By Bryan Kriss - firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 4 saw champions crowned at the Fab 48 and continued playoff action at the super 64. Due to an early flight we were
only able to catch a couple games on day 5, but they did not dissapoint. We will have a full vegas recap within the next
couple days, but for now, here are the day 4/5 standouts:
Jordan Adams: You could make an argument that the Atlanta Celtics 16s are the top team on the circuit regardless of age-group. They have an absolutely stacked starting five and Jordan Adams could perhaps be the best of the bunch. He plays with a quiet confidence and is capable of putting up 30 points when he is playing well. His biggest strength is his jumper and he was knocking in threes from all over the place in the quarterfinals and semifinals. In the semi matchup with Marcus Smart and Texas Assault, it was Adams who led all scorers with 27. Along with his outside stroke, he was getting to the rim and knocked down a pretty floater. His athleticism is a little bit of a question mark on the defensive side, but his scoring ability is up there with the best of them in 2012
Shaquille Goodwin: Goodwin was outstanding evry time we watched him this week. He played with a great energy-level and was diving for loose-balls all over the place. He was working hard in the post and finishing dump-offs with ferocious two-handed slams. Goodwin is an impressive physical prospect, but his skill game is also quite advanced, especailly his passing from the high post.
Marcus Smart: It's been documented by just about everyone who has ever seen him play, but Smart is the ultimate competitor. In a quarterfinal matchup with DC Assault, Smart willed his team back from a 12 point deficit and sealed the win with a crossover three with only 2 seconds on the clock. In their semi matchup with the Atlanta Celtics, it was again Smart who sparked the comeback. After forcing overtime, Smart drove the right side in a tie game and drew two defenders. He missed the shot, but Nick Banyard was there to stick back the easy game-winner. Smart finished with 23 for the game and led his team to the championship game.
Chris Thomas: Chris Thomas went off again on day 4. After going for 36 on day 3, he followed it up with the best performance we saw all week. Against, the Arizona Stars, Thomas was virtually unstoppable. He finshed with 39 despite missing around 7 free throws. He's a very versatile player, but in this game he was relentless attacking the rim for dunk after dunk. In an afternoon game with the Eric Gordon Central Stars, Thomas wasn't quite as spectacular. The Central Stars were well aware of his earlier exploits and decided to face guard him the length of the court for the entire game. Despite the physcial defense, Thomas still managed to drop in 20+ points and pass for 8 assists. His passing ability and vision were especially evident in this game as he drew several defenders and created open layups for teammates on multiple occasions. As we said yesterday, he's a very special player and could make a push for the top overall spot in 2013.
Peter Jurkin: Peter Jurkin was excellent agains the Grand Rapids Storm on day 4. It was easily the best game we've seen him put together. He totaled 14 points on variety of dunks and even knocked in a 15 footer. He's still pretty raw and needs to add a lot of strength, but we got a glimpse of what he is capable of and it was impressive.
Hanner Perea: Perea is one of the most fun players to watch on the entire circuit. He's an elite athlete and pairs that athleticism with a non-stop motor. He had a couple poster dunks on day 4 and some even more spectacular blocks. The vast majority of his offense still comes from close around the rim, but he showed that he is capable of facing up and taking big guys off the dribble. We love his potential and with his work ethic, it looks like it will probably be realized.
Kenny Kaminski: As good as Jurkin and Perea were on day 4, Kaminski was even better. He was raining triples and worked inside for several other tough buckets. He scored 27 for the game and did it very efficiently. On one play, he grabbed a rebound and immediately turned up floor to lead a fastbreak. He dribbled the length of the court scanning for open teammates, and when he didn't find any he just pulled up for a 22 footer that touched nothing but net. He also flashed a little athleticsm on a fastbreak two-handed flush.
Marcus Marshall: Marshall is still much of an unknown on the national radar, but high-majors will proabbly start tracking him soon. He's got great poise at the point guard position and a deadly shot from deep. He's also got deceptive quickness that he uses to beat his defender before finishing with a floater or dishing to a teammate. He was one of the top scorers all week while hitting for 30 on multiple occasions. He went for 21 in a loss to Indiana elite.
Nate Britt: Britt was fantastic on day 4, leading his DC Assault team to a big victory over the Nashville Celtics. Playing up an age-group, Britt showed great poise and finshed well around the rim. He also performed at a high level on the defensive side of the ball. He's a true point guard and could potentially end up being one of the best in the entire 2013 class. Along with fellow 2013 DC Assault standout Kris Jenkins, they form a scary duo for Gonzaga College High School.