As some of you may know, our goal here at Kentucky Sports Radio is to continue to be (or become, depending on your perspective) the number one site for UK sports on the internet. In order to continue towards that goal, we have brought on as a contributor, Marc Maggard. Marc has his own site, www.roundballrecruiting.com, which he uses for information and message boards, but he will be contributing on here for his AAU and summer camp coverage and give recruiting perspective to the radio show. For those of you that dont know, Marc is a recruiting maniac (and I mean that in a good way), spending virtually every weekend at AAU tournaments around the country, getting the latest scoop. He is joining Kentucky Sports Radio to provide exclusive AAU and Summer Camp Tournament coverage for the website. He will begin next weekend at an event, and we are very excited about the news. Below, Marc gives us a detailed look at the big names looking at Kentucky for the 2008 class. In addition, he will be answering your questions about the 2008 class…..you can write a question below or email him at [email protected] and he will answer your questions in a mailbag to come. We thank Marc and look forward to his contributions.
The names are below, but before one tidbit of news. Beas Hamga, a big man that is currently part of the class of 2008 has been given a scholarship offer by UK and is being recruited very hard right now. UK has made multiple visits and is moving in quickly. Hamga could very likely be a Cat and he is a player to watch. Now here is your 2008 report…..look for more news during the day tomorrow, including a couple of updates on familiar names.
Marc’s 2008 UK Recruit Report:
Greg Monroe 6’10” 220 PF — Harvey Louisiana / Helen Cox High / AAU Louisiana Select –
He is exceptionally skilled for a 6’10 player with the body of a PF and the moves of a SF. He is capable of hitting some mid range and long range jumpers, but his game is clearly getting to the rim. I was impressed with his ball handling ability as demonstrated by a behind the back crossover on a 6’4 guard that picked him up in half court in the Kingwood Classic. He has very good hands and passing skills for a big man which allows coaches to run some plays through him on the wing or in the post. Plays in the style of Kevin Garnett. Needs to improve his back to the basket post play.
Al-Farouq Aminu 6’8” 215 Combo F — Norcross Georgia / Norcross High / AAU Gerogia Stars –
My personal #2 in the nation, Al-Farouq Aminu, played incredibly well at the Kingwood Classic. His ability to drive to the basket in either direction and his athletic ability make him stand out among the elite. Aminu can create his own shot seemingly at will, but needs to put out more effort on the defensive end. He is a reliable shooter inside the 3 point line and likes to play facing the basket. Unlike some big men, Aminu has a motor that won’t quit and after talking to him, is a genuinely good kid. His list is long and includes Kentucky at the top. UK hasn’t had a combo forward this athletic and skilled in quite some time. Coach Cyp was in attendance at all of his games. Plays in the style of Paul Pierce without the range. Needs to improve his range, defense, and post offense.
Brandon Jennings 6’1” 170 PG — Compton, California / Oak Hill Academy / AAU SoCal Allstars —
There is a reason some people think Jennings may be the best overall player in the class. Brandon Jennings possesses a gear that sets him apart from anyone else at this tournament. His ability to knife thru traffic reminds me of TJ Ford, but Jennings is a legit 6’1. He is the kind of player that attracts so much attention that it allows him to do what he does best… make everyone else better. He sees everything on the court and has the athletic ability to get in position to make great passes. He is super aggressive yet always under control. His defense is as good as any guard in the country and he seems to enjoy locking people down. Plays in the style of TJ Ford. Needs to develop a consistent 3 point shot.
Willie Warren 6’4 205 SG – Fort Worth, Texas / North Crowley HS / AAU Team Texas –
Team Texas is featuring Willie as a PG since the consensus is that he’s an NBA Lottery pick as a 6’4 PG. Most college coaches I spoke to see him as a scoring (emphasis on scoring) 2g in college. Warren possesses all the physical skills a PG would need with a great handle and good court vision, however, his mentality is to score at all times. He has been blistering the net from long range in his most recent games and shows great will and determination on defense. He has a strong body and could be more aggressive toward the rim instead of settling for the jumper so often. Plays in the style of Bonzi Wells. Needs to get to rim more often. (recruiting note: Kansas was once viewed as the leader, but I suspect UK has the best chance of signing Warren now that Billy Gillispie is the head coach for the cats)
Beas Hamga 7’0” 230 C — Decatur, Illinois / Decatur Christian HS / AAU Indiana Elite —
This Cameroon, Africa native has been playing basketball only a few years, but has rapidly increased his stock. He is a defensive showstopper with incredible athleticism for a man his size. He changes the game on the defensive side of the floor with blocks, rebounds and the ability to change shots. Although his offensive game is trailing his defense, he does possess a nice 15 foot jumper with very good form as well as a right shoulder turnaround jumper. Beas isn’t the type of player who you run plays through, but could easily average a double double from offensive rebound buckets and his surprisingly good FT %. Beas could have a surprise in store for everyone in the next few months…..more to come. Plays in the style of Emeka Okafor. Needs to improve his post offense. (recruiting note: UK and UNLV are leaders with Tennessee in distant third place…but Jurick just committed to UT, so they are likely out )
Drew Gordon 6’8” 235 PF — San Jose, California / Archbishop Mitty / AAU Oakland Soldiers –
Gordon is a super explosive Power Forward who’s athletic ability can allow him to dominate the paint. He is strong and can move players out of his way when needed with a body that is advanced for his age. He has decent touch with the ball, but his offense is still lagging behind his defense. His upside is as good as anyone in the class and could easily become an elite player at the college level. Gordon is a trash guy whose offense comes from his determination and rebounding. He is actively working to improve his post moves and mid range jumper. Plays in the style of Ben Wallace. Needs to work on offensive post and jumper. (recruiting note: Gordon had not heard from UK since Tubby left as of 22 April and may not be a target for Gillispie)
Darius Miller 6’6” 190 SF — Maysville, Kentucky / Mason Co. / AAU DI Greyhounds —
Many people believe that Darius Miller is the best player in the state of Kentucky this year. He is an athletic scorer who can do it inside and out at either forward spot. His long range shot needs to become more consistent to give him a total game, but he is athletic and mobile which helps him on both ends. There hasn’t been a better Kentucky HS player in many years. Darius is about as cool and calm as any player in this class, and his game takes on that attitude. He’s patient, but aggressive when opportunity arises. He blocks shots and rebounds and truly is a well rounded player. Plays in the style of Caron Butler. Needs to become more consistent with his 3pt shooting.
J’Mison Morgan 6’10” 265 C — Dallas, Texas / South Oak Cliff / AAU Urban DFW Elite –
J’Mison has a good name…we need to have good names on the team! Morgan has lost the equivalent of a small child in body weight over the past couple years and his game has taken off as a result. He has great moves in the paint and is the prototypical “back to the basket” center. He has nice soft hands and is an excellent finisher. He learned to use position and size while he was heavy and now that he’s slimmer and quicker, his post moves are even more effective. This is the guy who will probably move up the “rankings” as much as anyone in the nation. Plays in the style of Eddy Curry. Needs to improve his post passing and continue to get quicker. (recruiting note: not sure if offer has been made)
Tyler Zeller 7’0” 190 PF/C — Washington, Indiana / Washington High / AAU Indiana Elite —
Zeller really improved his stock at the recent Kingwood Classic with a 2 game stretch where he went 13-14 from the field and 7 for 7 from the charity stripe. Many of his points come from dishes from his talented teammates who are very good and the “drive and dish”. Tyler has great hands and gets the ball to the rim quickly once it’s caught. He also runs the floor better than any big man in the class and is able to catch the ball and control his body for easy buckets. He is also very aggressive despite his lack of strength. Plays in the style of Andrei Kirilenko. Needs to improve strength/weight and back to the basket post play.
DeAndre Liggins 6’6” 185 SF — Chicago, Illinois / George Washington HS / AAU Indiana Elite —
Liggins is very athletic and has great court vision. He can get into the paint at will with quick first step and a nice handle. He has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long sometimes, but he also can make the great pass by creating his own lanes. He rebounds well from the 3 spot and is strong for his size. He is a good shooter which makes you play him honest, and his first step makes it hard to keep up with him. Plays in the style of Scottie Pippen. Needs to get rid of the ball a bit earlier at times.