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May 25, 2004

Under the Scope: 2005 Wings

In the second edition of a three-part series, RivalsHoops.com breaks down five of the top wings in the nation and offers clues as to which one could end up on top by summer's end. Rivals.com's No. 1 player, Tasmin Mitchell, has all the tools to make him the top small forward in the country. But others around the nation are trying to claim that spot.

Keith Brumbaugh - At 6-foot-8, 215-pounds, this Florida native is a difficult match up on the wing, a place where he loves to plant himself for three-pointers. The No. 2 overall ranked player by Rivals.com is beginning to shed the mold of set-shooter by putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket more than he did last year. If his performance at the Nike Peach Jam (he scored 44 points in one contest, including seven three-pointers) was any indication of what to expect this summer, watch out. He's aiming for a bigger stage. Perhaps even bigger than the NCAA.

C.J. Miles - The word is now officially out on Miles. After staying under the radar during the regular season, this Dallas Skyline product has shown why nearly every high major program has offered a scholarship. At 6-foot-6, Miles is a collection of skills from handling the ball, to playing solid defense, to rebounding, to scoring on the wing. His stock has been climbing, but he is still looking for consistency. But given his skill level and willingness to improve, Miles could be one of the biggest rankings-climbers by the end of the summer.

Tasmin Mitchell - He's been a staple at the top of the 2005 rankings as long as we can remember, and the Denham Springs (La.) High School product hasn't done anything to diminish his standing as the top player in the nation. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder is a mix of power and grace, excelling inside the paint and on the perimeter. He is a non-stop ball of energy who brings a number of skills to a lineup. Mitchell is the total package. Kentucky and LSU are the top schools in the race for his services.

Brandon Rush - Basketball runs in his blood. It runs in his family tree. It runs in every thread of his existence. The 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing from St. Louis is playing at Mt. Zion in North Carolina (the same school where Tracy McGrady starred at before his days in the NBA). Rush is a mix of his brothers Kareem (who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers) and JaRon (who starred at UCLA in the 90s). Brandon is a highlight film with improving range. Some believe he'll choose between the NBA and several high major colleges at the end of his high school days. Rush controls his destiny this summer. It's now or never.

Martell Webster - Injuries to both feet have sidelined the Seattle native for nearly a year. Don't discount his talent though. Had Webster played in the month of April he could possibly be sitting atop the 2005 rankings. He has that kind of talent. Recruiting junkies have forgotten about him somewhat but Arizona, Washington and several others have not. Once healthy, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound athlete will reclaim his name and standing as one of the best players in the nation. Webster has a legitimate shot of being the best overall player in the field.

Here is a look of our best of from the group:

Best Shooter: Webster. His shot is a thing of beauty.
Best Scorer: Brumbaugh. He's capable of scoring 40 a game with little effort. Now that he's improved his mid-range game, 50 points isn't an exaggeration.
Best Athlete: Rush. Rims - be careful, he'll hurt you.
Best Rebounder: Mitchell. He treats rebounds like they are his last meal. He devours them.
Best Versatility: Miles. He played the four spot in high school and ran the point in April.
Best Defender: Mitchell. He shines without the ball.
Best Ball Handler: Webster. The Seattle product can put it on the floor and attack the basket for points, too.
Best Passer: Miles. His court vision is underrated.

Be on the lookout for our breakdown of the top big men in the coming days.


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