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July 22, 2013

Sherman continues to make rankings case

MORE: Newman, Mudiay make formidable tandem

DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- On the final day of the Great American Shootout, the duo of Emmanuel Mudiay and Malik Newman led the Mo Williams Academy to a semifinal win over Team Texas Elite. But they fell short to the Texas Thunder in the title game of the NBA Blue bracket. In the NBA Red bracket, Omar Sherman helped Deron Williams Elite to a win over Tyler Davis and the Texas Titans.

Champions crowned on Sunday

Sunday was championship day at the 25th annual Great American Shootout, and Rivals.com was on hand for the title games of the NBA Red and NBA Blue divisions. In the Red, Sherman played solid ball all weekend long for Deron Williams Elite.

Standing 6-foot-8 and checking in at about 230 pounds, the three-star Sherman is knocking on the door of the Rivals150. The skilled southpaw narrowly missed the last time, and he continues to merit heavy consideration based on his play at GASO.

In the past, Sherman has been a little too content to hang out on the perimeter and shoot jumpers. He has a smooth shooting stroke, and he connected on some deep shots over the course of the weekend in Duncanville. However, the jumpers that Sherman didn't take and the time he spent playing in the lane were most noticeable.

Sherman worked the offensive and defensive glass, he was more physical than in the past, and he finished a strong weekend. He mentioned offers from Miami, Weber State, Wichita State and Houston, and he said Kansas State, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Marquette, Nebraska and more were starting to step up their involvement with him.

Helping out tremendously on the wing was three-star D'Angelo Allen, who played the best he has in some time. Long and athletic, Allen is a high-major defender when he locks in and a good transition finisher. On Sunday, he was locked in and he nailed some medium to deep jumpers to go with his work in transition and on the defensive end.

Also showing promise was 6-foot-7 three-star combo forward Jeremy Combs. Combs is a high-end athlete who makes plays around the rim. He can run the floor and is a good change of pace who can be used as a three or a four, depending on whether a team wants to go big or small.

In the title game of the NBA Red bracket, the Texas Thunder battled back from an early deficit and took out the gifted MWA backcourt of Mudiay and Newman. The two got to the rim with relative ease, but a swarming Thunder defense made the finishes tough once they got there. Along with those missed opportunities in the lane, MWA settled for way too many deep jumpers and the Thunder capitalized to build a big lead and play with more toughness while claiming a title.

Leading the way for the Thunder was 6-foot-4 power forward Joseph Britton, who made jumpers, attacked off the bounce and thrilled the crowd with flashy open court dribbling in transition. Shooting guard Joseph Mitchell looked like a Division I player while knocking home deep jumpers. The most intriguing player of the bunch, though, was small forward Dalan Ancrum. Long, athletic and tough minded, Ancrum showed a versatile game. He looked good hitting a 3-pointer, he was strong on the glass, and he played good defense around the rim.

Final notes from Duncanville

Ranked No. 27 in the class of 2015, Davis may be slightly underrated. At the least, he's putting himself more and more into the conversation for being elevated to five-star status. Big and strong, Davis has great footwork and exceptional hands. Time and again, he buried defenders into the post, presented a big target and scored in the lane. He can make midrange jumpers, he is a fabulous passer out of double teams, and he continues to get in better shape.

Davis' Texas Titans were without four-star PG Alex Robinson in their title-game loss to Deron Williams Elite because of an arm injury he suffered late in the semis. Earlier in the week, the Titans lost 2015 five-star King McClure, so they were very short of ball handlers. Even without the type of guards he usually plays with, Davis was a load in the title game. Young post players should watch him and learn how to establish position, use leverage and score on either side of the rim.

Speaking of Robinson, the No. 71 player in 2014, he was good when he was able to play. The Titans were involved in some early minutes that meant bench players often got more time than usual. You wouldn't classify him as a shooter, but Robinson is tough, athletic and a very good leader on the floor. He mentioned offers from Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Miami, Memphis, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, and he said A&M has been showing him the most attention for the longest amount of time. He'll settle on his five visits soon.

After spending three days in Washington, D.C., for Nike's Global Challenge, 2015 five-star Elijah Thomas joined his Team Texas Elite squad on Sunday morning. Understandably, Thomas looked tired, but he showed what he can do. Like Tyler Davis, Thomas has a game based upon skill and rebounding. He gets and maintains great position around the hoop, and he has good hands. Thomas also had one of the better individual plays of the game with a block and length-of-the-floor dribble drive for a bucket.

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