Rasheed Sulaimon, 6'3, Shooting Guard, Class of 2012
Committed to Duke
One of the more impressive guards we saw at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 was Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon (#10 Scout, #12 ESPN, #32 Rivals), a hard working late-bloomer who continues to get better.
Listed at 6'3 (but likely closer to 6-4 or 6-5) with long arms that allow him to play bigger than his height, Sulaimon is an extremely smooth athlete. He needs to continue adding weight to his frame, but can play above the rim in transition, has a terrific first step, and displays good lateral quickness on the defensive end.
Few guards at the high school level display his combination of scoring versatility and agressiveness. Able to make plays in the mid-range area or draw contact at the basket with a full head of steam, Sulaimon can score with a floater in the paint, a silky smooth pull-up jumper, and an increasingly consistent catch-and-shoot jump shot that he knocks down with range. He draws fouls at a high rate and is absolutely tenacious in transition, often finishing plays above the rim and through contact. He needs to continue improving the consistency of his jumper and polish up his advanced ball-handling skills, but Sulaimon has improved his scoring arsenal considerably in recent years, and doesn't take no for an answer in his quest for getting buckets.
On top of his ability to score the ball, Sulaimon is a heady passer. He's a competitive, but unselfish player who isn't afraid to give the ball up intelligently when his teammate has a better look. He does drive into trouble from time to time, but was one of the more mature players we watched over the course of the week in Los Angeles, something that bodes well for his transition to the college level.
On the defensive end, Sulaimon's length, toughness and competitiveness make him a capable stopper. He has the potential to defend both guard positions at the next level, and with increased strength, could be a real asset on that end of the floor.
Sulaimon has always been known for his demeanor on the floor and his intelligence off it. At the Boost Mobile Elite 24, it appeared to us that his skill set has really begun to catch up with his physical tools and intangibles. If his body continues to fill out, he's going to a prospect to keep tabs on already as a freshman at Duke.
Rodney Purvis, 6'4, Guard, Class of 2012
Rodney Purvis (#15 Scout, #16 ESPN, #6 Rivals) didn't have a dominant week at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event, but the former Louisville commit had a telling performance against the NBA guards he scrimmaged against and confirmed much of what we learned watching him on the AAU circuit.
The 6'4 Purvis, much like Justin Anderson, is one of the most physically mature players at his position in high school basketball. He has a well-developed frame, looking more like a collegiate upperclassman than one just starting his senior year of high school. On top of his physical strength, Purvis is an impressive athlete, displaying terrific straight-line speed and leaping ability two things he used over the course of the scrimmages and practices we watched to make a number of impressive plays at the rim.
At this point, it is Purvis's combination of size and athleticism, along with his aggressive mentality, that define his game. He's a very solid slasher who is difficult for high school guards to defend off the dribble with his combination of strength and quickness. He shows good ball-handling ability when he's breaking his man down one-on-one, and good body control when he gets to the rim, but forces some looks at the rim that he doesn't finish at times.
Capable of getting to the rim consistently, Purvis seems to go through stretches where he's too eager to settle for pull-up jump shots. He's a decent shooter at this point, but he needs to improve the consistency of his catch and shoot jumper, develop his decision-making, and learn to play at different speeds to become a more efficient offensive player.
Though Purvis is more of a ball-dominant scoring guard in the mold of Rodney Stuckey at the moment, he does show the ability to make plays for his teammates as well, particularly in drive and dish situations. It wouldn't be surprising to see Purvis spend significant time at the point guard position in the future, but he'll need to develop his court vision to maximize his talents as a passer.
On the defensive end, Purvis has the makings of a quality stopper. He handled the NBA guards he was asked to match up with during the late-night Boost Mobile Elite 24 scrimmage far better than many of his peers, showing how his physical maturity, lateral quickness, and aggressiveness can work to his advantage when he's dialed in.
One of the most highly regarded guards in this class, Purvis's decision to re-open his recruitment has him garnering attention from most of the top programs in the country. Though he has some things to work on, his physical attributes make him an intriguing long-term prospect.
Robert Carter, 6'8, Power Forward, Class of 2012
One of the most skilled big men at the Boost Mobile Elite 24, Robert Carter (#18 Scout, #21 ESPN, #28 Rivals) is a wide bodied power forward who can score both inside and out.
Standing 6'8, Carter has good size for the four spot, but his frame still has room for improvement. He's carrying around some excess weight which limits his speed and leaping ability, but should have plenty of time to improve his physique in the coming years.
Carter may not be a terribly explosive athlete, but he's one of the more instinctive scorers in the 2012 class, in the mold of Trey Thompkins. He flashes the ability to step out of the perimeter and knock down mid-range jumpers, but appears equally as comfortable using his strong frame around the rim, where he displays smooth footwork and impressive body control. On a few notable occasions, Carter even flashed a knack for using ball-fakes to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot from the midrange, which is something you don't see every day from big men his age.
At the basket, Carter has terrific hands and uses a combination of touch, footwork, and strength to score. He was one of the more polished one-on-one interior players at the Boost Mobile Elite 24, but struggled at times when asked to finish in traffic around the more athletic big men he was matched up with.
Defensively, Carter displays terrific timing and, but his lack of great quickness and leaping ability limits the impact he makes against more athletic competition around the rim. Carter's strength helps him hold position on the block, but his current build won't help him step out and defend the perimeter.
While the Georgia native is not going to wow anyone with his athleticism at the next level, he has a unique skill set for a player his age. With improved conditioning, Carter should be an impact player in college who will surely draws looks from NBA scouts by the time his collegiate days are over.
Marcus Paige, 6'0, Point Guard, Class of 2012
Committed to North Carolina
One of the few committed players in attendance at the 2011 Boost Mobile Elite 24, Marcus Paige (#29 Scout, #28 ESPN, #41 Rivals) showed a smooth, well-rounded offensive game and a tremendous basketball IQ that didn't account for many highlights, but offered an impressive glimpse of things to come for the young point guard.
From a physical standpoint, Paige doesn't stand out among the other guards in this class at first glance. Showing an underdeveloped frame at this stage, the Iowa native had a difficult time dealing with the size and strength of the NBA players he matched up with during the late night scrimmage.
What Paige does have, is a degree of sneakiness to his athleticism that complements the rest of his game. The UNC commit may not rise up often to dunk on opponents on his forays through the paint, but he has a quick first step, sets up his drives well with fakes, knows when to push the ball in transition, and has the ability to change gears to create separation. He is very crafty with the ball in his hands on the offensive end, showing the ability to create for himself and others off the bounce. A traditional point guard who shows good vision and decision-making, Paige has the demeanor and skill set to become a fine distributor.
On top of his passing ability, Paige is also a competent scorer. He has a smooth left-handed jump shot that he can knock down with range off the catch and off of one or two dribbles from the midrange. A fundamentally sound offensive player, he doesn't force the issue very often, balancing his scoring and passing responsibilities and understanding that his lack of strength is a limiting factor when he tries to finish at the rim.
On the defensive end, Paige does a good job getting in the passing lanes and forcing turnovers. He isn't the biggest or longest player around, but shows consistent intensity and made himself surprisingly pesky matching up with his peers. He'll need to gain weight to consistently defend stronger guards at the next level, but there's no question that he has the basketball IQ and mentality needed to defend within a team concept.
One of the more polished guards we saw at the Boost Mobile Elite 24, Paige's physical profile will be an x-factor for his prospects long-term. He has the skill set, intangibles, and intelligence to flourish as the leader of UNC's fast break, but his ability to match-up physically with point guards at the NCAA level is something to keep an eye on.
Justin Anderson, 6'5, Small Forward, Class of 2012
Committed to Virginia
A player we've had an eye on since his freshman year at Montrose Christian, senior wing Justin Anderson (#60 Scout, #61 ESPN, #35 Rivals) made the most of the time he spent in Los Angeles, scoring 23 points en route to co-MVP honors and a win. A former Maryland commit who decommitted and then opted for Virginia last May, Anderson's current skill set is tailored perfectly to atmospheres like this one.
Often breaking down into a dunk contest as so many All-Star games typically do, the Boost Mobile Elite 24 offered little evidence to combat perceptions that Anderson is the most complete athlete in the 2012 class. Built like an NFL linebacker with an unusually strong upper-body for a player at this level, Anderson is an impressive athlete who has terrific speed and excellent leaping ability.
At this stage in his career, Anderson is able to make a considerable impact in transition and on the offensive glass thanks to those tools and a solid motor. Showing a solid first step and using his strength to his advantage, Anderson is a highlight waiting to happen every time he turns the corner. Right now, though, he's more adept at finishing the plays his teammates create for him. He gets a bit out of control at times when he's attacking the rim, but the positives of his assertiveness often outweigh the negatives in the high school game.
To tap his potential moving forward, Anderson will need to hone his perimeter shooting and ability to create his own shot. The addition of a reliable spot-up jumper to his arsenal would help him immensely as he prepares to make the jump to the ACC.
As we've noted on more than one occasion in the past, Anderson has incredible potential defensively. When he's dialed in, he has the quickness and strength to defend multiple positions and the ability to pull down rebounds at a high rate for a small forward. If he develops the right mentality, Anderson has the toughness to be an impact defender.
Heading into his final prep season, Anderson has seen his national ranking drop in recent years, as recruiting analysts have not seen the type of improvement skill-wise they may have hoped from him, but he may have the most college-ready body in high school hoops, which can't be taken for granted. Considering how he performed at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game and scrimmages, the book on Anderson's long term potential looks far from being complete.