SF Ross shows huge offensive potential

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- This past weekend, elite teams and players put their talent on display at beautiful Henry Wise High School for the National High School Hoops Festival sponsored by Nike. Organizer Keith Stevens, of the Team Takeover travel team program, did a great job assembling this five-game event. ESPNU 100 prospect and future Maryland wing Terrence Ross (Portland, Ore./Montrose Christian) was the top performer of the day, scoring 32 points in a win against St. Mary's Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.). Two other ESPNU 100 players -- North Carolina signee PG Kendall Marshall (Dumfries, Va./ Bishop O'Connell) and PF Josh Hairston (Spotsylvania, Va./ Montrose Christian), who will suit up for Duke next season -- also played extremely well. The ESPNU Super 60 was represented as well. Point guard Quinn Cook (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and shooting guard Michael Gbinije (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) showed why they are among the top players nationally in the Class of 2011.

Standout players

Terrence Ross SG (6-foot-6, 180)
2010, Portland, Ore./Montrose Christian, verbally committed to Maryland

This athletic wing has great size and a big-time shooting stroke. Ross can knock down 3s off the catch and after one or two rhythm dribbles. He is shot-ready on the catch and releases the ball with great elevation and follow-through. Ross shoots over smaller defenders and late closers with ease. He runs the floor on the break for spot-up and penetration kick outs, of which he is capable of making two or three in a row. Ross has NBA range and his confidence is sky-high. Defensively, Ross was alert in the passing lanes and really worked to defend the dribble by moving his feet and keeping his hands active. Ross must work to develop his scoring moves off the dribble and make going to the boards a habit. Still, he is a deadly offensive weapon. Maryland coach Gary Williams will have fun coaching this kid.

Kendall Marshall PG (6-4, 180)
2010, Dumfries, Va./Bishop O'Connell, signed with North Carolina

Marshall can make a huge impact on the game without scoring. He is, in my opinion, the best passer in the Class of 2010. He again displayed great court vision and feel for his surroundings at this event. Most of the time, Marshall keeps it simple and passes to the open man. He can also look off a defender like a talented NFL quarterback does and thread the needle for an uncontested layup. Marshall is a master at making the defense commit and making the right decision. At times, he forces the defense to commit with a great ball-fake. Marshall can pass the ball on the bounce or in the air and all with great touch. He frequently gets the ball to a teammate in a scoring position before the defense can react. Marshall looks to have added strength as well. He must continue to work to be a more consistent shooter, although he does make his free throws in the guts of the game. It will be fun to watch Marshall get the ball to Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock when they join forces in Chapel Hill next season.

Josh Hairston PF (6-8, 215)
2010, Spotsylvania, Va./Montrose Christian, signed with Duke

Hairston is one of the most consistent players in the Class of 2010; he always plays with great energy and effort on both ends of the floor, and this event was no different. Hairston has improved his skill since I last saw him. He was confident in shooting and knocking down the midrange jumper and even a 3 with needed time and space. His stroke was smooth, and he shot without hesitation. Hairston drove from the high post and spun off defenders in the lane and made plays along the baseline, where he seems to be very comfortable. Hairston runs the floor and is a lob-catcher when he is ahead of the pack. He attacks the glass and rebounds with authority. He works to defend the low post by denying the entry pass, and he can also step out and guard on the perimeter in a switch situation. Although he is not an off-the-charts athlete, he plays very strong and is productive in a number of areas. Hairston will be a good fit in the intense Duke man-to-man defense and will take advantage of scoring opportunities within the offense.

Quinn Cook, PG (6-0, 166)
2011, Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic

Cook is a high-energy, scoring point guard. He can control the game with his scoring, passing and penetration. Cook plays with great pace. He pushes the ball at high speeds and passes with flare. He can hit the 3 on the break or in the half court from ball reversal. Cook can drive, draw and kick and can deliver the ball with either hand. He can also finish in traffic on a consistent basis with an acrobatic layup. On defense, Cook uses his great quickness to pressure the ball. He has quick feet when defending the dribble and his hands are active until the offense picks up the dribble or passes the ball. Cook will take some chances and force shots at times. Overall, he's a tremendous talent who could also help at the shooting guard position because of his ability to put up big numbers. Cook is exciting and fun to watch compete, especially when he gets into a rhythm.

Michael Gbinije SF (6-6, 194)
2011, Richmond, Va./Benedictine

This smooth wing has great size and can score with his excellent shooting stroke from beyond the arc, midrange pull-up or baseline slash to the rim. Gbinije can hit 3s off the catch or with a rhythm dribble over smaller defenders. He runs the floor for spot-ups and does a great job getting into the vision of the passer for open jumpers. Although he puts up good numbers, Gbinije is capable of great numbers -- if he were more aggressive and looked for his shot on a more frequent basis. Gbinije has one of the most efficient games in the Class of 2011. Gbinije is a decent defensive rebounder and a good wing defender. He can score in both transition and within the half-court offense because of his excellent all-around offensive package.

Surprise player

Josh Turner SG (6-3, 175)
2010, Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken

Turner was very aggressive and made scoring plays throughout the game against Montrose. Turner displayed NBA range on his jumper and can hit midrange shots off the catch or with one or two dribbles. He played in attack mode on every catch. Turner is a good athlete and a true shooting guard. He also used his size to finish in the lane over or around taller defenders with a high-arcing floater. He did a good job reading dribble penetration and being ready to make scoring moves while the defense was caught in rotation. Turner is a good defensive rebounder who can start the break. He displayed the ability to make contested shots at this event and competed hard. Turner is one to watch as the season progresses to see if he can continue to score at a high rate and help put his team in a position to win.


• ESPNU 100 shooting guard J.T. Terrell (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte), at 6-3, is a big-shot taker and maker. He hit a 3 from the deep right wing to send the game against Bishop O'Connell to overtime. Terrell didn't shoot a great percentage for the game, but the misses didn't bother this competitive scoring machine. Terrell will thrive in the offensive system of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons next season.

• Wise High School senior point guard Daryl Traynham (Upper Marlboro, Md.) plays in attack mode. He can score off the dribble by splitting defenders for pull-up jumpers or acrobatic layups in the lane. He can drive, draw and kick, and get to the rim in transition. He should be, at least, a solid midlevel college lead guard.

• Bishop O'Connell (Va.) has a pair of 6-5 junior wings from who will make a big splash of their own this season. Jordan Burgess and Larry Savage are athletic, powerful and physical. They both attack the rim and the glass on both ends of the floor.

• Class of 2012 power forward Coleman Johnson (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic) was dominating at times against host Wise. Johnson has great touch around the basket with range out to about 15 feet. He rebounds with effort and length on both ends of the floor. His second jump is as quick as his first and he can snatch the ball out of the air in a crowd with either hand. Johnson is a little undersized for a power forward, at 6-5, but he has time on his side to grow or develop his perimeter skills. He's an excellent young prospect.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was an all-MAC first teamer his senior season.