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May 29, 2008

More 2010 prospects shine at TOC

MORE: TOC Top 2010 Performers: Part I | TOC Top 2009 Performers | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

The depth in the class of 2010 was outstanding at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. It was so good, that one list of top performers wasn't enough to do the weekend of work justice.

Rivals.com's Justin Young takes a second look at the top performers that he saw in North Carolina last weekend.

Tournament of Champions Top 2010 Performers Part II
Trae Golden, PG, Atlanta Celtics
TOC stats: 15.2 points per game (57th in the 17U division)

The class of 2010 guard probably had his best showing from start to finish this spring at the TOC. Golden shined as the point guard for the 17 and under champs and stepped up on the final day of action.

Golden is a scoring point guard first and foremost and he can score with the best of them. That has never been a question mark with him. However, it was his passing touch and ability to get the ball inside to Derrick Favors that proved to be the difference en route to the coveted title.

The future Ohio State guard didn't have any noticeable problems with his ankle, an injury that has plagued him all spring long. With a healthy footing, he was able to get by his defender with his trademark power dribble and score at the rim. He does his best work in the paint and found himself at the charity stripe quite often. Golden is poised from the free-throw line and delivered when the opportunity presented itself.

Devon Collier, PF, New Heights
TOC stats: 22 points per game (8th in the 16U division)

Collier's play wasn't overstated and it wasn't understated. It was what you'd want from a big-bodied big man: simple, effective and strong. He hung a cool 29 points against the Atlanta Celtics inside the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday.

The St. Anthony (N.J.)-bound big man bruises the opposition with his big shoulders, good motor and simplicity down low. Collier has been a constant force for New Heights, one of the top teams on the 16 and under circuit.

His recruitment is a mix of good mid-major schools and several high-major programs all over the eastern seaboard. It is easy to see why, too. Collier knows what he is doing.

Jalen Kendrick, SF, Hoop Planet
TOC stats: 29.3 points per game (3rd in the 16U division)

When it comes to scoring the basketball and scoring it so effortlessly, Kendrick was the best of the bunch in the rising junior division. The 6-foot-6 wing has upped his effort level this spring and that has been the key ingredient to his scoring prowess against the best of the best.

Kendrick can play the one, two and three positions and is comfortable with the ball in his hands as a point forward. He and Golden will battle it out for the top spot in the Peach State in 2010.

His perimeter game isn't a threat yet. When that comes, Kendrick has the tools, basketball IQ and overall skill set to being one of the best of the best at his position nationally.

Keith Appling, SG/PG, R.E.A.C.H. Legends
TOC stats: 20.7 points per game (13th in the 17U division)

Few players in the class of 2010 know how to score the ball quite like the 6-foot-2 guard out of Detroit. Appling loves to go hard to the basket and challenge players at the rim. His first step is strong and quick and clearly his go-to weapon on the offensive end of the floor.

Appling continues to light up the oldest division on the circuit. Scoring 20 points per game is becoming the norm for the rising junior. It's no wonder why those that follow the high school scene in Michigan have been singing his praises for the last year.

Jay Canty, SF, North Carolina Gaters
TOC stats: 20.4 points per game (14th in the 16U division)

The progression in Canty's game has been interesting to watch. When he was younger, he looked like a power forward in an undersized body. That wasn't the case over the weekend.

In fact, he was one of the top slashers in the 16 and under division. The long-armed 6-foot-6 wing did most of his work going to the rim, being on the scoring end of back door alley-oops and transition buckets.

Once his perimeter game starts to develop, watch out. Canty has the athleticism and size to be a fun player to watch down the road.

Jerian Grant, SG, Triple Threat
TOC stats: 15.7 points per game (41st in the 16U division)

He and fellow 2010 top performer Victor Olidipo shined for Triple Threat all the way to the title game. Grant, the son of former NBA player Harvey Grant and younger brother of Clemson forward Jerai Grant, was great on the wing for the 16U runners up.

Grant was strong to the basket, possessed a solid ball-handling attack and played aggressive on both ends of the floor. He seemed to get better as the event rolled on. It wouldn't come as a big surprise to see Grant sign with a high-major just like his big brother.

MORE: TOC Top 2010 Performers: Part I | TOC Top 2009 Performers | Rivals.com Hoops Tour



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