Versus the Pump 'n Run Arizona team this afternoon, Ibekwe shot 5-14 for nine points (1-6 at the free throw line) and had five boards. Former Arizona target Devon Evertsen (6-7, 200 WG from Phoenix Moon Valley) was the big name standout with his 20-point, seven-rebound, two-assist, two-block performance.
Evertsen is considered to be an elite level project while Ibekwe is thought to be more of a sure thing. The opinion here is that the difference between the two West Coast stars and why Ibekwe gets the attention boils down to one thing: Evertsen's two inches shorter, period.
The fact that Ibekwe lives in media-friendly Los Angeles and Evertsen is in the outpost of Phoenix also plays a role. Basically, Ibekwe is your run of the mill overrated LA kid while Evertsen will wind up being called a "gem" once everyone takes notice of his game. Problem is that they should have known all along.
Ibekwe, who shot six consecutive airballs to start a game in Las Vegas, missed two more layups and a wide-open breakaway dunk in his H Squad team's win today at LMU.
Evertsen showcased NBA range on his outside shot with three deep balls from behind the arc and he also displayed serious athleticism when he followed up a teammate's miss for a reverse two-handed dunk on a rebound.
"I thought I played pretty well today," Evertsen said. "I'm getting a lot more calls now and my mom tells me all about them when I get home from these camps. Right now, I really like USC, UNLV and Kansas. North Carolina has started recruiting me a lot lately, too."
In the stands watching the two 2003 prospects were Roy Williams, Eddie Sutton, Mike Montgomery, Charlie Spoonhour and assistants from USC, Boston College and several other high profile schools.
Immediately after H Squad's come-from-behind victory, one parent of a player said, "Marcus Dove just took someone's [implying Ibekwe] scholarship because he outplayed somebody pretty badly!"
The opinion here is that until Ibekwe starts putting in the necessary effort (full-time) he will never live up to his big time potential.
A lot more to come later.
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E-mail Ben at AzPointguard@yahoo.com