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August 11, 2012
Solid as a Rock
Teammates Elijah Thomas and Austin Grandstaff of Rockwall high school made it known that they are two of the top player in the class of 2015. Grandstaff, as usual was draining NBA threes and dropping in mid-range jumpers. Thomas was getting position inside scoring around the rim, rebounding and running the floor. Both showed how polished and mature their games are becoming.
Besides the polished Thomas, the D1 Nation Camp featured four intriguing paint players, three of which are high school teammates. Liban Hassan (2014/6-10), Kerwin Smith (2014/6-8) and Dante Hales (2015/6-9), are all products of Dallas Woodrow Wilson. The three share some of the same characteristics. They are long and wiry, play inside the paint, and can alter shots. Hassan is very raw offensively, but has a good feel for the game using face-up moves. Smith has progressed nicely over the last few months and is battling and fighting to score around the rim. Hales is a player that needs more reps and polishing, but looks to be a nice prospect in the near future. Hales jumps at every ball that goes up and attacks the glass.
The fourth paint player was Jumani McNeace (2014/6-8). A transfer from Illinois, McNeace will be at Allen high school this coming year. McNeace is a super athlete that bounces around the court playing above the rim. He showed some nice moves around the bucket to finish over the defense.
The crop of shooters were impressive, and leading the way was San Antonio Johnson's Asa Cantwell. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard has been growing into his once thin frame. Cantwell has packed on some strength that has helped him consistently knock down the outside shot. Every time the ball left his hands it had a chance to go in. He has a nice delivery on his shot and has some good ball handling skill to go long with his stroke.
Another San Antonio native was Jorden Kite who is transferring to San Antonio Clark from Central Catholic. Kite has a good feel for the game and when he gets hot, he can hit the open three. He runs the court and understands how to get open.
Tyler Williams had his touch working from deep as he spotted up to shoot and came off the dribble. Williams has a strong built and runs the wing. He also is a penetrater that can finish at the rim. Falling into the same category as Williams was Westlake's Harrison Hackney. The 6-foot-2 lefty does more than hit the three. Hackney was attacking the rim and finishing in traffic. He is a tough all around player with upside.
Yanni Noulas of Fort Forth Brewer who is a 2015, shot the ball from deep. He was really good when he got his body squared to the basket. Noulas was on point when he had time to setup. From out west was Armando Vasquez. The El Paso Eastlake prospect showed off a soft touch inside 15 feet. He handled the ball well on the perimeter and has point guard skills.
Lefty Jaylen Shead was good coming off the dribble and knocking down shots. The long armed combo displayed a smooth touch and was very fast with the ball. Skyler Simmons did his part by taking advantage of his open shots. Simmons plays the combo, but runs the court and hits jumpers.
Point guard play
As always, Chase Carlton was rugged and pushed the ball in the open court. He is always looking towards that basket to make a play up court. He added points from the perimeter and dished the ball to open teammates.
Erick Neal is known for his fast paced game and ability to score from all spots on the floor. Well, once again Neal had no problems draining shots in the open court. He is so hard to guard due to his quickness, and though small up top, his release is too much for defenders to stop.
Harker Heights twins, Cameron Delaney and Josh Delaney played hard and made plays, but in different ways. Cameron is electric, using energy and north to south speed. While Josh runs the floor looking to get a pass in the right place to take his deadly mid-range jumper. Both players are crafty ball handlers and can score in the lane.
Tanner Leissner has done nothing to hurt his stock since April. Leissner came into the D1 Nation Camp with his power basketball. The 6-foot-5 power forward plays very hard and smart. His shot and confidence continues to improve and once he gets the ball 15 feet away from the basket, he can be dangerous. He showed that he can play inside/out, and put himself in position to rebound the ball.
Making his way from a power forward to the small forward is Heath Agnew. The 6-foot-4 blue-collar player started to show his perimeter skills. Agnew plays with balance and the knowledge of an upperclassman. He can get to the basket off the dribble, and sneaks his way pass the defense. He has a nose for the ball, so Agnew is always around grabbing boards or loose balls.
Speaking of blue-collar, St Dominc Savio's power forward Kevin Owens throws his body around as he moves to the basket. The 6-foot-5 Owens gave the spectators a hint of his versatility. He can play with his back to the basket, and he can play facing the defender. Either way he uses his body for positioning and hits the 8-12 footer.
Every one has gotten to know Jeremy Combs out of Dallas Carter as a super athlete. Combs kept getting by the defense and climb his way above the rim. He finished with thunder dunks and leaped his way to rebounds.
A part from McNeace, Combs and a few others, Cedar Hill's Jordan Terry was one of the camps most athletic campers. Terry when focused has the ability to fly to the rim. He has an explosive first step and can weave through the defense.
A few 2013's to note...
Recent Bucknell commit, John Azzinaro showed way he is San Antonio's best scorer and one of the top in the state. Marcus Keene always wants to make the big play and get his teammates involved. Chance Houston was another point guard along with Azzinaro and Keene that can make outside shots, and George King, the state's most under-rated players made some noise with his athleticism.