#Sweet16: Day Two Bigs – April 15, 2015

Georgia Kings forward Davion Thomas caught the attention of many programs in attendance. Photo Cred: Ty Freeman
Day two at the On The Radar Hoops Sweet 16 Session I meant more teams, more players.  The action tipped off bright and early with  the first game being played at 8am.  The Live Period brought out coaches from all over the country to Atlanta to evaluate prospects.  Coaches have roster spots to fill so the barrage of questions about players abilities come non stop.  The one thing in recruiting that will most certainly get a coaches attention happens to be a big man, so Day 2 of the Sweet 16 was used to identify those who tower above the rest.
Day Two Bigs
Davion Thomas 6’8 PF Class 2016 Georgia Kings/Northside Columbus HS(GA)
Thomas is a slender, but very talented big that hasn’t realized his potential.  He often tends to play in spurts, but when he decided to put forth the effort he managed to put some impressive possessions together.  “Tree” as his teammates call him, started the fast break by either hauling down a rebound and pushing it himself, or by coming across the lane on defense for one of his many weak side blocks.  On the offensive end he tends to float a little to much, he tends to get comfortable with his ability to catch and shoot.  Around the rim Thomas is an unbelievable athlete that went up and slammed home lobs and rebounds that bounced his way off the rim.
Bulbior Ajang 6’10 PF Class of 2017 Gulf Coast(MS)/St. Patrick’s HS(NJ)
We were really impressed with Ajang’s soft touch around the rim yesterday.  He did a good job of finishing plays with either hand, and when he came up with offensive rebounds he was quick to get his shot right back off.  When he managed to establish good post position his go to was a short hook shot over his left shoulder.  Ajang also wasn’t shy about shooting the ball around 17ft in pick and pop situations.  Going forward he needs to strengthen his hands, there were a number of rebounds that he didn’t come up with because he simply couldn’t hold on to the ball.
Raekwon Long 7’0 C Class of 2016 PSB Select Elite/Garinger HS(NC)
Long was no doubt the biggest player in the gym,  out weighing his opponents by at least thirty pounds or more.  Long’s motor looked a little better than it had been in the past.  He exerts effort on both ends of the floor, and more than understands how to throw his weight around.  He was a pretty decent rebounder, hauling down boards in his area after wearing down his defenders with his constant bump and grind.  Long still could use plenty of work on the offensive end.  A decent pair of hands, Long was able to gobble up pretty much any pass or rebound that came straight to him.  Not the eye popping athlete, when he got a good head of steam he was able to deliver a couple rim rattling dunks.
Daniel Gafford 6’10 PF/C Class of 2017 Arkansas Wings/El Dorado HS(AR)
Probably my favorite prospect on the due to the amount of energy he brought to the court.  Gafford is a high flyer that stays around the rim on both offense and defense.  Due to him being so bouncy he was able to change a ton of shots, as well as send a few easy lay ups back to half court with his shot blocking ability.  Gafford had no problem changing ends, he was able to keep up with his teams speedy guards and be on the receiving in of passes for some easy buckets. In the half court set he was equally effective facing the basket and playing on the block with his back to the basket.
Silas Adheke 6’7 PF Class of 2017 Team Georgia Elite/Hamilton Heights(TN)
This players development will be one to watch over the course of spring and summer.  He switched travel teams which ultimately was a decision that will play out in his favor.  Plain and simple Adheke needs court time to continue to develop.  A native of Nigeria, I can tell he has a good work ethic of some sorts because he’s further along since the last time I laid eyes on him.  Long, athletic, runs extremely well, Adheke must begin to understand that at the end of the day he will be an undersized power forward that will be able to create match up problems due to his ability to drag bigs out on the perimeter.  The lefty needs to concentrate on honing his skills around the rim to go along with the fact that he has a decent shot and can convert on straight line drives to the rim.
Connor Vanover 7’3 C Class of 2018 Arkansas Wings/Arkansas Baptist(AR) 
Its pure amazement to see a young man stand seven foot, three inches tall.  Everywhere Vanover goes its obvious that he’s the topic of conversation.  Yesterday his height wasn’t the only thing that stood out, his shooting stroke had coaches buzzing on the sidelines.  The young big shot the ball with confidence, constantly stroking shots from the perimeter.  Vanover is still a work in progress as he becomes more comfortable with his body.  Going forward upper and lower body strength will be key in his development.  He probably won’t pan out to be the quickest big guy, as he has decent mobility at this point.  He scored at the rim on put backs and dump offs with ease and wasn’t afraid to get a little physical.

Around the Rim

EA Prep Stars guard Sidney Moss scored a game high 26 points in a win over the Alabama Generals. Moss has good speed and quickness with or without the ball. He advances the ball himself or sprints the wing in transition where he has the ability to get to the rim and finish with a dunk or shoot the deep 3.
Max Hoekstra of Team Hurricane Elite has the ability to go on a run to knock down five or six deep three pointers in a row no matter how he is guarded. He will be a players for mid major college programs to keep an eye on over the next couple of years.
Smyrna Stars guard Lane Foster caught the attention of Dartmouth. Foster sports a 4.0 GPA and will continue to gain more attention from academic programs around the country.
Rodney Chatman of Lithonia, Ga., was great during the high school season in the Peach State Classic. This crafty guard has the ability to penetrate the defense to get to the rim or knock down the open shot from deep.
Charlotte Royals available guard Derek McKnight picked up an offer from NJIT. McKnight showed the ability to break down the defense to get to the rim or find teammates for the easy basket.

Kerry Willis is the Director of Scouting for Courtcred.com and is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops. You can reach him via email at Kwillis@courtcred.com.

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