Kingwood Classic: Recap

The Kingwood Classic has quickly emerged as one of the best AAU events of the year. Many of the top teams and a ton of top players headed to Houston for Hal Pastner's event. Here are some highlights and info on players Arizona is pursuing.

The biggest spring event of the year yielded a strong champion. The Southern Cal All-Stars outlasted the crew from SYF to capture the Kingwood Classic crown. Kevin Love led the way with 21 points.

They had the best team on paper and after Sunday's win over the SYF Players; it certainly appeared that way on the court too. The So Cal All-Stars, led by Kevin Love, took down their Midwest rivals 66-58 to capture the Kingwood Classic championship. "I think with all the chemistry we have going on we're the No. 1 team in the country," Love said after the game.'s 3rd ranked prospect in the Class of 2007 led the way with a team-high 21 points. Junior Taylor King chipped in 17 and 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings tossed in 12 of his own.

Love was the catalyst of the run throughout the event. His wizardry as a passer kick started a win over The Family, which carried over into the title game before a packed house.

Big guys affect games in different ways but it's not often that they are lauded for their ability to share the ball. Frankly, Love's skills as a passer are amazing to watch and his uncanny ability to catch it off the board, hit a teammate in stride with a length of the court pass for an easy deuce is rare. Once Love started launching darts to his pals the passing game became infectious and So Cal shared the rock the way the game is supposed to be played.

"I don't know how I do it," Love said of his knack for throwing pin point outlet tosses. "I just felt the ball; I've got real soft hands. It's just the touch. I think I should be a quarterback."

On Sunday he was.

SYF's high-scorer was Scott Martin who tallied 23 points. Clearly he's having a terrific spring. So is much-improved sniper E'Twaun Moore and wing Robbie Hummel.


Anthony Randolph, PF, Dallas Mustangs – His team went down 20-3 so he took it upon himself to score the next 7 points (with style) and finished with 17 for the game. Forget the numbers, his performance had the place buzzing. In terms of sheer talent and "wow" factor, Randolph has the goods. He's 6-foot-10, handles, made a pair of 3s and can play above the rim -- think Lamar Odom meets Tayshaun Prince! Frankly, his effort on Saturday was the most unique and eye-opening of the day. His upside is off the charts and everyone in the place knew that this guy is capable of being a special prospect.

Randolph drew quite the crowd of head coaches: Bill Self, Roy Williams, Skip Prosser, Tubby Smith, John Thompson, Scott Drew, Lute Olson and Billy Gillispie.

Kyle Singler, SF, Portland Legends – He kept scoring and his team kept methodically advancing on Saturday. The Long Ranger of the Legends was getting it done. In the contest we took in Saturday afternoon, Singler made 8-of-13 shots and hit 4-of-5 from the line. He finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds, cementing was already a strong national status.

Jerryd Bayless, SG, Arizona Magic – Ok, time to make the switch and tag him as a shooting guard because that's what he does – score the basketball. He'll hang and hit tough shots, plays with confidence and an explosion that a Top 20 caliber prospect should display. We watched him get 27 in one game (8-15 FG, 9-9 FT) and reports are he was on point all day long.

J'mison Morgan, C, DFW Elite – The big fella is much improved since last season. He announced his presence and the confidence is sky high. Guys were flat out scrambling to find out who he was because there were no numbers listed with his team. The enterprising assistants know that Morgan is a name on the rise.

The Darrell Arthur Saga has taken another turn. The LSU Tigers are firmly in the mix. Arthur said that he's visiting Baton Rouge next weekend. The talk on the streets at Kingwood pegs LSU as the favorite. Arthur said he's stilling looking at Kansas, Oklahoma and Baylor. How strong are they? Strong enough that John Brady hasn't even been spotted out here and they are the behind the scenes leaders. That's pretty strong.

DeAndre Jordan, PF, Houston Swoosh – The long big man still needs some work, but it'll take him a little while because he doesn't play against good competition in high school. He has moments where he looks like LaMarcus Aldridge – and others when he looks like a project.

Andy Poling, C, Portland Panthers – He's added a little bulk since last summer, but he still needs to increase his weight in order to better finish around the basket. Still a good-looking prospect down the road, but he struggled on Saturday afternoon.

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