SoCalHoops Recruiting News
adidas Las Vegas Big Time
Day One Report--(July 25, 2001)
We're not going to report all the scores and other stuff in the way of schedules. Why should we when there's an official Las Vegas adidas Big Time Tournament site, and you can get the same thing there. Nope, we've got better things to do, like pay attention to meaningless gossip between college coaches in the stands, player recruiting tidbits, injury reports and actually watching players. . . .trivial, but it's why we're here after all. . .
There is just too much to see and not enough time to see it all. This tournament is a smorgasbord of basketball, a continuous, non-stop hoopfest which starts at 9:00 a.m. each day and has the last game finishing around 12:30 a.m. the following morning....seriously, the 10:20 p.m. game between Rockfish and the New York-based "Juice" team (with Sebastian Telfair) didn't finish until 12:30 a.m. so we've only got a few hours to catch some sleep before day two starts. So we'll be brief.
Re:Rockfish v. Juice-- After losing their first game today to the Atlanta Celtics, the Rockfish won big tonight. The fish did not expect to lose their first game today and they came out on fire in the second game, beating the Juice players to the ball consistently, outshooting them, and driving and penetrating. Rockfish won by close to 30 and it was only close for about 2 minutes when Telfair went on a run and cut the Rockfish lead to 8. The Fishies were pretty impressive. Khalif Ford drove, penetrated and dished well, and he goes to the basket as well as anyone we've seen here. Wes Wardrop, who left Savanna and enrolled at Worcester Prep has also been playing well. Tim Drisdom tweaked his knee in a summer league game last week and has been seeing limited time, but tonight he really played well when he was in. Donald Wilson is also playing well. We heard a bit about his recruiting, and while he's receiving a lot of solid interest (calls, letters, etc) he has not been offered by the schools who are looking. North Carolina coach Matt Dougherty was intently watching the game tonight, but whether he will offer is just not known.
More on Tim Drisdom: About those rumors flooding the internet that Tim has "committed" to Utah, they are a bit premature. Tim has not committed yet, but we expect that he will next week after the Best of Summer when he and his family are scheduled to take an unoffcial visit to the campus.
Best player we've seen today: Antoine Wright of Inland--- Ordinarily we don't get to see Kool Aid's prep school guys for more than a fleeting second or two as they pass through the airport, but this year we've been able to watch Antoine at ABCD and here, and today he was spectacular. He scored 23 points in the first half of Inland's game this morning, and he finished with 34 points, 6 three pointers, 4 steals, and a handful of assists and blocks. And despite internet rumors to the contrary, the UCLA coaches (both Lavin and Madkins) were present for every minute of the game, and they were watching and scouting it intently. If UCLA wasn't recruiting Antoine Wright prior to this game today, they are now.....
Second Best player: Richard Midgely (6'-3" Sr. PG) from Modesto Christian, who is playing with EBO. Despite a loss to Baltimore Select by one point, Midgely was spectacular, penetrating at will, and shooting the ball extremely well. He finished with (by our count) close to 30 points tonight and was keeping Cal coaches Ben Braun and Jon Wheeler very happy, indeed.
Oldest player: It's got to be Steve Moore (6'-3" SG) who should have graduated from Dominguez two years ago, but who finished his 5th year in high school in June, and who will reportedly enroll at Cal State Northridge as a Prop. 48 this fall. He doesn't look like the same old Steve (no pun intended), but seems slimmer, a bit more gaunt, and he wasn't shooting very well today. In fact the entire H-Squad I team might be the most under-achieving group of players we saw today, and they really need to regroup and get some chemistry going if they hope to win any games. They were outplayed, outhustled and outcoached this afternoon in their matchup against Gateway BBall 17's, a marvelous team full of some very nice basketball players who don't rely purely on athleticism but know how to play the game. H-Squad, on the other hand, rushed shots when they needed to settle, settled for long bombs when ball movement was called for and missed more easy layups by attempting silly slam dunks than we care to remember. Rick Isaacs does a great job of getting players to these events, and no one can underestimate how many good things he's done for the kids who play for him, but something is definitely missing from this current cast of players on the H-Squad.
Of interest to UCLA fans: Anyone who has been following the flames on the Bruinzone Message forum will appreciate this little tidbit: We told Greg Hicks when we saw him after the Inland game this morning that we were going to write this, so we're not pulling any punches (and by the way, it's all in fun): The UCLA coaches really, truly do scout players, and they do a pretty darn good job, at least in our humble view. We bumped into Steve Lavin this morning, and looking to joke a bit with him about some of the internet stuff that's been out there for the past few weeks, asked him what he thought he was doing actually showing up at Green Valley HS (where he arrived at about 9:30 a.m. and didn't leave until around 8:00 p.m.).....indeed, we wanted to know why he had the temerity to actually show up at a place where there were players and where he might actually be required to scout someone, and he joked in reply "Oh yeah, those players just fall out of the sky, don't they.....I mean,I guess I don't have to do any work..... In fact, the reality is that Coach Lavin and his assistant Gerald Madkins were hard at work watching a select group of guys today: Antoine Wright, C.J. Watson of the Pump N Run team (C.J. had a very impressive game this afternoon against Team Breakdown), and a few others, but those two appeared to be the prime targets and if they both keep playing the way they did today, UCLA ought to just get it done and forget about everyone else. Oh, and by the way, not to put in any dig at Greg (again we told him we were going to write this) but five minutes into Inland's morning game (the same one that Lavin and Madkins were watching intently), Hicks left the gym to go do goodness knows what else..... So we want to know who is really on the job and who isn't.....?????
Roster deletions and changes:
Fernando Sampson is NOT at the Big Time. He stayed home to play with Fairfax in their tournament and sent us an e-mail asking us to let everyone know because we've listed him several times as being on the Double Pump All Star roster....he's not. But Mike Washington (5'-11" Sr. PG) from Long Beach Poly is on that roster instead and he's playing well.
Deangelo Collins (6'-9" Sr. F) is NOT at the Big Time, and neither is Amare Stoudemire. Lenny Cooke (6'-8" Sr. F) from New York is here and he's playing with the Prep Stars International from New Jersey. Raymond Felton's team, Beach Ball Select played them today and it was a great game.
More injury reports: Tim Drisdom, as noted above tweaked his knee (actually hyper-extended it) in a meaningless summer league game, and he looks to be about 80% when running. David Gale of Pump N Run also rolled his ankle last week (again, in a meaningless summer league game) and doctors told him that recovery could take as much as 4 weeks, but he played about half the game today against Team Breakdown and is doing well despite not being at full strength. The rest of the Pump n Run team is just playing so well that they have to be considered among the top 16 or so teams in the tournament. Especially impressive have been Brad Buckman out of Texas, who has Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and the rest of college basketball beating a path to his door, Nick Caner-Medley, who committed to Maryland last week, CJ Watson, and David Padgett. Matt McKinney hit some nice shots and is rebounding like a maniac, Richard Chaney has shown some great guard play, Brandon Rohe is doing everything that a great team player ought to do, Omar Wilkes is getting some valuable time both on and off the ball, and Martin Iti blocked about a dozen shots today, and while his skills are a bit rusty (we actually have no idea what he's really been up to for the past six months), he was pretty good around the basket as a scorer.
Anyway, we could go on and on, but it's about 2:00 a.m. and we've got to get some shuteye. . .
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