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November 18, 2012

Vonleh lets loose at National Prep Showcase

MORE: Class of 2013 Rivals150

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The National Prep Showcase rolled into day two on Saturday, and there was little doubt about who the star of the day was. Elite Indiana-bound senior Noah Vonleh erupted during the second half of his New Hampton squad's game against Hargrave Academy and headlined a day of solid performances.

Vonleh unlocks inner beast

A few things about Vonleh, an elite senior prospect from New Hampton (N.H.) Prep: He's always rebounded very well, and he's always shown a nice mix of inside and outside skills. At times, though, the No. 7 player in the class of 2013 has blended in and been passive or relied too heavily on his jumper. Saturday, the 6-foot-8 senior released his inner beast, and the result was an utterly dominant 27-point, 18-rebound performance.

Relatively quiet in the first half, Vonleh wasn't playing poorly, but he wasn't playing great. Then about four minutes into the second half against a tough and talented Chatham (Va.) Hargrave squad, Vonleh flipped the switch and went to work. He's always been a volume rebounder, but he started playing with a degree of physicality that couldn't be matched. Offensively, everything went to the basket and through defenders, and he was rewarded with trips to the free throw line.

"I went out there after a slow start and just started being aggressive and going to the hoop," Vonleh told Rivals.com. "When I got going, the team started really looking to me, and I felt like I could do what I wanted."

Initially expected to wait until the spring to make a choice, Vonleh is happy with his decision to sign early.

"It feels good to not have to worry about my recruiting," said Vonleh. "I can focus on my team, school and getting myself better."

Along with keeping up the attacking nature in his play, Vonleh is focused on tweaking his all-around game.

"My shot is getting a lot better, and I'm working on hitting it on the move and from different spots on the floor," said Vonleh.

Louisville-bound guards put in work

There can't be any doubt that a year of playing together at Hargrave Academy is going to wind up being very beneficial down the road for Louisville signees Terry Rozier and Anton Gill. Despite off shooting days, the duo combined for 49 points and looked very comfortable playing together in a tough one-point loss at the hands of New Hampton.

Let's start with Rozier because he's one of the bigger revelations of the event. Ranked in the top 80 of the class of 2012, the 6-foot-1 point guard from Ohio would end up ranked significantly higher than that (top 40 range at least) if we were to include him in the class of 2013. Rozier has always been a high-level competitor, but over the last year he's added a new level of explosion to his game and added strength. Those two things are pretty nice to pair with an improved left hand and a better-looking jumper. Rozier gets where he wants to go when he wants to get there, and we can see why Rick Pitino speaks so glowingly about him.

A native of North Carolina, Gill is a solid and sound two-guard. He has good athleticism, will play defense and is particularly effective scoring on 12- to 17-foot pull-up jumpers. Like Rozier, he's added some strength and can be a pest on the defensive end. Gill will need to work on his off hand a bit before arriving at Louisville, but he is backing up his ranking in the national top 50.

Moute a Bidias one to watch

Whether he stays in the class of 2013 or moves to the class of 2014, Roger Moute a Bidias of Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep has the look of a high-major prospect. The younger brother of NBA player Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, he's certainly got a shoulder he can lean on.

"I've been here since 2009, and he helps," said Moute a Bidias. "He was in the same position as me and gives good advice."

A lengthy 6-foot-6 wing with a high level of athleticism, Moute a Bidias is an intense competitor who doesn't mind when it gets physical, and he'll get all over the glass. His shot doesn't look too bad, he can play out of the high post, and he's very good at attacking the rim in transition.

While he's currently in the class of 2013, Moute a Bidias is mulling over a move to the class of 2014. We'll start him off as a three-star in the class of 2013, and he'll be in consideration for the final Rivals150 should he remain in the class. Marquette, Iowa, Iona and Ohio have been among those to show early interest.

Final Saturday notes

If Rashad Richardson is even half the player that he looked like while helping Kiski knock off Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Prep on Sunday, IPFW has one of the biggest steals in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-6 lefty wing absolutely wore out Brewster and the nets at Albertus Magnus College during a 35-point outing. Feeling it from deep, he drained seven long range and then late in the game, when defenders closed strong, he attacked the hoop aggressively and got to the free throw line. To go with his 35 points, he added seven rebounds.

One of the few bright spots for Brewster was the play of 2014 five-star Chris McCullough. The 6-foot-9 Syracuse-bound forward is an extreme run-and-jump athlete who runs the floor as well as any big man in the country. Blessed with superior body control, good hands and the ability to always be in motion to the rim, McCullough is only scratching at his potential. We write all the time about athletic 6-foot-9 kids and say that they have the potential to move to the wing, but the opportunity for McCullough to do so at the highest level is very real. Even if he doesn't make the full-time move to the wing, he's plenty big for a power forward and his future looks quite bright.

Memphis is getting a good one in 6-foot-8 small forward Kuran Iverson. A long and lanky wing who can really handle the ball, Iverson has a little bit of a young Lamar Odom in him with his ability to probe defenses via the dribble and make things happen. The game comes so easily to him that at times he either settles for deep jumpers (and he was hitting them Saturday) or goes through the motions a little. However, there is a lot more good than bad when it comes to Iverson, and he's got the tools to play basketball for a very long time as he gets stronger and learns to go full speed at all times.

Miami signee DeAndre Burnett entered the NPS on a scoring tear. Friday night, the compact and physically strong 6-foot-1 combo guard was off with his jump shooting. On Saturday, he had no such problems. The future Hurricane stormed Notre Dame Prep for 40 points, which is impressive enough. More impressive is the efficiency with which he got his points, connecting on a smoking hot 16 of 19 shots from the field (4-of-6 on 3-pointers) while dishing out a pair of assists. He's probably more of a two than a one, but he competes and deserves strong consideration for the final rankings of the class of 2013.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Jaylen Brantley's recruitment during the spring. The 5-foot-11 combo guard at Notre Dame Prep isn't the biggest guard in the world, but he is wired to score and plays with loads of confidence. He's a threat to pull from three at any moment, is crafty in creating off the bounce and takes pretty good care of the ball. For whatever reason, though, his recruitment appears to be pretty quiet.

His jumper wasn't falling from deep, but Travis Jorgenson came up with some big plays driving the lane and passing the ball in New Hampton's win. The former Missouri commitment is at home in an up-tempo style of play, advances the ball 30, 40 and 50 feet up the floor via passes and takes care of the ball in a manner similar to the way Kendall Marshall did as a prep. Jorgenson had a key driving basket late and stuck his nose in to grab seven rebounds to go with his 13 points. Next weekend he'll visit Oklahoma State, and he has the eye of Alabama's Anthony Grant along with assistants from Oregon State, Kansas State and Creighton. Tulsa and Boston College are also involved.

Finally, Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More features a pair of guards who should be spring targets on the mid- to upper-mid-major level. Canadian import Duane Notice is an athletic and physical 6-foot-2 combo guard who can defend, get to the rim and make enough jumpers to keep defenders honest. He went for 21 on Saturday in a win over Fishbourne Academy to back up a solid Friday performance. Teammate Marquise Moore is a native New Yorker and is all about getting to the basket. The 6-foot-1 point guard has a solid frame, gets into the lane with regularity and can score at the rim.

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