2010 Hoophall Players, cont.

I know it’s been a minute, but I told y’all I would finish what I started. **pulls out notes and such from the weekend**

Kyrie Irving, 6’2 PG
St. Patrick’s High School

I was extremely impressed with Irving for his handle of the game. He has a tremendous feel for what his team needs. In the first half, Gilchrist was playing well and St. Pats was getting solid contributions across the board. Despite Joseph coming after him on seemingly every possession, Irving stayed within himself and did what his team needed him to do.

In the second half, Irving brought St. Pats back from a seven point deficit, repeatedly getting into the creases in the Findlay defense. He hit threes, floaters, 3-point plays. He looked like BY FAR the best player on the court for the final quarter and a half. Despite missing a free throw that would’ve tied the game, Irving ended with a game-high 30 points and showed the characteristics that have made him such a hot topic amongst high school basketball circles.

Irving is definitely the type of kid who can start from the beginning at Duke. Plus, he has skills that should make him the best Dukie lead guard since Jason Williams. His shot isn’t perfect, but he hit with great success against Findlay. He isn’t an explosive athlete, but he is shifty and knows how to switch gears.

Overall, he is he first Duke prospect in years that I am actually excited about.

Tobias Harris, 6’8 SF, PF
Half Hollow Hills West

Perhaps the best individual performance of the weekend belonged to Harris. As the main attraction on the Saturday afternoon, Harris displayed a knack to finish inside and outside. I called him the Devin Ebanks clone in my SLAMonline article. Harris is a kid who has the tools to not only be a dominant player at Tennessee, but also one day make the transition to the 3 at the NBA level.

He won’t wow you physically, but he is long enough to finish inside. His pull-up jump shot is already NCAA high-level caliber as he loves to size up his defender from the top of the key and stroke off of one or two dribbles. Offensively, I think he has a chance to average 15 as a freshman.

On the defensive end, he was spectacular as well. He had 16 rebounds and was a really deterrent around the rim. Despite the level of competition that wasn’t nearly as spectacular as Monday offered, Harris was much better than I expected.

Jared Sullinger, 6’9 PF
Ohio State

I’m going to have to tell y’all before I talk about this man: I don’t think I would ever praise a top rated high school big man who scored just 3 points in a game as highly-celebrated as this one was against Oak Hill. National TV, ESPN and Sullinger came out and dropped 3 points? Hopefully no one made box score assumptions in this one.

Oak Hill doubled and tripled the big man every time down, normally even before he touched the rock. Sullinger never lost his cool or forced anything. He didn’t score over the course of the whole first half, yet didn’t let that affect his defensive effort. He rebounds with ease because of his wide frame and huge hands.

At the end of the game, he made the game deciding block and sealed the win and a number one national ranking for Northland. He might not have the star potential of some other kids who have been rated number one as seniors, but he will definitely be a huge Big 10 presence next year.

As an NBA talent, I think he will turn into a solid role player in the mold of the Millsaps, Big Babys and Craig Smiths of the world. He’s not that great of an athlete and he is slightly undersized. But, he is team-first, works at both end and has a nice touch offensively.

I am interested to see where his career goes from here.

Here’s a wrap up of the 3 days from SLAM:


About Sean Sweeney
Sean is a multimedia journalist and a current contributing writer for Dime Magazine. He has covered basketball at all levels for Dime Magazine, SLAM, Bounce and Rivals. He is also a recent Masters graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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