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May 12, 2012

Adidas May Classic - Evaluating the Xavier Targets

While MusketeerScoop only got to spend the better part of one day at the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington (IN) we still had the opportunity to watch several of Xavier's top targets from the classes of 2013 and 2014. After watching the fully loaded Louisville Magic team and seeing a trio of prospects on the Southwest Illinois Jets 16u team there was little doubt left that the event in Bloomington was full of high major talent.

Darreon Reddick - Southwest Illinois Jets 16u - Reddick went to Bloomington right after stopping by Xavier's campus on Friday for his second unofficial visit, along with teammate Darius Austin. While Reddick was surprised that Coach Mack didn't extend a scholarship offer to him on the visit Reddick was pleased with the experience and the style of play that Xavier's system focuses on. Reddick, who is being heavily recruited by Missouri, DePaul, Saint Louis, and Xavier, was very good on the court at Adidas May Classic. He's a smooth ballhandler that can really get to the rim off a speed burst and is a crafty finisher around the rim. Able to create turnovers as an on-ball defender he's creative in transition as a scorer or distributor as well. While he isn't a great shooter from deep Reddick can knock down the long jumper when he's in rhythm, especially after taking a few bounces to get his feet set. Still viewed as a recruit that is far from reaching his full potential Reddick was one of the more impressive 2014 prospects on Saturday.

Darius Austin - Southwest Illinois Jets 16u - Austin joined Reddick on the visit and likewise was somewhat surprised not to receive an offer but enjoyed the trip nonetheless. In Bloomington his motor wasn't running as high as we would've liked to have seen, in MusketeerScoop's first viewing of his team, but he was effective offensively. Austin is a strong bodied slasher that can get to the rim off a crossover move and is very skilled at earning trips to the foul line. He has a nice stroke from the line, as well as when pulling up from mid-range, and is a scoring threat from anywhere inside of 17 feet. Really liked the quickness he displayed on his first step and his explosiveness off the ground as a weak-side shotblocker and rebounder; although he didn't focus on those parts of his game enough in our opinion. The 2014 prospect lists Xavier, Missouri, Illinois, and DePaul as his top schools.

C.J. Rivers - Southwest Illinois Jets 16u - Just because he didn't join teammates Reddick and Austin on the visit to Xavier does not mean that the crafty point guard is not a recruiting target for the Musketeers in 2014. Rivers is still in the early stages of his recruitment, listing Missouri and DePaul as the schools who are most interested, but is getting better on the court. He's a smooth shooter from mid-range off the bounce that can make teammates better as a passer in transition or off the pick and roll.

D'Angelo Russell - Louisville Magic 17u - A class of 2014 prospect that is playing up a grade at the 17u division with his home state friends (Russell attends Montverde Academy in Florida) Russell immediately can step on the floor and just look like the five-star prospect that he is. With Indiana fans in attendance to check up on him, as the Hoosiers join Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Xavier, and Cincinnati as high profile programs recruiting him, Russell was the talk of the tourney on Saturday in Bloomington. He has the complete skill package as a 6'3 guard that is comfortable at any of the three perimeter positions. Russell shoots the ball very well out to the three point line, can athletically attack the basket while staying under control, and is a very good passer. What we liked most about him this viewing was how hard he defends in both the half and full-court setting while playing with toughness when handling the ball against incessant bumping.

Jordan Green - Louisville Magic 17u - Like his teammate Russell the 6'7 combo forward is a class of 2014 prospect playing up an age group with the 17u team. Green has improved tremendously over the last year and is now one of the better shooters on the circuit for his size; while possessing elite level athleticism. Green plays hard all the time and is getting better at attacking the basket under control. He's still in the process of filling out his frame but if he keeps improving at his current rate he'll be a guy that will challenge for a Rivals150 ranking in his 2014 class. Currently Green lists Louisville, Xavier, and Cincinnati as the high majors that are showing him the most interest.

Trey Grundy - Louisville Magic 17u - Another 2014 recruit playing up at the 17u level Grundy impressed in Bloomington much more so then he did the previous weekend at Spiece in Fort Wayne. Playing with greater energy and desire Grundy influenced plays in the Magic's full-court pressure schemes while hustling back into the paint to control the rebounds as well. Our critique of the 6'7 combo forward has been his lack of ball-skills but Grundy was not only more aggressive in handling the ball, and shooting the outside jumper, but he was more effective and confident. While he doesn't have a high major offer to this point Grundy is being heavily recruited by Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Louisville, and more.

Jaylon Brown - Martin's Wolverines 17u - Similarly to Cincinnati's own Kevin Johnson this 6'0 combo guard from Fischers (IN) is rapidly ascending up recruiting rankings with his improved play over the spring. Brown continues to get better as a decision maker and a shooter, while already being arguably the top athlete in the country at his point guard position. Brown continues to thrive in the transition game where he can use his quick changes in direction to get to the rim and finish at will, but he is getting better as a distributor off the pick and role in the half court as well. He isn't a high priority target for the Musketeers at this point, but they have their eye on him.

Maverick Morgan - Martin's Wolverines 17u - The 6'11, and 240 pound, center from Springboro (OH) was instrumental in leading his team to an upset of the Eric Gordon All Stars behind his physical play in the middle, where he is his team's only true big man. Morgan demanded attention in the post and really competed against the shorter but stronger EG10 defenders. It was that space that Morgan created, as well as his ability to pass out of the paint, that freed up his sharpshooting teammates for three-point looks. Morgan currently lists Xavier among his top schools with West Virginia, Iowa State, and Minnesota in the mix as well.

Trevor Thompson - Eric Gordon All Stars 17u - The 2012 center from Indianapolis who will be prepping next season at Florida's IMG Academy continues to be high on talent. While he didn't get a lot of time in the middle for his EG10 team Thompson was very effective as a shotblocker in containing Maverick Morgan when he was in the game. Thompson, who lists Butler and Xavier as his top schools, is an energetic change of pace big man that has top notch athleticism and should improve greatly in his year at IMG.

Isaiah Johnson - Cincinnati Lakers 17u - Since earning an offer from Coach Mack a couple of weeks ago Johnson has taken his play to even greater heights. The 6'9, and 280 pound, center from Cincinnati Walnut Hills has a skilled but simplistic game down low. Going against mostly smaller players Johnson seals off deep post position and powers up strong to finish around the rim through contact. He has excellent hands and catches everything in his area, whether it's a pass or a rebound. As a space eater Johnson is very effective but needs to keep on making strides in his conditioning, college coaches have told him they'd like to see him get closer to 260 pounds. Xavier is the first high major to offer Johnson, but he also holds scholarship offers from Kent State and Akron, among others.

Devin Williams - Club Ohio 17u - With his normal team, Ohio Basketball Club, having a week off Williams decided to suit up with some local friends for the weekend in Bloomington. Joining fellow big man Antonio Campbell, someone who Xavier coaches have an eye on, Williams manned the other spot in the middle to provide a formidable one-two punch for Club Ohio. It wasn't a make or break weekend in his recruitment, and that showed on the court, but Williams was still very effective scoring around the rim and creating offense. Playing without the high level guard play he is accustomed to with OBC the 6'8 Cincinnati Withrow PF had to get to the offensive glass to get the ball down low and he did a good job controlling the boards to score easy buckets. After the game Williams listed UCLA, Xavier, and Ohio State as his current top schools.



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