Ebi, Shakur Updates; LSU prediction

Prior to Arizona's game with LSU on Saturday, UA assistant coach Rodney Tention hopped on a plane and flew to Portland where he watch Ndudi Ebi play in a tournament. The next day, Tention was in Philadelphia attending Mustafa Shakur's game. Of coarse he'll be at the Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge Saturday, but he took some time to shared his thoughts Ebi, Shakur and on the LSU game.

Rodney Tention flew to Portland Thursday and watched Ndudi Ebi score 14 points and grab 14 rebounds in a first round tournament game.

I asked Tention who else played in the tournament and he mentioned Portland native Thomas Gardner, who will play for Missouri next season.

"Gardner is going to have a tough time at the college level," Tention said. "He's strickly a catch-and-shoot guy. He can hit the open shot, but he has no handle and he can't use his left hand all."

Tention hopped on a plane to Philadelphia very early Friday morning, just in time to watch Mustafa Shakur win the first game of the Wynnwood Friends Central's tournament.

"Mustafa Shakur is going to be a great, great player for us," Tention said. "And he's such a nice kid. He thanked me for coming to see him and his teammates just love him to death."

According to Tention, Shakur scored about 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to go along with six or seven assists as Friends won going away.

"(Friends Central) is really not a very a good basketball team," Tention said. "Their players are guys who only play basketball during the basketball season. They never play during the summer or fall, so Mustafa is clearly the go-to guy. But Mustafa makes his team play hard because he plays hard all the time. His team will probably lose tomorrow night, but you can bet Mustafa will play hard."

Ironically, Lebron James' team is also playing in Philadelphia this weekend. They play Philadelphia Simon Graf Saturday night.

"But nobody seems to care (if James is in town)," Tention said. "Everybody in Philly is a Mustafa Shakur fan. Everybody loves this kid."

On playing LSU in Baton Rouge Saturday:
"I think it will be a very close game," Tention said. "It's really a tough place to play. Not many people think we will win that game, and it won't be easy. But nobody else has a Jason Gardner, and he's not going to let us lose. I think we'll win, but it will be close."

Will you press LSU?
"We have to press," Tention said. "That's what we do best.They have some athletes and they'll get some easy baskets, but we need to make them turn it over. I think we can do that."

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Contact Doug Carr at cattraxdc@aol.com

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