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December 28, 2007

Friday at the Beach Ball Classic

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Beach Ball Classic has had plenty of future NBA players come through its event in the past 27 years. Dequan Jones just might be the next big name to play in the Classic. Is he an emerging NBA prospect who is developing as a prospect with the tools to take it to that level?

Wheeler (Ga.) 76, Bishop O'Connell 70

Dequan Jones- 19 points on 9-11 shooting, 1-3 from three, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 assists, 4 turnovers in 32 minutes

His body and athleticism scream NBA, and his skill game is catching up to his natural physical tools. During the pivotal stretch of the game when Wheeler took control, Jones had two coast to coast drives with multiple dribble moves that ended with high level assist passes. He also had an assist off a drive to the middle in the half court. His shooting mechanics are sound although the results can be erratic. I would expect his shot will steadily improve with repetition. His ball handling does need to tighten up, but regardless, he is a high level finisher who plays above the rim and has a pull up game, a hustling playmaker on defense and a player who appears to get it. Put it this way. The wrong players in this game were wearing NBA socks. They need to hand theirs over to Jones.

Richard Howell- 18 points on 6-15 shooting, 6-9 from the line, 15 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 5 turnovers in 24 minutes

Athleticism is not his game, but Howell plays wide and rebounds outside his position. He makes up for a lot of what he lacks vertically, by controlling horizontal space. When he gets the ball in his hands, he does a nice job of putting his defender in a compromising position by taking his action to the rim.

Phil Taylor- 23 points on 6-19 shooting, 3-9 from three, 8-9 from the line, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 assists and 2 turnovers in 32 minutes

Would like to see him work harder to set up teammates more than to create his own shot. He has a craftiness with the ball that could create a number of scoring opportunities. Taylor did take care of the ball and came up big for Wheeler with a critical three-pointer from the corner and 7-8 free throw shooting down the stretch.

Ari Stewart- 7 points on 3-5 shooting, 0-1 from three, 1-2 from the line, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 turnover in 26 minutes

Stewart impressed scouts and coaches with his play on the travel circuit but has struggled to produce at the same level this high school season. A talent with upside, he needs to figure out how to succeed in a more structured attack. He did have a shot block that sealed the game for Wheeler.

Kendall Marshall- 12 points on 4-10 shooting, 1-4 from three, 3-4 from the line, 5 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 7 assists, 5 turnovers in 27 minutes

His numbers weren't that bad, but it was not one of Marshall's best games. The 2010 North Carolina commitment left some important shots on the front rim and was not much of a presence late in the game.

Jason Clark- 17 points on 7-19 shooting, 1-3 from three, 2-5 from the line, 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists, 1 turnover in 25 minutes

Losing Clark to foul trouble in the second half really hurt the Bishop O'Connell cause. Clark will bring a lot of versatility to the Georgetown attack as a long shooting guard with point guard type skills. He has a good mind for the game, does a great job with penetration and pitch, rebounds, posts up and knows how to move without the ball.

Boys & Girls (N.Y.) 78, St. Edward (Ohio) 75 OT.

Brandon Romain- 32 points on 15-21 shooting, 1-1 from three, 1-2 from the line, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 1 assist and zero turnovers in 36 minutes

His teammate David Imes did a great job defending Tom Pritchard, but the overall play of Romain made him the most valuable player in Boys & Girls win. A left handed 6-foot-3 shooting guard with an enormous wing span, Romain is a tough competitor with an unorthodox game. Defensively, he got his hands on the ball in a lot of different situations including the game winning shot block when St. Edward was going for the game tying three at the end of overtime. Just an average athlete, he utilizes a crafty hesitation move to get in pockets and then can finish shots a lot of different ways. In the end, Romain is a great looking mid-major prospect and was the best player on the court in this game.

David Imes- 9 points on 4-4 shooting, 1-5 from the line, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 1 assist and 1 turnover in 32 minutes

A strong athlete at 6-foot-6, Imes didn't look that comfortable with the ball, but he did finish at the rim. His true value in this game was his defensive work on Pritchard. Only one of Pritchards three field goals came at his expense. Imes is another quality mid-major prospect on the Boys & Girls squad.

Clayton Sterling- 19 points on 5-13 shooting, 1-3 from three, 8-14 from the line, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 7 assists and 2 turnovers in 30 minutes

Sterling did a nice job running the point for Boys & Girls. He did take some questionable shots in the second half, but he also made some big plays down the stretch. Throughout the game, St. Edward was unable to contain his dribble penetration.

Patrick Jackson- 7 points on 2-9 shooting, 0-3 from three, 3-4 from the line, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals and 2 turnovers in 19 minutes

It wasn't the best night for Jackson, a Rutgers signee. In fact he spent almost the entire second half on the bench.

Tom Pritchard- 10 points on 3-9 shooting, 0-1 from three, 4-7 from the line, 11 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 assist and 3 turnovers in 31 minutes

Pritchard missed the presence and high post passing of injured teammate Delvon Roe against the athletic Boys & Girls squad. Pritchard is a smart player who knows how to carve out position with his wide body to get easy buckets, but he struggles to score when he has to manufacture his scoring opportunities. Even though it was the three-point shooting of guards Andre Eanes and Mike Hartnett that got St. Edward back into the game in the fourth quarter, several of those buckets were the result of St. Edward's inside/outside play.

Duncanville (Texas) 68, Scott. Co. (Ky.) 62

Shawn Williams- 16 points on 5-12 shooting, 2-7 from three, 4-6 from the line, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist and 2 turnovers in 32 minutes

Besides hitting some threes, Williams also did a nice job drawing fouls on his drives to the basket. A high level shooter with marginal athleticism, Williams will become a more productive all around player once he builds up his body in the weight room.

Roger Franklin- 17 points on 6-13 shooting, 0-1 from three, 5-6 from the line, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist and 2 turnovers in 23 minutes

Franklin continues to develop as a small forward, but there is still work to be done. His ball skills aren't far off, but his comfort level and vision are a bit off. A physical defender, he does a great job on the boards. Even if he remains in that undersized tweener mode, I still expect his game to translate at the high major level. He shoots it well from the midrange and can score inside with a steady jump hook.

Brian Talley- 7 points on 2-12 shooting, 1-8 from three, 2-2 from the line, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assists and 2 turnovers in 32 minutes

Southern is getting a good one in Talley, whose appearance and game resembles Darren Collison of UCLA. Like Collison, he does a great job of pushing the tempo, seeing the court and defending the point of attack.

Richie Phares- 15 points on 6-8 shooting, 3-6 from the line, 6 rebounds in 18 minutes

Scott Co. got some strong second half minutes from Phares after he only played three minutes and went scoreless in the first half. A nice looking mid-major power forward prospect, Phares has a finesse game with a little bounce to it.


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