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April 28, 2008

Real Deal 2010 standouts

MORE: Real Deal champions crowned | Youngsters take over Real Deal | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

The class of 2010 was well represented at the Real Deal on the Hill this year as some familiar faces lived up to their reputation while other prospects played their way onto the big national radar.

Rivals.com's Justin Young breaks down the top performers and prospects from the weekend at the University of Arkansas.

Real Deal 2010 Standouts
Evan Anderson, C, Wisconsin Playground 16U
Last year at the Real Deal on the Hill, the five-star big man made his first official splash on the national scene. This year, he cemented himself as an elite level player in his class.

He's a skilled center on both ends of the floor. He has little trouble finishing around the basket and showed a nice face-up jumper on the baseline but for the most part, he's quite content with being a pure post scorer.

Defensively, the near 7-footer is a shot-blocker supreme. Anderson will need to improve his overall speed as well as learning how to better handle quicker and more athletic posts. All things considered, Anderson was one of the top standouts we saw in the younger divisions.

Travis Carroll, PF, Spiece Gym Rats 16U
Carroll had little trouble scoring against Anderson, the biggest player in the 16 and under division. In fact, Carroll seemed to get more and more confident in the post as the game went on. He used a variety of post moves to get to the basket and tallied 24 points against the five-star big man.

Coming into the event, the 6-foot-8 forward from Danville, Ind., had a nice regional reputation. After the Real Deal, Carroll should very well have a nice national rep with his play. He's a talented four man in the class and made a great first impression.

Gary Franklin, SG, California Supreme 17U
The 6-foot-3 guard played well against the Atlanta Celtics, scoring 29 points in a tough defeat. His effort was certainly commendable. The Mater Dei prospect won't blow anyone away with his athleticism but he made the Celtics know where he was at all times because of his shooting touch.

Away from being a good shooter, he showed that when it was time to be a full-time point guard, he could step into the role with little trouble. Franklin's basketball IQ is probably his best attribute.

Brandon Knight, PG, Team Breakdown 17U
After starting slow by his standards, the five-star guard steadily got better and better over the course of the weekend. He closed out the weekend strong. Knight stepped up in the championship game, scoring 25 points.

He can make the transition between the point guard position and the shooting guard spot so smoothly. Knight was one of the reasons why Kenny Boynton was the MVP of the tournament. Knight fed the hot hand and didn't disrupt the flow of the game by looking for his own shot.

Josh Smith, C, Seattle Rotary 17U
While most of the noise was made by his younger teammate Anthony Wroten Jr. over the weekend, Smith showed why he's considered one of the top prospects in the West in 2010.

Defensively, Smith, a big 6-foot-8, 250-pound center, showed some moxy against Derrick Favors, throwing his body around and out muscling the five-star rising senior. Smith's hands are some of the softest in the country and he knows how to use his bulk to his advantage. If he can get into better shape and improve his athleticism, watch out.

Julian Washburn, SF/PF, Texas Select 17U
Playing alongside Shawn Williams, one of the top 2009 performers from the weekend, Washburn took a page out of his teammates book and the result was production.

Washburn, a 6-foot-7 forward from Duncanville High School, is a match-up problem because of his inside-out capabilities. Washburn is tough on the glass on both ends of the floor as a rebounder, and now becoming a growing threat as a perimeter scorer. He's made improvements every time we've seen him.

MORE: Real Deal champions crowned | Youngsters take over Real Deal | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

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