April 27, 2006
Kingwood Classic report: 2008 big men show well
The class of 2008 features a big time point guard in Brandon Jennings, which was a known headed into the Kingwood Classic April 21-23. But the depth of big men in the class was a relative unknown. Not anymore after strong showing last weekend from many 2008 interior prospects.
St. Benedicts (NJ) power forward Samardo Samuels already had a lofty national ranking headed into the Kingwood Classic and did nothing to hurt himself with a solid showing playing for the Metro Hawks. Samuels, who stands 6-foot-9, used a combination of power, length and athleticism to punish defenders on the offensive end. When Samuels gets the ball on the low block, defenders have the choice of giving up an easy basket or defending with a hard foul putting Samuels at the foul line. A weak foul attempt usually ends in a three-point play attempt from the free throw line.
Freemont, CA power forward Troy Gillenwater may possess the best offensive skill set of the 2008 interior prospects. Gillenwater stands 6-8, can step out to the mid-range, power through defenders for dunks or easy scores, and possesses very good feet and the ability to create separation on a quickstep away or baseline spin move.
The 6-8, 225-pound power forward seems to get better as the game gets more physical on the low block. Because he can step out to 15 to 17-feet and make jump shots, he looks to float from time to time. Defensively, Gillenwater has room to improve in consistent effort, especially using his length and athleticism to change shots on penetration.
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