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July 11, 2014

Reebok Breakout: Ferguson steps it up

THE RIVALS150: Class of 2014 | 2015 | 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- After just a so-so performance by his standards on Wednesday night at Reebok Breakout, five-star shooting guard Terrance Ferguson promised that he would step it up on Thursday. Sure enough, the rising junior lived up to his word and brought it on when he hit the floor for day two of camp.

FERGUSON READY FOR HIS TURN

During his first two seasons at Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep, 6-foot-6 shooting guard Terrance Ferguson had a pretty nice crutch to lean on in elite point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Now that Mudiay has left for SMU, it is Ferguson's turn to be the man.

Being the man is something that Mudiay has urged Ferguson to do and he has taken the advice to hear. Primarily a spot up jump shooter and transition dunker during his first two years of high school, the No. 10 player in the class of 2016 has shown a much more advanced game of late.

"Playing with Emmanuel really helped me to have confidence in my game," Ferguson said. "He told me he was handing me the torch and it was my turn now.

"I'm handling the ball and attacking a lot more. It is helping to open things up a lot. I'm trying to also add to my post game and be more of a leader."

During Thursday's first session of games, Ferguson had it all on display. He hit buttery jumpers, got his head near rim level on transition dunks and showed off his electric first step on dribble drives.

So far, Ferguson counts offers from Florida, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, SMU, Arkansas and Kansas.

Given that he is still about a month away from starting his junior year, Ferguson says that he really hasn't paid much attention to his recruitment. He is more focused on ending his summer by reaching a big goal.

"If I'm not busy I'll try to set up some visits this fall," said Ferguson. "I don't know where yet. I'm giving that to my mom to handle for now.

"The last thing of the summer is USA Basketball. My goal is to be a two time gold medalist."

DOZIER HEALTHY, STEADY AND EFFECTIVE

After missing his junior season due to a knee injury, No. 40-ranked P.J. Dozier is getting back into the swing of things on the floor. At Breakout camp, the 6-foot-6 guard from Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley has continued to impress with his versatility and ability to play all over the floor.

He's also starting to feel like himself again from a health standpoint.

"I'm getting close and still have a little way to go," Dozier told Rivals.com. "Every month I feel a little better and a lot stronger. It's just a little process."

Now that he is pretty much 100 percent, Dozier impresses with his ability to play all over the backcourt.

"I'm real versatile," said Dozier. "I'm a 6-foot-6 point guard who can play some at the two the three and the four and also defend those spots which is the key. I've never been really athletic but that is coming and I am looking forward to it."

Because of his size and ability to play all around the perimeter Rivals.com has always seen Dozier as a utility guard capable of moving from one spot to another. However, the coaches recruiting him from programs like South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio State, Georgetown, Clemson, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Michigan, Indiana and other programs all see him as somebody capable of running the show.

"Most coaches say they want to put the ball in my hands to generate and run the offense which is where I'm comfortable," said Dozier. "They also thrown in that they will maybe move me around some."

As for making a decision, Dozier says that he wants to sign early, that he will set up visits after July finishes up and that he doesn't feel any stress about the recruiting process.

"There's not really pressure at all," said Dozier. "The only pressure would come from my household or my family and they aren't putting any on me. They just tell me the choice is up to me because I'm the one going to school, not them."

MORE THURSDAY NEWS AND NOTES

One of the biggest stock boosters through two days of Breakout camp is native Texan Marquez Letcher-Ellis. A high flying 6-foot-7 combo forward, Letcher Ellis plays in attack mode at all times and will try to dunk anything he can. While his dunks draw oohs and ahhs, his defense, rebounding and improving jumper are what really caught Rivals.com's attention. He looks like a younger version of recent Wichita State stud CleAnthony Early. Letcher-Ellis will attend Montverde (Fla.) Academy for his senior year and mentioned scholarship offers from UNLV, USC, Virginia Tech, Depaul and UNC Wilmington. He has interest from Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Arkansas, West Virginia, East Carolina, SMU and will likely hear from many more after his play at Reebok.

It was good to see four-star shooting guard Admon Gilder get it rolling a bit on Thursday afternoon. An excellent defender and skilled offensive player, Gilder is the type of team first player that can get lost in camp play at times. He is a confident jump shooter and never rushes things. Word around camp is that he could be tough to pull out of his home state of Texas and that Texas and SMU have both positioned themselves well in his recruitment.

Putting 2016 forward Matthew Moyer into the top 100 for his class is looking to have been a wise decision. The 6-foot-7 forward simply has a knack for recognizing his matchup and attacking accordingly. If he draws a smaller defender he plays as a skilled four, with a bigger guy he goes to the wing. He can shoot, competes for rebounds at the rim and is a transition finisher. Moyer mentioned offers from Iowa, UNLV, USC, Dayton, Detroit, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Butler and Air Force to go with interest from Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Michigan State, Arizona and Arizona State.

Sometimes it is tough for big guys to get the ball in camp situations so credit Luis Santos for going and getting it on his own. A springy but slender insider, he showed lots of activity at the rim while racking up a double double.

Class of 2016 point guard Asante Gist is a compact and strong playmaker. When he focuses on getting into the lane and making plays for others he can be pretty effective as evidenced by his eight assists in a morning game. However, Gist is his own worst enemy at times when he forces deep jumpers. At this point, he doesn't look like a strong jump shooter but that's no problem when he focuses on running an offense and creating. As he plays to his strengths, his reputation will grow.

For the second day in a row Chimezie Metu was really impressive. The 6-foot-9 power forward has gone from very good to elite in the athleticism category and he is becoming more and more comfortable as a scorer. His development will be fun to watch at USC.

Because of his toughness, defense and solid all-around play, Jagan Mosely recently earned himself a spot in the 2016 top 100. But, the Jersey native is also a pretty effective jump shooter from between 12 and 17 feet and a dynamite transition player. His first two offers have come from Boston and Fairfield while Virginia, Miami, Oklahoma and Seton Hall are some of the high major programs starting to take notice.

Teammates at loaded Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Prep, shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and big man Jarred Reuter are also teammates at camp. Both have played very well. Mitchell is known as a high-flyer, but he has stood out for his jump shooting and tenacious defense at Reebok. Reuter on the other hand is a grinding big man who plays physical, competes in the lane and never takes plays off. Reuter says that he won't start to put a list together until after the summer when he would like to have somewhere between five and seven programs that he will consider. According to Brewster coach Jason Smith, Reuter already holds offers from Iowa, Kansas State, South Carolina, Minnesota, Providence, Rhode Island, Gonzaga and Boston College.

There aren't many better performers in the open court than Arizona bound guard Justin Simon. The five-star from California is adept at not only pushing the tempo but finding open teammates while making life difficult on opponents. Simon is also a high level defender who can defend all three spots around the perimeter.

Nate Grimes is one of those players that makes sure he is involved no matter what. He doesn't need a bunch of touches because of his willingness to go get the ball off the rim and he runs the floor hard in transition to get easy buckets. He can defend at the three or the four and is a reliable, lunch pail type who has backed up his status as a Rivals150 prospect.

Nobody would blame four-star power forward Steve Enoch for getting in the face of one of his camp teammates and screaming at them to pass him the ball. He is a top 50 level player in the class of 2015 and has gone largely ignored by teammates. Still, he has made his presence felt by cleaning the glass and blocking shots. Even without scoring, he's backing up what Rivals.com felt about him as a legit high major player after first seeing him at the Pangos All-American camp in June.


Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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