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December 27, 2011

Carolinas preview: Players to watch

MORE BOSSI: Ask the Experts

While the holiday season gives many people a chance to rest and spend time with their families, it is prime season for high school basketball tournaments. With several post-Christmas events from which to choose, it's not tough to find high-level prospects. This year, Rivals.com will make a swing through the Carolinas for the Beach Ball and HighschoolOT.com Holiday Classics. Here's a look at some of the players we'll be tracking.

1. Rasheed Sulaimon, Houston (Texas) Strake Jesuit

Reports out of the Houston area have been that the Duke signee has taken his game to a new level since Rivals.com last saw him in the summer. The shooting guard has apparently grown a little bit and added strength while diversifying his all-around game.

2. Andrew Miller, Charlottesville (Va.) Miller School

He won't sign his letter of intent until the spring, but the 6-foot-6 wing made Kansas happy with a November commitment. One of the summer's biggest risers because of his ability to stretch defenses from deep, we are looking forward to seeing how the four-star small forward's game has progressed over the last four or five months.

3. Rodney Purvis, Raleigh (N.C.) Upper Room

Because of his athleticism and strength, Purvis was still able to make things happen when we saw him over Thanksgiving in Duncanville, Texas. However, the N.C. State signee and five-star prospect looked a bit shaky running the point after looking during the summer like he had a bright future at the one. Is he a one? Is he a slashing two? Or is he a combo guard? The jury is still out.

4. Braxton Ogbueze, Charlotte (N.C.) United Faith

A high-scoring off-guard, it's been awhile since we've seen the Florida-bound senior. At about 6-foot-1, we'll be looking to see if the four-star prospect has improved his ball skills and whether or not he's putting himself in a position to be able to slide over and play some point guard on the college level.

5. Shaquille Johnson, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton

When it comes to dunkers in the class of 2012, the Auburn-bound Johnson is pretty much without peer. He's a YouTube legend with length and impressive springs but we'll be looking to see how he's developed as a basketball player. With his physical gifts, Johnson could turn into a very dangerous wing if his skills begin to catch up with his ability to throw down jams.

6. Quentin Snider, Louisville (Kent.) Ballard

Only a sophomore, the point guard has already committed to hometown Louisville and Rick Pitino for college. He's been celebrated as a scoring lead guard locally, but not many on the national level have gotten to get a good look at him and evaluate his game.

7. Javan Felix, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine

Another of the summer's biggest risers, the Texas-bound Felix is one of the nation's most physical point guards. Capable of running a team and knocking down shots, some have argued that he's still a bit underrated as a four-star ranked No. 92 nationally in the 2012 Rivals150.

8. Nick Emery, Highland (Utah) Lone Peak

Actually, we're looking forward to seeing the entire Lone Peak team. But, the junior shooting guard who has already given a commitment to BYU is the headliner. A sharp shooter with deep range, the three-star was seriously considered for the 2013 Rivals150. Lone Peak features to other Cougar commitments in sophomore guard T.J. Haws and junior power forward Eric Mika. Mika, however, won't play as he sits out due to transfer rules.



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