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April 15, 2008

Boo Williams eye catchers

MORE: Boo Williams champions crowned | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

A number of quality prospects were in action last weekend at the Boo Williams Invitational. Based on both performance and promise as prospects, here is a rundown on the participants that caught National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer's eye during the event.

Boo Williams Eye Catchers
Xavier Henry, Athletes First
SG, 6-6, 210
It's difficult not to like a player who is 6 feet 6, athletic, strong, a pure shooter and can make plays off the dribble. Henry's stock rose even higher in my eyes when he showed some toughness playing on a badly sprained ankle.

In the semifinal game before his ankle gave out in the finals, Henry put up 31 points against BABC. His name needs to be in the discussion of who is the No. 1 player in the 2009 class.

Daniel Orton, Athletes First
C, 6-10, 260
The big fella has me convinced that he has turned the corner from prospect to player. Having lost around 20 pounds since last summer, Orton isn't just big, but has an athletically imposing presence on the court.

Always having been effective on the defensive end and in the high post on offense, Orton displayed a dangerous low post scoring game this weekend with difficult spin moves to left hand jump hooks.

Tristan Spurlock, Boo Williams
SF, 6-6, 216
At a healthy 6 feet 6, Spurlock is an impressive looking small forward. He has a reliable stroke from three and can get to the rim off the bounce.

His length serves him well on the defensive end and gives him the ability to defend up a position and guard a power forward. His rebounding in traffic was also impressive this weekend.

Alex Oriakhi, BABC
PF, 6-8, 220
It takes a lot to match Orton size-wise, but Oriakhi can do just that. The Connecticut recruit was bouncy on his feet all weekend and consistently made his presence felt on the court. In fact, maybe a little too much as he battled foul trouble throughout the event.

Most importantly, Oriakhi has made great strides as a scorer. He consistently finished with his left hand and has the ability to cover a great deal of ground in just one power dribble.

Keith Gallon, Houston Hoops
C, 6-8, 290
Let's go ahead and get the constant concern out of the way. Gallon, who is known primarily as "Tiny," is not getting any tinier. Gallon, nonetheless, is still carrying his weight pretty well, but there is no telling how good he could be if he got in quality shape.

The positive, though, is that Gallon also has a ton of game. It's not often that you see a big post player cross someone over into a spin move off the glass. In the first half against Boo Williams, Gallon was simply unstoppable.

Lamar Patterson, Team Final
SG, 6-5, 220
It was quite enjoyable to watch a skilled, no-nonsense player who gets it like Patterson. With good size and strength for the shooting guard position, Patterson can make all the plays you need out of the position.

His passing is top of the line, his outside stroke is reliable, he's strong with the ball, can guard multiple positions and will grind out a rebound. Looks like a Pitt Panther already.

Ferrakohn Hall, Memphis YOMCA
PF, 6-7, 210
Although he still needs to extend his shooting range, Hall sure looked like a true combo guard this weekend. His ball handling and passing kept his Memphis YOMCA squad together, and he slashed his way to a load of buckets.

Hall also has the potential to be a tremendous defender with his length and ability to guard a power forward to a shooting guard.

Tevin Baskin, New York Gauchos
SF, 6-6, 185
With similar athleticism as Hall, Baskin is a high-motor player who excels around the basket. He is quick off his feet and has a nose for the ball.

Baskin didn't get a ton of touches in the guard-oriented Gauchos' attack, but he efficiently got the ball in the basket when he had the opportunity. And you can always count on a number of defensive plays off of his hustle and athleticism.

Steven Pledger, Boo Williams
SG, 6-3, 185
Put down Pledger's name as a legitimate high major shooting guard. A physical player with good size for his position, Pledger consistently knocked down jumpers over the weekend while exuding confidence. And when he got to the basket, he finished as well.

Defensively, he was Boo Williams top perimeter defender. On a team full of talented prospects, Pledger was perhaps the key to Boo Williams' run to the championship.

Terrence Boyd, Athletes First
SF, 6-5, 225
At 6 feet 5, 225 pounds, Boyd simply played like a man amongst boys over the weekend. His assaults on the basket in transition were virtually unstoppable, and when he wanted to get a rebound, he got it.

Along with his strong finishes on the drive, Boyd also delivered the ball to teammates. And defensively he was a presence. Although shooting the ball is not his strong point, Boyd still managed to hit both his three-point attempts in a 28 point performance in the semifinals.

MORE: Boo Williams champions crowned | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

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