Denver, Col. We continue Part Two of our evaluations from Denver…
Jordan Loveridge, 6-5 PF West Jordan (Utah) High. Loveridge is a bit undersized, but he’s the kind of guy that could be a matchup nightmare at the next level. He’s got very good ball skills, he can play facing the basket, knock down shots to 17-19 feet and he’s got a power low-post game. His body could use a little toning up, but with a couple years in a college weight-training program he could be a terrific player with continued development. He’s a high major prospect.
Tim Derksen, 6-3 SG Tucson (Ariz.) Amphitheater. A strong lefty with a very good feel for the game, Derksen is a tough competitor that does all the little things to help his team win. He’s a fair shooter to the stripe, a good passer and defender, and he has solid ball skills overall. He’s a very nice prospect at the mid major level and potentially higher if his jump shot becomes a little more consistent.
Brendyn Taylor, 6-2 SG/PG Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Taylor had to sit out this past season when he transferred high schools and it’s a real shame, because he’s a very nice prospect and he missed out on a ton of development time. However, we still like him quite a bit as a prospect. He’s got a very nice stroke, he’s bouncy and he’s got ball skills that make you think he might play the one down the road. He’s got some catching up to do, but he’s still a very intriguing player.
Marcel Davis, 6-2 PG American Fork (Utah) High. A true point, Davis has good quickness, vision and passing ability. He’s not a great shooter, but his stroke is fine and he should be a more than adequate shooter given the rest of his very solid game. He’s committed to Utah State.
Xavier Taulton, 6-0 PG Sterling (Col.) High. This was our first look at Taulton and he’s an intriguing prospect. A scoring lead guard, Taulton has long arms, good quickness and a very nice jump shot. He can create his own shot and he’s got an excellent release. We only saw him play one game, and it wasn’t clear just how good his point guard skills are at this time, but he’s someone to keep an eye on in the class of 2012.
Kisima Jagne, 6-5 C Chandler (Ariz.) High. Jagne was drawing comparisons to former UCLA player Alfred Aboya with his physical and tough play this past weekend. He’s very strong, with some surprising bounce and agility around the basket. His offensive game is still a work in progress, but he’s an interesting prospect.
Julian Harrell, 6-5 SF Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. This kid is just a basketball player. He’s got a great feel for the game and he’s constantly making winning plays at both ends of the court. You wouldn’t call him a shooter, but he makes enough jumpers. He’s a terrific passer for a small forward. He rebounds pretty well for his size and he finds ways to get buckets around the hoop. He’s an easy call at the mid major level and it’s possible he plays higher.
Lucas O’Brien, 6-8 C Chander (Ariz.) Perry. We had a very limited look at O’Brien, so we really don’t have a feel for his game. But he’s got size, and he seems to move pretty well, which makes him a prospect in this day and age.
Larry Lewis, 6-0 SG/PG Scottsdale (Ariz.) Mesquite. Lewis is currently a guard without a position. He doesn’t really have the size, or consistent shot, to play the two. But his feel, and approach, for the game are not adequate to play the one either. Lewis is best in an open court style of play where his ability to get to the rim is an asset. He’s a good athlete and pretty effective slashing around the basket. But he will need to see development in other areas of his game in order to play at the next level.
Kevin Bowman, 6-0 PG Scottsdale (Ariz.) Pinnacle. Bowman doesn’t look the part of prospect, with an average body and not a high level of athleticism. But once the game starts, you see that his skill level and feel for the game make up for those deficiencies. He was knocking down shots consistently all weekend and also showed a nice mid-range game. He’s worth a look at the low major level.
Jordan Smiley, 6-3 SF Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. We didn’t get a long look at Smiley, but his body, length and athleticism are intriguing. His skills seemed somewhat raw in the game we saw, but he has some upside.
Josh Rideau, 6-3 SG/SF Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Rideau has a very good basketball body, with an excellent frame and length. His ball skills are still somewhat raw, but he’s got the physical tools to be a player with development.