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July 11, 2011
Top ten talents at Atlanta tourney
Wednesday morning marked the start of the inaugural Hard in the Paint tournament in Atlanta, Georgia and UGASports was there to check out all the top basketball prospects in attendance. Several prospects lived up to the hype and a few others stepped their game up in front the many Division 1 coaches sitting in the bleachers. Led by Robert Carter, here are the top 10 performers from the first annual Hard in the Paint tournament.
Top 10 Performers
• 2012 PF Robert Carter, Atlanta Xpress: As the only five-star prospect at the event, Carter's games drew the most college coaches to them. Carter's got a very advanced post-up game that gives opposing defenders fits and combines it with the ability to step out and hit 3's. He didn't put up huge numbers this week but he certainly showed why he's a 5-star rated prospect.
• 2012 PG Farad Cobb, Atlanta Xpress: The Florida native had a very good start to the first evaluation period and improved his stock as mid-major PG. He's only about 6'1, 170 lbs. but he can make shots from all levels and distributes the ball pretty well.
• 2013 SF Quinton Stephens, Atlanta Xpress: No other prospect improved their stock at this event as much this lanky 6'8 small forward. Stephens, who was seen getting shots up at 7 AM on the first day of the tournament, was knocking down tough shots all week but also showed off other guard skills throughout the 3 days.
• 2014 C Trayvon Reed, Atlanta Xpress: The 6'11 center showed up this week ready to suit up the Atlanta Xpress for the first time and the youngster showed some promise. Even though he does not yet weigh 200 lbs., Reed used his extraordinary length and great athleticism to cause problems in the paint and finished pretty well at the rim.
• 2012 PG DeOndre Haynes, Birmingham Storm: The 6'2 lead guard was probably the most exciting prospect at the event this week. Aside from setting up teammates for easy buckets, Haynes showed off his elite athleticism finishing at the rim and probably had the dunk of the week when he went down the skied for a tomahawk flush.
• 2012 SF JaCorey Williams, Birmingham Storm: Williams saved his best performance for the last day of the tournament. On Friday night, he knocked down several perimeter jumpers and made a few nice athletic plays. The 6'8 forward is starting to prove that he's more of a wing than a post player.
• 2012 SF Cameron Naylor, Jackson Lee Bulls: Naylor is another long, lanky perimeter prospect that improved his stock the last few days in front of college coaches. Although he tended to fade in and out of games, he managed to make enough plays to get coaches excited. At 6'6, he can handle the ball, make shots, and he's got great athleticism that he uses to play solid defense. It wouldn't be a surprise if he ended up receiving interest from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, or Georgia Tech, who all had coaches in attendance.
• 2012 SF Qiydar Davis, Hoop Planet: The 6'6 wing is a fun prospect to watch because he knows how to finish at the rim with some flare. His perimeter skills are coming along pretty well, which should help his stock with college coaches.
• 2012 SG Armani Moore, Hoop Planet: After missing the first two days of the event, Moore stepped right in and put on an impressive performance today for Hoop Planet. He attacked the glass off the bounce but he also knocked down a few shots from downtown. Moore could end up signing with an ACC/SEC-type school if he continues to perform at a high level due to his 6'5, 200-pound frame and solid all-around skill-set.
• 2012 PG Keenan Palmore, Team Georgia Elite: Probably the best pure floor general at the tournament, Palmore was constantly finding open teammates and racking up the assists. He didn't look to much from outside but he managed to get his shots off in the paint and they usually went in. He'll be a nice player for a mid-major program in a couple years.
Keenan Palmore listed offers from Kennesaw State, Gardner Webb, and Chattanooga with interest from several other schools including Georgia.
Shaqueille Calhoun picked up an offer from Tennessee Tech.
College coaches in the building
Wednesday (July 6th) marked the first day of the first of two evaluation periods during July where college coaches are allowed to be out at different AAU tournaments evaluating prospects. Hard in the Paint drew coaches from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Marquette, Clemson, Rhode Island, Tennessee Tech, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, East Carolina, Troy, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, UNC-Wilmington, North Florida, and several other schools. Head coaches making their way to Atlanta for the tournament included Georgia coach Mark Fox, Florida coach Billy Donovan, Rhode Island coach Jim Baron, and North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll.