Smith, Jones no ordinary players

HOUSTON -- The second tournament in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League moved to the Lone Star State, and after an intense first tournament, it picked up right where it left off with high-level play from some of the most talented players from across the country.

Standout players

Dorian Smith (Portsmouth, Va./I.C. Norcom)
2011 SF, 6-8, 185
Team: Boo Williams

At 6-foot-8 with guard skills, Smith is a very versatile player. He loves to attack the basket from the high post area where he can finish at the rim or use his passing ability to drop off. Smith uses his great length to score over or around defenders. He can make mid-range pull-ups or knock down the open 3. Smith will face up off the low post, shot fake and make a play along the baseline as well. He will also finish above the rim in traffic when he receives drop off passes. He is an excellent rebounder in and out of his area and can also lead the fast break when needed. Smith has the length and athletic ability to defend and play both forward positions. He is a true match-up problem on both ends of the floor. He must add strength and be more aggressive at times, but this young forward has off-the-charts upside and is one to watch this spring and summer.

Roosevelt Jones (O'Fallon, Ill.)
2011 SF, 6-4, 210
Team: St. Louis Eagles

Jones, a Butler commit, played with toughness on both ends of the floor and resembles current Butler guard Shelvin Mack. He doesn't shoot the ball like Mack, but Jones is very productive driving the ball. Jones has a college body right now and simply power-drives opposing perimeter players deep into the lane, where he uses his strength to score through contact. He also does a great job of drawing fouls when he posts smaller defenders as well. Jones must work to extend his range but seems comfortable to about 17 feet at this stage of his game. He is an excellent passer when he draws a second defender and can rebound on both ends and lead the break when the outlet pass is unavailable. Jones is a matchup problem who can defend both wing positions. His versatile game will be an excellent fit in the Bulldogs' system.

Surprise Player

Will Cummings (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence)
2011 PG, 6-0, 160
Team: Team Florida

Cummings displayed great speed and quickness throughout the game. He played in full attack-mode and got to the rim in transition and from the point in the half-court set. He beat his defender with a quick first step and finished with excellent touch and body control. Cummings advanced the ball on the break and also did a nice job of penetrating and dishing to an open teammate. He has improved his midrange jumper and can even hit an open 3 with needed time and space, but this is still an area that he needs to work on with a sense of urgency. Cummings has shown notable improvement since I last saw him, especially with his shooting. He plays with energy and makes his presence felt on the defensive end. Cummings pressures the ball and is fully alert in the passing lanes. Currently Cummings is hearing from Jacksonville, North Florida, Central Florida, Fairfield, East Carolina and Old Dominion. If Cummings improves, expect this list to grow.


• ICP power forward Austin Kuemper (Portland, Ore./Westview) displayed excellent touch and skill. Kuemper, 6-9, hit jumpers without hesitation and scored in the post over his left shoulder. Kuemper is also a good passer and has the ability to find the open man on the weak side when the double-team approaches.

• Baltimore Elite's Greg Lewis (Baltimore/St. Frances) is another very productive power forward in the 2011 class who makes his presence felt with his ability to finish, rebound and block shots. Lewis, 6-9, makes the opposing offense think twice before taking him on in the lane.

• The Carolina Ravens have a lane protector of their own in Kameron Dunnican (Sumter, S.C.). This 6-9 long and lean power forward can not only finish above the rim, he contests and challenges shots and rebounds in and out of his area. He is a big-time athlete with a great motor.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to '90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.