We tried to speak with James, but he was unavailable because the tough loss led to some heated moments among his teammates and James was trying to defuse the situation.
James is an intriguing wing prospect. At 6-8 he can probably play either forward spot and he is very athletic. He is a good scorer, and as it turns out, a pretty good leader.
It has been a busy few days for Texas Blue Chips. They are competing in both the Super 64 and the Big Time.
While Tention was watching Jefferson and James, the other two Wildcat coaches were assigned their own tasks. Lute Olson was watching the loaded EBO/EA Sports squad. On that team is a number of good, young players, including Derrick Jasper. Those in attendance say that Jasper has been playing great and could be one of the better combo guards in the 2006 class.
After the first game we moved over to the school's auxiliary gym and a chance to watch Lance Thomas. Apparently Tention had the same idea, he was there as well as were Billy Donovan, plus assistants from every major conference.
Thomas played well, but his New Heights team was no match for the remarkably athletic Magnolia Stars team from Mississippi. Monta Ellis and crew were just too good and posted a big win. Thomas played very well. He is very tall and skilled. He's got a nice, lean build with great length and freak athleticism. He is listing Arizona and will be a big time prospect in next year's class.
It was back to Durango HS to watch some of the Wildcats' top prospects. Team Texas was up first and C.J. Miles continued to shine. Miles, playing both guard spots, scored 16 points and dished four assists. He continued to showcase his sweet stroke, making 4-of-8 three pointers. All told he was 6-of-10 in an easy win.
Kevin Rogers had a solid game, scoring 14 points, but it was a quiet game. He was an efficient 5-7 and made all four of his free throw attempts. A concern was the fact that he had just a pair of rebounds.
PG Austin Johnson is a talent, but I'm not sure the thin point guard is good enough for Arizona. The Wildcats have been looking at him, but I just can't see him being good enough to risk alienating Nic Wise.
2006 big men Bryan Davis and Durell Arthur will be factors in next year's class. Both have nice size and very good athleticism.
The next game looked to be a great one as the Houston Hoops and Friends of Hoop squared off. The game featured the likes of Fendi Onobun, Nic Wise, Jon Brockman, Spencer Hawes and Martell Webster, but failed to live up to the hype.
In the end FOH won handily, but it was an ugly game that saw both team's lesser known players make the difference.
The Hoops jumped out to a 20-5 lead, thanks in part to a pair of Wise threes. However, FOH went on a 30-8 run to close out the half and led 36-28 at the break.
The Hoops did a great job shutting down Brockman in the first half. FOH just couldn't get him the ball in a good spot. Brockman did rebound in the second half and showed the knack for scoring down low that we have been witnessing. He finished with 13 points, but just three rebounds.
The big news is that Brockman seems to now have an offer from the Wildcats. Word around the gym is that when the 6-7 returns to his home in Snohomish, WA he will officially be given the scholarship offer from the Cats.
Early on it looked like the fans might be treated to a showdown between Onobun and Webster. Both players were assigned to guard the other and did too good a job. Webster was the lone player to score while the two were matched up, and his bucket came on a fast break where Onobun was not defending him.
Webster scored nine points, but has been limited to 20 minutes a contest for the rest of the event. Onobun had an off day and was on the bench for most of the second half.
Friends of Hoops survived a 16-6 run and went on for to the 63-49 win.
We wanted to get another look at 2007 center Kevin Love, but not only did he not play, but he did not show up for either of the Portland Legends' two games on the day.
We've been very high on 2006 PF Alex Stepheson, but he had a rough day on Friday. Stepheson was blocked not once, not twice, but three times on dunk attempts. Twice he was caught from behind on the break. He also traveled three times. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds Pump ‘N Runs nailbiter against Dallas Pump ‘N Run.
Omar Wilkes played the best we have ever seen him. The 6-10 center was very aggressive, and seems to be more comfortable with his body. He is still awkward, but not nearly as he was just a few months ago.
Despite the poor outing, we still love what he can do. He's big, strong and very athletic. He can run the floor, finish with the dunk and has a nice touch. There is no wonder that the Wildcats have already offered him.
We closed out the night at Durango where both the Hoops and the Friends of Hoop recovered. Onobun and Wise both had solid games as the Houston Hoops coasted to a win over Belmont Shore. Brockman and Webster played well, but were not really needed as the FOH just crushed the overmatched South Florida Chiefs.
We'll see more games tomorrow. We hope to catch a few players we have yet to see including James Keefe, Daquan Cook and Eric Gordon. We also hope to chat with a few players we didn't get to.