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May 12, 2012College basketball coaches are not alotted any evaluation time in May. Maybe it is for the best after UC Head Coach Mick Cronin and staff floated around the United States in April.
Many of the players they appreciated in April competed Saturday in Dallas. BearcatReport.com spent the entire day watching, writing, and talking. Here are some thoughts.
PG Tyler Ennis
Tyler Ennis remains the most stable point guard in North America. Rarely flashy Ennis makes wise, age-defying decisions that consistentally lead to victories. Like fellow Top 25 player Nate Britt, freakish athleticism eludes Ennis. No matter.
He gets anywhere he wants on the floor and sets up teammates with technically sound passes. Ennis can send a skip pass to awaiting shooter or dump the ball into the paint. Every teammate on the floor is a threat because Ennis can serve them all.
Even though Ennis rarely summons his outside, the Toronto youngster has deadly shooting accuracy.
It was not Ennis' best day Saturday as CIA Bounce nearly dropped a game to Spiece Select. Matched up against Purdue-bound Bryson Scott the 6'3" Ennis missed eleven shots. The whole team underachieved largely because they insisted upon pushing the ball.
Ordinarily CIA Bounce can thrive at high tempo. Saturday they did not simply because Spiece players retreated with vigor. It was the best defensive transition ever witnessed during an AAU season.
Cincinnati has been recruiting Ennis since last June. Last month the Bearcats finished as runner-up to Villanova in pursuit of Tyler's older brother, Rice-transfer Dylan Ennis.
Coach Cronin will have to work miracles to finish that high for the younger brother.
Many programs have assigned top PG target status to Tyler. Cincinnati is hardly alone in the pursuit.
PG Terrence Samuel
On the UC recruiting board for a full year now Terrence Samuel plays smart basketball. Almost never the culprit of a turnover, almost never the victim of overexertion Samuel plays with poise.
He does not shoot often and still needs a passable outside shot to become more complete. Samuel gives his team a pass first option on the ball. He can drive with confidence but does not jump well like NY Lightning backcourt mate Severe.
NY Lightning represents the third AAU team of the last year for Samuel who led New Heights NYC into Indianapolis last May. You can also find Samuel on the New Rens (NY) with a glut of superstars.
Few are more dependable at the free throw line late than Samuel.
Nursing a temporary injury Samuel told BearcatReport two schools that are constantly after him, one that he plans to visit soon.
SG Jon Severe
Severe operates off the ball with NY Lightning making it difficult to evaluate his point guard skills.
The most blatant skill/ablility for Jonathan Severe is the speed burst. Severe has explosive tendencies, both horizonally and vertically. For a combo guard that is likely to morph into a college shooting guard Severe have fantastic leaping ability. He takes after high school teammate, UConn-bound Omar Calhoun, that way.
Known as a great shooter Severe struggles find open looks in EYBL play.
He made just 2-18 entering Dallas competition. Remember this is a guy that buried 8 outside shots in one high school game this winter.
NY Lightning plays similarly to New Heights NYC and NY Gauchos. Few if any shots are lofted from the outside. The entire offense is predicated on getting to the basket for high percentage shots. Free throws are welcome.
A much more detailed Severe evaluation will appear later in the month. For now check out which schools Severe likes as his recruitment quickly builds.
PG Shane Rector
Rector was top six in scoring through Minneapolis EYBL despite standing 6'1". The exceptional quickness of Rector enables him to get by most defenders.
He loves to absorb contact and finish after the whistle. Facing Shane Rector puts defenses on the, well, defensive because possession after possession the junior guard attacks the rim.
There are few weaknesses in Rector's game.
He sometimes gets caught lazily floating a pass to fellow guard. It is a matter of concentrating throughout the game. Capacity for greater passer is there.
For a young guard Rector has an advanced understanding of floor spacing. When he gives the ball off he typically fades a few steps from the point of attack giving his teammate more room to operate.
Rector can use screens to perfection since he knows how to attack slower defenders.
Rector breaks down defenders so easily and this makes him an attractive player.
PG Isaiah Williams
Nudged to the bench for long stretches Georgia Stars guard Isaiah Williams needs to be evaluated more deeply.
In the few instances former starter Williams touched the ball good things happened. He broke out to the corner on the fastbreak and nailed a quick trigger three. His teammate dominated the ball though and really took away the responsibilies from Williams.
Williams does not have a Cincinnati offer yet.