In only its third year Thanksgiving Hoopfest Director Glenn Smith has made the annual turkey weekend one of the premiere basketball events in the country and a must see for those looking to watch some of the best high school basketball talent in the country.
There was no shortage of talent on the court at Duncanville High School and PrepForce.com was on hand to check out some of the premiere talent at the event, as well as some of the rising players at the event.
2013 SG Juwan Parker – Booker T Washington High School (Tulsa, OK) It doesn’t take long to recognize that Parker has a great feel for the game on the offensive end of the court. He lets the game come to him and shows the ability to shoot off the dribble as well as catch and shoot off of screens. Parker has deceptive athleticism but if a defender falls asleep while guarding him they will only see the back of his jersey when they wake up. Parker plays under control with the ball in his hands and shows his basketball IQ by understanding how to move without the ball in order to get open.
2012 PG Shannon Lilly Jr. – Kimball High School (Dallas, TX) Lilly showed why he is one of the more exciting players to watch in the state of Texas. The 6’0” senior uses his speed, quickness and strength to blow by defenders in order to finish at the rim or create for his teammates. He is too strong for defenders to body him and he is too quick for defenders to play off of him – and that creates a problem for opponents. Lilly showed a good mid-range game and shot it well from three during Kimball’s game on Saturday.
2013 SG Keith Frazier – Kimball High School (Dallas, TX) Frazier can flat out shoot the ball. At 6’5” he has the ability to shoot right over defenders, but in reality he doesn’t even need to do that because once the ball crosses the half-court line – Frazier is in range. His length creates problems on the defensive end and his athleticism is highly underrated. Frazier showed he could get to the rim and finish or get to the foul line. Frazier will certainly put up some eye popping offensive stats this season at Kimball with his ability to score from anywhere.
2014 PG Devontae Bailey – Duncanville High School (Duncanville, TX) Bailey stood out throughout the host schools game on Saturday. The 6’3” PG already has a great frame that reminds some of a young Mario Chalmers, and his game was just as impressive. Bailey did a terrific job with playing under control, running the offense and he also showed that he can put point on the board too. He showed the ability to score in multiple ways, including scoring on a few different occasions off of pull-up jumpers in the lane. Bailey has a great feel for the game and should be a name to remember over the coming years.
2014 PG Emmanuel Mudiay – Grace Prep (Arlington, TX) Mudiay was one of the top performers throughout the weekend. If you knew nothing about him before you watched him you would never guess he’s only a sophomore. The 6’4” Mudiay has a feel for the game that is not often seen by young players. He plays under control, can change speeds with the ball and can create for his teammates as well as any guard in the country. There is no doubt that Mudiay will be one of the more highly recruited players in the 2014 class.
2013 SF Jordan Mickey – Grace Prep (Arlington, TX) The ceiling is so high for Mickey that it appears it could be years before he ever gets close to reaching it. At 6’7” Mickey uses his length and strength to his advantage on the defensive end of the court. His length causes problems for opponents on the perimeter and he has the strength to bang with the bigger boys on the low block. On the offensive end of the court Mickey explodes to the rim and finishes with authority. He also showed the ability to hit the mid-range jumpshot, but he will need to continue to improve his shooting from three.
2012 C/PF/SF/PG/SG Isaiah Austin – Grace Prep (Arlington, TX) You name the position and Austin plays it, or has played it, for Grace Prep. At 7’0” there isn’t another player in the country that brings that size and that versatility to the court. Austin can shoot inside and out, and came up big throughout the weekend by hitting big shots for his team. His unique skill sets make Austin a no brainer when considering who will be an impact freshman in college basketball next season.
2012 SF Marcus Smart – Flower Mound Marcus High School (Flower Mound, TX) Toughness, talent and a tremendous will to win. That best describes the 6’4” Oklahoma State bound forward. Smart will simply do whatever is necessary in order for his team to win. His strength is way too much to handle for high school players, his quickness is deceptive, his ball handling is much improved and his desire to get the win is pretty impressive. Smart is a terrific rebounder from his position and he takes pride in shutting down his man on the defensive end of the court. Smart is easily one of the more entertaining players to watch because he will score, defend, rebound, dive for loose balls and he does with a huge smile on his face.
2015 PG Austin Grandstaff – Rockwall High Shchool (Rockwall, TX) The 6’4” Grandstaff didn’t take long to show why he is a rising player in the 2015 class. Grandstaff showed he can play anywhere on the perimeter, but it was his play when running his team that stood out. Grandstaff surprised defenders with his quickness and ability to use his body in order to create space – which almost always led to an easy bucket for him or one of his teammates. His size allows him to rise up and shoot over smaller defenders, and his crafty ball handling and high basketball IQ allow him to make smart, yet creative, plays that lead to points. He showed he can hit from three, finish at the rim and pull-up jumpers in the lane.
2012 SG Rodney Purvis – Upper Class Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC) Purvis is one of the more explosive players in the country and he shows no fear when attacking the rim against bigger defenders. Purvis possesses tremendous quickness to blow by the initial defender and he can rise up as well as anyone in the country. Purvis was inconsistent from outside, but once he got it going on the offensive end of the court he appeared to be able to hit shots from anywhere. With his ability to penetrate Purvis can get easy points for his team at the free throw line, with many of those being AND 1’s with his ability to finish with contact. Purvis has to require an ice bath after each game with the way he sacrifices his body on every possession.
2012 SF Michael Qualls – Huntington High School (Shreveport, LA) There might not be any better college coaches that recruit for their system that Arkansas’ Mike Anderson, and it was very obvious when watching Arkansas commit Michael Qualls. The 6’5” future Hog used his length and energy in order to be a total disruption on the defensive end of the court. Qualls has more than enough athleticism to defend multiple positions and completely disrupt what an offense is trying to run. His length eats up passing lanes which creates easy buckets in transition, and he showed that he can mix it up on the glass as well. While his outside jumpshot is still improving, there is no question that Qualls is still a tough match-up with his size, speed and athleticism.
2013 SG Matt Jones – DeSoto High School (DeSoto, TX) Leave him open for a split second from three and it might as well be a lay-up for Jones. The latest Duke commit will thrive in that system with his ability to hit the three. Jones isn’t just a shooter though. He showed he could use size to rebound and go from his position, create off the bounce and disrupt passing lanes.
2013 PF Julius Randle – Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plao, TX) Randle showed why he is thought of by many as the #1 player in the 2013 class. The 6’9” 240 lbs PF has the size, quickness, speed and toughness to score from anywhere on the court. He can rebound and go, he can create off the bounce, finish at the rim, hit from mid-range and from three and no one will ever question if he gave everything he had while on the court.
2013 PG Andrew Harrison – Travis High School (Fort Bend, TX) It’s not often that you see a high school player that has so much control, swag and patience. Harrison doesn’t need to rush because he knows that he will get his opportunities to score. Harrison showed that he can score from anywhere on the court. At the rim, in the lane or from behind the arc, and he can shoot it off the dribble or off the catch. He has tremendous change of pace ability that catches his defender off guard, and his court vision is off the charts. Like his twin brother, Aaron, Andrew can finish with contact at the rim and rack up points at the free throw line.
2013 SG Aaron Harrison – Travis High School (Fort Bend, TX) Much like his brother Harrison shows a tremendous control, swag and patience on the court. He showed a great ability to use his ability to get into the lane in order to set up his outside shot. High basketball IQ that sticks out when watching him set-up his defenders for things to come later in the game, and by then his man has no idea what will come next. He also has a terrific ability to finish with contact at the rim and add to his teams point total at the free throw line.