Big Time, News and Notes

LAS VEGAS – It's a tournament that for Wildcat fans has almost as many no-shows as it does big names interested in Arizona. There may be over 400 teams but a number of the players that like Arizona were not here. Of course there were a number of great players displaying their wares and impressing all of those in attendance.

BEST TEAM: Atlanta Celtics. The Celtics have a front line of Dwight Howard, Randolph Morris and Josh Smith. They were completely dominant and some observers said it was the best trio of big men to ever play at the Big Time. They are so good that major talents like Brandon Rush were overshadowed. All they did was get out to a 71-29 halftime lead before goofing off and clearing the bench early in the second half.

BEST PERFORMANCE: J.R. Smith was amazing. The highly-regarded shooting guard scored 29 points and dished out at least six assists in a win over a solid Pump N Run Colorado squad. He had four first-half threes and a number of big dunks. He's good and knows it, often playing to the crowd, thumping his chest and pointing to the younger members of the Playaz organization sitting in the bleachers.

BEST GAME: Washington's Rotary Select came from behind to beat the New York Ravens in a game with a wild finish. The loaded Seattle team looked doomed to fall, but were within two late in the game. The Ravens were trying to dribble out the clock when someone on the bench called a timeout they did not have. Former Wildcat recruit Marvin Williams knocked down both free throws on the ensuing technical foul, but the bizarreness did not end there. Following the technical foul shots the Select were awarded possession and inexplicably the Ravens' point guard fouled Selects Lyndale Burleson despite the game being tied. Burlison missed both free throws but the Ravens took a tough baseline jumper in the waning seconds. The shot missed but Williams was fouled on the rebound attempt and sunk both free throws with just .7 seconds left, sealing the win.

BEST MOVE: Arizona Magic's Kaleo Kina executed a crossover that was so good it caused his defender to trip over his own twisted legs. Kina looked down at his fallen opponent, took a step back, and drained a three pointer.

BEST DUNK: The Celtic's Josh Smith had back-to-back dunks that caused those in attendance to roar with disbelief. The second dunk was an alley-oop that had Smith soaring like Superman on his way to catching the pass and slamming it home so hard that it shook the bucket's overhead supports.


*Arizona Magic's Ty Morrison did not travel with the team due to a stress fracture. We've heard that his grades are a major issue and that a number of teams have backed off because they believe he will attend prep school.

*Lorenzo Mata, the big man from LA, did not attend the tournament. Like Morrison, his grades appear to be a huge issue. Sources differ on how bad they really are. Some say they are fixable, while others say that he too will have to go to prep school or the JC route.

*Another LA big man stayed home to work on grades. Fairfax's Jamal Boykin will sit out the rest of the summer to concentrate on summer school.

*Future Wildcat point guard Nic Wise was set to make his 17 & under Houston Hoops debut, but was held out of the event due to his tender ankle. He likely could have gone if needed, but his coaches and parents did not want to risk damaging it further.

*Cupertino, CA big man Robert Rothbart skipped the tournament to help his mother move. According to Rothbart his mother needed to move and had no one else who could help. He was slated to play with the WVBC Stars, a team in one of the lower divisions.

*Despite reports of him being seen on the street, Sebastian Telfair was not playing with the Juice All-Stars. He was slated to come on Wednesday, but we've heard he may not show up at all.

*Phoenix's Lawrence Hill is starting to make a name for himself. A number of teams are in the mix for the talented '05 forward, but we've heard Arizona and Stanford will be tough to beat.

*Final Note: The new Adidas shoes handed out to the campers are the latest fashion statement, especially the bright orange and yellow models. However, I guess the officials are as fashion conscious as the players as most of their shoes had the "swoosh" on the side.

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