It was the first time the pair met in a game – and neither looked overly impressive.
``I knew how good he was, because I've watched him play," Caracter said. "I was shocked at how well he runs the court. I know I could have played a little better."
Oden was far more complimentary – especially after his team won.
``He's quick," Oden said. "He's big and you can't do much with him. I couldn't take him inside because he's so big and strong. I know I should have gotten a lot more rebounds and played better, but we won and that's what counts."
________ Here's a name to remember: Kortvotney Barber. The 6-8, 220-pound Manchester High (Ga.) junior forward came onto the scene with a pair of big-time performances on Saturday. Barber said he's heard from Georgia Tech, Georgia, Auburn and USC – but that list will expand dramatically after he showed his wide array of skills against Mario Chalmers' team and then against Brandon Costner and the Playaz Basketball Club.
Barber runs the court, dunks virtually everything he can, alters shots on the defensive end – and is raw in the paint, but has a nice jump hook.
________ Birmingham Parker (Ala.) unsigned senior forward Walter Sharpe shocked more than a few college coaches when he signed with Mississippi State over the weekend. Sharpe had basically been looking at Alabama, UAB and recently added Georgia, but Rick Stansbury & Co. got it done quickly and out of nowhere.
_______ Without Joe Krabbenhoft at the recent Boo Williams tournament, someone had to step up for the Howard Pulley Panthers. Isaiah Dalman did just that. The 6-6, 175-pound Brehem High (Minn.) sophomore, who averaged 27 points for the Class 2A state champs a year ago, earned all-tournament honors for his role in leading the Panthers to the gold division semifinals. Dahlman still needs to get stronger, but he does a nice job of getting to the basket. He can also make defenders pay if they sag of him on the perimeter. Some have compared his versatile game and length to that of Jalen Rose. Dahlman, who played for the NC Heat a year ago, may not be a household name, but he's already fielded a pair of impressive offers from Boston College and Iowa State. Wisconsin, Florida State and Stanford are also interested in the 3.8 student.
________ Notes: UCLA head man was watching SoCal All-Stars freshman wing Taylor King, who looked unimpressive and was unable to find his stroke from the outside for the second straight game. … Houston Hoops' Ashton Hall hit a big-time desperation 3-pointer as time expired to beat the Illinois Warriors in pool play. … The Miami Tropics were up 41-11 to the Atlanta Celtics, but held on to win, 69-68. Danny Clemente had 22 and David Huertas added 15. Huertas was inconsistent with his outside shot for much of the tournament. … Tropics 7-1 Arlington Country Day freshman big man Jason Bennett did not make the trip due to a sprained ankle. … Unsigned senior wing Wynton Witherspoon is on the fence to qualify. If he raises his core, he said he likes St. Joseph's, Providence, Texas, Georgia, Georgia State, UAB, Tennessee Tech, Miami and Memphis. Witherspoon was erratic with his outside shot, following a game in which he knocked down seven trifectas. … Northwestern (Md.) athletic senior forward Jeff Green is 50 points shy of qualifying to play at Georgetown. If he doesn't qualify, he said he'll spend a year at Hargrave and then head to the Hoyas. … The Houston Hoops were without Arizona-bound freshman point guard Nic Wise due to a jammed finger.