Alaska's Mario Chalmers and Seattle's Terrence Williams duked it out late into the night. Chalmers scored 26, but Williams' Rotary Select squad had too much firepower. Williams scored just eight points but had the edge in assists and of course got the win. As good as Williams is, Chalmers showed why he is Arizona's top point guard recruit. Chalmers has a more refined offensive game and his floor sense is top notch. However, if the Cats have to ‘settle' for Williams they will be okay.
Chalmers did nothing on the second day to dissuade our enthusiasm for his game. If Chalmers isn't the west's best point guard I'd be shocked. He can score and he can pass. Gut feeling says it is between Arizona and North Carolina, but Georgia Tech is working hard to get involved.
Williams' teammate Marcus Williams looked very good again. The smooth wing really likes Arizona and wants to hear more from them.
California Elite have a pair of young big men that could become household names. Verbum Dei's Matt Shaw tries to model himself after Kevin Garnett and his mix of size and athleticism are very intriguing. The Left Coaster may be headed East. He loves the state of Florida and listed a number of Big East teams to go along with USC, UCLA and the Wildcats.
James Keefe is just plain good. Comparisons to a more athletic Ricky Anderson are not far off. He's very aggressive, yet has a lot of athletic ability. A nice stroke he can shoot inside or out. He has not thought a lot about recruiting, but lists Arizona, UCLA and a number of Pac-10 schools.
Both Keefe and Shaw are serving notice for the class of 2005.
Belmont Shore won the Las Vegas Easter Classic and rolled in their first game despite having a coach and some key players get into town in the middle of the night.
With the verbal by Fendi Onobun, the Wildcats are all but out of the running for talented Jamal Boykin. The combo-forward is getting a lot of love, including a number of in person visits by Louisville's Rick Pitino. Boykin has a nice mix of strength and skill and should be no worse than a top-50 player.
Brett Hoerner scored just two points in the Belmont win, but is positioning himself to be a highly recruited big man. He has great athleticism and loads of potential. He's on the thin side and needs offensive polish, but blocks shots and can run the floor.
One player making a name for himself is Sektoure Henry. The 6-4 swing man has great athletic ability. He can both leap and shoot, dunking and draining threes on his way to a 23-point performance. He compares himself to Ben Gordon, though a Salim Stoudamire comparison is not out of the question.
Maybe the only thing keeping Henry from becoming a high major pick-up is his academics. If the grades are in order, then Henry should do better than his WCC and Big West offers.
Belmont Shore faced little opposition in their second game, allowing them to win their bracket. Henry was confident that his team would be at least a factor for the championship.
"People look at us and they underestimate us," the junior guard said. "We don't have a lot of size, but we can play."
The SoCal All-Stars are always tough and continued the trend with a 76-41 win over a local Las Vegas team. Swingman Marcus Johnson is a freak athletically. He can jump out the gym and is very aggressive. The shot is a bit lacking, but he gets to the hole. Syracuse has long been the leader, but they are not a slam dunk for his services. As a Westchester player Hassan Adams has his ear, but the Cats have not shown a ton of attention as of late.
2007 super stud Taylor King tried to showcase his ability to drive to the hoop. The great jumpshooter did not settle for long shots, but drove the lane time after time. He was tough on the boards ans dished out four assists to go along with 11 points and eight boards.
JayDee Luster is another top 2007 player. He's undersized right now, but the quick point guard is one heck of a passer. He had eight assists and could have had more had he not tried to get too fancy, too often. If he grows a bit, he should emerge as a top point guard in the coming years.
Although King has already committed to UCLA, he wasn't the best freshman we saw at the event. Portland's Kevin Love gets that honor. He's a true back to the basket big man who has a great frame and a lot of skills. He lacks length, but that may be the only real flaw to his game.
Love is starting to shape his recruiting list and the Wildcats are right there. His childhood favorite was Duke and his dad played for Oregon. Add UCLA to that mix and you probably have an early top-four.
How the Houston Hoops were upset in last week's event remains a mystery. They are just so deep and so skilled. Recent Wildcat pledge Fendi Onobun looked very good, but did not do a whole lot, deferring to teammates whenever he could.
Two-sport star Martellus Bennett is giving the Wildcats serious consideration and he showed that he is very athletic. He has a tight end's body, but can run the floor and handle the ball. Fellow football standout Jermichael Finley has great speed and with some polish he could be a pretty good hoop pick-up. Better yet, he is a big time receiver prospect and likes the Cats.
competing "I like Arizona and Texas," Finley said. "Arizona is probably the leader.
Nic Wise did not try to score much, but shows a great understanding for the game and some terrific athletic ability. His handle is great and he loves getting others involved.
The Cats may not be looking at Jeremy Barr, but he is a good one. He may be the strongest player in the event and will make one heck of a post player for someone.
Wing recruit Rashad Woods is no longer with the Hoops and is not being heavily recruited by the Wildcats. We've heard the Cats have all but dropped him.
Two Team Texas players love Arizona. Big man Kevin Rodgers is just so athletic, yet big and strong. He's better in the open floor than in the post, but the Cats have not had a player with his strength and intensity since Michael Wright left.
His teammate, swingman Calvin Miles, is one of the better passers in the tournament, regardless of position. He is very smooth and can flat out score, yet he seemed to have more fun getting others involved.
Miles and Rodgers have both mentioned going to the same school and Arizona would factor into that mix.