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January 2, 2011Hoops in Overdrive: Friday's action | Thursday's action
ROSWELL, Ga.- On the first day of 2011, the 3rd annual Hoops In Overdrive Shootout came to an exciting end as Atlanta (Ga.) South beat Lovejoy (Ga.) High 56-55 on the event's final play. Earlier in the afternoon, future Tennessee point guard Chris Jones put together perhaps the day's best outing as he led Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military to a close win over Bradenton (Fla.) IMG by draining a trio of free-throws with just under four seconds to go.
Final day standouts at Hoops in Overdrive
Chris Jones, PG, Oak Ridge- There are guys who talk about playing without fear, Jones goes out and does it. Although he's only 5-foot-10, he is strongly built and loves to play physical in your face style. He got to the rim at will and then sacrificed his body, or he pulled up and canned tough, contested jumpers. Few in the class of 2011 can finish through contact better than the future Tennessee Volunteer. He can get a bit out of control at times, but it's hard to question his effort and competitiveness.
Charles McKinney, SG, Quality Education- An athletic 6-foot-3 wing, McKinney looks like a system recruit for DePaul. Oliver Purnell wants to play a high octane style where he unleashes waves of athletes and McKinney fits the bill. Against Huntington (W.V.) Prep, he harassed guys on the defensive end and then used his quickness to attack the rim. When he's not getting a dunk in transition, his preferred method of scoring is via the floater.
Theo Pinson, SF, Oak Ridge- Only a freshman, the slim 6-foot-5 wing shows a lot of down the road potential. He's already a high level athlete with bounce, quickness and excellent body control. He connected on a three from the wing and impressed with his ability to drive confidently with his off (left) hand and gain separation from defenders while getting to the rim. He defers to his older teammates, but it's clear that he's got lots of talent.
John Brown, SF, Oldsmar Christian- Saturday, the athletic and lengthy 6-foot-6 lefty wing proved that his outstanding Friday performance was no fluke as he again looked strong. He can get to the rim, finishes plays in transition, knocks down some jumpers and is an active defender. He's a huge score for High Point and a legitimate three-star prospect.
Phil Greene, PG/SG, IMG- The question is, which Phil Greene is the real Phil Greene? Is he the guy who struggled with his decisions and shot for the better part of two games? Or, is he the guy who put his team on his shoulders and knocked down some tough, contested and deep jumpers while leading his team on a furious comeback that fell just short against Oak Ridge? High majors are watching him closely and he definitely has the athleticism and quickness to play on that level. He also demonstrated that he can make some difficult shots. Now, can he show the feel and consistent decision making of a high major guy?
Jamari Traylor, PF, IMG- A tough and rugged native of Chicago, Traylor plays much bigger than the 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 that he is. He explodes off the floor for slams in traffic, attacks the glass for boards on both ends and is happy to play physically in the lane. He helps to make up for his lack of size by catching in the high post and beating defenders on one and two dribble drives to the rim thanks to a great first step. He mentioned that Virginia Tech had put in a lot of work while Virginia, VCU, Bradley, Minnesota, St. John's and others are involved. The three-star forward will take visits before deciding in the spring.
Nick Jacobs, C, South Atlanta- Each time we see Jacobs, he seems to have gotten a little thicker. The Alabama signee has turned himself into a low post grinder who loves to turn to his right shoulder and shoot left handed jump hooks as often as possible. He has strong hands and gives good effort, but he can struggle with quickness and length at times so developing another go-to post move or two will be important when he makes the transition to the SEC. He led his team with 18 points.
Immanuel Griggs, PF, Newnan- Only a freshman, Griggs is a highly mobile 6-foot-7 insider who can already face-up from the three point line before losing his defender in a blur on his way to the hoop. He's lacking in strength, but does have a long and wiry frame and isn't afraid of contact. He contests shots and chases rebounds but understandably lacks much in the way of fundamental post moves. He definitely caught the attention of all the coaches in the building.
More notes and notables from the Hoops in Overdrive
After their entire staff watched him on Friday, Wake Forest again dispatched an assistant to watch Quality Education Academy point guard Anthony Fields. The six-footer is definitely a speedy floor-general and on Saturday he was knocking down deep jumpers while involving his teammates as he usually does. Love the elevation he gets on his shot. Huntington (W.V.) Prep didn't go down without a fight against QEA. Each time the Pharaohs would stretch out a lead, Rob Fulford's team would make an aggressive comeback. Playing the best for them on Saturday was 6-foot-5 senior small forward Maurice Aniefok. Physically impressive and pretty thickly muscled for a high school player, Aniefok hit on a few pretty looking three-pointers and also used his power to get to the rim and make an impact on the glass while scoring a team high 15 points. Also showing well for Huntington Prep on Saturday was senior big man Ibrahima Djimde. A rugged 230 pounder from Mali, he tries to dunk everything and plays strong on the glass.
Oak Ridge senior forward Ryan King is playing for offers on the low to mid major level. Exactly where those offers come from will be up to the skinny 6-foot-8 power forward and determined by how hard he wants to play. Saturday, he was active on the glass, crammed home some tough dunks and used his mobility to his advantage when given an opportunity. Quality Education big man Lekan Ajayi certainly has the size (near 6-10) and body (235 pounds) to play on the high major level. He also attacks the glass like a high major big man in the way he goes and attacks the ball with both hands at or above rim level. He's also a good effort guy and a communicator. However, he's still got a lot of development ahead of him in order to contribute much on the offensive end. His coaches mentioned Wake Forest, Loyola Marymount, Seton Hall, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia Tech as interested parties.
Unsigned senior Dominique McKoy has the talent level to perhaps end up somewhere on the high major level. But, he has a chance to make a real impact for a really good mid-major program where his size, versatility and overall game for a 6-foot-6 small forward will be truly unique. He handles the ball well enough that he often ran the point for stretches, passed well and made some jumpers off of the dribble in a 14 point outing. Georgia's Mark Fox was the only head coach we spotted while we also noted assistants from Alabama, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, High Point, VCU, Wake Forest, LaSalle and Florida among others.
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