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November 19, 2012

Orange has potential star in McCullough


MORE: NPS Saturday | NPS Friday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Sunday at Albertus Magnus brought the third and final day of the National Prep Showcase. For the second day in a row, elite 2014 prospect Chris McCullough was performing at a high level while 2013's Wayne Selden tried to lead his Tilton School team to a win over the Kiski School a day after Kiski had knocked off McCullough's Brewster Prep.

What We Learned from NPS

Syracuse has really got something in 2014 forward Chris McCullough. A deluxe athlete who is quick off the floor, the 6-foot-9 five-star junior runs the floor as well as any big man in the country and he's a big-time transition player. He gets to the rim in a hurry, has good hands and can rebound at a high level when he wants. His ability to catch in the high post and drive left or right and get all the way to the rim in just one dribble is impressive and he looks more and more comfortable with jumpers. Because of the 2-3 zone that the Orange plays on the defensive end and McCullough's ability on the perimeter, he'll allow for them to play jumbo-sized with him on the wing or small with him in the middle of the zone.

After a quiet afternoon on Saturday, West Virginia-signee Elijah Macon was much more assertive as he and McCullough helped Brewster Academy bounce back from a loss. The 6-foot-9 big man already has legitimate Big 12 body and he's a very physical guy in the post who has surprising lift when he has a little space to get off the floor.

After some time in a college weight room, look for him to develop into a brawler on the college level.

A year ago, California native Josh Hearlihy made a commitment to Utah. The 6-foot-7 wing ended up backing out of his commitment and suffered an injury that held him back as a senior. Now attending prep school at Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon, Hearlihy looks to be an outstanding option at the upper-mid-major level. He can handle the ball, is a good shooter and has the strength to play some as a power forward in a small lineup. Drake and Rice have both offered while Boston College and Clemson have put out some feelers.

When Kansas-bound senior Wayne Selden looks around at his teammates at Tilton (N.H.), he doesn't exactly have the same firepower that he did a year ago. Gone are Nerlens Noel, Goodluck Okonoboh and Georges Niang and they weren't exactly replaced by players of the same caliber. Still, the well-built 6-foot-5 senior took the floor and left everything he had out there. A rough night shooting (12-31 overall, 1-9 from 3-point range) kept him from having a huge night, but as pretty much the only option he was still able to manage 33 points and six rebounds. Selden remains a strong driver of the basketball and high-level defender. Even though things didn't necessarily go his way, his attitude and willingness to compete still stood out. Also, while his shot wasn't dropping from the perimeter, it looked good and his form continues to improve.

Without many point guards out there on the open market, the recruitment of Jevon Thomas has a chance to really pick up. Now at Delafield (Wisc.) St. John's Northwest Military Academy, the six-footer has really added some strength and has the physical tools and quickness to play at a high level. His decision-making can be a little shaky at times, but he pushes the pace and is able to blend scoring and passing pretty well. Kansas State spent some time watching him over the weekend and more are sure to get involved with the three-star point guard.

New Hampton (N.H.) Prep's Tory Miller is firm on his move to the class of 2014. A 6-foot-8 forward with a strong body and great length, he showed good and bad flashes over the course of the weekend. He gets off the floor pretty quickly and can finish through contact and make a difference on the glass, but he also has some stretches where he becomes a bit of a bystander. The extra year should be good for building consistency and helping the three-star power forward build on a recruiting profile that already includes attention from Minnesota, Nebraska, Creighton, Colorado State.



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