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April 24, 2011

King James: Parker, Pollard impress

MORE: King James Classic: Graham stands out

AKRON, Ohio- There have been some revelations during the King James Classic, and one of them is that Jabari Parker and Devonta Pollard are two of the best prospects in the country.

Jabari Parker (2013, Ferrari)

The difference in Parker's physique was immediately noticeable. He has lost the body fat that he carried last year on the circuit and looked a healthy 6-foot-8. Secondly his overall athleticism has improved. His defense on the perimeter was impressive, he blocked shots and rebounded at a high level and he was constantly attacking the rim over defenders.

Along with these physical improvements, Parker's impressive skill level has only risen, and his feel for the game is at the top of the charts.

In other words, we are dealing with an elite prospect who continues to improve.

A true combo forward, Parker is a threat anywhere on the court. He has a highly evolved offensive game where he scores a variety of ways and is a dangerous set up man as well.

Currently Parker is considering offers from Washington, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State and Duke. Although he is officially open with his recruitment, it appears that Washington has the upper hand at the moment.

Parker visited Washington this past weekend and mentioned a couple reasons he is so strongly connected to the program. His father has been a close friend with Lorenzo Romar since they were teammates with the Golden State Warriors. Secondly, Parker's brother is a junior college coach in Washington and is a candidate to join the Washington coaching staff.

Devonta Pollard (2012, Southern Phenoms)

Speaking of elite talents with high NBA potential, Pollard joins Parker as the two players at this event who stand well above the rest of this field as prospects.

A freak athlete who also has a feel for the game, Pollard is a do everything type player out of the small forward position. The lefty handles and finishes well with either hand and is a crafty passer. He has a strong post up game and can score facing from all three levels. And he is an elite shot blocker with a knack for corralling the ball on the tail end of spectacular blocks.

Pollard isn't naming any leaders in his recruitment, but he is listing offers from Mississippi State, Alabama, Ole Miss, Kentucky, LSU, Georgetown and Marquette.

Evan Payne (2012, Ohio Basketball Club)

A physical and athletic combo guard, Payne has impressed during the event. His speed and explosiveness make him a disruptive presence on both ends of the court. Repeatedly he got to the basket and he always seemed to be in the mix defensively.

At this point he has offers from USC, TCU, Akron and Cleveland State.

Tyler Ennis (2013, CIA Bounce)

A crafty 6-foot-2 point guard, Ennis led his 16-Under squad to the quarterfinals of the 12-Under Gold Bracket where they lost by two points to the DC Assault. Ennis has a nice feel for controlling the pace of the game and has a variety of dribble moves that get him inside the defense. He is not a great athlete but he is slippery and can use either hand to finish off plays.

Currently he has offers from Rutgers and Seton Hall. Ennis is also listing Florida, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Arizona State.

Melvin Johnson (2012, New York Gauchos)

The big guns weren't present for the Gauchos, but Johnson did a great job filling the scoring void. He came up with a lot of points off pull up jumpers in the midrange.

Xavier and George Mason have offered the 6-foot-3 shooting guard, and he plans to visit both schools soon. Siena has also offered, and Temple, Seton Hall and Rutgers are showing interest.

DeOndre Haynes (2012, Southern Phenoms)

There might not be a better perimeter athlete in the class than Haynes when he sets his sights on attacking the basket. His speed on the fast break and then leaping ability at the rim is quite the spectacle.

Georgia is vigorously pursuing this athletic shooting guard, and Clemson is recently coming on strong as well.

Shaq Keith (2012, CIA Bounce)

A bouncy 6-foot-5 athlete, Keith impressed with his overall play from the small forward position.

Although he is a high major talent, Keith will need to go to junior college first because of his situation in the Canadian academic system.

Javontae Hawkins (2012, Michigan Mustangs)

Athletic and at a lengthy 6-foot-5, Hawkins is an impressive wing prospect. He has drained three-pointers, finished off nifty driving moves in the open court and posted up mismatches. Defensively he has the tools to guard multiple positions and be an effective rebounder.

Terry Rozier (2012, All-Ohio Red)

High major programs looking for a 2012 point guard need to get serious about Rozier. He continues to be one of the better non-big name point guards on the spring circuit.

Kenny Kaminski (2012, All-Ohio Red)

This won't be the last time this is said, but Michigan State is getting a high level shooter in Kaminsky who will be able to stretch the defense from the high post as well as come off screens firing.

JaCorey Williams (2012, Southern Phenoms)
A physically impressive wing prospect, Williams is hearing the most from Georgetown, VCU and Clemson.

Elijah Macon (2012, All-Ohio Red)

Memphis, USF and the new staff at Tennessee are the latest schools to begin pursuing this talented 6-foot-9 power forward.


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