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July 10, 2007

LeBron James top 2008 performers

Basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer is traveling for almost the entire month of July. He just wrapped up coverage and evaluating prospects at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio.

Today, Meyer takes a look at the class of 2008. Below are six standouts that have set themselves apart from the other participants in Akron.

In the coming days Meyer will look at the class of 2009 and some other players that have caught his eye.

LeBron James US Skills Academy top 2008 performers
Demar DeRozan, SG, Compton (Calif.)

DeRozan continues to improve his stock. Ultra-athletic and with NBA size for a shooting guard, DeRozan is as tough a perimeter matchup as there is on the circuit. DeRozan is able to get his shot off at any time. He likes to utilize a step-back jumper or drive to the rim. He is also a dangerous rebounder who is learning to be more than just a prolific scorer.
Samardo Samuels, PF, Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's
Samuels highlights

What a combination of power and skill. Samuels is almost unstoppable once he establishes position in the low post. He can score to either shoulder. Even more impressive is the fact that he commands the ball in a setting where feeding the post isn't a high priority. Samuels' abilities and intensity make the low-post game a priority for his team. He is also expanding his game in an Elton Brand fashion, making him almost as effective in the mid-post as he is in the low post.
Scotty Hopson, SG, Hopkinsville (Ky.) University Heights
Hopson highlights

This bouncy athlete isn't too far behind DeRozan as a shooting-guard prospect. Also blessed with NBA size and athleticism, Hopson has a feathery touch on his jumper. If he goes right it's almost a guaranteed bucket with his patented floater. He isn't too shabby going left, either. His intensity as a defender and rebounder does need improving, but he possesses the raw talent to develop into one of the best scoring wings in the country.
Tyreke Evans, PG, Aston (Pa.) American Christian
Evans highlights

Playing with maturity and control, Evans did a nice job running his team. Practically unguardable one-on-one, Evans also has an uncanny ability to get low to the floor and split the double team. His deep shot is still a work in progress, but it is improving and is strong enough to keep the defense from playing off him. Once a defender bites on his patented hesitation move, Evans finishes the tough layup as well as any guard on the circuit.
Greg Monroe, PF Harvey (La.) Helen Cox
Monroe highlights

Despite the scrutiny, Monroe continues to hold on to the top spot in the 2008 class. Like Samuels, Monroe is expanding his game but in the other direction. Always a threat in the high post and a good ballhandler and passer for a four man, Monroe is playing with a much more physical edge to his game. He is establishing deeper position in the post and scoring with either hand. He is producing around the basket with aggressive spin moves. Although he does experience some lapses as a rebounder, he is chasing down more rebounds outside his area and capturing rebounds in a crowd.
Delvon Roe, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward
Roe highlights

Adding a stronger frame to his ever-running motor, Roe is playing bigger and with more presence than in the past. Along with the points he manufactures with his hustle, Roe also has a dangerous post-up game that is guaranteed to produce. Built around a lightning-quick jump hook, Roe also can spin to his right shoulder and knock down a turnaround lefty jumper. His face-up jumper is looking better, and you can always count on Roe's intangibles to give him an advantage over opponents.



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