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adidas May Classic Player Evals
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Basil Smotherman
By N.D. Kendrick
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Bloomington, IN - This weekend we traveled to a town that is rich with basketball history to take a final look at some of the top talent in the Midwest. In the past the adidas May Classic was held on the campus of Indiana University, but this year the AMC was spread about several towns that made viewing some what of a challenge. Despite the travel time to venues, we were able to get a nice feel for the talent present. 

Without a question, the MVP of the event has to go to 2013 Purdue verbal Basil Smotherman. Smotherman played much more aggressive than he has all Spring. He was able to knock down open jumpers, attack the basket with force and play solid on ball defense. He also had the play of the tournament when he grabbed a rebound and within the same motion threw the ball over his head for a unreal end of the half buzzer beater. In the same game he had a game winning tip in as the clock expired to give the Eric Gordon All-Stars a victory over Indiana Elite South.

The following are player evaluations from several top performers from the weekend. 

Richard Freeman (2013, 6-7 SF/PF) - Freeman is an effort guy that is built like a man and imposes his will on his opponent. His is an explosive athlete that is surprisingly skilled and displays a soft touch around the basket when he powers up in a crowd. His hands are strong; when rebounding in traffic he seems to be the one who usually comes out of the pile with the ball, keeping the ball high and delivering a good outlet pass to start the break.

Johnnie Vassar (2014,  6-1 PG) - Vassar was able to break away from the offense and create scores for himself and his teammates. His first-rate ball handling skills and explosiveness (he plays as if he is being shot out of a cannon) easily set him apart from other point guards in the 2014 class. Vassar is a special talent in the open court; his speed with the basketball, ability to pass the basketball in a variety of ways and ability to make solid decisions with the basketball are impressive.

Malik Yarborough (2014, 6-4 PG/SF) - Yarborough isn't a high level athlete, but he has great skills, nice size for the 2, and a solid feel for the game. He has an innate ability to get to the basket and find teammates for open looks. He is deceptively quick with the dribble that allows himself to separate from defenders and his pull-up jump shot is solid.

Jordan Pickett (2013, 6-0 PG) - Pickett is a do-it-all guard who has good basketball IQ. He is not quite a pure point guard at this stage, but he does see the floor extremely well and has a chance to develop into a point guard down the road. He does pass very well and he rebounds particularly well for a guard. He is a good shooter, but can work on refining that area of his game. Currently, he is better scoring off the dribble and from 15-feet and in as opposed to knocking down three pointers.

Jackson Davis (2014, 6-8 PF) -Davis has a very strong handle and despite his big frame he is able to break down defenders off the dribble. He is extremely unselfish and he plays the game like a point guard. His passing is high-level both in transition and the half-court set. In addition, he is one of the better rebounders for his size in the country.

Hyron Edwards (2015, 5-10 PG) - Despite being hurt for much of the event, Edwards is a fearless lead guard that does a terrific job of running a team, making good decisions and taking care of the basketball. He is extremely ball quick who utilizes outstanding change of speed and direction dribbles to blow by his opponents

Gabe Williams (2013, 6-8 PF) - Williams has the take no prisoners attitude when it comes to hitting the boards. He relentlessly attacks the glass with incredible fervor and collects rebounds just as adeptly out of his area as he does in his area. He works hard and plays as a high-energy guy, using his outstanding athleticism to make plays for his team.

D'Angelo Russell (2014, 6-2 PG/SG) - Russell is another scoring point guard that can flat get it going on the offensive end of the floor. He also has NBA shooting range off the catch or dribble and he makes contested shots like the defender is invisible. Russell has a sweet stroke that he makes look effortless and shoots with great confidence.

Christen Cunnigham (2014, 5-10 PG) - Cunningham thrives on competition as he brings it every night to the court. This explosive athlete can score almost at anytime from anywhere on the floor and he has the confidence to back it up. He loves the transition game and excels in a fast tempo atmosphere; he can dominate opponents in this area. He continues to show great range on his jumper out to 23-24 feet.

Byron Zeigler (2013, 6-6 SF) - Zeigler is an attacking wing that can get to the rim and score on a consistent basis. He has good size, length and is athletic. He finishes above the rim in transition where he is a threat to go coast to coast. He is a good ball handler and passer but struggles to make perimeter shots.

Last Updated ( Monday, 16 July 2012 )
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