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May 1, 2013

Five who stood out and five to watch


The final two weekends of April, college coaches and scouts traveled the country watching high school basketball's top underclassmen in search of new talent and to see how established talent was developing. Nobody was able to see every event, but the buzz about who was rising to the occasion and who wasn't stretched from coast to coast. The college coaches are back home this weekend, but Rivals.com's Eric Bossi will be back on the road. With that in mind, here's a look at five prospects who made an impression over the past two weeks and five with buzz who Bossi will get see soon.

FIVE WHO STOOD OUT
SG Brandone Francis, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day
A standout with Florida Elite at the Adidas Exclusive Run, Francis is underrated and -- for now -- unranked. At 6-foot-5, he's strong, has a great feel for the game and can do a little bit of everything. But he has to show that he can be consistent. However, if the Francis that played in Duncanville is the real Francis, then he is in the argument for best senior in the state of Florida. Florida, Louisville, Miami, Alabama, Indiana, Florida State Washington, South Carolina, West Virginia and many others are turning up the heat.

SF/PF Malek Harris, Orland Park (Ill.) Sandburg
Playing for the Illinois Wolves, the 6-foot-7 Harris has become a favorite of coaches and scouts. Ranked No. 120 nationally in the class of 2014, Harris is due for a bump in the rankings. He is quick, relentless in his pursuit of the ball and is a lengthy playmaker who poses matchup problems because of his ability to use the dribble. Harris has become one of the hottest targets in the Midwest for good reason. Iowa, Marquette, Auburn, Creighton, Kansas State, DePaul and Oregon State are among his offers and there are plenty more scrambling for attention.

SF Daniel Hamilton, Los Angeles (Calif.) St. John Bosco
A high-end four-star prospect, Hamilton played like a certified five-star with Belmont Shore. There are still some stretches in which he cruises, but his combination of size, shooting touch, skill with the ball and fluidity makes him awfully tough to ignore or write off as a prospect. Mark him down as one of the most natural offensive talents in the class.

SF Kelan Martin, Louisville (Kent.) Ballard
Sometimes the way a player looks can cause some troubles in an evaluation. At about 6-foot-6, Martin is a physical bruiser with strength and the body type of a tight end. But his game is that of a small forward who loves to drill pull-up jumpers and make plays off the bounce. He can play a power game and be used as a four, but he's got legitimate wing tools. Maybe he's a taller, in-better-shape Nate Minnoy. He was outstanding at Exclusive Run and is making a good case for more high major interest.

C Myles Turner, Euless (Texas) Trinity
As things stand, Turner is already a top 80-player and solid four-star prospect. He will make a pretty big climb in the next edition of the rankings and is one of the hottest big man prospects. He's still a bit raw, but he has grown, is healthy after missing last summer and displays high upside. What coaches really like is that he is a committed defender and has soft touch. Basically the entire Big 12, UCLA, Texas A&M, Marquette and many others are making him a priority.

FIVE TO SEE
SF Shaqquan Aaron, Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach
A future Louisville Cardinal, reviews have been mixed about Aaron. He hasn't put up particularly big numbers for Seattle Rotary through two sessions of Nike's EYBL, but they haven't been bad, either. Rivals has always been high on the plus-sized wing because of his offensive game. We are looking forward to getting a fresh look.

SF Kameron Chatman, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
His travel squad, ICP Elite, has struggled some during the first two weekends of the EYBL, going 2-7. However, after missing pretty much his entire junior season due to transfer rules, Chapman is putting up impressive numbers. He's averaging 16.3 points and 11.4 rebounds against top competition. For a kid coming off of a long layoff that's solid work, and he's high on the list of guys we are eager to see.

PG Chris Chiozza, Memphis (Tenn.) White Station
Has anybody been as hot on the point guard market as the Team Thad floor general? He's a sub 6-foot playmaker who is flashy and fun to watch. College coaches seem to be on board as he's been racking up significant offers, including tenders from Memphis, Ohio State, Connecticut, USC, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Missouri.

C Paschal Chukwu, Fairfield (Conn.) Prep
Not a lot of people have seen a lot of the 7-footer, but those who have have been excited. He is a true center who runs the floor very well and makes opponents adjust to the way he plays. Chukwu's parents recently indicated to Rivals.com that he has the interest of more than 45 schools. The four-star junior and native of Nigeria is wide open and even puts pushpins on a map so that he can see where each school that is showing interest is located. There aren't a lot of true centers, so the level of intrigue is running high with him. Programs such as Providence, UConn, St. Joseph's, St. John's and countless others are doing their homework.

PG Tyus Jones, Apple Valley (Minn.) High
What more could Jones have possibly done over the past few weekends? He has his Howard Pulley squad sitting atop the standings in Division D of the Nike EYBL and is second in the league in scoring while leading in assists and steals. Currently, Emmanuel Mudiay is the top-ranked point guard in the class of 2014, but Jones had been nipping at his heals and is putting together a monster spring.



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