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May 31, 2006

Memorial Day Classic stock raisers

The NIKE Memorial Day Classic held in Nashville, Tenn., provided several prospects with a unique opportunity to make a name for themselves.

National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer is always on the lookout for emerging talent and focuses on five prospects that raised their stock with impressive performances at the event.

Anthony Jones, Houston Milby
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-9
College choice: Undecided
2008 prospect Anthony Jones got more playing time than usual at the Nike Memorial Day Classic, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.

A long 6-foot-9 shot blocker, Jones has small forward offensive skills. He can shoot the ball from behind the arc and is a fairly good ball handler. More impressive this weekend, however, was how Jones battled for rebounds and came up with some tough offensive put backs.

Not one to shy away from contact, Jones just needs to put on more weight to be more effective around the basket. Along with 2008 prospect Greg Monroe, Jones has as much upside as any prospect at the event.

Paul Williams, Detroit Renaissance
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-3
College choice: Undecided
Paul Williams has been impressive throughout the spring for The Family, but the 2008 wing prospect really impressed with his clutch performance in The Family's one point triple overtime victory over the Houston Hoops.

A physical left hander who loves to slash to the basket, Williams is also a dangerous three-point shooter. Against the Hoops, he knocked down a critical three in the third overtime period.

Williams also impacts the game on the defensive end with his ability to guard any perimeter position and his strong rebounding from the wing position.

John Roberson, Plano (Texas)
Position: Point guard
Height: 5-foot-11
College choice: Undecided
At the Memorial Day Classic John Roberson demonstrated why he recently picked up an Oklahoma offer.

Although he is under 6-feet, Roberson plays with strength and has a burst to the basket off the dribble. Yet, what sets up his penetration game and makes him so dangerous offensively is his lethal shooting ability. Roberson can shoot from deep either off the pass or the dribble and is fully capable of hitting the contested shot.

In the process of transitioning to the point guard position, Roberson does need to grow as a set up guy and distributor of the ball. Still working with an either score or pass mentality, he must learn to aggressively create with both the shot, or the pass as an option.

Most importantly, Roberson is competitive and tough, and appears to have what it takes to make the transition to the point.

Gary McGhee, Anderson (Ind.) Highlands
Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-10
College choice: Undecided
SYF Players big man Gary McGhee is transforming from a high-major project to a high-major prospect.

At a solid 6-foot-10, 253-pounds McGhee is very difficult to score over. Not necessarily a big shot blocker, McGhee defends more with strength and positioning. He also does a nice job of using his large frame on the defensive end.

McGhee's offensive game is behind his defensive game. His hands need work, and his post moves need development. But McGhee did attack the offensive boards for some put back points, and when he got an edge on his man with a drop step, he attacked the rim for dunks with his post moves.

Most importantly for McGhee, he is playing with energy, aggressiveness and confidence.

Chandler Parsons, Winter Park (Fla.) Lake Howell
Position: Small forward
Height: 6-foot-8
College choice: Undecided
With his ability to shoot the ball as his main strength, Chandler Parsons has solidified himself as a high-major prospect by expanding his game.

Still in need of more strength, Parsons was effective on the boards with his active athleticism. He also is handling the basketball more like a small forward.

In transition, he filled the lanes well and did a good job finishing around the basket. Without Solomon Alibi and Joseph Katuka in attendance, Parsons did a nice job defending in the post, but he also has the footwork to defend on the perimeter.

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