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June 11, 2013
Perimeter players on mark at Elite 100
ST. LOUIS -- Over the weekend, the 2013 edition of Nike's Elite 100 camp wrapped up on the campus of Saint Louis University. Composed of the nation's top rising juniors and sophomores, the Elite 100 is a camp designed for evaluation rather than exposure. Many top players burst onto the scene each summer at the Elite 100. In this installment of camp coverage, we take a look at some of the standout perimeter players from the class of 2015 who were in attendance.
Antonio Blakeney: The four-star shooting guard from Florida is a confident scorer, and his points come in bunches. When he gets hot, he lights up the scoreboard quickly. At times he's too dependent on the deep jumper, and his shot selection isn't always great. But, when he's on he's a load, and he's a very sneaky athlete who is a much better finisher at the rim than you might expect.
Haanif Cheatham: There are guards who have more speed, but Cheatham is a heady player who is solid in all aspects of the game. A combo guard with 6-foot-4 size, the No. 47 player in 2015 is excellent in the pick and roll and plays smart, team ball. It's hard not to like his rebounding from the guard position.
Davon Dillard: A powerful small forward who can handle the ball, Dillard was as physically tough as anybody in camp. He attacked again and again off the dribble, and he showed that he is capable of completing high-level plays around the rim because of his power.
Juwan Evans: The South Carolina native is likely more of a natural two guard, but he did one heck of a job running the point and leading his team to a camp title. He is quick, he has scoring instincts, and he makes the adjustments that coaches ask of him.
Austin Grandstaff: If Grandstaff were playing quarterback, he would be described as a gunslinger type who is always looking for the deep ball. As a combo guard, that willingness to attack serves him well. He's proven himself as a top 50 player in 2015, and he is a capable playmaker off the dribble with good size. One thing he does well that most young guards don't is he shoots just as well off the dribble and move as he does spotted up with his feet set.
Aaron Holiday: Through no fault of his own, Holiday may have been a little over introduced and ranked a bit too high to start with at No. 12 nationally. At about 6-foot tall (with an impressive 6-foot-6 wingspan), Holiday is more of a slashing two guard than a point guard. A high-level athlete who competes on both ends, he is without a doubt a high-major player.
Franklin Howard: Ranked No. 33 nationally in 2015, Howard is coming close to turning the corner from prospect to player. His 6-foot-4 size is good for a two guard, he is outstanding along the baseline, and he is developing explosiveness as an athlete. His jumper looks good but lacks consistency, and he has all the tools to be a high-level defender.
Justin Jenifer: As a sub-6-footer who relies on strength and toughness more than speed and elusiveness, Jenifer doesn't back down from anybody. He wants the ball in crucial situations, and although he doesn't always make the best decision, he at least wants to make a play. Jenifer can score, and schools will have to take long looks at him down the road.
Keelon Lawson: Ranked No. 26 in the class of 2015, Lawson isn't an extreme athlete by any means. However, the 6-foot-6 small forward is a highly skilled scorer who has an assortment of floaters, pull-ups and spin moves at his disposal. Because of his 6-foot-11 wingspan, Lawson can play big and is a crafty scorer in the post.
Malachi Richardson: One of the highest-ranked guards in camp at No. 19 nationally, Richardson is a natural scorer. A 6-foot-5 off guard with range, confidence and length, he has ideal size for a wing scorer. At times, Richardson coasted a little too much when he could have been a dominant force on the offensive end.
Brandon Sampson: Maybe he wasn't aggressive enough or maybe he got overlooked by teammates, but the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Louisiana is a solid prospect. He is a good athlete, he moves his feet very well on defense, and he looks to be a smart, team player capable of knocking home a jumper.
Corey Sanders: A high-flying athlete from Florida, Sanders sometimes relies too much on his abundant athleticism. But, at his core, the 6-footer is a playmaker with the ball in his hands who can make some shots and he's awfully tough to keep out of the lane. As he learns to look less for the highlight play and more for the easy play, his game will really take off.
Joseph Toye: A deluxe athlete who explodes to the rim in transition and along the baseline, the Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young product can finish like a high-major wing. Over the next couple of years, tightening up his ball handling and shooting will be a priority.
Lamonte Turner: Several times, the question was asked, "Who is No. 35?" and that's because the 6-foot-1 point guard from Alabama was making plays. There isn't one area of his game that jumps out at you because what gets your attention is that he's solid in every aspect of the game.
D.J. Williams: It is easy to see that the 6-foot-6 small forward from Chicago (Ill.) Simeon is a fine jump shooter from 12 to 17 feet. In particular, he is comfortable shooting midrange jumpers on the baseline. At the Elite 100 he showed that he can create off the dribble, and now he just needs to finish plays. In several instances, just one more dribble left or seeking out some contact would have gotten him an easy shot, but he would choose to try something with a little more difficulty, such as an awkward step-back jumper. Because he is ranked No. 34 nationally, expectations are high, but he has the tools to play at that level.
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