BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Friday night, the Adidas May Classic kicked off in spots all around and in the city of Bloomington. Finding the right place to be was pretty easy, though. Most of the action that we needed to see was taking place at either Indiana's sparkling new practice facility Cook Hall or just a short walk across the parking lot in storied Assembly Hall. With a nice array of young, and mostly local, talent on hand, it was 2012 shooting guard Gary Harris who stood out above the crowd.
Harris is legit
Over the course of the past couple of months, Gary Harris has been generating a ton of attention. After watching him in action with the D3 Heat on Friday night, it's easy to see why the slender near 6-foot-4 shooting guard has been racking up scholarship offers (Xavier, Illinois, Ohio State among others) at a rapid pace.
You want a guy who will attack the rim off the dribble? Harris does that. Want a guy who is a willing distributor and plays under control? Harris has got you covered. Need somebody who will defend, be a threat as a jump shooter and ignite crowds with dunks? Harris does all of that too.
While he still lacks muscle on his frame, he's a hard charger who attacks the rim as often as possible and doesn't shy from contact. He does need to become a bit stronger with his off hand and we'd like to see him demand the ball a little more. But it's easy to see him as both a high major prospect and somebody who could even play some minutes at the point down the road.
More Friday night notables
Devin Davis, Jr., SF/SG, Eric Gordon 15's- As good as Harris was, Davis might be just as good of a prospect. A member of the class of 2013, the 6-foot-5 wing is a big time athlete with cat quickness and a non stop motor. His jump shot is come and go at this point, but he already handles proficiently and is an outstanding passer off of the bounce.
Basil Smotherman, SF/SG, Eric Gordon 15's- While Davis dazzled from a potential standpoint, it was Smotherman who hit a bunch of silky jumpers to lead his team back from a 20 point deficit against Indiana Elite. The slim 6-foot-4 lefty compliments his smooth jumper with a solid overall floor game. Content to blend in at times, it will be interesting to see just how good he can become as he matures physically and learns to play all out.
JaVonte Young, SG, MBA Select 2011- Gary Harris was the best prospect on the floor, but it would be wrong to not point out the game put together by Young. A skinny 6-foot-2 wing, Young has a quick trigger with his jumper and range to well beyond the three point line. The Mishawaka (Ind.) High product was good for 32 points including eight three pointers. Every time he rose and fired, we thought his shot was going in.
Final Friday night notes
T.J. Bell ended up with a pretty productive night for Indy Mean Streets in a lopsided 16U division win. A lanky 6-foot-7 forward who is filling out his frame, he can finish with dunks, runs the floor and causes problems on both ends when active. That's the key, he's got to be more active on the glass and as a guy who contests shots to truly reach his potential. Right now, he looks to be a bit of a tweener both in position and college level. Playing for the Indiana Elite 15U team, 6-foot-6 Collin Hartman is already getting a lot of Gordon Hayward and Robbie Hummel comparisons thrown his way. Much because he look similar and plays a fundamentally sound game. For now, let's avoid the comparisons and just note that he's a very productive guy who plays hard, makes things happen on both ends and has a feel for scoring inside and out.
We made it a point to ask MBA Select 2011 coach Rod Creech about #11 on his team because we loved the way he played defense and wasn't afraid to get physical on either end. Turns out, #11 is freshman point guard Demetrius Jackson from Mishawaka (Ind.) Marion. A well put together 6-foot-1 combo guard, he's on our watch list from here on out. Taylor Corley comes off of the bench for the D3 Heat, but we love the lift the 5-foot-11 point guard gives his team. A drive and dish guy who embraces contact, his toughness rubs off on everybody around him. Has the look of a good mid-level PG prospect. Finishing off the night's coverage is Vitto Brown. Playing for the Spiece Indy Heat's 15 and under team, the skinny 6-foot-6 power forward showed plenty of potential. Only 14 years old, he's likely got plenty of growing to do given his endless arms, baby face and huge feet. He's got soft touch, runs the floor well and is active on each end. The product of Bowling Green (Ohio) High is one to keep an eye on.