem by having Randle bring the ball up the floor, but in the end the athleticism and pressure was too much.

Purvis kept getting things done for himself and others, and finished with 23 for the game including 12 in the fourth quarter. That spurt gave CP3 the semi-final win, and a berth in the championship game which they won over the New York Gauchos.

Overall the scoring leader for the game was Jones who had 28, but the best player was clearly Randle. The man child had 24 points and probably close to 20 rebounds despite the loss.

Other notable performances

Sim Bhullar - This is an absolutely massive human being who is every bit of 7-foot-4. Besides being just huge, Bhullar also has some serious discernable basketball ability. While he doesn't run the floor great, Bhullar does change the game on defense when in position because he completely takes away the lane and layups from the offense. Also he rebounded very well, and is a great passer for a young big man. His touch is iffy, and his conditioning will always be a massive concern, but when in the game he does make a difference. Because of his size he will always intrigue, and in the right system he could be an impact guy.

Negus Webster-Chan - When it comes to natural ability, there is no doubting what Webster-Chan can do. He is 6-foot-5 with long arms, good athleticism, and an excellent feel for the game. In fact at times Webster-Chan was running the point for Team Takeover Canada. Still while he is a great natural talent, he isn't the most productive kid in the world. Instead of always being cool and smooth, he has to focus on being a bit more aggressive and acting like the most talented player on the floor which he usually is. When he plays with an assertive nature he is impressive, but that only came in spurts during his morning game.

Anthony Bennett - While he still might be best served putting on a helmet and shoulder pads and becoming a tight end, Bennett is still an impact player on the basketball floor. An undersized power forward, Bennett has a unique combination of strength and athleticism. On the boards he is so difficult to contain because he knows where the ball is coming off, and then uses his broad shoulders and explosive leaping ability to get things done. His perimeter game needs work as his jumper didn't look good, but around the rim even against taller players he can be a major issue because of his physical gifts.

Gary Harris - In a morning game Harris didn't have too much of a chance to show his stuff. He picked up two quick fouls on extremely questionable calls, and from there he could never get into a groove. Even though his minutes were limited, Harris showed that he is an absolute problem in transition for a defense, and also the natural ability that comes with his inside and out scoring game. Harris eventually was fouled out by the refs, leading to his team's loss, and even though his production wasn't great, the flashes he showed did make an impression.

Robert Rimmer - The 2013 class big man from Florida has an absolutely striking resemblance to current Duke Blue Devil Ryan Kelly, and has some game to boot. Rimmer isn't afraid to be physical down low and get rebounds, but also he is fairly skilled facing the basket out to about 18 feet. He isn't a great athlete, but the skill and physical nature of his game is intriguing going forward.

Montrezl Harrell - In the first half Harrell battled foul trouble, but the physical power forward got it going some in the second half. Harrell used his long arms and high motor to get buckets down low, and even stretched his game out to the mid-range knocking in a few shots. Still his bread and butter is down low rebounding and scoring, and he did that very well in his time on the floor.

Adolphus Washington - A high-major football recruit, the 2012 power forward is also a major factor on the basketball floor. The 6-foot-4 power forward controlled the game for All-Ohio Purple against Carolina Elite. Washington drew fouls on Harrell, used his physique to clean the glass, and scored at will. He put his team on his back to the tune of 29 points and had coaches flipping through their packets looking up his name. His future is on the gridiron, but still he is making a big impact on the hardwood this summer.

Aaron Roundtree - He is a 2011 recruit playing down, but due to his age he is likely to re-classify to the 2012 class. Roundtree had it working on Friday. He is at his best when handling the ball at the top of the key despite being 6-foot-7 with long arms. Roundtree can score at will off the dribble and has a nasty pull up game. If he gets stronger he could be a huge national level sleeper going forward.

Ryan Arcidiacono - BABC absolutely was set on containing Arcidiacono, and for the most part they did a decent job, but he still went to work. The kid referred to as "Arch" was being face guarded all game long, and whenever he dribbled it was a constant double team. Still he was able to score 11 points, and the attention he drew helped his teammates get open. The Pennsylvania Playaz weren't able to get the win, but the respect shown to Arcidiacono by BABC was telling in just how talented he is.

Nerlens Noel - Now a member of the 2013 class, Noel is simply loaded with potential. He is broad shoulders, long arms, and a lot of athleticism. Also he has some idea of how to play with his back to the basket. Still Noel has to get a lot stronger, and be more of a producer as opposed to a potential guy. His lack of strength contributed to his missing of shots on the interior, though his athleticism and dunking ability made up for it at times. He has work to do, but the upside is definitely there for Noel.

Egi Gjiicondi - He is a physical post player who isn't afraid to do damage down by the rim. Gjiicondi did damage on the glass against an undersized Playaz squad, and that led to easy buckets for BABC in a win. Also he has good hands, and is developing some post moves. He is a bit raw, but the physicality he plays with makes him interesting for a team who lacks toughness in the paint.

T.J. Warren - Being able to score the basketball is a skill that is flat out irreplaceable, and Warren can do just that. At nearly 6-foot-6 he can really shoot the ball from the outside, but at the same time he has the strength to finish going to the rim. Not a great athlete, Warren isn't going to finish above the rim, but he does have a lot of court savvy and a solid understanding of how to play. Because of his size and strength he could probably play either forward position depending on the system, but with the way he shoots it, Warren definitely prefers being on the wing.

Evan Nolte - Quite simply it wasn't Nolte's day. His shot was off, and never could he get it going. Nolte had several good looks that would have helped his Southern Kings Gold team cut into the deficit, but they just wouldn't fall for him. Still he has good size and a solid basketball IQ, but when Nolte isn't making shots he just doesn't look like the elite prospect that he has shown himself to be in the past.

Justin Tuoyo - An athletic and long armed power forward, Tuoyo is still adjusting to how to play, but the potential is simply limitless. He runs the floor like a guard, but at 6-foot-7 he has the ability to defend multiple positions down low. Offensively he isn't refined, but his athleticism allows him to finish above the rim to go along with being an impressive rebounder. Adding strength will determine how good he comes, but his best basketball is clearly in front of him.

Recruiting Notes

Schools were flocking to the game between Julius Randle and Rodney Purvis. Texas, Illinois, Xavier, Wake Forest, NC State, Ohio State, Louisville, Butler, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Michigan, Clemson, Georgetown, Colorado, and South Carolina all dispatched coaches for the game.

Negus Webster-Chan says he is hearing from Washington, Syracuse, Xavier, USC, Ohio State, Cincinnati, UNLV, Nebraska, Virginia, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma.

Gary Harris drew assistant coaches from Butler, Xavier, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, and Illinois.

Big man Egi Gjiicondi says that Wake Forest, NC State, Miami, Providence, Boston College, LSU, Princeton, Florida Atlantic, Florida, Georgetown, Rhode Island, Temple, and Vanderbilt are all after him.

T.J. Warren has offers from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Indiana, Xavier, and NC State. Also he is hearing from North Carolina, Duke, Miami, and South Carolina.


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