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July 11, 2011

Great American Shootout: Sunday recap

DUNCANVILLE, Texas- On Sunday, Rivals.com moved from the Bob Knight Fieldhouse down the street to Duncanville High School. Within the Great American Shootout, organizers had created a special eight-team event featuring what would be considered "power" teams. Doing most of the powering, though, were the Houston Defenders led by the dynamic tandem of the nation's top player in the class of 2013 Andrew Harrison and his twin brother Aaron Harrison.

Sunday notables at GASO

Andrew Harrison, PG, Houston Defenders- How good is Harrison? Well, he thoroughly dominated Showtyme Elite and led the Defenders to a blowout win in a game that featured plenty of pregame trash talk. The thing is, he did so without needing to score a single bucket. Instead he abused defenders off the dribble getting into the lane at will and setting up teammates for easy buckets. Later in the day, he knocked home some deep jumpers, continued to get into the lane. A physically impressive kid, he creates with or without screens, sees the floor and isn't going to give up his top ranking without a fight.

Aaron Harrison, SG, Houston Defenders- While his brother Andrew is ranked just a little bit higher, Aaron is a five-star prospect himself and was killing it on Sunday. Playing the point himself for stretches, he was much better than expected off the dribble and used his ability to escape defenders to the left or right to free himself and then convert on ridiculous finishes over defenders. A shooter as well, he was canning them from long range. He and his brother both saw head coaches from Maryland, Kansas, Texas A&M, TCU, SMU, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Villanova and many other places in the crowd to see them.

Derrick Griffin, PF, Houston Defenders- Regardless of class and regardless of sport, there isn't a more ridiculous athlete in the country than the high flying Griffin. A beastly finisher around the rim, Griffin feasted on lob opportunities created by the Harrison twins dribble drive penetration and wreaked havoc in the lane with his overall activity. The question is whether he'll ultimately choose football or basketball.

Danuel House, SF, Texas PRO- Considering he'd been stuck in airports for the better part of the 28 hours it took him to make it from the Lebron James Skills Academy in Akron to Duncanville, it wasn't surprising that the 6-foot-6 wing got off to a slow start. He did get it rolling a bit during the second half of his first game of the day making some jumpers, getting to the line and finishing in transition while scoring 15 of his 18 points. According to feedback from college coaches, he slayed it his next time out and looks every bit the part of his five-star status.

Zach LeDay, PF, Dallas Mustangs- It was a productive day for the 6-foot-7 four man from The Colony (Texas) High. A wiry strong athlete who can spin quickly for dunks, he was aggressive attacking the rim and hitting the glass. It was a pleasant surprise to see him spot up for a pair of deep jumpers that looked comfortable.

Karviar Shepherd, C, Urban DFW- The younger brother of Texas A&M forward Keith Davis, the 2013 four-star is developing nicely himself. He's long and lean, runs the floor very well and has sure hands around the basket. Not yet refined as a scorer, he does his work on the glass and has great timing to tip home misses. He already claims offers from A&M, Kansas, Florida State, Texas, and Oklahoma State. We saw head coaches from the Aggies, Jayhawks and Cowboys checking in on him.

Jordan Mickey, PF, Urban DFW- Similarly ranked as Shepherd in the class of 2013, Mickey is a four-star himself and will likely join his summer teammate at DeSoto (Texas) High when school resumes. Long, quick and athletic, the 6-foot-7 Mickey is starting to fill out and held himself a block party. During a hard fought win over the Dallas Mustangs, we counted at least seven blocked shots from him in just the second half. He claims offers from Kansas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Providence, Houston, Marquette, Baylor and Texas and was watched by each program on Sunday.

Keith Frazier, SG, DJH5- The state of Texas has four kids in 2013 with immense potential. The Harrison twins, Julius Randle and Frazier. A legitimate 6-foot-5 with a terrific frame, Frazier is a scary offensive talent. Big and athletic for his position, he has unlimited range on his jumper and can create space or get to the rim via the bounce. His shot selection is pretty much if it feels like leather it's going up and he is inconsistent, but it's important to remember that he's just a rising junior.

Jordan Mason, SG, Texas Select-Pat- Mid to upper end mid majors are likely going to club each other like seals in order to land a signature from the 6-foot-2 shooting guard. If he gets hot enough in front of the right coach, who knows what might happen. Bottom line, he's a volume shot taker who is quite adept at creating his own shot and is willing to take and make the high degree of difficulty shots.

Final notes from GASO

When inserting Chicken Knowles into the rankings, we were pretty aggressive and started him off at #58 in the class of 2012. Ultimately, that's probably going to end up a bit too low as the 6-foot-9 Knowles is one of the most intriguing prospects in the country. His size would say that he's a power forward, but the more we see him and the way he can face up, shoot and attack off the dribble with fluidity, we can't help but see a guy that projects as a long term small forward. He didn't even play that well in the game were able to watch, but it's impossible to not see his potential. … A teammate of Knowles and Danuel House on Texas Pro, Michael Simpson doesn't get a lot of pub, but upper end mid-majors will be swarming to him for the rest of the month. About 6-foot-5, Simpson is one of the best pure shooters in the country and when he gets hot it can get silly quickly. … Niem Stevenson of the Dallas Mustangs is a physically impressive 6-foot-3 combo guard. He's athletic, can get his shot off and seems to have deep range. Right now, he's a bit inconsistent but if he figures it all out he's a high major sleeper. Stevenson listed an offer from North Texas (head coach and assistant were tailing him) and interest from Arizona, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Colorado, SMU, Houston, Missouri State and Clemson. … Another intriguing Mustang guard is 6-foot-3 point guard Demarcus Holland. He's got tremendous size, is long, quick and looks like he can knock home some jumpers to go with his ability to produce for himself and others by putting the ball on the deck. …

A good looking mid-major big man prospect is Texas Select's Joel Bolomboy. A skinny 6-foot-8 C/PF, Bolomboy can really run the floor, has some face-up ability and is quick off his feet in traffic and around the rim. He lacks strength at this point, but is a guy who will be targeted heavily by Missouri Valley, Sun Belt and perhaps even Conference USA squads. … Another big worth watching for Texas Select Pat is rising junior Damontre McFarland from Arlington (Texas) Heights. Physically impressive, the 6-foot-8 center has a great frame, is athletic and has good length. He's not the most skilled guy in the world, but he's willing to rough it up on the interior. … Another Houston Defender having a pretty good day was Shaquille Cleare. Having claimed Maryland as his leader, it wasn't a surprise to see Mark Turgeon. stalking him from the bleachers of Duncanville High. He and Houston Hoopstars big man Cameron Ridley battled in the painted area and effectively neutralized each other. … While Ridley was solid, the Texas bound big man was relatively quiet and plugged away grabbing boards and blocking some shots. His teammate, wing Atif Russell, proved to be pretty intriguing though. A well built 6-foot-4 wing, Russell is a nice mid-major prospect who can make some jumpers, defends very well and will finish in transition. …

According to event organizers, they had attracted over 400 division one coaches through Sunday and given the often swollen coaching crowds we saw, it's easy to believe. On Sunday alone we saw head coaches from Baylor, Kansas, San Francisco, Texas Tech, Marquette,Texas A&M, North Texas, Kansas State, Maryland, Colorado, Villanova, Stephen F. Austin, Houston, Oklahoma State, Northern Colorado and Arkansas to name a few and most of them were joined at the hip by assistants. We also noticed assistants from the likes of Missouri, Missouri State, Georgia, Texas, Gonzaga, UNCW, Louisville, Texas State, North Carolina, TCU and many, many others. …




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