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January 8, 2012

Stars shine at Brandon Jennings Invitational

MILWAUKEE- Now in its second year, the Brandon Jennings Invitational has become a major showcase event for Under Armour. Saturday at Marquette High, there was plenty of talent and some entertaining performances from the likes of Glenn Robinson III, Aquille Carr, J.P. Tokoto and many others.

Different styles yield results for Robinson and Tokoto

Probably the most intriguing matchup of the day was when St. John (Ind.) Lake Central squared off with Menomonee Falls (Wisc.) High.

Of course it's a team game, but the matchup between Michigan bound Glenn Robinson and North Carolina bound wing J.P. Tokoto had a chance to be high level and lived up to the billing.

The duo didn't guard each other every trip down the floor. But, they guarded each other plenty and each competed. Not only did they compete, but they did so in an entertaining matter as Robinson rolled up 33 points and Tokoto rang up 28 of his own in a Lake Central win.

Already a four-star prospect who ranks #34 nationally in the class of 2012, Robinson continues to take his game to new heights. With near 6-foot-7 size, a great frame, deep range and plenty of athleticism, Robinson is one of the most efficient wings in the country.

Capable of operating as a jump shooter, Robinson also has a high post game, scores at the rim and finishes on the break. While he doesn't rely on his athleticism, he has the ability to attack and put people in the rim when he needs to just like his father used to do.

On the other hand, Tokoto is a freakishly bouncy wing with 6-foot-6 size who seems to hang in the air while figuring out what to do.

Tokoto couldn't get too much to fall in the way of jump shots. But, he contributed in several other ways and played a very strong game on both ends of the floor.

A four-star wing, Tokoto really looks like he's been working on his ball handling. Not only can he create for himself as a slasher to the rim, he is an alert and crafty passer who sets up teammates for easy shots.

Most impressively, Tokoto used his athleticism to impact the game. He climbed the ladder for some ridiculous offensive rebounds, moved his feet well on defense and threw down some dunks that you don't often see on the high school level.

Bottom line, both Robinson and Tokoto looked improved since we last saw them even though they operate in very different ways on the offensive end.

Lone Peak blasts Lincoln

Anybody who had seen Highland (Utah) Lone Peak play or practice knew that they would be ready for Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln. The question was whether or not Lincoln knew what they were getting into.

Lone Peak was near flawless playing up tempo and physical team basketball while also draining 16 three pointers during a 90-63 blistering of Lincoln.

Just as they did in Myrtle Beach at the Beach Ball Classic, the BYU bound guard tandem of Nick Emery and T.J. Haws led the way. After starting off a bit cold, the duo scored 33 of their 50 points during the second half after adjusting their game to Lincoln's length.

Early in the game, it was Lone Peak's crisp execution and junior guard Conner Toolson who scored 15 of his 22 points that got them out to a nine point halftime lead. At 6-foot-2, Toolson is a skinny shooting guard with range and a feel for the game. He was only 5-foot-7 as a freshman, is still growing and is the son of former NBA player Andy Toolson.

Carr a unique point guard

It wasn't necessarily an Aquille Carr performance that will go down as legend. But, the recently committed to Seton Hall -- which he confirmed again -- was highly entertaining while leading Baltimore (Md.) Patterson to a win over Los Angeles (Calif.) Price.

Nicknamed "the crimestopper" for his ability to draw big crowds in his hometown, Carr is without a doubt the quickest player in high school basketball. All of 5-foot-6, Carr is a bundle of energy who shakes and bakes his way around the floor and finishes incredibly well around the rim for a player of such small stature.

It's easy to see that he enjoys playing the game and his teammates can feed off of him and he's far from selfish. He scored 19 and dominated off the dribble whenever Patterson needed a play.

For Price, junior shooting guard Chance Murray shows much promise. A 6-foot-2 wing with good range, ability to create separation on the dribble and body control around the rim, he can definitely score. If he can get himself more involved and play with more aggressiveness more West Coast high majors will be looking around.

Quick hits

Rivals150 power forward Skylar Spencer looks to be a good fit for San Diego State. The 6-foot-8 big man is getting stronger and really protects the rim. Teammate Khalil Johnson is a 6-foot-6 faceup four man with good range who can play somewhere on the low to mid major level.

While Aquille Carr gets a lot of the publicity because of his flashy style, Shakir Brown just balls. He's not really a three, not really a four but the 6-foot-5 senior knows how to play the game and was very productive in a 21 point effort.

Sophomore power forward Tyler Wideman was off to a good start before an elbow to the head knocked him out of the game. The 6-foot-6 Wideman did play long enough to complete a pretty impressive dunk on J.P. Tokoto.

Memphis (Tenn.) Melrose has a very nice wing duo in 6-foot-5 junior Markel Crawford and 6-foot-4 sophomore Jamerrio Jones. A three-star, Crawford is a high level athlete and excellent shooter to the three point line. Jones is a slender slasher with a great motor.

Crawford said that Florida is his early leader and that he will visit the Gators in early March to watch them play Kentucky. Crawford also mentioned Southeast Missouri, Memphis, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Kent State as programs he's heard from.

Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances junior wing Tevon Saddler has plenty of potential. The athletic wing has a great motor, is very good in transition and is also a good student. The three-star wing mentioned offers from USF, Duquesne, Towson and Cornell to go with interest from Virginia Tech, Oregon State, Florida Gulf Coast, George Mason, Delaware and VCU.




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