Hold the Mayo! Jennings blows up.

LAS VEGAS – Another day, another ton of prospects. Saturday in Vegas gave us our first looks at many players, as well as some great repeat performances. We saw a young player serve notice and several older players cement their status.

The day began by catching Lance Thomas and the New York Panthers falling to the Spiece Indy Heat. Although it was billed as the battle between Derek Caracter and Greg Oden it was not that close. The Heat had too much for the Panthers.

Although his team fell in the game, Thomas did nothing to hurt his stock. He is so athletic and plays so hard.

Game two turned out to be a coming out party for 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings. O.J. Mayo is one heck of a player, but the young Mr. Jennings had a better game. The D-! Greyhounds tried to get into the young guard's head by playing very physical, but the move backfired. Instead of making Jennings play passive, it fired him up.

In a game full of superstars, Jennings was sensational. He scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out 10 assists, with just one turnover. He made a series of sensational passes and controlled the game. He was a perfect 2-2 from behind the arc and was a sensational 9-12 overall.

The only knock on him was the fact that he made just 4-of-8 fouls shots in the 87-83 win.

Jennings' early list has Arizona, Syracuse, UConn and UCLA in good shape, with the Wildcats holding an early lead.

Mayo scored 28, but shot poorly. He was just 8-25 from the field and a horrendous 1-12 from three-point range. Getting to the foul line 13 times aided his nice scoring total.

Kevin Love came up huge as well. He scored a game high 31 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, his second double-double of the event. Like Mayo he did a ton of damage at the stripe, making 9-13 fouls shots to go along with 11 field goals.

Chase Budinger played well again. He added 15.

Bill Walker scored 20 in a losing effort. Walker has to be one of the more athletic players in the class. If there was a slam dunk contest in the event, he'd have to be a favorite. Just a fun player to watch.

2007 power forward Alex Tyus scored eight and added five boards for the Greyhounds. He's similar to Thomas, though more of a pure inside player. He has a lengthy list but the Wildcats are on it. He feels that he'd fit in well with their up-tempo style.

As well as the SoCal All-Stars played in the day's first game, they could not keep it up. Spiece Indy Heat was just too much on this day. Facing a zone, the All-Stars shot a lousy 38.% compared to Spiece's 57.9%. Spiece won going away 81-57.

Jennings scored 11, but never got in a rhythm. He committed five turnovers to just two assists. He did have six rebounds.

Budinger was the bright spot. He scored 17, but was just 7-19 from the field and missed too many easy shots. Kevin Love had his hands full with Greg Oden, but matched his scoring total with 12 points. Both players grabbed six boards apiece as well.

By the way, Frank Burlison is predicting that Budinger will wind up a Wildcat. I am not as confident, but more and more it sounds like the Cats are in great shape. That being said, don't count USC out just yet.

Next it was our first exposure to the Adidas Super 64. The help wasn't the nicest, especially compared to the great people at both the Big Time and the Main Event, but there was some good action.

After being treated rudely in an effort to pick up our credentials, we got lost getting to the gym. The media packet, which they were stingy with by the way, had the wrong directions to Cimarron High School. After a brief detour we made it in time to see Quincy Pondexter and the EBO/EA Sports squad.

Lute Olson was on hand, but really did not get to see Pondexter strut his stuff. He got limited touches, but showed enough athleticism and talent to remind us about what we love about his game.

2008 recruit Jeff Withey looked good in the small stretches that we saw him. He needs to add 30 pounds and gain a lot of confidence, but he will be a big time player by his senior year.

Brook and Robin Lopez are already solid. Stanford has previously done well with twin big men and these two should continue that trend. PG Derrick Jasper looked very good. He should have a nice career.

We caught a little of the Houston Hoops. Gary Johnson gets better every time we see him. The comparisons to Shawn Marion are dead on. He's long, strong and athletic. The Cats are in the hunt along with UNC and others. Nic Wise told us that Duke has started coming on strong for Johnson. Wise also assured us that he talks up the Cats every day to the talented forward.

Back to the Main Event where the Oakland Soldiers have a ton of young prospects. The best of these may be big man Drew Gordon. The 2008 prospect is a back to the basket big man with a lot of skill. He does not have great hops, but he is already strong and can score down low. As of now he is wide open, but he would be open to the Wildcats. We are hearing the Cats love Gordon.

We like what we've seen of Jeremy Franklin. The 6-4 wing is a smooth player who has a nice, high arcing shot. He did not see a ton of time on Saturday, but he is one to keep evaluating.

2008's Frank Otis is very strong. He needs to grow over the next two years to attract high level offers, but he is very strong and can move. Matt Simpkins looks as if he will be a solid prospect.

We finished the night with a match-up between the Compton Magic and the main Pump In Run team. The Magic's Jamelle Horne filled it up from the outside, making five threes on his way to 18. He is so well rounded. He can pass and hits the glass in addition to scoring. He also gets after it on defense. He's listing UNC, Georgia Tech and Arizona. Expect the Cats to make a push for Horne.

Pump In Run's Alex Stepheson said he wants to visit Arizona and assured that they would be in his final five, while his teammate Alex Jacobson said that the Cats have a slight lead over UCLA at this stage.


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