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May 28, 2005

TOC scouting reports

Virtually all of the games on the four courts in the Dean E. Smith Center at UNC were lopsided affairs, but Rivals.com was able to roam the courts and get a quick scout on a number of players. One of the top ranked players in action Paul Harris suited up for action with the GC Ballers, and led them to victory with his intense leadership.

Paul Harris- The chiseled multi-position was in constant communication with his teammates as he battled for loose balls and rebounds on the defensive end. During much of the game he guarded post players as the GC Ballers went with mainly an all guard line up against the New Jersey Roadrunners.

On offense, he played everywhere on the court from the post to the wing to the point. Harris' ultimate future, however, is at the point guard position. He handles the ball well while maintaining excellent court vision. He then has the strength to put passes in just the right spot from long distances. His specialty pass is the long diagonal look on the run. His "go to move" is a left to right crossover, often preceded by a hesitation or some type of yoyo dribble. He does need to improve his ability to attack the basket with his left hand and finish with his left hand. As a rebounding guard, he is unparalleled.

His one glaring weakness is his outside shot. He shoots a very flat shot that he releases from the side of his head after bring the ball behind his ear. His wrist then often snaps to the inside, instead of straight to the basket. The good news is that the rotation of the ball is fine. Even better news is that Harris is the type of confident competitor that he can will big shots into the basket similar to Carl Krauser, Pittsburgh's former point guard.

If Harris can improve his jumper to respectable standards, you are looking at a Jason Kidd type point guard with that physical, competitive style.

Harris is clearly thinking Syracuse and a decision might be coming soon. As to where he plays next year is undecided as well, but the Laurinburg Institutes coaching staff was in full force to watch him play.

Johnny Flynn- This 2007 sharp shooter ran the point much of the game for the GC Ballers. He shoots it well off the dribble and from behind the arc on the catch. He is a very quick player with high-major ability. Makes up for his small size defensively with smarts and heart.

Lazar Hayward- A 6-foot-5 smooth swing man for the GC Ballers, Hayward is a crafty scorer. He hit from behind the arc and worked his way into the pain off the dribble. Not an explosive athlete, but again, crafty. He does need to get stronger as a defender and rebounder.

Alexander Zarpire- This 2007 shooting guard prospect for the New England Playaz can light it up from behind the arc. At this point, he has a slow release as he likes to approach the ball with two big steps and then loop the ball up to his release point. But he does have a high release point and good strength for a sophomore. Once he tightens up his release, he will be ready to score at the high major level. He does need to get better with the dribble, however. He does not cover much ground on the bounce and generally just looks to give the ball up when the shot is not there. Yet, the base for a better handle is intact.

Kiwan Smith- This 6-foot-6 combo forward for the New England Playaz has a nice looking shot that should only improve. He can also attack the basket from the three-point line and in. His handle and passing in the open court, however, does need work. Bouncy and athletic, he did play hard around the basket despite his thin frame. Time in the weight room will be essential for Smith's development.

Jon Han- The former point guard of the Tilton School is headed to the Laurinburg Institute next year. Running the point for the New England Playaz, the lefty point guard has a very good feel for distributing the ball and shoots a nice floater in the lane. Rarely looks to shoot from behind the arc, however. Right now he looks like a good mid-major point guard, but if he developed his range and gets significantly stronger, he could be a high major prospect.

Will Walker (Illinois Wolves)- Good with the ball going left or right, Walker has a strong court presence and is always a threat to score. He continues to get physically stronger, which will help him tremendously on the defensive side of the ball.

Heath White (D1 Greyhounds)- This 2006 high major combo guard prospect often gets overlooked by the play of OJ Mayo and Bill Walker. Make no mistake, though. White is a very good basketball player. He is solid with the ball, can defend and can make athletic plays.

Deonta Vaughn- This future Hoosier suited up with the Greyhounds and played a very strong game. He had a strong command of his handle while spotting the open man on the move. Shot the ball well from outside and finished around the basket.

Bill Walker (D1 Greyhounds)- There might not be a prep player out there as athletic as Walker. Walker also has the potential to shoot the spot up jumper as well as finish around the basket. What he does need to develop is some finesse with his game off the dribble. At this point, the head goes down, and it is either dunk, block, charge or turnover. Once he develops some midrange scoring moves, he will be a NBA ready small forward.

Austin Freeman (DC Assault)- With great size for a shooting guard, Freeman is both a smooth and physical scorer. Although not a great leaper, he gets into his shot quickly and shoots it effortlessly, especially for a 2007 prospect.

Jeremy Williams (Team Angels)- Williams is quite an intriguing high-major prospect as a smooth left handed athlete. He can finish with a jump hook in the lane, has a smooth looking shot out to 17-feet and has a knack for coming up with the basketball. His range should improve with time. Made for an up tempo style with the way he can run the floor.

Jay Watkins (Team Angels)- Also known as Joseph, Watkins is very effective around the basket with a jump hook with range out to 10-feet. He can also put the ball on the floor and create a little. Not quite the athlete that his teammate Williams is, Watkins is a crafty player with a knack for getting to the ball and drawing fouls.

Ravern Johnson (Team Angles)- Remember the name of this 2007 prospect from Clarksdale, Miss. Thin and a long 6-foot-7, Johnson excels at shooting the ball over defenders. He has solid three-point range and is in the beginning stages of learning to create space with the dribble for his jumper. As he adds strength to his thin frame, he will be more of a threat to get into the lane and do damage.

Dinero Thomas (New Orleans Jazz)- Thomas has always been a grinder around the basket with very good hands and the ability to make tough shoots from mid-range and in. After spending a season playing shooting guard for Mt. Zion, he has shot the ball very well from behind the arc this spring. With one more year coming at Mt. Zion, Thomas has turned himself into a legitimate high-major prospect.

Lance Stephenson- In a ridiculous blowout win by the New York Panthers, it was tough to get a gauge on much, but one thing was clear. 2009 prospect Lance Stephenson is a legitimate big time prospect. The game comes very easy to this well built 6-foot-3 guard.


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