National Prep Stars
SLAM scouts the nation’s top prep school tourney.
by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn
Albertus Magnus College, site of the 2010 National Prep Showcase. Just a few blocks away from the historic campus of Yale University in New Haven, CT, Adam Finklestein of ESPN.com and New England Recruiting Report assembled the most stacked group of prep school teams of any tournament that this country has to offer.
The days were hella long, the gym was primarily packed with media and college coaches, and the games offered mad talent. Although the Wifi was rough to get on initially, it was smooth sailing afterward and cats were tweeting up a storm with the #prepshowcase hashtag. There was no doubt in my eyes that I saw nearly 100 DI kids over the weekend, only further legitimizing the National Prep Showcase’s rep as the top prep school tourney in all of the land. Here’s a look at some of the top guys I saw in New Haven:
Nerlens Noel, 6-10, C, Tilton (NH), 2013
Noel, ranked No. 6 in the Fresh 25 of 2013, showed why he”ll be bumping up the next time the rankings roll around. Looking even bigger and more athletic than when we last saw him, he completely changed the game on D with his ability to rebound the ball and swat shots. Noel’s offense is still a work in progress, but his high top fade and long-term potential have just about every college in the country on them.
Andre Drummond, 6-10, C, St. Thomas More (CT), 2012
The nation’s No. 1 junior had a bit of an up-and-down showing in his pair of games. Built like Dwight Howard with a face-up game similar to Howard’s in high school, any middle school hoops coach would be able to see that Drummond was a can’t-miss guy after just 30 seconds of seeing him play. The thunderous dunks, ability to run the floor like a gazelle, and guard-like court vision are just a few aspects of his game that set him apart from the pack. In the same respect, it often frustrates scouts to see him hang out on the wing and not necessarily take over games on a consistent basis. It’s not because we’re hating on ‘Dre, but merely because we see how special he can become down the road.
Wayne Selden, 6-4, SG/SF, Tilton (NH), 2014
Dubbed by many to be the “next big thing” out of Boston, Selden did everything in his power to live up to the lofty rep bestowed upon him by peeps in Beantown. Built like a senior linebacker and already able to jump out of the gym, you often forget that you’re looking at a player who still isn’t even old enough get his driver’s license. The bounce, deep range, and slick court vision has made him a special one to keep an eye on for the next four years.
Ricardo Ledo, 6-5, SG/PG, South Kent (CT), 2012
One of the most highly touted guards in the junior class did not disappoint with his game in New Haven, getting buckets on anyone and doing a great job playing either guard slot on the hardwood. Ledo was so good in fact, that it often appeared that the game came too easy to him and left him settling for smooth outside Js rather than taking it all the way to the cup. Already rocking offers from over 20 schools including Kentucky, Kansas and Flordia, Ricardo should expect that list to keep growing as long as he continues killing like he did in New Haven.
PJ Hairston, 6-6, SG/SF, Hargrave Military Academy (VA), 2011
A name that’s seemingly been around on the circuit for ages since he committed to UNC at such a young age, PJ showed out in Hargrave’s two W’s. Always known as a power wing and although he’s definitely slimmed up quite, still brings his explosive style of play to the table each game. Hairston wowed the crowd with his countless NBA range three pointers and explosive takes to the cup, showing everyone why Roy Williams offered him a scholly so early and why he should be able to help turn things around immediately in Chapel Hill.