CINCINNATI- With three different age divisions in action at the adidas It Takes 5IVE Classic, it was 2010 prospect Trae Golden who came through with the marquee performance of the day.
An explosive combo guard, Golden led the Atlanta Celtics 15-under squad to a tight victory over the Ohio Basketball Club. Golden racked up 33 points in about every way possible, from numerous buckets in transition, catch and shoot threes and pull ups off the move. Clearly the most dominant player on the court, Golden has the makings of a five-star prospect.
Recent Kentucky commitment Dakotah Euton led the Ohio Basketball Club in scoring with 18 points on a couple three-pointers, post up moves and hustle plays.
Luke Babbitt picked up right where he left off on Friday, scoring 29 points in an EBO win over Hoop Planet. He hit his usual three-pointers and scored in the post, but Babbitt also finished off several athletic plays on drives to the basket.
B.J. Mullens struggled to finish in an early morning match up against Derrick Favors, but was dominant later in the day against the Ohio Gators. Against the Celtics, Mullens scored 14 points, and although his shooting percentage was low, he had a number of impressive looking post moves. Against the Gators, Mullens scored in the post but also scored on some explosive drives to the basket from the high post. Mullens certainly as some work to do refining his game, but expect him to be an extremely high lottery pick after just one year at Ohio State.
The most consistent post player of this event has been Derrick Favors. After playing Tyler Zeller to a draw Friday evening, Favors got the better of Mullens on Saturday morning. With a variety of spin moves in the post, Favors put up 22 points in an Atlantic Celtics win. Favors simply has a beautiful mind for the game and a mature skill package to go along with his lengthy athleticism.
Favors certainly isn't the only player playing well for the Atlanta Celtics. In the absence of Howard Thompkins, who is out with a bone bruise in his foot, Chris Singleton has been in top form playing the four position for the Celtics. Singleton continues to make three-pointers and play strong on the boards.
Delwan Graham has also been terrific during the first two days of this event. Graham's energy and improved skill play has been integral to the Celtics' success. Expect a number of high-majors to pick up their pursuit of Graham after his performance this weekend.
Seattle Rotary Select has a couple prospects in Mark McLaughlin and Peyton Siva who continue to impress. McLaughlin has a surprising burst to go along with his legitimate 6-foot-5 height at the shooting guard position. He has consistently scored the ball well off the dribble.
Siva, a top guard in the 2009 class, shoots the ball extremely well from deep, both off the dribble and the catch. He also excels at finishing tough lay ups in traffic.
The biggest surprise in the 17-under division has been the prolific scoring of Ryne Smith of the Ohio Gators. At 6-foot-3, Smith doesn't have an explosive dribble game, but he does have a crafty dribble game and a lethal shooting stroke. Off the dribble and coming off down screens, Smith has lit it up. But since he has to work hard for his looks, he began to wear down late on Saturday and started to come up short on shots he had been hitting earlier in the event.
Smith presently has offers from Eastern Michigan, Akron, Fairfield and Bowling Green and is also being recruited by Western Kentucky. It is safe to say that most every mid-major in the Midwest will jump into the mix for Smith, and I'd expect a high major or two to give him a very close look as well.
Jamar Samuels has played at a high level for the D.C. Assault, and on Saturday he confirmed his intentions of attending Kansas State in the fall. Samuels is presently still working to achieve a qualifying SAT score.
Peyton Siva has offers from Washington and Gonzaga. He is also listing Arizona, Louisville and UCLA.
Chris Singleton's list appears to be growing. He listed South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Cincinnati and Miami. He claims offers from all of them except for North Carolina, and said he will narrow his list to five at the end of the summer. But he also added that South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee are the top three schools on his list.
Trae Golden claims offers from Georgia, Kentucky and Clemson. He also listed Georgetown, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Tennessee.