Future Longhorns shine at Hoopfest

Future Longhorns shine at Hoopfest

The Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, KY annually features some of the top prospects in the country and last weekend was no exception. Three of the featured players at the tournament are future Longhorns in Shawn Williams, Avery Bradley and junior Tristan Thompson. The trio all had their moments with Thompson and Bradley taking home game MVP's on Saturday night.

Last weekend's Marshall County Hoopfest brought out talent from around the nation as it typically does. Of all of the programs represented by players, the Texas Longhorns may have had more future talent on showcase than any other.

In the first game Friday night featuring a future Texas player, the Duncanville Panthers took on the Oak Hill Warriors. While the Warriors came out on top 69-57, Shawn Williams put on a first half show.

The 6-7 wing scored 16 first half points knocking down four of five three-pointers with three of Williams' long range jumpers coming from the right corner. Aside from Williams, the Panthers struggled shooting the ball all night as teammates Roger Franklin (6-24) and Reger Dowell (3-13) combined to knock down less than 25%.

Williams went cold in the second half as well, knocking down just three of 10 from the field. While his shot wasn't falling, the senior forward grabbed five rebounds and recorded two steals to remain active.

Williams scored a game high 24 points, pulled down seven rebounds, recorded two steals, dished out an assist and blocked a shot. He finished seven of 18 from the floor, four of nine from three and six of eight from the free throw line.

The St. Benedict's Gray Bees vs. Jackson Provine (MS) game followed the Duncanville game and featured the #1 junior in the 2010 class, Texas commit Tristan Thompson.

While Thompson could have shown more aggression in the paint and a higher finish over the top of players with far less height and length, the 6-9, 215-pound lefty flashed why so many nationally regard him as a top prospect in a 72-56 win.

Thompson was named the game MVP Friday night after posting 18 points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots, three assists and two steals on 6-11 shooting. Thompson scored in a number of ways hitting one elbow jumper as well as scoring off of dribble drives from the mid-range along the baseline, a two-handed dunk in transition in which he showed terrific body control, off of offensive rebounds and from the free throw line.

On Saturday, the first future Longhorn to take the court was Shawn Williams as Duncanville took on in-state power Scott County. Williams was off from the start from long range missing all five three-point attempts in the game. As usual, the long armed wing played an all-around game grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out two assists and recorded two steals to go with 12 points on five of 15 shooting before fouling out with 5:26 remaining in the game.

In the second to last game Saturday night, Tristan Thompson took home his second game MVP award in St. Benedict's 69-55 win over Chicago's Whitney Young High.

Thompson defended Marcus Jordan, son of Michael Jordan, on the perimeter for much of the game as well as scoring a game high 18 points to go with eight rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and a steal.

In the win, the Texas commit showed his versatility defending a 6-3 guard, changed ends quickly running the floor with fluidity, threw down four two-handed dunks and showed a soft touch around the basket as well as handling the ball in the open floor on a number of occasions.

The final game of the night was Findlay Prep vs. Montverde Academy out of Florida. From the outset, Avery Bradley was the best player on the floor in a game that featured 8-10 future major college prospects. Bradley scored with ease and efficiency converting seven of 15 field goals (2-3 from three) for 18 points.

Findlay Prep led 26-23 at the half before blowing out the nationally ranked Montverde team in the second half and winning 66-39.

Bradley added four rebounds, three assists without a turnover and two steals before taking a seat on the bench with about two minutes remaining.

Bradley completed the Longhorn sweep by being named the MVP of his game just like his future Longhorn teammates won the last two game MVP's of the previous night.

Avery Bradley scouting report

To put it simply, Bradley has "IT" as a basketball player. His Hoops IQ is off the charts. He makes tough 10 to 15-foot mid-range jumpers look easy. He has a high release jump shot with a high trajectory that seemingly drops in the basket over out stretched arms.

He rarely, if ever, forces a shot out of the offensive flow, understands spacing and making basket cuts with the correct timing a split second after his defender turns his head away. Bradley can take away an opponent's strong hand and force a weakness while still being quick enough to slide the feet and cut off an attempted drive. He also has very good timing in offensive rebounding, has the body control to pull up in the lane without creating player control fouls, finds the open man and plays at the proper pace.

Bradley possesses a quick and long first step that is an initial blow by step putting his defender is a tough recovery position. More times than not, the 6-2.5 senior with a 6-7 wing span pulls up for the mid-range jumper going left or right as his defender races by trying to recover. Like most right handed players, Bradley is more fluid going left off of one or two hard dribbles before pulling up for a jumper.

From long range, Bradley takes smart shots and doesn't force the three. He plays out of the triple threat and showed a quick rip through move.

Saturday night in the final game of the tournament, Bradley showed his speed down the court outracing everybody from free throw line to free throw line after a defensive rebound.

On the defensive end, Bradley was a menace the entire game using his combination of length and quickness laterally to harass the Montverde guards. Bradley does a good job of sliding the feet and not jumping.

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