Battle of The Preps
Recapping the National Prep Alliance Invitational.
In the days that the NCAA is red-flagging prep schools as often as they are admitting new teams into DI, Tim Miller from God’s Academy was able to throw a solid field of prep schools together following NBA All-Star Weekend for the National Prep Alliance Invitational.
Host squad God’s Academy took the crown in the high school division, while Life Christian out of Humble, Texas won the ‘ship in the prep division. College coaches flocked to the tournament every day, with SLAM counting over 30 in attendance at one point. Needless to say, there was mad talent on hand in this South Dallas gym.
Here’s a look at some of the top PUNKS we caught:
KC Ross-Miller | 6-1 | PG | God’s Academy (TX) | 2010
The MVP of the tournament got his against whoever he was matched up against in the HS division, separating himself as the clear cut top point guard at the tourney. He was able to get to the rack, showed great court vision, and did a nice job getting out in the passing lanes. The ex-Kentucky and current LSU recruit still needs to work on the consistency of his J (although he did drill a few NBA threes), he should still receive immediate burn as a freshman in Baton Rouge.
Wannah Bail | 6-8 | SF | Trent Internationale (TX) | 2012
One of the nation’s top sophomores, Bail got his in all of his games in Dallas to the tune of an average of 25 a game. Unfortunately for him, his Trent Internationale squad (composed entirely of sophomores) and didn’t quite have the poise of many of the older teams composed of fifth year guys. The lefty had some really strong takes to the rim, made a couple of jumpers from mid-range, and took smaller defenders down the blocks to post. The native of the Bahamas is still very rough around the edges in terms of his ball-handling and shot from beyond the arc, but has all of the raw tools you dream of when looking at a big wing prospect.
Shaquille Clare | 6-9 | PF/C | The Village (TX) | 2012
Yet another native of the Bahamas, Clare was physically dominant against many of the older post players he was pegged against in Dallas. The super soph owns a great body, has soft hands, and finishes just about anything within five feet of the cup. Shaq has tons of potential long term, but must continue to improve upon his conditioning in order to be the bigtime player he has the chance to be.
Danrad Knowles | 6-10 | C | Trent Internationale (TX) | 2012
Another native of the Bahamas, X showed just as much upside as any big man here, regardless of age. His game still seems to be strictly facing the cup and in at this point, showing soft touch around the basket and making some really great passes for a developing big man. There’s still a long ways to go in terms of back to the basket moves for the lanky sophomore, but we saw enough out of him to keep him on our radar for the future.
Titus Rubles | 6-8 | SF | God’s Academy (TX) | 2010
Rubles leaves you with a mixed bag of emotions when you watch him in that he shows you the crazy potential he has, but doesn’t always have the productivity to mirror that. Being 6-8, long, and athletic, he’s an ideal small forward at the next level. The majority of his points came off of dunks and three pointers, with not a ton to write home about in between. The lanky wing still needs to work on his handle and continue to improve upon his jumper, but that hasn’t held schools such as Missouri, UTEP, Colorado State, and Rice back from offering him a scholly. It appears Rubles will wait until after the season to decide where he’s going to spend his next four years.
Ty Graves | 6-0 | PG | Ft. Worth Zion (TX) | 2010
Graves was one the bigger surprises we caught at the tourney, getting his against many of the more heralded guards he was pegged against. The diminutive speedster was super crafty when he got to the rim amongst the trees, had the slickest handle of anyone in the tournament, and surprised everyone in the crowd with a couple of nasty bangs in the open court. The major question we had about Graves was whether or not he could shoot the ball (based on the fact we didn’t catch him shooting many Js), but the speed and court vision we saw was enough for us to label him a nice sleeper for any low DI schools looking for a playmaker.