Flyin’ To The Hoop: Top Seniors, Pt. 2
The rest of the top PUNKS from Dayton, including a few sleepers.
Dayton, OH served as host to some of the nation’s finest PUNKS over MLK weekend, fielding teams from 10 different states, with over 50 DI ballers stepping foot in the building. Tournament Director Eric Horstman and his staff did an outstanding job of yielding some of the top national teams to Trent Arena, despite the fact that they were in direct competition with three other tournaments in Ohio and HoopHall in Springfield, Mass. Kudos to the staff for putting together killer accommodations for the media, including two monstrous LCD TVs rockin’ the NFL playoff games and ESPN games from HoopHall, two leather massage chairs, and a catering spread that including ribs, and five kinds of wings for every meal. Wings, ribs and hoops? What more can you ask for? It was enough to get John Calipari there (well, that plus Brandon Knight).
Here’s a look at the rest of the top senior PUNKS who caught our eye:
Luke Cothron | 6-8 | PF | Flora MacDonald Academy (NC) | 2010
Cothron averaged more points than any big in Dayton with his mean of 26 ppg. Throw in his 11rebounds per game and it’s easy to see why NC State fans are so eager to get him down to Raleigh. The Alabama native showed off his uber-skills with a number of deep jumpers, pull up off of the bounce, and dribble drives that you usually just don’t see out of a power forward. It wasn’t all roses for him though, as his team was upset by a local Ohio team and he struggled exploding to the cup against more athletic defenders. Wolfpack fans are waiting on the edges of their seats to see if Cool Hand Luke finally signs his letter of intent, given his decision to pass on putting his name on the line in spring.
Justin Coleman | 6-4 | SG | Huntington Prep (WV) | 2010
Coleman didn’t have the best game in Dayton, seemingly never getting in a groove offensively. It was obviously the insane athleticism that he possesses was evident both in warm-ups and on the defensive end, where his nasty bounce was on display. The powerfully built guard couldn’t get a jumper from beyond the arc to drop offensively and struggled handling the rock, but it just appeared to be an off game for this elite recruit. The Virginia native has shown far long enough that he’s a bigtime player with crazy upside, which is why many of the nation’s top teams are still recruiting him.
Jordan Sibert | 6-4 | SG | Cincinnati Princeton (OH) | 2010
The latest product out of Cincinnati Princeton started off sizzling in his battle versus Brandon Knight (Sibert is No. 23 and Knight No. 11), before cooling off a bit in the second half. Sibert appeared to be fully recovered from the injury he suffered in the spring at Boo Williams (where he broke his leg) and was back to the elite level prospect that he proved to be in the past. He really shot the lights out of the ball and put the clamps on people defensively with his great frame and length. The athletic guard still needs to work on his handle, but should receive some immediate burn as a frosh at Ohio State.
Geron Johnson | 6-3 | SG | Dayton Dunbar (OH) | 2010
In the biggest upset of the entire tournament, Johnson led his Dayton Dunbar squad past ESPN’s No. 14 team in the country, Whitney Young. He brought the house down with a number of his ridic dunks, including a Bron-esque cock back and another nasty oop (to go along with the monster windmill that he narrowly missed). The latest product from Daequan Cook’s old HS fell under the national radar a bit after playing with a local AAU team, but is a sleeper no more. Geron showed off his flair for the dramatic with his slick passes with either hand and emphatic blocks. There’s definitely potential for him to be a combo guard down the road, as long as he continues to improve upon his handle and jumper. Academic issues may force Johnson to deter D-1 for a bit at the prep or JUCO route, but dude has high major potential down the road.
Ralph Hill | 6-6 | SF/PF | Westerville North (OH) | 2010
Dayton pulled off another recruiting coo in Ralph Hill, who only had mid-major offers besides the Flyers. He got the best of Luke Cothron in their head to head matchup, giving him 28 and 9 in the upset victory. The versatile forward scored inside and out with his ability to shoot the three and crafty game inside. Though Hill is still stuck in between forward spots, he has a chance to become a really nice A-10 player if he continues to improve his game on the wing.
Derek Jackson | 6-2 | PG/SG | Cleveland Benedictine (OH) | 2010
Jackson was one of the bigger sleepers that the event had to offer. As a Cleveland native, I’m quite familiar with his game. However, when I had multiple high major college coaches ask me “where is that kid going?” combined with the expressions on their faces when I told them Central Michigan, that was a pretty indicative factor of how good this guy is.
Devonta White | 6-0 | PG | Centennial (GA) | 2010
White was the biggest sleeper at Flyin’ To The Hoop, turning everyone’s heads with his average of 27 points and 5.5 assists per game. He is the second huge recruit that Georgia State coach Rod Barnes landed after snagging top 50 big man Rashanti Harris last season. The diminutive guard has the ability to get buckets in a number of ways, whether it be from beyond the arc, nifty floaters in the paint, or creative takes to the rack. Definitely a name to remember for the future here.
Greg Gainey | 6-5 | PF | Dayton Thurgood Marshall (OH) | 2010
Even though he’s the size of a high-major shooting guard, Gainey had no problem going at it with Luke Cothron to the tune of 18 points and 10 rebounds. With a condor-esque wingspan and bigtime hops, Gainey was able to change the game on the defensive end while also throwing down a few powerful dunks. The senior still needs to improve upon his skill set and post moves, but there’s no denying that this undersized warrior is going to make some mid-major coach very happy.