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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

David Zuberer: Derek Smith All Stars
Team & Player Recaps--(Aug. 4, 1999)

Well, this is SoCalHoops, and not "Kentucky Hoops" but many of us who attended the adidas Las Vegas Big Time and the Best of Summer got a chance to check out some of the out-of-state, national competition, and one of those teams was the Derek Smith All Stars, a collection of some of the top players in Kentucky and Indiana.  David Zuberer knows this team, knows the players, and sent us the following report.  We'll be posting our own similar reports on various teams and players we watched throughout the summer (we've already posted several, including most recently the Portland Legends report from the Nike Summer National Championships).  Here's David's report on the Derek Smith All Stars.  By the way, the report that David sent us had phone numbers and if college coaches want those numbers they can contact David directly at or they can e-mail us and we'll make the phone numbers available.   We've also slightly reformatted Dave's text, and changed some of the designations of players, since Dave uses "WF" to designate the three men, whereas we use the designation "SG/SF", but it's really all the same.  In any event, here's Dave's report:

After a busy July, including three tournaments: The Derek Smith Shootout in Louisville, The adidas Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas, and the Best of the Summer Tournament in Los Angeles, I have compiled the following player evaulations on the 1999 Derek Smith All-Stars.

SENIORS (class of 2000)

Antwan Barbour (6'-3" Sr. SG/SF) Elizabethtown H.S., --Antwan was a late addition to the team after Tyler Zornes was unable to   travel to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Antwan was the best athlete in our   program. He runs the floor well, has great leaping ability, and has good   lateral quickness. If he can shoot the three consistently, he can be a   division 1 two guard. Many major colleges, including Michigan, Louisville,   and others, asked about him after an impressive performance against the   Michigan Mustangs in Las Vegas. He is currently unranked in both the Hoop Scoop's top 58 seniors and Full Court Magazine's top 60 seniors. I rank him #11 in the state, with a great upside. He is ranked #11 by LaJuan Lewis, former assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University.

Mike Frazier (5'-9" Sr. PG)Charlestown H.S. (IN) --Mike plays with USA Hoops regularly, but was able to make the west coast trip with us. He is a smooth player, who always seems under control. He is one of the best clutch shooters I have seen in awhile. He made several big 3pt. shots during the trip. He seemed more comfortable at the 2-guard, which brings up questions about his ability to be a point guard. Off the court, he is a great gentleman with alot of character and respect for others. He is being recruited by several mid-major colleges in the regional area, but his grades are in question.

Duane Lightfoot (6'-5" Sr. SG/SF) Lou. Jeffersontown H.S.--Duane had a great trip to the west coast. Having to play inside some, Duane displayed an ability to penetrate from the wing and score inside against bigger players with creative moves. He has above average athleticism and is deceptive being left-handed. He also was a total team player, sacrificing personal glory for the team's sake. He handled himself well on and off the court. A solid student and a great young man. He has made a verbal commitment to Butler University (IN), but is still keeping an open mind to other offers. He is currently unranked by both the Hoop Scoop and Full Court Magazine. He is ranked #17 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #16.

Kyle Hampton (6'-1" Sr. PG) Louisville Shawnee H.S.--Kyle had a great summer, coming from being an unknown, to being a legitimate division 1 point guard. He made the all-tournament team at the Ky. State AAU Championships. This was Kyle's first exposure to big-time basketball. He will be playing for his fourth head coach in four years this year at  Shawnee High School, on a team that hasn't had a winning record in many years. Kyle will probably end up the all-time leading scorer in the school's history. His biggest adjustment was learning how to play with other good players and not worry about scoring all the time. Kyle struggled at first, but by the end of the trip I was asking him to shoot more, because he was passing to other players too much. He is very quick and probably our best defensive guard this year. He also can handle the ball well, shoot the three, and, by far, our best one-on-one player when we needed a basket. He will be a big-time steal for the school that signs him. He is currently unranked by both the Hoop Scoop and Full Court Magazine. He is ranked #14   by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #15, trailing only Marlis Scott and Tyler   Zornes as true point guards, and he has the potential and drive to be better   than both of the them.

Marlis Scott (6'-1" Sr. PG) Marion County H.S. --Marlis had an up and down summer with our team. He played some games where I thought he was a top player in the state, and other games where I thought he would be lucky to start on his high school team. Much of this comes from his attitude and approach towards the game. When he wants to play, he is a great defensive player and point guard. He has tremendous instincts at the guard position, and rebounds well for his size. He has an excellent 3pt shot and ability to penetrate. He is being recruited by several mid-major schools in the area. There is a question about his grades and whether he will qualify for college. He is ranked #7 by the Hoop Scoop in his class and #5 by Full Court Magazine. He is ranked #9 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #10.

Reid Markham (6'-2" Sr. PG) Louisville Trinity H.S.--Reid, in my opinion, is the best guard in the class of 2000 in Louisville.   This includes the 6th and 7th region. He is deceptively athletic and has a quick first step. He is combo-guard, equally good at either position. He did not get many opportunities to play point for us this summer, because we needed his outside shooting and offense from the 2-guard position, and he was the point guard we had that could play the 2-guard position. He is streaky offensively. He has the ability to carry a team with his individual  talent. He has a very nice pull-up jump shot and is deadly from the 3-point line. He is a solid mid-major player. He has very good grades (IVY League caliber) and is a very good person off the court. He is being looked at by regional schools at this point. He is ranked #12 by the Hoop Scoop, #17 by Full Court Magazine, and 8 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #12.

Nathan Sexton (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF) Elizabethtown H.S. ---Nathan had a solid summer. He is a very emotional player, so he was either great or down on himself at times. He has played most of his high school career with his back to the basket. He is athletic enough to be a wing at the division 1 level. He has a nose for the ball and rebounds exceptionally well for his size. He needs to improve the form on his jump shot, but has the potential to be a good small forward in college. He made the all-tournament team at the Ky. AAU Championships and played very well in the Best of the Summer Tournament in Los Angeles. He is a good student in the classroom and is a good person off the court. He is being recruited by most of the mid-major schools in the regional area. He is ranked #6 by the Hoop Scoop, #7 by Full Court Magazine, and #5 by LaJaun Lewis. I rank him at #7.

Ed Robinson (6'-5"  Sr. PF) Louisville Fairdale --If Ed were 6'8", he would be an All-American. He is limited by his height, but he is a warrior on the court. He has no fear going against bigger players in the middle. He is a major college football prospect at Fairdale. He has a solid 15-ft. jump shot and is a powerful rebounder. His future is in football, but may be a player that could play both at the mid-major level. He is ranked #41 by the Hoop Scoop, #39 by Full Court Magazine, and #18 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #20.

Matt Heissenbuttel  (6'-4" Sr. PG) Lexington Catholic---Like Reid Markham, Matt played more 2-guard and small forward out of necessity than he did at point. He is the point guard on Lexington Catholic's team that will be ranked in the top 5 this year in Kentucky. He is a streaky shooter with a great understanding of the game. He is able to pick up on player and team weaknesses very well. He is limited by his quickness and struggled guarding quicker guards. He is an excellent rebounder and post player for his size. He is a low major prospect with excellent grades (IVY LEAGUE caliber). He is ranked #14 by the Hoop Scoop,  #16 by Full Court Magazine, and #12 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #14.

Blake Downing  (6'-5" Sr. SG/SF) Pleasure Ridge Park---If I had to start a high school team tomorrow, Blake Downing would be the first player I took. He can do about anything that is asked of him. His team won the high school division of the Derek Smith Shootout and the Steamboat Classic. Last year his role was as rebounder, defender, and hustler. He accepted that role and led PRP in rebouding, charges taken, assists, and steals. He potentially could average a triple-double this year. He has shown this summer that he can score also. He has a nice 3-point shot and takes the ball to the basket well. HE IS SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT WITH A 4.0 GPA. He is being recruited by most mid-majors in the area. He has expressed a desire to play in the IVY League or a school with a high academic standing. I am convinced that regardless of where he goes, he will find a way to make the coach play him. I think the world of this kid, because he is as good a person as he is a player.


Joshua Carrier (6'-5" Jr. SG) Bowling Green H.S.---There may be other players in the state that can shoot the 3pt. shot as well  as Josh, but there is no doubt that he has the most range of any player in Kentucky. He is capable of shooting as soon as he comes across halfcourt, and he hits them. He struggled at ABCD Camp because of the lack of teamwork in those type of camps. He is better in a team-oriented and structured situation. He had a very good tournament in Las Vegas, showing that he can play four positions (1-4)against high school players. He proved to me that he can take the ball to the basket against bigger players and battles inside for rebounds. He makes up for his average quickness by outsmarting his opponent. I had some doubt about him before Las Vegas, but he took care of that with his play. He is ranked #5 by the Hoop Scoop, # 6 by Full Court Magazine, and #7 by LaJuan Lewis. I would have agreed with those rankings before Las Vegas. I currently rank him #3, trailing only Brandon Bender and Tony Key.

Adam Chiles (6'-1" Jr. SG) Louisville Ballard H.S.---Adam is one of the strongest guards I have ever seen. He is able to overpower most players, and he can hold his own against bigger players. He played the wing last year for Ballard and will move to the 2-guard position this year. He has improved his guard skills, including a rapidly-improving 3pt. shot. He is a very deceptive one-on-one player, able to get his shot off with ease. He is very good driving to the basket and pulling up for a 10 foot jumper. He is a tremendous athlete and uses his athleticism as a rebounder and defensive player. He also plays with little emotion. I am not implying that he doesn't play hard. He does. He shows up and takes care of business without running his mouth and losing his cool. If he can continue improving his guard skills, he will be a bigtime college player. He is ranked #9 by the Hoop Scoop, #9 by Full Court Magazine, and #6 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #5.

Brandon Wardlow (6'-2" Jr. PG) Bowling Green H.S.---Brandon is a player that doesn't get enough respect. He is able to get things done without a lot of flash. He shares the point guard position with Josh Carrier at Bowling Green. He has a nice 3-pt. shot and handles the ball well. He needs to continue improving his point-guard skills to become a division 1 college prospect. He is a great student and person. He is unranked by the Hoop Scoop, ranked #35 by Full Court Magazine, and ranked #29 by LaJaun Lewis. I rank him at #25.

Ben Bowling (6'-3" Jr .PG) Perry County Central---Of all the guards in the state of Kentucky, I think Ben is the most gifted athletically. He has tremendous jumping ability and lateral quickness. He also is a great ballhandler and 3-pt. shooter. He has the most potential of any guard in the class of 2001. His form is perfect on his shot. He can beat by scoring of by passing. He can catch almost any lob for a dunk. His biggest negative at this point is his self-confidence. In Las Vegas, he was either great or stunk it up depending on how he started the game. He gets his head down too easily. He is used to being the best player for his team and struggle at times trying to play with other good players. He likes to handle ball and didn't feel comfortable at the 2-guard spot. He is a major college prospect if he can obtain a killer attitude, and I believe that he will. He is unranked by the Hoop Scoop, ranked #8 by Full Court Magazine, and ranked #9 by LaJaun Lewis. I rank him #8 with the potential to move up to #3 by next year.

Terez Dewalt (6'-4" Jr. SG/SF) Bowling Green H.S.---Terez is an unbelievable athlete. He could be a track star if he wanted to. He has very long arms and can run and jump with anybody. He makes up for a lack of fundamentals by his athleticism and intensity. His skills are rapidly improving, and he is a potential division 1 player. He was easily the best defensive player we had and has an uncanny ability to get his own rebound on a missed shot. He is a tremendous young man. He is unranked by the Hoop Scoop, ranked #34 by Full Court Magazine, and #14 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him at #18, with the potential to move into the top 10.

Brandon Moore (6'-7" Jr. PF) Louisville St. Xavier H.S. ---Brandon Moore was ranked ahead of Brandon Bender coming out of middle school and has been disappointing to this point. His desire didn't seem to be there for his first two years of high school, but all of this seemed to have changed this summer. He has lost almost all of the baby fat he had in middle school and will probably be 6'8" by the end of this season. He is a very skilled post player. He has some nice offensive post moves and is a strong defender. He has been working on his outside jump shot and is comfortable shooting an occassional 3-pt. shot. He needs to work on his quickness and explosiveness around the basket. With continued improvement, he will be a solid division 1 player. He is ranked #11 by the Hoop Scoop, #14 by Full Court Magazine, and #19 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him #11, with a great upside.

Brian Thornton (6'-8" Jr. PF) Louisville Manual---Brian is as intelligent as he is big. He is a tremendous student and great young man. He has grown 7 inches since his freshman year and is still growing. He is a solid finisher on the offensive end and is a good shot blocker. He needs to develop a few offensive post moves and improve his lateral quickness. He has a great work ethic and could move into the top 5 by his senior year with continued improvement. He is ranked #25 by the Hoop Scoop, #23 by Full Court Magazine, and #12 by LaJuan Lewis. I rank him #16 with great potential.

Brandon Stockton (5'-9" So. PG), Glasgow H.S.---Brandon is the best player in the class of 2002 in Kentucky by far. He has tremendous quickness and ballhandling ability for his age. He is a very  good scorer, scoring 35 pts. in one game in Las Vegas. He has a nice 3-pt. shot and gets to the basket well. If he grows a few more inches, he will be a great college prospect in two years. He needs to develop a pull up jump shot from 10 ft. and learn how to be a better playmaker when playing with other great players (he does not set other players up well at this point.) He is the consensus #1 player in his class by everybody.

A few other players to watch.

Rod Lyvers (6'-5" Jr. SG/SF) Lexington Dunbar--(great athlete, will be a division 1 player) unranked by the Hoop Scoop ranked #36 by Full Court Magazine ranked #16 by LaJaun Lewis ranked #15 by Dave Zuberer

Tony Key  (6'-10" Jr. C) Russellville---Tony played a few games with us this summer. He is an unbelievable physical speciman. He looks like a grown man. If he had better exposure, he would be a top 30 player in the country. I believe he is as good as Brandon Bender, but does not have as good a support system as Brandon. He is a potential NBA player ranked #4 by the Hoop Scoop ranked #3 by Full Court Magazine ranked #3 by LaJuan Lewis ranked #2 by David Zuberer (could be #1)

Larry O'Bannon (6'-4" Jr. SG) Louisville Male--Larry has a good summer and has developed into a bigtime college prospect. He has made the transition to the shooting guard and has a much potential as any guard in the state. Ranked #12 by the Hoop Scoop, ranked #7 by Full Court Magazine,
ranked #4 by LaJuan Lewis, ranked #6 by David Zuberer (could move up).

Brandon Bender (6'-9" Jr. PF) Louisville Ballard--Brandon has had a crazy summer. He opens his mouth up too often and was in the paper saying he might skip his senior year of high school to go pro. He has taken a lot of criticism. I will say this. I saw all of the other players in his class that are highly rated, and I am convinced that he is as good or better than all of them. For me to say that means something, because I am stubborn when it comes to giving Brandon a compliment. If he can get his head on straight, he will head up on of Kentucky's best classes ever. He is the consensus #1 player in the state.

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