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April 24, 2006

Kingwood top performers

With more than 250 teams in the 17-under division at the Houston Kingwood Classic, National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer did his best to hit all the hot spots and analyze the talented field.

Here are five of the top performers that Meyer eyeballed during this mega-event.

Kevin Love, Lake Oswego (Ore.)
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 240 pounds
College choice: Undecided
Kevin Love was truly the pivot of the SoCal All Stars' championship performance this weekend at the Kingwood Classic.

The wide bodied post player had a hop in his step and a chip on his shoulder throughout the tournament. He snatched defensive rebounds and immediately turned them into fast break opportunities with his outlet passing.

Down low with the ball, Love has a vast repertoire of post move. Even though he does not the best elevator around the basket, Love has the type of power game where he typically comes up with the rebound when high level athletes stop his first attempt. Love also has a very nice shooting stroke even past the three-point line and passes the ball as well as any big man, or point guard for that matter, out there.

Although he does not possess the type of upside that some developing post prospects possess, Love is always guaranteed to produce results.
Click here for video of Love in action

Brandon Jennings, Los Angeles Dominguez
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 170 pounds
College choice: Undecided
While Kevin Love anchored the SoCal All Stars attack, point guard Brandon Jennings was the engine, constantly pushing the ball up the court and keeping their opponents on the defensive.

A lefty who has drawn comparisons to Kenny Anderson, Jennings has a very tight crossover, especially right to left, and he seems to always have an extra gear to get by defenders. He is shooting the ball with more consistency from behind the arc, which makes him extremely difficult to defend.

Defensively, he moves very well laterally and applies heavy pressure on the ball with his quick hands.

A heady ball player who makes sound decisions with the ball, Jennings also has a solid understanding of how he can improve. Getting stronger will help him keep his man out of the lane on defense, and an improved right hand will make him a more lethal finisher around the basket.
Click here for video of Jennings in action

O.J. Mayo, Cincinnati North College Hill
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 210 pounds
College choice: Undecided
The top point guard and prospect at the Kingwood Classic, O.J. Mayo couldn't quite push his new team for the weekend over the top, but he did lead the Miami Tropics to the semifinals.

A combo guard with the total package, Mayo has a physical and imposing presence on the court that resembles Chauncey Billups. Despite how fast he player, he is constantly under control, and he is capable of creating scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates practically at will.

He is also a difference maker defensively, where he uses his instincts, quickness and strength to constantly threaten the ball. Capable of guarding multiple positions, Mayo is also able to ignite the fastbreak with his defensive rebounding.

Having carried for quite some time the weight of being the number one player in his class, Mayo has not rested on his laurels as he is continually working on his game.
Click here for video of Mayo in action

Kyle Singler, Medford (Ore.) South Medford
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 210 pounds
College choice: Undecided
Playing out of position at center and playing on an undermanned Portland Elite Legends basketball team, Kyle Singler demonstrated the versatility, determination and skill that make him a top ten prospect.

Taller and stronger than last summer, Singler defended well in the post and stabilized the defensive boards for the Legends. He also defended on the perimeter, keeping Jeffrey Jordan's penetration in check.

Offensively, Singler scores in the post as well as the perimeter. The type of player that an offense can run through, Singler can find people off the dribble and create a little bit for himself off the dribble.

As he continues to develop physically, Singler's refined game will only improve.
Click here for video of Singler in action

Jerryd Bayless, Phoenix St. Mary's
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
College choice: Arizona
A top grade athlete and talent, Jerryd Bayless can score from the perimeter as well as any player on the circuit.

Always able to create a shot with his high elevating pull up jumper, Bayless is particularly dangerous coming off the high ball screen. He pulls up for the three-pointer extremely well off the screen and can get into the mid-range with a hesitation move at the arc. On the break, he is very fast with the ball.

The down side of Bayless' game is that he could be a tremendous defender and rebounder, but he typically does not put a high priority on those aspects of the game. He spends too much time outside the three-point line and does not impact the game as much as he could with his athleticism.

With all the tools at his disposal, Bayless has a very, very high ceiling as a prospect.
Click here for video of Bayless in action

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