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April 13, 2010

Class of 2010 forwards scouting report

MORE: 2010 Point Guards scouting report | 2010 Shooting Guards scouting report

Who's the best of the best among the class of 2010 forwards? We break down the players in four categories.

FORWARDS
BEST OUTSIDE SHOOTER
1) Harrison Barnes
High school: Ames (Iowa) Senior
College choice: North Carolina
The buzz: Not only has Barnes developed into one of the best shooting wings in the class, he is also able to knock down the contested jumper with regularity.

2) Russell Byrd
High school: Fort Wayne (Ind.) Blackhawk Christian
College choice: Michigan State
The buzz: When Byrd gets on a hot streak, look out. He will stretch Big Ten defenses at Michigan State.
3) Evan Smotrycz
High school: New Hampton (N.H.) Prep
College choice: Michigan
The buzz: Smotrycz does a lot of things well with the basketball in his hands, but his ability to hit 3-pointers sets up the rest of his game.
4) Matt Derenbecker
High school: Metairie (la.) Park Country Day
College choice: LSU
The buzz: Derenbecker's game has a lot of similarities to Purdue forward Robbie Hummel's game, but Derenbecker is a better long-range shooter.
5) Ralston Turner
High school: Muscle Shoals (Ala.) Muscle Shoals
College choice: LSU
The buzz: Turner's forte is making 3-pointers, and he will be counted upon heavily at LSU as a spot-up shooter.
BEST REBOUNDER
1) Harrison Barnes
High school: Ames (Iowa) Senior
College choice: North Carolina
The buzz: Barnes picks up a lot of points by working the offensive glass. He has a nose for the ball and is quick off the floor.

2) C.J. Leslie
High school: Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy
College choice: Undecided
The buzz: There might not be a better athlete in the 2010 class. When Leslie puts his athleticism to use, he is a lethal rebounder.
3) Deshaun Thomas
High school: Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers
College choice: Ohio State
The buzz: Thomas has the ability to be one of the most physical forwards in the class of 2010.
4) Tony Mitchell
High school: Dallas (Texas) Pinkston
College choice: Missouri
The buzz: If there is a better athlete than Leslie, then it might just be Mitchell. Playing above the rim comes easily to him.
5) Jamail Jones
High school: Montverde (Fla.) Academy
College choice: Marquette
The buzz: Jones is physical and has a nose for the basketball. He regularly takes advantage of other small forwards around the basket.
BEST DEFENDER
1) James Bell
High school: Montverde (Fla.) Academy
College choice: Villanova
The buzz: Bell has the ability to be a lockdown small forward defender in college. His work against some of the top offensive players in his class has been impressive.

2) Stacey Poole
High school: Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence School
College choice: Kentucky
The buzz: Like Bell, Poole is a tremendous athlete who uses his strength and athleticism on the defensive end.
3) Roscoe Smith
High school: Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy
College choice: Syracuse
The buzz: Smith's motor, length and athleticism make him a dangerous defender.
4) Casey Prather
High school: Jackson (Tenn.) North Side
College choice: Florida
The buzz: Prather combines a great deal of grit with his athleticism, making him a force defensively.
5) Tony Mitchell
High school: Dallas (Texas) Pinkston
College choice: Missouri
The buzz: Mitchell is the type of athlete who can match up defensively with almost anyone on the court.
BEST BALL HANDLER
1) Lenzelle Smith
High school: Zion (Ill.) Benton
College choice: Ohio State
The buzz: Smith handles the ball with such strength and authority that some consider him a point guard.

2) Jelan Kendrick
High school: Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler
College choice: Memphis
The buzz: Cut out of the same mold as Ohio State's Evan Turner, Kendrick has the potential to be a point guard.
3) Terrence Jones
High school: Portland (Ore.) Jefferson
College choice: Undecided
The buzz: Jones is as skilled as any four man in the class as a ball handler. He has a game similar to Lamar Odom.
4) Harrison Barnes
High school: Ames (Iowa) Senior
College choice:
The buzz: Barnes' handle continues to get tighter. Has the potential to be a high-level playmaker.
5) Tobias Harris
High school: Glen Head (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West
College choice:
The buzz: Harris is a tremendous scorer, but he can also make a variety of plays with his dribble game.



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