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July 25, 2009

Jones stands tall in Vegas

MORE: Ellington inspires at Super 64 | Vegas Day 1: Jones excels | Rivals.com summer event coverage

LAS VEGAS - Five-star power forward Perry Jones has established himself as an elite post man with his play over the month of July. At the Center Stage event Friday night, he demonstrated why he should be in the discussion on who is the top prospect in the class of 2010.

Perry Jones (LBA Seawolves)- You don't see many big men race up the court with the basketball, beat a defender with a between the legs dribble at half court and then shuffle of an assist pass, but that was just one of the jaw dropping sequence of plays that Jones had against the Arizona Magic. His between the legs dribble at the top of the key which led to a thunderous dunk wasn't bad either.

Thinking long term it is hard to come up with a better prospect in the 2010 class. Jones has all the offensive skills of a high level four man, and then defensively he can both dominate around the rim and guard out on the perimeter. The knock right now is that he will take some plays off, but if the effort improves with some coaching down the line, Jones can be a dominant player at the highest level.

In a loss to the Arizona Magic, he registered 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks while playing almost exclusively on the perimeter.

Joe Harris (Friends of Hoop)- Lorenzo Romar and Tony Bennett were courtside watching this heady 6-foot-5 wing. A quality shooter with a solid all around skill game, Harris has offers from Virginia and Washington State. He is also hearing from Washington, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, SMU, Georgetown, Arizona State and Oregon State.

Aaron Bright and John Gage (Friends of Hoop)- This pair of Stanford commitments looked sharp executing the two man game. Bright is a sturdy guard with a dangerous pull up jumper off the dribble, and Gage is a four-man who will can shoot it with range off the pick and pop. Gage has primarily a finesse game at this point, but his length and activity level along with his shooting ability bode well or his future if he can build up his body.

Anthony Wroten Jr. (2011 Seattle Rotary)- Wroten almost didn't get to play this game after being in the middle of a fracas early in the game. Unfortunately for the Mac Irvin Fire, Wroten wasn't sent to the showers and began to play inspired basketball. His extraordinary passing and physical presence with the basketball led Seattle Rotary to a rousing victory. Wroten is simply a jump shot away from being right in the discussion with Marquis Teague and Austin Rivers as to who is the top lead guard in the class of 2011.

Head coaches from Washington, UCLA, Kansas, Gonzaga, California and Louisville were courtside for this game.

Josh Smith (Seattle Rotary)- The talented big man has come out of hibernation here in Vegas and played with an energy we haven't seen since this time last year. He fouled out two of Mac Irvin's big men and was the game's high scorer with 21 points. Basically, Smith is in a position where he can be as good as he wants to be.

Ahmad Starks (Mac Irvin Fire)- When it looked like Seattle Rotary would take complete control of the game late in the first half, Starks caught fire coming off the high ball screen and scored 11 straight points. Starks' confident play led his team the rest of the way as he was team high scorer with 19 points. Could he possibly be a sleeper in this class who could have an impact in the Pac-10 similar to the impact Tajuan Porter had at Oregon as a freshman?

Wayne Blackshear (2011 Mac Irvin Fire)- The top prospect on the Fire, Blackshear is a steady shooter with size and strength as a wing. He does have room to improve as a ball handler, but his game will translate well to the next levels.

Reggie Smith (2011 Mac Irvin Fire)- The dynamic guard played well alongside Starks, doing a nice job of choosing his moments to assert himself. As usual, he attacked the rim with authority and also knocked down a three-pointer on the way to a 15 point game.

Deville Smith (MBA Hoops)- Smith has established himself as the top prospect on his team as Laquinton Ross and Rodney Hood's stock continues to slide. Smith got to the rim at will against the Dakota Schoolers and finished efficiently on both sides of the rim.

Rion Brown (Worldwide Renegades)- If you are looking for an ultra athletic wing who is a sharp shooter, Brown is the guy. He is not a guy you would count on to handle the ball, but he has a valuable niche as an athletic scorer.

Justin Coleman (Petersburg Elite)- This athletic wing is loaded with talent but isn't playing with the same intensity that he played with at the NBA Players Camp where he blew up nationally. Darren Horn of South Carolina is keeping tabs on him.

Terrence Jones (I-5 Elite)- North Carolina had an eye on Jones during a ridiculous blow out win Friday night.



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