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July 29, 2010ORLANDO-The month of July continues to drag on and the drag of it is starting to show on the faces of players and the coaches scouting them. Wednesday afternoon at the Wide World of Sports complex just outside of Orlando, pool play wrapped up at the 17 and under AAU Nationals while the 16 and under division cut down to Thursday's Final Four. Amongst the standouts was Rodney Hood who continues a strong summer.
Wednesday notes and notables
Ky Madden, PG, Arkansas Wings- Sitting with college coaches, the thing that they talk about with Madden is his versatility. With his near 6-foot-5 size, he is capable of playing any position on the perimeter. He was deployed that way on Wednesday making plays at the one, two and three. His bread and butter remains his pull-up and floater finish game from between six and 15 feet.
Jonathan Holmes, PF, San Antonio RoHawks- We first wrote about the 6-foot-8 Holmes at the Great American Shootout earlier this month in Texas. Turns out that the active, skilled and hard working product of San Antonio (Texas) Antonian is more than just a flash in the pan. Wednesday he seemed to grab every tough rebound, ran the floor for dunks and stepped out to hit threes.
Marcus Paige, PG, Martin Brothers Attack 16's- In the past, Paige's M.O. has been to lay back in the cut, get others involved and then take over the game late. Wednesday night, Paige looked to get more involved at an earlier time and it was a positive change. He had his jumper cooking, kept others involved and played his usual solid game. But, that extra aggressiveness rubbed off on his teammates and led to more energy on the floor.
Rodney Hood, SF, MBA Hoops- It's been a very good summer for Hood and he had another nice outing on Wednesday. He's always had great size for the wing, but now that he's developed a consistent jumper and learned to mix it with his game off the bounce, he's reached a new level of play.
Keith Coleman, PF/C, Keystone State Blazers- What's not to like about the physical 6-foot-8 big man from Philly who will is now at Lee Academy in Maine. He runs the floor, has a terrific basketball body with powerful shoulders, long arms and lean strength. Most importantly, he plays hard on each end. A very good passer with decent touch and he controls the glass. He's right on that high major bubble.
Jonathan Holton, PF, Gold Coast- A lean and athletic 6-foot-7 insider, Holton has really raised his profile in Orlando. He runs the floor, is active on the glass, finishes above the rim and can step out to make some jumpers.
Troy Williams, SF, Boo Williams- The nephew of legendary summer boss Boo Williams, the 6-foot-5 wing from the class of 2013 looks like the next star out of the Hampton Roads area. Earlier this month at the Peach Jam he proved to be a good shooter from deep, but he's got much more game than that. Wednesday he attacked off the dribble, hit some mid-range stuff and dunked in the faces of defenders who tried to jump with him. High level programs are going to end up beating each other's brains in to try and land his signature as long as he continues to develop.
Kale Abrahamson, SF, Martin Brothers Attack 16's- Already a high level mid major prospect, Abrahamson is a wing shooter with good size (near 6-foot-6), length and plenty of confidence. He's a sneaky athlete on the wing and likely a guy that Midwestern high majors need to at least be aware of.
Kameron Woods, SF, BA Hoyas- A product of Louisville Eastern, the 6-foot-7 Woods is a lengthy three man who can shoot it from deep. While quite skinny, he will also attack the basket a bit and does a good job of getting to the rim. His July play has earned him a host of mid major offers and some high majors are taking looks.
Travis Trice, PG, SYF Players- The skinny 2012 guard isn't the biggest guy around, but he's got a big weapon in his jumper. During a game against the Keystone State Blazers, Trice was cooking with hot grease as he drilled one 18 to 21 foot jumper after another.
Craig Sword, SG, Alabama Challenge 16's- It was nice to see the active 6-foot-2 shooting guard get some extended minutes after not playing much with the 17's at the Peach Jam. He's athletic, wreaks havoc on defense, gets to the rim and makes just enough jumpers to keep defenders honest. He's a lock as a high major prospect.
Reggie Dillard, SG, CP3 16's- CP3 is absolutely loaded on the wings with their 16 and under group and on Wednesday night the physical, 6-foot-3 Dillard had it rolling. He hit some jumpers and used his strength and athleticism to get into the lane. Teammates Madison Jones, Shawn Lester and Braxton Ogbueze all had their moments as well and there's a chance that all four guards end up somewhere on the high major level.
School lists and coach sightings
During the Martin Brothers Attack 16's game we caught, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was the only high major head coach left watching. We also noticed assistants from Stanford, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana State, Drake and more.
Branden Dawson drew a head coaching crowd during a Wednesday morning game that included Matt Painter, Tom Izzo and Buzz Williams. An assistant from UCLA was also on hand to monitor his progress.
Big man Keith Coleman rattled off a list of schools that included Marquette, VCU, Temple, Drexel, Miami, Penn State and Pitt. He said that VCU and Drexel have offered him scholarships.
Lanky wing David Rivers of the Arkansas Wings said that he's got a top four of Clemson, Wichita State, UTEP and Ole Miss and that Clemson is his current leader. During the game we watched we spotted two Wichita State assistants, Ole Miss boss Andy Kennedy and UTEP's Tim Floyd. Nebraska's Doc Rivers was also on hand to watch.
The MBA Hoops Elite wing tandem of LaQuinton Ross and Rodney Hood drew a nice crowd of coaches. Among those checking them out were Marquette's Buzz Williams, Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech, John Thompson from Georgetown, Alabama's Anthony Grant and Arkansas' John Pelphrey. There were also assistants from Mississippi State, Ohio State and Louisville amongst the crowd.
Missouri State head coach Cuonzo Martin was at the MBA game as well, but he was checking on under utilized big man Derrell Robertson.
Emerging wing Kameron Woods of the BA Hoyas said that he'd received recent scholarship offers from Wright State, Eastern Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Marshal, Western Carolina and James Madison. He's also had inquiries from Xavier, Clemson and Ohio.
Jonathon Holton said that he's been getting varied interest from Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Kansas State and Michigan State thanks to his play during July.
The Houston Hoops loaded perimeter group played under the watchful eyes of Scott Drew, Josh Pastner and Mark Turgeon as well as a host of assistants.
Head coaches Tony Bennett, Buzz Williams, Jeff Bzdelik and Doug Wojcik were all spotted keeping and eye on the CP3 16's. Assistants were on hand from Louisville, Georgetown and Tennessee.
Big man Adrian Diaz from Florida will be making a push for the rankings because of his size and emerging offensive game. Word on the street is that Kansas State is the behind the scenes leader and will be quite tough to beat.