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May 27, 2012

Elite prospects, new faces emerge

As the entire field got on the court during Saturday's action at the Adidas Best Buy Classic in Chicago, Rivals.com saw some great performances from elite prospects while some new faces emerged as future stars as well.

Kasey Hill - 6-foot-1, PG, Clermont (Fla.) Montverde Academy, 2013: Hill gets to the rim with a smooth handle and can break down his defender with the bounce whenever he feels like it. A gifted passer in transition, he is a sneaky athlete who also can rise up and score from short or mid range. Hill surprised scouts some on Saturday with his ability to dish the ball off in half-court sets in the pick and roll with teammate and fellow five-star Chris Walker. The point guard, who runs with the Florida Rams, is committed to head coach Billy Donovan and Florida.

Robert Hubbs - 6-foor-5, SG, Newbern (Tenn.) Dyer County, 2013: An explosive scorer with big-time leaping ability and feathery touch on his jumper out to the three-point line, the wing from M33M Elite went for big numbers on Saturday. Hubbs is an aggressive slasher who can jump over defenders and adjust his body through contact to score the basketball in the paint. He has a high-arcing jumper, which he has great confidence in, and is a true triple threat with the ball. Hubbs needs to continue to improve his handle and off-ball play, but the four-star guard is one of the top pure scoring talents in the class of 2013. Hubbs lists Memphis, Missouri, Florida, Kentucky and Duke as the top schools recruiting him.

Austin Nichols - 6-foot-8, PF, Eads (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian, 2013: Nichols is a great athlete who plays with a high-running non-stop motor. He's deceptively skilled out of the low or mid post, can play in the pick and roll and finishes at a high rate around the rim. While he's still somewhat raw with his skill game, he makes plays as a rebounder and a defender, where he can block shots as a high leaper who gets off the floor quickly. The forward from M33M Elite also shows a good feel for the game and has a high ceiling as he continues to improve. Nichols recently added offers from Duke and North Carolina, and he also is being recruited by Florida, Louisville, Kansas, Memphis and Tennessee.

Devin Williams - 6-foot-8, PF, Cincinnati (Ohio) Withrow, 2013: Williams, one of the top rebounders in the 2013 class, is a forward from Ohio Basketball Club who has overwhelming strength and good toughness around the basket. When Williams operates out of the low post offensively, he is skilled and strong enough to score consistently. He also is able to efficiently convert from the foul line. Good footwork and an aggressive mentality allow him to face up and attack from the short wing, and he has improved his mid-range jumper as well. Williams lists Xavier and UCLA as his favorites as of now.

Derrick Walton - 6-foot-1, PG, Detroit (Mich.) Chandler Park Academy, 2013: One of 2013's top pure point men, Walton is a skilled ball handler with a strong build and tremendous quickness on the break. A pass-first guard who always is looking to make his teammates better, Walton affects the game in a variety of ways. When you add in his scoring, which he can do from long-range or around the basket, as well as his on-ball defense, you can see why Rivals.com has him ranked as a four-star prospect. Since last August, the guard from the Michigan Mustangs has been committed to Michigan.

Zakarie Irvin - 6-foot-6, SF, Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern, 2013: A pure scoring wing who just keeps getting better, Irvin is deadly from long range off of the bounce. A long and athletic wing who can use the dribble to score in transition, he can alter the game with his physical tools, but it's his skill-set that stands out. Irvin has a smooth jumper that he's always looking to get off over defenders who sag off of him. Once he hits one shot, the Eric Gordon All-Stars forward can heat up with the best of them. Like Walton, Irvin has been committed to Michigan since last summer.

Reid Travis - 6-foot-8, SF/PF, Minneapolis (Minn.) De LaSalle, 2014: A somewhat under the radar forward who plays with Minnesota Pump-N-Run, Travis is a star on the basketball court as well as the football field. He's a powerful and bouncy post prospect who plays with relentless intensity as a rebounder, scorer and defender near the basket. Travis also showed the ability to face up and attack defenders with spin moves out of the high post and nice touch from the foul line.

Bryant McIntosh - 6-foot-2, PG/SG, Greensburg (Ind.) Greensburg, 2014: The top underclassmen performer of the day was McIntosh, a combo guard from the Eric Gordon All-Stars. McIntosh is a skilled and streaky scorer with an aggressive mentality and no conscience when letting it fly. He can shoot the ball from deep, handle it and is adept at finishing with floaters over taller defenders. What he lacks in physical ability, he makes up for with a strong basketball IQ and deep range that keeps the defense on its toes. McIntosh has interest from Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Louisville and Xavier.

Ray Kasongo - 6-foot-8, PF, Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, 2014: Kasongo is a native of the Toronto area who is relatively unknown in the United States. Currently staying in Kentucky and enrolled at Oak Hill Academy for next school year, the powerful forward is a standout for Ohio Basketball Club. Kasongo is a high-level athlete who can attack defenders off the bounce from the wing or score in traffic with physicality. He displayed toughness, a high motor and some serious raw potential in two Saturday outings. Right now he has interest from DePaul, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Indiana, UCLA and Kentucky, while his AAU coaches expect him to really raise his stock during the July period.

Daniel Giddens - 6-foot-10, C, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, 2015: He's extremely raw in his development, but the massive 14 year old from the Worldwide Renegades has the potential to be one of the top big men in his 2015 class. The freshman center has freakish athleticism, long arms and plays with great focus on the court. Giddens is most effective as a shot-blocker and post defender who can rebound the ball on both ends of the court. Offensively he tries to dunk everything with strength, and he finishes well for a young big man with his size. Giddens already is hearing from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Maryland.

Jaylen Brown - 6-foot-5, SF, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, 2015: Brown is a smooth athlete who can handle the ball on the wing and make plays attacking the rim. Playing against competition a year older, the freshman forward from the Worldwide Renegades is efficient offensively as a scorer who is best around the basket but can knock down open shots out to about 17 feet. While he's still learning how to play as a true wing, Brown has great potential as a slashing scorer who can impact the game with his physical and athletic tools. Like Giddens, Brown is hearing from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Maryland.

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