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July 30, 2008

Vegas events top performers: 2009 Class

MORE: Las Vegas: Day Five | Las Vegas: Day Four | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

There were a vast number of top prospects in action last week in Las Vegas at the Reebok Summer Championships, adidas Super 64 and The Main Event. Here are the top 2009 performers to catch Rivals.com's eyes.

Vegas Events Top Performers: 2009 Class
Kenny Boynton, SG, Team Breakdown
There were a number of top guard performers, but Boynton gets the top slot because his Team Breakdown squad took home the hardware at the Reebok Summer Championships. Certainly Boynton had a great deal of help from his 2010 running mate Brandon Knight, but there is no denying that Boynton is the main engine propelling his team.

Along with pumping in 26 points in the championship game, Boynton's signature effort was a 33-point performance early in the tournament against perhaps the best on-ball defender in the country in Avery Bradley. Playing with a great deal of bravado, Boynton proved once again his prowess in the clutch.

John Wall, PG, D-One Sports
If Wall just had a little more help from his teammates, he would likely be at the top of the list. After winning every game in the tournament up to the finals, including a win over Team Breakdown on the second day, he came up one win short of the championship.

With his deft ball handling and blazing speed, Wall was nothing short of a spectacle during the event. He got to the rim virtually at will and made good on a variety of tough finishes. Not only was he the fifth-leading scorer in the event, but he also rebounded the ball at a high level and made his teammates better with his pinpoint passing.

Avery Bradley, SG, Northwest Panthers
Except for Raymond Penn, who is slotted for our No. 1 slot for Top Surprises, no one scored at as high a level as Bradley over the course of the week. Before faltering with a 12-point performance against Team Breakdown in the quarterfinals of the Reebok Summer Championships, Bradley hit for 40 points in one game and had three games with over 35 points to end the tournament as the second leading scorer with an average of 29.4 points per game.

Not only is Bradley a scoring machine with the ball in his hands, he is also a terrific defender. As one of the top talents in the tournament, his competitive fire right out of the gate propelled all the other competitors in the event to a higher level.

Michael Snaer, SG, Inland Reebok
Talk about consistent scoring, in six games Snaer scored at least 20 points in each of them to finish the Reebok tournament with an average of 24.3 points per game, placing him third in scoring for the tournament.

Snaer, however, did a lot more than just score the ball. Playing for an undersized squad, he was a beast on the defensive boards and displayed a creativeness and explosiveness off the dribble that caught us by surprise. Bottom line: Snaer made a strong statement to make a sizeable jump in the Rivals150.

Junior Cadougan, PG, Grassroots Canada
Perhaps the best way to judge a point guard is by wins and losses, and if that is the case, Cadougan grades out awfully high. In leading his team to the championship of the adidas Super 64, Cadougan looked like the point guard he was destined to be when he hit the national spotlight at the start of his high school career.

With his strength, quickness and sharp skills, Cadougan gave his team proficient outside shooting, a burst into the lane where he both hit shots and found shooters and most importantly confident leadership.

Jordan Hamilton, SF, Team Odom
They call a baseball player with the complete package a five-tool player. And however many tools make up a complete perimeter player on the basketball court is the number of tools Hamilton possesses.

In The Main Event, Hamilton was at his best in a dominating performance against a talented Mac Irvin team. Not only did he score the ball in a variety of ways at all three levels, he also defended nearly every position on the court, controlled the defensive glass and passed the ball like a seasoned point guard in a one-point win.

Derrick Favors, PF, Atlanta Celtics
When near triple-double numbers come across as a routine performance, then you know that player is awfully good. This is exactly the situation Favors has created with his quiet efficiency on the court.

Leading his team to the semifinals of the adidas Super 64, Favors simply controlled games with his scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking ability.

Tyler Honeycutt, SF, Pump N Run Elite
Honeycutt headlined a talented team that made it to the semifinals of the adidas Super 64 before running into a juggernaut from Canada. Along the way, Honeycutt impressed with his high skill level and feel for the game.

If the long wing wasn't draining threes, he was making high basketball IQ plays with his movement without the ball and savvy passing. He also demonstrated an ability to make plays inside despite his thin frame.

Joe Burton, C, Compton Magic
The anchor for a team that nearly upended Grassroots Canada in the finals of the adidas Super 64, Burton continues to impress with his physical and skilled play. So much so that he has even earned the moniker of 'Kevin Love, Jr.' by Rivals.com's Justin Young.

Playing with a strong competitive fire, the wide bodied post man repeatedly out-positioned the opposition for scoring and rebounding opportunities while also passing the ball at an extremely high level.

Maurice Creek, SG, Triple Threat
Creek was simply the go-to man for a talented Triple Threat team who worked its way into the semifinals of the Reebok Summer Championship before falling to eventual champs Team Breakdown.

With a mature understanding of the game, Creek rarely forced the issue but took advantage of his scoring opportunities to average 18.4 points per game for the event. Along with knocking down a total of 18 three-pointers over eight games, he took care of the ball and played strong defense.

MORE: Las Vegas: Day Five | Las Vegas: Day Four | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

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