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January 18, 2010

Flyin to the Hoop: Day Two

KETTERING, Ohio - The headline game on day two was expected to be a close one at the Flyin to the Hoop event, but it turned out to be a blowout upset as Dayton Dunbar routed Chicago Whitney Young. While that was telling, the emergence of 2010 big man Gorgui Dieng was also a huge development.

Class of 2010 prospects

Gorgui Dieng: The 6-foot-10 big man from Dakar, Senegal has made waves since his arrival in the United States only a few months ago, and he showed everyone why on Sunday. With long arms, legit height, a nice touch, and soft hands, Dieng took the game by storm for Huntington Prep.

While Dieng is not an elite level athlete, and needs to work on running the floor, he does everything else at a high level. His shot from the foul line is very smooth, and the release is pure. Facing the hoop he can make jumpers out to the mid-range, and even knocked one down to 17 feet. Inside he goes up strong, and on defense is a very good shot blocker. Though he didn't have to battle a legit big guy, Dieng looked the part of a big time player. For the game he finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and nine blocked shots.

Justin Coleman: Coleman is the far more hyped player on Huntington Prep, but he struggled for the most part on Sunday. He was only 4-10 from the floor for nine points, and a lot of the time was simply invisible. He still has those moments where he attacks the rim with speed and power or grabs an out of area rebound in traffic that put the talent on display, but too often he was simply a non-factor in the game.

Aleksander Kesic: Kesic definitely fits the mold of a European style big man. He has good size, right about 6-foot-8, and can really shoot the ball from the outside. He didn't show much of an interest in going inside and doing the dirty work, but as a skilled pick and pop big man, he looks to have significant potential. Kesic much get stronger, but he has a unique skill. For the game Kesic finished with 12 points and five rebounds on 4-8 shooting.

Geron Johnson: The best player on the floor in the Dunbar v. Whitney Young game was clearly Johnson. The 6-foot-3 combo guard was simply dominating. He is a great passer who continually set up his teammates for easy buckets, but he did more than just that. As Dunbar began blowing out Whitney Young, Johnson put it all on display. He has the ball on a string going to the rim, hit a few shots from the mid-range, and showed his athleticism with above the rim dunks. Johnson finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists, and simply controlled the action. At this point qualifying is going to be a major problem for Johnson, but he is a unique talent.

Anthony Johnson: While Whitney Young got absolutely blitzed by Dunbar, Johnson still did a pretty solid job. He was the only player for the Dolphins who stepped up. The Purdue commitment as usual was a scoring machine. He hit deep threes, scored off the bounce in the mid-range, and even got all the way to the rim. After missing most of the summer with injuries, Johnson looked to be back at full strength. Overall Johnson finished with 20 points on 8-13 shooting.

Ryan Bass: Bass is one of the most explosive athletes in the Midwest. The Dunbar combo guard is only 5-foot-8, but he finishes well, well above the rim. Also Bass is now showing a significant improvement in shot selection and understanding of the game. He was efficient scoring 13 points, and as an unsigned senior no doubt will get some looks because of his freakish athleticism.

Luke Cothron: Sometimes a box score isn't always the best way to evaluate a performance, and this is a perfect example. A look at the raw numbers shows Cothron with 29 points and 14 rebounds, but overall it didn't seem that way. It took Cothron 25 shots to get those points, and too often was content to simply launch threes or heavily contested shots from the outside. When he did go inside he used his size and length to dominate, but too often he didn't seem to show a desire to do so.

Greg Gainey: The undersized power forward for Thurgood Marshall High School gave everything he had against a bigger Flora MacDonald frontline. Had he been able to knock down some more free throws, he would have had an absolutely huge game. Still he was able to score 20 points and pull in 10 rebounds. Gainey makes up for his lack of height with long arms, a high motor, and explosive athleticism going to the rim. He was excellent at finishing through contact, and simply has a nose for the ball when it comes to rebounding.

Class of 2011 prospects

Rayvon Harris: Clearly the most efficient player for Flora MacDonald was Harris. The small forward has a bulky body, but with that he possesses some nice explosion off the ground which allows him to finish above the rim with ease. Also he showed a good ability to handle the ball. Overall he had 19 points on 8-12 shooting, and did everything he could to rally Flora MacDonald after a struggle in the first half.

Jerome Seagears: Seagers is a big point guard who showed a great ability to get from baseline to baseline off the dribble in an absolute hurry. He did play out of control at times, but his combination of size and speed definitely makes him intriguing. Largely on the strength of his foul shooting Seagears managed to finish with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. He was definitely impressive with his motor and quickness. He now needs to improve on his outside shot.

Class of 2012 prospects

Jermaine Morgan: Whitney Young struggled with the Dunbar pressure defense, but Morgan was one of the inside players for the Dolphins who tried to keep them in the game. At 6-foot-8 with nice length, Morgan was able to make a few athletic plays around the rim, and finished off the dribble showing a bit of a face up game. His overall numbers of seven points and seven rebounds definitely won't blow anyone away, but Morgan is continuing to make strides.

Deante Hawkins: Hawkins is a player who is just beginning to come into his own as a prospect. At 6-foot-6 and under 200 pounds, Hawkins is a little light to be a power forward, but his athleticism and extremely long arms make up for that. Against Whitney Young he attacked the rim and finished inside, and showed very good hands. He needs to get stronger, but with a soft touch around the rim and nice hands, he made an impression and finished with eight points and five boards.

Class of 2013 prospect

Thomas Hamilton: Hamilton has already made a name for himself on the AAU circuit at a young age, and for a freshman big man he is just so advanced. At a legitimate 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, Hamilton showed off some rare skills for a young big man. He started out the scoring for Whitney Young by knocking down a three ball, and had a few nice offensive rebounds the rest of the way. The very fast pace of the game took Hamilton out of things a little bit, but still he finished with seven points and five rebounds. With his size, shooting touch, and soft hands, there is no doubt that Hamilton backed up the hype.

School Lists

Things are still early for Gorgui Dieng, but he mentioned that Louisville, Kentucky, Marshall, Arkansas, and South Florida are in touch with him.

At the moment Justin Coleman is still sorting through everything and working on his academics, but he says he has offers from Louisville, Kentucky, South Florida, Providence, and Arkansas.

Deante Hawkins says that he has already heard from Cincinnati and the Dayton Flyers.

Flora MacDonald forward Rayvon Harris has heard from UNC-Wilmington, Elon, and Southern Miss.

Luke Cothron continued to say that despite not signing a letter of intent, he is still firmly committed to NC State.


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