Tournaments Start During Third Day in Las Vegas

July 24, 2006

By Van Coleman

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Van Coleman

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We head into day three with pool play over at two of the three tournaments in Vegas. We'll bounce back and forth to the opening rounds of the Adidas Super 64 and Reebok Big-Time.


But before we look at the play from last night and this morning, we'd like to give you a quick heads-up:'s No. 1-ranked player in the Class of 2007 -- 6-foot-9, 250-pound Kevin Love from Lake Oswego, Ore. -- will make his college choice Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. PDT/4:00 p.m. EDT at Foothills High School.  He is down to UCLA and North Carolina, with the buzz in the gym that the power forward is staying out west. I'm not going to wager one way or the other.  He isn't calling the schools until 30 minutes before his announcement, so his press conference can have real meaning.  But we will bring his decision to you as soon as he let's us know on Tuesday. 


Southern Cal All-Stars 84, D-1 Greyhounds 53


After the incredible games from yesterday morning, the gym at Foothills High was buzzing with anticipation of last night's final match-ups. But as sometimes happens, there is always something that gets in the way of a great game. Last night that something was a seriously bruised and swollen knee on D-1 star Bill Walker coupled with a great game plan for attacking O.J. Mayo from So Cal All-Stars head coach Joedy Gardner -- leading to the unexpected result: a So Cal blowout as the All-Stars controlled the game from start to finish.


The All-Stars jumped out to an early lead as their outside shooters caught fire. Six-foot-seven wingman Malik Story's three made its 9-2 with 12:09 left in the first half. Hard-nosed combo forward Daniel Hackett expanded the lead to 16-4 moments later and Taylor King's three-pointer from nearly 30-feet made it 23-8, capping a 19-4 run that put the game away early for the So Cal squad.  Kevin Love got into the act with a shot beyond the arc to make 30-12 and they led 41-21 at the break. O.J. Mayo and Alex Tyus were just one of ten from the field in the first half for the Greyhounds as they combined to play just 18:38 minutes in the first half.


The Southern Cal All Stars continued to widen their lead in the second half as fan favorite 5-foot-8 freshman Tommy Stangle got in the action and scored seven points. Stangle, their last player off the bench, got the entire crowd chanting his name and won them over with a three-pointer at the buzzer.


6-foot-10 sophomore forward Renardo Sidney led all scorers with 17 points as he made six of nine from the field.  6-foot-1 point Brandon Jennings wowed the crowd with his passing, added 14 points and nine assists, and had the play of the night on an alley-oop dunk from a pass from Love. Kevin Love chipped in 13 points and 11 boards.


Mayo was limited to just 10 points, on 5-14 shooting from the field (0-4 from three), as he was the Greyhounds' lone double figure scorer.  As good as he was in the Mean Streets match-up he struggled against So Cal, a club he scored 42 on just one month ago in a tough 79-78 loss.  Go figure: maybe Batman does need Robin -- at times.


Other Top Games/News and Notes:


The Play Hard Play Smart squad from Sacramento, Calif., held on to win a thriller in overtime, 74-72, over the Team Breakdown from Florida.  The California squad was lead by 6-2 combo guard Eric Webster who finished with 33 points including 5-10 from beyond the arc.  He got solid support from Bernard Walker and Derrius Sellars who chipped in 12 and 11 points respectively.  Team Breakdown was led by the explosive and quick 6-2 wing man Kenny Boynton who had 31 points in another stellar performance by the fast rising junior.


The Spiece Central Stars continued their winning ways this summer knocking off a solid Belmont Shore squad by a 73-63 margin.  Spiece was led by 6-7 combo forward Matthew Howard and 6-1 combo Zach Hahn with 17 points each, while 6-10 Purdue commit Jajuan Johnson added 14 points and 8 boards.  Howard led all rebounders with 12 caroms.  Belmont Shore was led by 6-7 junior Renaldo Woolridge who finished with 18 points earning him game high honors.  Spiece could be a sleeper to go deep into the tournament if they get the right draw as the brackets unfold today.


The Rising Stars of America squad from Los Angeles held on in a tight one 78-72 versus the Smyrna Stars from Georgia.  RSA was led by sweet shooting 6-5 wing man Jon Reed, who has really impressed the mid-major and up coaches in Vegas, as he finished with 29 points including seven threes.  He got solid support from 6-5 Dane Suttle with 15 points and 6-7 Chace Stanback who chipped in 14 in the win.  Smyrna was led by 6-7 Justin Brownlee who tied for game honors with 29 points.


In another of our highly anticipated Elite Eight pool finales, Mean Streets outlasted a tired Michigan Hurricanes squad 78-72 in a physical battle.  Once again the dynamic 6-3 backcourt duo of Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose were stellar.  Gordon had 33 points including 5-8 from beyond the arc, while Rose scored 23 points grabbed 7 boards and handed out 5 assists.  The Hurricanes super wing duo 6-5 Darquavis Tucker and 6-6 Alex Legion each finished with 21 points.  Their just wasn't enough support from their teammates in this one.  The Hurricanes have to be the best 0-3 squad, in any pool play this summer period!


The Blessed IJN Elite from Indiana survived a war with the Oakland Soldiers, holding on to win a 67-66 overtime decision in one of Sunday's best match-ups.  IJN Elite was led by 6-3 Eshaunte Jones who continued his high level of play in Vegas with 24 points.  5-11 junior point Fred Ford added 12 points and 6-7 Herbert Terry and 6-8 Matt Morgan chipped in 10 each.  The Oakland Soldiers' top gun was 6-10 Drew Gordon who scored 20 points and dominated the glass with 17 boards.  He has been one of the top five or six players we've seen since arriving last Friday.


Here is a look at the Top Scorers in the "Open Division" at the Reebok Big-Time:


1.  Eric Webster 6-2 (Play Hard Pay Smart) 33.0 ppg / 2.  Eric Gordon 6-3 (Mean Streets) 31.7 ppg / 3.  Kevin Love 6-9 (So Cal All-Stars) 29.0 ppg / 4.  Jon Reed 6-5 (Rising Stars of America) 26.0 ppg / 5.  Maurice Jackson 6-3 (Arizona Rage Read) 24.7 ppg / 6. Eshaunte Jones 6-4 (Blessed IJN Elite) 24.5 ppg /  7.  Kenny Boynton 6-2 (Team Breakdown) 24.3 ppg / 8. Dale Hughes 24.3 ppg / 9.  Jamelle Barrett 5-10 (Play Hard Play Smart) 24.0 ppg / 10. Justin Brownlee 6-7 (Smyrna Stars) 23.0 ppg / 10. Derrick Rose 6-3 (Mean Streets) 23.0 ppg.


The Reebok Big-Time started opening round play this morning and will be cutting their "Open Division" field to 32 teams by the end of today, and to 8 teams by the end of the day on Tuesday.  We'll be on hand for all the quarterfinal action tomorrow night.


We are heading north to the Adidas Super 64 this afternoon and evening, so watch for updates later today on the Championship rounds from Desert Pines High.  The tournament will be reduced to 16 teams today and 2 teams by the end of the day on Tuesday.


We will be bringing updates on top performers and key games tonight one we leave the gyms.  So watch for our breakdown of the Super 64 tomorrow right here at


Recruiting News and Notes:


Edward Nixon 6-4 wing from the Jacksonville Lee Bulls says that George Mason, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Dayton, Old Dominion, Miami (Fla.), and Georgia are interested.


Keaton Nankivil 6-9 power forward from the Fox Valley Skillz is down to three, Boston College, Marquette, and Wisconsin.  All three coaches were on hand at his game yesterday.


Anthony Randolph 6-10 wing forward from the Dallas Mustangs had Memphis, Illinois, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Texas, LSU, Georgetown, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Baylor at his game yesterday in Vegas.


Darquavis Tucker 6-5 wing from the Michigan Hurricanes said he favors Illinois, Arizona, Louisville, Florida, and DePaul at this point.


Clinton Chapman 6-10 post from the Portland Panthers has been impressive in Vegas, He has coaches from Washington, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, California, Georgetown, and Arizona State at his game on Sunday.


R.L. Horton 6-2 combo from the Magnolia Stars has been on fire in Vegas scoring with jumper or dribble drive.  He says he has serious interest from Mississippi, Mississippi State, Colorado, Miami (FL), and hometown school Jackson State.


Tomorrow we will begin our day at the Nike Main Event as it kicks off tournament play, then we will cover the top games from the Adidas Super 64, Reebok Big-Time, and the Main Event as tournament play progresses in Las Vegas, right here at



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