Sunday, March 23, 2008

Player Profile: Al-Farouq Aminu - SF

Al-Farouq Aminu
Norcross '08
SF - 6'9 - 210 lbs
Plays Like: Luol Deng, Tayshaun Prince
Committed To: Wake Forest

Aminu has an extremely intriguing body-type and athletic ability that should be intriguing to NBA teams that run a fast paced, "small ball" style, and could log minutes at the power forward spot in a fast-paced system if he gains some muscle mass. He is more suited for the 3, displaying ball handling abilities and good moves off the dribble to the basket. He has a very smooth jumpshot. He is a very good ball handler and is capable of leading the break if its off of a long rebound. He is an extremely fluid athlete and finishes dunks with ease. Plays extremely hard, and has a pretty good basketball IQ.

He is a capable rebounder but could improve, may need to get stronger to play any power forward. He loves his outside shot but needs to take it to the rim more. Could learn to capitalize on his length in the post better, but may not need to if he is used as a small forward.

Player Profile: Devin Ebanks - SF

Devin Ebanks
Patterson '08
SF - 6'8 - 185 lbs
Plays Like: Rudy Gay, Caron Butler
Committed To: Indiana

Athletic wing with a scorer's mentality. Very good form on his shot. Devin is extremely versatile due to his wingspan, and allows him to play bigger than he is. Very solid rebounder. Good at getting to the rim but has room for improvement. Full of potential, can potentially be a premiere scorer at any level. He is in the purest sense a scorer, and just has a knack for putting the ball through the hoop.

He needs to work on his ball-handling, as well as get stronger. Not a great passer, but doesn't need to be with his scoring ability. He is not bad at getting to the rim, but could improve.

Player Profile: Brandon Jennings - PG

Brandon Jennings
Oak Hill Academy '08
PG - 6'0 - 170 lbs
Plays Like: Kenny Anderson, Rich Man's T.J. Ford
Committed To: Arizona

Perhaps the quickest player in this class, and has ridiculous handles and courtvision. Additionally, he is more of a pure point guard than his counterparts Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, and is a more polished passer and has better vision than those two. He has the ability to make those around him better. Nice jumpshot from midrange or three, and combined with his ability to penetrate the D he can carry the offense on his back. Very dangerous off the dribble, whether he is looking to pass or shoot. Extraordinary athlete, and even at his small stature finishes around the rim with high-flying dunks.

He needs to put on A LOT of weight, and get up to the 190's. He's an above average, not great, decision maker. He is less effective in the half-court, at times looking somewhat confused, and much prefers an uptempo style. This should all improve however, with experience and good coaching.

Player Profile: Samardo Samuels - PF

Samardo Samuels
St. Benedict's Prep '08
PF - 6'8 - 245 lbs
Plays Like: Zach Randolph, Al Horford
Committed To: Louisville

Samardo is one of the premiere back-to-the-basket low post players in the class of '08. He is a great finisher around the rim, and uses his strength to his advantage and abuses defenders. Surprising ball-handling ability for his size as well, and knows how to find the open man from the low post. Very solid rebounder and should be a double-double guy on the next levels.

He is a little undersized for the low post. He isn't a great low post defender. His strength is good, but will need to improve for college and the pros. He takes perimeter shots but needs to improve on this aspect of the game if he wants this to be a part of his offensive repertoire.

Player Profile: Greg Monroe - PF

Greg Monroe
Helen Cox '08
PF - 6'10 - 235 lbs
Plays Like: Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge
Committed To: Georgetown

Has a very developed face-up game in the post, which compliments his nice mid-range shot. He has extremely polished ball-handling skills for a power forward. Great passer for a big man. Also has a very developed body with a long wingspan. Physically, he is ready for the college, but needs to put on more weight for the pros. Can be very effective on the high post.

Like many young players, his work ethic has been questioned. He is a mediocre free throw shooter, but is capable of a better percentage at the line because he shows nice shooting touch in actual game action. Some speculate that putting on muscle has slowed him down and restricted his ability to display athleticism, but he is still a solid athlete.

Player Profile: Demar DeRozan - SG

Demar DeRozan
Compton '08
SG - 6'6 - 210 lbs
Plays Like: Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter
Committed To: USC

Demar is one of the most athletic prospects to come out of high school for years. He is a great slasher in addition to his pretty pull-up J out to the three. On the fast break, he finishes with ease throwing down thunderous dunks that make your jaw drop. He has figured out how to use his strong body to take smaller defenders to the rim. He is always improving, and has shown major strides in his half-court game, not limiting himself to being a fast-break player.

His mid-range jumpshot needs to gain consistency if he wants to live up to his potential, as this is vital for elite swingmen in the NBA. Some question his intensity on the defensive end, but many players his age have this question raised about them.

Player Profile: Tyreke Evans - PG/SG

Tyreke Evans
American Christian '08
PG/SG - 6'5 - 205 lbs
Plays Like: Gilbert Arenas, Rich Man's Jamal Crawford
Committed To: N/A

Excellent ball-handling ability is the first thing you notice about this kid. Tyreke has shown great slashing ability, and gets to the rim with ease and finishes the job when he gets there. His giant wingspan allow him to be a pesky defender. Arguably the best scoring guard in the class of '08. His three point range goes all the way out to NBA three. Runs the fast break well. Has the potential to be an elite guard in the pros.

He is extremely flashy, which may not bode well for him on the next levels. He needs to become more fundamentally sound. Some question his effort at times. If he plans on playing shooting guard at the next level, he needs to learn to be effective without always having the ball in his hands, as he is more effective creating off the dribble.