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May 28, 2005

TOC Saturday scouting reports

Here are more scouting reports from Saturday's action at the Tournament of Champions:

James Hickson (World Wide Renegades)- At 6-foot-8, 230-pounds Hickson is a live bodied 2007 power forward prospect who thrives on contact and relentlessly pursues the ball. Effective out to the midrange, Hickson displayed the ability to score on more than just putbacks. Auburn, Clemson and Georgia have already offered.

Kyle Luckett (Blessed IJN)- A lot of times the worst thing for a big man is to be able to shoot and dribble a little bit. He then becomes enamored with playing away from the basket and does not develop his inside game where his meal ticket will be punched. This is the concern with Luckett, who tends to shy away from contact and meander on the perimeter. On Saturday, he did a better job posting up and attacking the rim when he did put it on the floor. Certainly, the ability to shoot it from outside, especially off the pick and pop, is an asset for a big man, if not a necessity in the League, but a mediocre perimeter player in a near 7-foot body is not of much use. It will be interesting to see how this very talented prospect develops.

Eshaunte Jones (Blessed IJN)- Sees the floor well. Shoots it better off the dribble than on the catch. Most dangerous shot is the pull up three in transition.

An'Juan Wilderness (Atlanta Celtics)- Always plays hard and really fills the lanes on the break. The lefty is getting better at going right and even finishing with his right. Can shoot it some in the midrange, but needs to extend his range for the next level.

Javaris Crittenton (Atlanta Celtics)- Forced a lot of shots in his game against the Wolves. Did not guard Will Walker in the Celtics loss against the Illinois Wolves even though he is the Celtics best defender. At the free throw line his shot looked improved since April.

Dallas Lauderdale (Cleveland Titans)- At 6-foot-9, 225-pounds, Lauderdale is an impressively built 2007 power forward prospect. Is not afraid of contact and can run the floor. Skill level is developing. Listed Syracuse, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State. Said that although none of these schools have offered, he is down to these five and his list will only get smaller.

Tyler Smith (Southeast Elite)- Although he did not shoot well in his evening pool game, Smith did a nice job getting into the lane against the Team Breakdown zone and finding the open man. He pushed the ball very well in the open court after defensive rebounds. The key to his success will be whether he can consistently hit the midrange pull up and spot up three. He still would much rather force the ball to the rim with spin moves.

Cordell Pope (Southeast Elite)- A long, smooth shooter, Pope is developing the ability to score a little off the dribble. Although his defense and rebounding have a way to go, he is giving a much better effort in those areas. He is a very promising prospect if he will sell out in the weight room.

Keegan Bell (Southeast Elite)- This strong and aggressive 2007 point guard prospect plays a solid floor game. He as the ability to shoot from deep but appears to be a streak shooter rather than a pure shooter. Not a great leaper or finisher in the lane, Bell is best when he uses his strength and quickness to get in the lane and find the open man.

D.J. Augustin (New Orleans Jazz)- Smooth with the ball, Augustine is always under control, ready to attack the lane with a burst or pull up quickly with a jumper. Is getting physically stronger and does a great job executing the high ball screen. It is on the defensive side of the ball where Augustin has a great deal of room for improvement.

Derrick Caracter (New York Panters)- Yes, he has lost weight and is running better, but he is not jumping any higher. He has finished here in spurts. As always, his most impressive attribute is his ability to pass the ball.


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