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July 27, 2010

Orlando: Super Showcase winds down

ORLANDO, Fla. - The AAU Super Showcase in Orlando is beginning to wind down, and only one game remains. At the same time the 16-and under AAU Nationals is just beginning to heat up. On Monday one player showed his stuff and that was Braxton Ogbueze.

Ogbueze shows his potential

The class of 2012 nationally is known for the big men it is producing, but it seems to be lacking at point guard. While overall the numbers might be down at the most important position on the floor, Braxton Ogbueze is emerging as a national level recruit.

CP3 is one of the better 16-and under teams in the country, and their backcourt is the reason why. Ogbueze is the complete package as a floor general. First and foremost he looks to get his teammates involved. He does that using a good instinct for the position and the natural ability to really see the floor, especially in transition. Also Ogbueze is already physically strong, and that allows him to get places on the floor that not all point guards can.

While setting others up is what Ogbueze does best, he is also more than capable of making things happen by scoring the ball. In fact it is becoming downright scary when he wants to score. Never known as a pure knock down shooter, Ogbueze's stroke now looks pure from the outside, and he is almost automatic well beyond three point range if he gets a clean look at the rim and has his feet set.

Overall Ogbueze is quickly emerging as one of the best floor generals in the class, and is the complete player that many are looking for at the position. He completely controlled the game in a big CP3 win, and the improvements he is making are impressive.

Though Ogbueze is definitely the man running things for CP3 in the backcourt, he does have more help. Madison Jones and Shawn Lester are both good looking prospects. Lester is an absolute knock down shooter who is capable of really filling it up from deep. He knows how to use screens and come off of them ready to shoot which is a college ready skill, and also he has a high and smooth release on his shot which allows him to get it off quickly. Jones is an energy guy who does nothing but produce using his length, athleticism, and motor. Both Lester and Jones complemented Ogbueze well as CP3 rolled to a victory.

Other Notable Performances

Darion Atkins - Several other Team Takeover players get the hype, but it was Atkins that got things done. The 6-foot-8 power forward has always had length and athleticism to spare, and he used those physical tools well in an impressive performance. With Takeover losing, Atkins came in the game and changed things around. He ran the floor, blocked shots, and finished above the rim with dunks. His play got things turned around, and eventually Takeover came back to get a key win, and Atkins was probably their best player.

Julian DeBose - Another role player for Takeover, DeBose was very solid in his own right. The steady off guard played defense, made shots, got to the rim, and just did all of the little things asked of him to win games. Not the most athletic player on the team, DeBose simply knows how to play, and was also very instrumental in helping Takeover complete the comeback win.

Tavon Sledge - Sledge is an absolute blur with the ball, and at times was able to put Rich Soil on his back. He is fairly right hand dominant, but Sledge knows how to be creative despite being small. Sledge didn't shoot too many jumpers, so that probably needs some work, but when it comes to beating his man off the dribble, there is no doubt Sledge can do it. For the most part he controlled the flow of the game and gave all the Takeover guards fits.

Shane Larkin - It was an excellent showing for Larkin in a losing effort. Going against Shannon Scott, Larkin stepped up his game and got things going in a big way. First Larkin did it by dishing the ball off, but then it was all about him scoring. Time after time Larkin would beat his man off the dribble and get all the way to the rim for a bucket or finish with a floater in the paint. Also his shot was on from deep where he was filling it up.

Robert Brown - Brown has continued his strong July run in Orlando. The Virginia Tech pledge can really shoot the ball off the catch, and also is a good athlete. He used both of those skills to keep his Florida Assault team in the game against the Georgia Blazers, and really played as well as he has showed at any point in his career.

Kentavious Caldwell - With Larkin and Brown going off, Caldwell knew he had to do the same and he did just that. The five-star guard was on fire from three, and hit big shot after big shot. Also Caldwell did more than just shoot it off the dribble, he came off screens very well and knew how to get buckets that way. Overall it was Caldwell's play that got the Blazers the win.

Tim Dixon - Not the most productive player in the game, Dixon still oozes potential with his long arms, ability to run the floor, and natural frame to add strength. Dixon blocked a few shots and created havoc down low for his smaller opponents at times during the game. He does need to add a lot of strength, but there just aren't many prospects with his natural physical tools.

Julian Royal - He didn't get off to a fast start, but Royal really picked it up late. The power forward showed off his complete game. He scored from three off the catch, he hit from the mid-range, and then he played with his back to the basket and finished with spin moves in the paint. Royal put all of his natural talent on display and showed a fire to help his team win the game that doesn't always seem to be there.

Shannon Scott - An absolute terror in transition, Scott and Larkin were going right at each other play after play. Scott looked very assertive in the game and that led to him scoring a lot, and him setting up teammates. Also Scott hit a few shots from three, and overall played very well, including coming up with a big late blocked shot to help secure the win.

Donnie Hale - Now a member of the 2011 class, Hale is back on the AAU circuit and looking to make an impact. The Purdue signee showed off an impressive mid-range jump shot, and also the ability to score with his left hand down low. A bit awkward with his post moves, Hale needs some work there, but he rebounds well and really knows how to run the floor.

Austin Lewis - Lewis is a long and athletic power forward for the Houston Hoops 16-and under squad that really impressed. He is a rebounding machine and someone who knows how to play the game. Also Lewis showed a high activity level and really battled on the glass against older players for Garner Road.

Mario Nixon - Nixon is absolute beast on the glass who gives it everything he has each and every possession. A slightly undersized power forward, Nixon makes up for his lack of height with hustle and strength. He controlled the paint for Garner Road, and was also their leading scorer due to put backs and offensive rebounds. Nixon isn't the flashiest player around, but this 2012 power forward should start to garner more attention with his play.

Archie Goodwin - Goodwin is one impressive dude on the floor. He has long arms and good size for a shooting guard, and simply knows how to get things done. Goodwin is so quick the dribble that he doesn't even have to make moves to beat defenders, he simply goes around them at will. Once he beats his man off the bounce he is a high-level athlete who loves to finish above the rim. Also Goodwin had it really working from three hitting several shots from well beyond the arc.

Jalen Jackson - While Goodwin gets most of the press for the Arkansas Wings, Jackson also deserves a lot of love for the way he plays. Right about 6-foot-5, Jackson is a good athlete with a high motor. Also he does an excellent job of rebounding for a wing, and beyond that he hit a few threes showing off a nice stroke. Jackson is quite versatile and could play a number of positions once he gets finished growing. This is definitely a 2012 prospect to watch.

Darrell Johnson - The class of 2012 has a lot of good inside players, and Johnson is beginning to emerge in his own right. He is a kid who high-majors will begin to sniff. At nearly 6-foot-8, Johnson is a dominant left handed player who can finish with his back to the basket on a hook shot or with athleticism. Also he showed the ability to really rebound. Beyond that he blocks shots at a high level. The St. Louis product runs with Baylor Basketball, and could have quite a following by the end of the week.

Bernard Sullivan - Back from an injury, Sullivan just keeps getting better and better. He isn't the prototypical power forward in terms of his height, but he just flat out produces. Sullivan is extremely explosive in the paint and tries to dunk everything. Also he has excellent hands and ran the floor very well. Right now he can handle the ball in space giving some hope that he could be a wing in the future, but that is still an area of improvement. Odds are he stays as a power forward, and there is nothing wrong with that since he excels in that role.

Montarius Hall - Hall is a 6-foot-6 interior player in the 2012 class who simply looks to dunk everything. He has wide shoulders and a good frame, and looks to be physical in the paint as much as possible. Of course he will need to grow for all the big boys to come in and look, but right now he is just very productive and uses his body to finish down low with authority whenever possible.

School Lists

Bernard Sullivan listed offers from Clemson, Charlotte, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Also he is hearing from Duke, Wake Forest, Penn State, and Purdue.

Darrell Johnson is attracting early interest from Missouri, Illinois, Seton Hall, Bowling Green, Toledo, Southern Illinois, Ohio University, Arkansas State, and Stephen F. Austin.

Braxton Ogbueze lists offers from Clemson, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Charlotte, and South Carolina. Also he is hearing from Tennessee, Florida, Providence, Miami, and NC State.

Tim Dixon claims offers from Florida State, South Carolina, and Georgia. Also he is hearing from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Southern, Mercer, and Florida.

Darion Atkins listed offers from Wake Forest, Penn, VCU, George Mason, George Washington, Maryland, and Boston College. Also he is hearing from Georgetown, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech.


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