Started the day checking out the Atlanta Celtics. The Normally loaded team is chock full of talent once again. I mean this team is all but an NBA farm team with notable alums including Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Randolph Morris and recently drafted Javaris Crittendon.
They are stocked again this summer, but had trouble pulling away from Beach Ball Select unto late in the game, but wound up cruising to a 20+ point win.
The main player I was interested in seeing was 2009's Noel Johnson. He was clearly worth the hype. He's a good one. He's got good length and size and has the athleticism you want on the wing. He's not a pure shooter but finds ways to score.
He's a high school point guard, and can certainly handle the ball, but projects as a 2/3 in college.
He's got a host of teams on him, including most of the SEC and ACC, but also prominently mentioned the Wildcats. He says he has no problem leaving the Southeast, but is nowhere near ready to trim his list.
Teammate Derrick Favors is rated by Scout.com as the top center prospect in the 2009 class, but he is by no means a traditional back to the basket big man. Favors is very athletic and attacks the rim.
I was hearing that it will be tough to pry the big man from out of the South, but Favors said "everyone" is still involved. Rumors had it that the Cats were working hard to get involved and Favors confirmed it. When asked if the Cats had a shot he merely said "everyone is still involved."
The Northwest Panthers have a lot of young talent. The team formerly known as the Portland Panthers are carrying a pair of intriguing guards that had a number of Pac-10 coaches in attendance Tuesday morning.
Abdul Gaddy is a tall point guard with some nice quickness. He can score the ball but is will also get his teammates involved. Right now he is hearing from most of the Pac-10 and Kansas, but says that Arizona and Washington are his early leaders.
Gaddy's teammate at Bellarmie Prep is Avery Bradley. The shooting guard showed off a nice stroke and seems to be a pretty good athlete. Like Gaddy he's hearing from most of the Pac-10 along with Kansas, Kansas State and Virginia. He's said that Washington and Virginia are on him the hardest, but did state that he's very interested in the Wildcats.
Saw a bit of Willie Warren's game. The kid is legit. He's a scorer with a great build. He can also handle the ball. I've been assured that although the Wildcats are not in his current top-five, but they are still seriously being considered.
Turns out Brendan Lavender did decide to play for the Arizona Magic. After not playing a few early games with the Magic he was in uniform on Tuesday. He played a solid contest as the Magic pulled away late.
I also got my first look at Dallas' Nolan Dennis. The 6-6 wing is a great slasher. He repeatedly got to the rim and either scored or drew the foul. He's a little on the thin side, but has nice length and athleticism.
He did not want to list any favorites, going so far as to not say what team he rooted for as a kid. He did confirm that the Wildcats were involved, but was not prepared to reveal much else.
On hand to watch Dennis' game was future Wildcat Jeff Withey. The Big man was stretched to in the bleachers with hi family, prominently sporting a bright red Arizona t-shirt.
Withey and Brandon Jennings were up next with their Belmont Shore team. They both played very well and advanced to the next round. Withey did a great job both blocking and altering shots. He also ran the floor very well, getting the break started after grabbing the rebound.
Jennings was his usual impressive self. He was scoring both inside and out, and also showed off his post-up moves to boot.
All three Wildcat assistants who are in town were on hand. Lute Olson made his initial appearance in Vegas after getting back into the country on Monday. Since NCAA rules allow for only three coaches to recruit at any one time, Kevin O'Neil returned to Tucson.