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June 6, 2009

USA 16-U trials: Drummond on display

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- The 16-Under USA National Team trials began Saturday with a heavy dose of drill work with a little bit of scrimmaging over the course of two long practices. It didn't long, however for 2012 prospect Andre Drummond to stand out.

Andre Drummond (2012)- For starters, Drummond has the ultimate build for a post player, measuring 6 feet 9.5 (with shoes), 251 pounds and a remarkable 7-foot-5 wing span and 9-foot-1 reach. Secondly, he is a strong athlete. Thirdly, he handles the ball adeptly and can finish in the paint with either hand.

Certainly, Drummond didn't play mistake free basketball. He struggled to finish in traffic at times (as did all the big men) and got ahead of himself, but his potential as a prospect in impressive. His marquee play of the day was when he crossed over an opponent in a full court one-on-one drill and finished with an inside hand lay up at the basket.

As far as his recruitment is concerned, Drummond has an offer from in-state school Connecticut. He also listed Florida, UMass, West Virginia, North Carolina, Providence and Rutgers as schools he is hearing from.

Drummond will attend Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More next year.

Bradley Beal (2011)- Beal is making a strong move towards the number one shooting guard spot in his class. He has an effortless jumper off both the pass and the dribble, but he also showed that he has more to his game than just a jumper. His quickness and athleticism on defense was noticeable, and he grinded out some tough rebounds as well.

Beal has that focus all great scorers possess, and that focus is spilling over into the entirety of his game.

"I want to expand my game, so I'm more of a total threat," he said. "I don't want to be considered just a shooter."

Right now Beal is working with a top five of Kansas, Florida, Missouri, Illinois and Purdue.

Chasson Randle (2011)- The 6-foot point guard played with a sound balance between scoring and distributing the ball. His midrange jumper is a strength, and his long arms (6-foot-4 wing span) allow him to make plays both defensively and offensively inside the arc.

Randle wouldn't name a leader but he did say he feels pressure to attend Illinois, who has offered him. He also has offers from Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa State and Wisconsin. Tennessee and Wake Forest are also showing interest.

Kevin Ware (2011)- A terrific transition player as a finisher at the rim and passer on the move, Ware had an impressive showing in the afternoon session. The question with Ware is his position. Does he have the mentality to run the point? Does he shoot it well enough to play the two? Despite the questions, he is a highly talented prospect.

Quinn Cook (2011)- Right behind or may alongside Beal, Cook is the top shooter at the trials. He also did an excellent job passing the ball on the fastbreak.

Adonis Thomas (2011)- The most athletic wing at the trials, Thomas punished the rim at the morning practice. In the evening session, Thomas had some impressive moves but didn't finish with confidence. Nonetheless, he is a big-time prospect with the chance to be elite if he improves his jump shot.

Ohio State, Tennessee and Memphis have their work cut out to beat North Carolina for Thomas' services.

Johnny O'Bryant (2011)- No big man in the 2011 class plays with more energy than O'Bryant. He also has a lot of game. On several occasions he made impressive moves off the dribble to get to the basket. He also shoots a tough turnaround jumper inside his shooting range which is limited at this stage in his career.

Anthony Wroten Jr. (2011)- His high level passing ability was on display Saturday, but he struggled with his jumper. Not playing with the same explosiveness that he played with last summer, it is imperative that Wroten improve his outside shot and learn to drive the ball to the right, if he is to maintain high level status as a prospect.

Kyle Anderson (2012)- Measuring at just shy of 6-foot-7 (with shoes) and still growing, Anderson has a terrific feel for the game as an offensive player. His ball handling and passing are top notch, and he has some nifty methods for scoring the ball. The big question for Anderson is what position is he going to be able to guard. If he grows a couple more inches and gains strength, playing as a highly skilled hybrid forward might be his ticket.

Other prospects participating in the trials are Norvel Pelle, James McAdoo, Sterling Gibbs, Brandan Kearney, Justin Anderson, Perry Ellis, Angelo Chol, Tony Parker, Kyle Caudill and L.J. Rose.


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