Thanksgiving Hoopfest: Day Two

Matt Jones

DUNCANVILLE, Tex - King McClure and Matt Jones represented well for the city of Dallas on Day Two of the Thanksgiving Hoopfest.

Matt Jones, SG, DeSoto – In a 30 point effort, the future Duke Blue Devil looked great. Of course Jones can shoot the ball and he hit several threes, but what was most impressive was his ability to attack using the dribble. In the past Jones has struggled with that, but he looked much more comfortable with the bounce in this one, and finished around the rim much better than in previous viewings. He will need to continue on that track to be more than just a knockdown jump shooter, but so far so good as this was a big step forward.

Soma Edo, PF, Dallas Berkner – He won the dunk contest which should be no surprise since he is probably the best dunker in the 2013 class. Edo also excelled on the court in an actual game setting as well. He hit a three and another outside jumper, but still he made his money finishing around the rim and dunking. Though he is only about 6-foot-5, Edo plays significantly taller than that and is someone who should have an impact at Fresno State.

Kendal Harris, PG, Dallas Berkner – Not the quickest guard in America, Harris did find a way to be productive. He is strong using his dribble, and future USC Trojan knows how to create space for himself using strength. Harris will need to become a knockdown shooter because he doesn't have great blow by ability on the ball, but it was a solid effort and one in which Harris did look comfortable running the show and was productive.

Julius Randle, PF, Prestonwood Christian – It can be frustrating at times to watch Randle try and play like Kevin Durant instead of Chris Webber, but the talent is just astounding. He creates so much space with a new step back jumper, and is getting better shooting the basketball from deep. Still he needs to decide to dominate down low more often, but he is clearly more than capable. An elite talent, Randle has all the ability in the world to be a long time NBA star.

Jordan Mickey, PF, Prime Prep – Long and athletic, Mickey blocked several shots down low. While Mickey isn't the tallest player, he has supremely long arms and is always the second guy off the floor. On offense he did struggle some to finish down low, but he hit from the mid-range and was aggressive on the glass for the most part. He is still a bit of a work in progress, but all the tools are there for him to be very good going forward.

Karviar Shepherd, C, Prime Prep – Things started off really well for Shepherd. He scored using a right hand jump hook, had a few aggressive rebounds, and was a factor running the floor and finishing. However in the second half things kind of tailed off. Still Shepherd has pretty good hands, is a big body, and as he gets stronger will continue to be a factor on the low block, and should be a good player right away for TCU.

Jarell Martin, PF, Madison Prep – Martin has turned himself into a really, really good outside shooter. As a pick and pop power forward he will be a nightmare for teams to defend because you have to respect his shot, but if a defender closes out too hard he is more than capable of using the dribble to attack the rim. In the game Martin battled some foul trouble and that limited his effectiveness, but he still was impressive and continues to show why he will be such a factor for LSU.

Damian Jones, PF, Scotlandville – Jones had a few very nice moments. He showed off an excellent post move going mid-line, and then even mixed in a drop stop. Also Jones really runs the floor well and shows good hands. Still he didn't dominate like physically he is capable of, but the tools are there. Progress won't come overnight, but the upside is huge here.

Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Prime Prep – The game comes so easy to Mudiay. He doesn't always decide to dominate like he should, but when he does turn it on Mudiay is an absolute problem. Mudiay can hit shots, is really crafty with the bounce, and then is an excellent athlete. When needed he controlled the game, and is just such a problem with everything he can attack defenses with.

Davontae Bailey, PG/SG, Duncanville – A big point guard who is excels at getting to the rim and is also a good passer, Bailey did some good things against Prestonwod. Bailey isn't really a threat to shot, but he knows how to change speeds using the dribble and that allows him to get by guys. Also he sees the floor very well and never gets sped up by the defense. His jumper will need to come along, but Bailey will no doubt have his share of high-major interest before it is all said and done.

Elijah Thomas, C, Rockwall – Thomas was dominant on the low block. While there was no one who could match his physical size, what was impressive is how Thomas dominated. He is as smart a low post player as there is in the class. Thomas can pass out of the post, really knows how to use his lower body to create space, and has a nice touch inside of 10 feet. Thomas struggled some from the foul line, but it was an extremely impressive performance and one that opened up some major eyes earning an offer from North Carolina State.

King McClure, SG, Dallas Triple A Academy – The performance that McClure put on was special. He got to the rim, was active on defense, and flat out scored it on offense. McClure is a big time competitor and plays every game like it is his last. With that toughness combined with a gift to put the ball in the basket, McClure willed his team to a win.

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