April 29, 2012

Adidas Spring Classic - Recruiting Report

The Adidas Spring Classic gave the Xavier staff, along with hundreds of other high profile Division I coaches, one more chance to evaluate top prospects live in the spring period. A few Xavier targets really stood out in Indianapolis.

Monte Morris - Michigan Mustangs 17u PG: Morris is as gifted of an offensive player as just about any other prospect in 2013. He's a pure shooter with great follow through on his jumpshot that can spot up from three or hit tough pull-ups off the bounce. His ballhandling is also strong and he can break down his defender with change of directions moves to get in the lane and score acrobatic layups. Third, he is a very good passer off of penetration or transition as he has a good understanding of how to draw help defense to him and to kick it out to an open man. While the four star guard is still very slim he does have good quickness and a speed burst in his first step to make defenders play off of him. Michigan State, Michigan, Xavier, and Indiana are recruiting him hard while USC, Arizona State, and Georgia Tech have all extended offers already.

Darryl Hicks - The Ville 17u SG: This 6-foot-4 guard used to be considered a top ten prospect nationally in his class when he was in the eighth grade. Over the last few years his recruiting stock has shot up and down (he recently entered the Rivals150) as his game has changed drastically. This weekend Hicks was playing the style that earned him all his original hype. Hicks has stopped relying on stand still jumpers and was attacking the rim. A super skilled guard that can play any of the three perimeter positions Hicks can attack the rim with his head up and make good decisions as a triple threat offensively. He's stick a dead eye three point shooter who shoots the ball with great consistency but has gone back to his roots as an aggressive penetrator. He's not a bad athlete and competes hard on both ends of the floor. Right now Hicks holds interest from Cincinnati, Xavier, Louisville, Indiana, and Vanderbilt with no leaders in his recruitment.

Alex Etherington - Indiana Elite 17u SF: High major coaches see Etherington as someone that could be a nice role player at the highest level or a really good, and instant impact, player at a good mid-major program. Over the weekend he played well enough that he should get more high major interest. Etherington is a very good slasher that can make plays off the dribble at 6-foot-6. He's got deceptive athleticism and explosiveness around the rim while having a strong build as well. His handle is good enough for him to play either guard spot, and he's really aggressive in trying to drive to the rim and draw fouls. Etherington is a good, not great, shooter who has a nice stroke from the line but doesn't seek out a ton of perimeter jumpers. Defensively he oozes toughness and is one of the more competitive players on the AAU circuit. Kansas State is recruiting him the hardest right now but Xavier is interested, as are several in-state high majors.

Kevin Johnson - Ohio Basketball Club 17u PG: Schools looking for an athletic scoring combo guard in 2013 (and Xavier probably won't be one of them in that class) will not be disappointed with what Johnson can bring to the table right now. At 6-foot-2 with high level athleticism and a will to win he's really improved his stock over the last month. Johnson again showed an improved ability to make his teammates better, the ability to create a shot whenever he wanted, and was a lock down defender. The Rivals150 guard lists heavy interest coming from Xavier, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Seton Hall, and Dayton with several offers.

Trevor Thompson - Eric Gordon All Stars 17u C: Thompson is a raw 2012 prospect who will be prepping next season at IMG Academy in Florida. At 6-foot-10 with a proclaimed 7-foot-2 wingspan he has the size to be a high major center and the athleticism to be successful while doing so. Thompson can really run the floor but more importantly he gets up of his feet quickly with good timing. Defensively is where Thompson shines as he blocks and alters a ton of shots and really works hard inside. Offensively he is still in the development stages but his high motor allows him to get a lot of things done, he's very good both as an off and on ball screener and hits the boards hard. At IMG the big man should improve his scoring arsenal as well as bulk up and will almost surely end up at a high profile program. Currently he lists an offer from Butler along with interest from Xavier, Purdue, Indiana, and Michigan State.

Devin Williams - Ohio Basketball Club PF: It wasn't the best weekend for the four star big man, but coaches have seen enough out of Williams to know what he can do. The 6-foot-8 strong bodied post man battled cramping didn't see nearly as many minutes as normal in his team's games. While on the court Williams did most of his damage from the high post where he showed off his face up game and a lot of aggression when physically driving to the rim. Recruiting wise nothing has changed in the last week for Williams as he still lists UCLA, Xavier, and West Virginia as the schools that stick out the most; with a multitude of other high majors being involved.

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