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November 26, 2011
DUNCANVILLE, Texas- Entering its third year, the Thanksgiving Hoopfest on the campus of Duncanville (Texas) High has become a great way to kick off the Holiday hoops season. With plenty of talent on hand, loaded Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep followed five-star sophomore Emmanuel Mudiay's lead and steamrolled a talented Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler team to highlight a super day of hoops.
Embarrassment of riches for Grace Prep
In all fairness, it's important to point out that Wheeler was missing Rivals150 big man Charles Mitchell and celebrated freshman Kejuan Johnson. It's also important to point out that Grace Prep was missing four-star 2013 big man Karviar Shepherd from its lineup. At the end of the day, though, it didn't matter.
Within just a few minutes of the opening tip of Grace Prep's runaway 75-42 win, super sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay made it clear whose house it was.
A physical, athletic and dynamic 6-foot-4 point guard who is all about making plays off the dribble, Mudiay went to work early and often bullying his way into the lane for buckets or to create easy scoring opportunities for teammates. Mudiay, who listed Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Kansas, Marquette, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M among others, wasn't alone in making things happen for Grace Prep.
Baylor bound five-star big man Isaiah Austin was on the prowl around the rim throwing down dunk after dunk on the offensive end while disrupting shots on defense. Oklahoma bound wing Jelon Hornbeak also displayed a burst of athleticism that he hadn't shown before and knocked down some jumpers.
On top of that, 2013 four-star Jordan Mickey came to play in a huge way. Viewed as more of a slightly undersized four man who can really contest shots and run the floor until recently, the 6-foot-7 junior continued to show a much more diverse game. Looking more and more like a small forward, Mickey made big plays in transition, ran the floor, showed improved handle and played with a high level of energy all the way through. According to Mickey, the likes of Kansas, Texas, Providence, Texas A&M, Houston and Baylor have shown early interest.
The bottom line is that Grace Prep is loaded and all they did was increase the excitement for Saturday's matchup with Ft. Bend (Texas) Travis featuring the nation's top class of 2013 recruit Andrew Harrison and his top-ten twin brother Aaron Harrison.
More Friday notables in Duncanville
Damyean Dotson, SF, Yates- His team went down, but the recent Oregon signee turned some heads with his ability. A sleek 6-foot-5 athlete, Dotson has tremendous burst with his first step, a nice crossover dribble move and he's working hard to become a threat as a jump-shooter. His activity and length will be a welcome addition to the press that Dana Altman likes to employ.
Marcus Smart, SG, Flower Mound Marcus- Perhaps the day's best matchup featured Smart's Marcus team and high octane Houston (Texas) Yates. After Yates controlled the tempo early, the burly 6-foot-4 guard helped Marcus take hold of the game and speed to a double-digit victory. Known for his ability to impact games, Smart did just that on an "off" day as he flirted with a triple double while racking up 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Phil Forte and Nick Banyard, SG & PF, Flower Mound Marcus- Racking up 21 points each, the Oklahoma State-bound Forte and New Mexico-bound Banyard were effective as well. After a slow start, Forte knocked down a bunch of deep jumpers and used his strength to score on streaking drives to the rim in transition. While Forte and Smart held it down on the perimeter, Banyard was leaking to the basket for dunk, after dunk, after dunk. The 6-foot-7 four man has always been bouncy but he's a bit stronger and is showing more explosiveness than ever.
Stevie Clark, PG, OKC Douglass- While he's not the biggest guy around at 5-foot-10, the junior has generally played off the ball to free him for deep jumpers up until now. Thanks to some graduated players, he's finally getting his chance to run the point and there's a lot to like. Most of all, there's blinding speed and superior quickness. As he develops his feel for the position, Clark should expand his playmaking and he looks to be on his way to being a viable option at the point for high majors.
Juwan Parker, SG, Tulsa Booker T. Washington- If he catches the defense napping, the 6-foot-4 wing has no problem coming off of the back side to throw down two-handed slams off of lob passes. But, it's his steady game and ability to make jumpers that has garnered the Rivals150 junior high major looks.
Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian- The five-star guard's team got rocked on Friday, but he shrugged off a slow start to score 19 of his game-high 24 points during the second half of a loss to Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian. A guy who makes plays with the ball in his hand, he did his best damage driving to the hoop and using his bounce and strength to make things happen around the rim. There were some miscues handling the ball, but he's a guy who wants to compete and is far from selfish.
Julius Randle, PF, Prestonwood Christian- One of the most physically imposing guys in the class of 2013, Randle can do some things facing the hoop and attacking off of the dribble. But, where he excels is getting into the lane and using his brute strength to overpower guys at the rim. He took over for a stretch and put away any hopes of Upper Room making a comeback. A planned mid-October visit to Texas didn't materialize, but he says that he'll be back. Randle recently tripped to Baylor and mentioned that he'd been looking at trying to make it out to see Kentucky tangle with North Carolina and get up to Kansas for their game with Ohio State in the next few weeks though neither visit is set in stone.