LAS VEGAS - Fresh off a 35-point outing at the Reebok Big Time on Friday night, Houston area prep basketball star Jovan Adams stepped up and named a frontrunner on Saturday morning.
The 6-1 guard from Gulfshores Academy said that its Arkansas topping his list now and the Razorbacks have assumed the position of the leader in the clubhouse for his signature.
"Arkansas is my number one without a doubt right now," Adams said. "I am really looking forward to taking a visit up there early on September and looking things over. They are my leader. I really like Coach Heath and the other coaches."
Adams, who averaged 32 points per game last season in his first year at Gulfshores, said part of the reason for his love of Arkansas was how the Razorbacks came after him early.
"They were the first school that really came hard after me early on," Adams said. "They told me they were looking for a guard just like me. They think I can fit right in as a freshman and be able to take the ball, run with it and be their point guard right from the start."
Adams, whose nickname in Wink, is also still considering Boston College, UNLV and Florida.
"I like those other schools and I am still going to think about them, but it's just that I think Arkansas seems like the best fit for me right now," Adams said.
His 35-point effort for Houston Elite on Friday night in a 73-69 win over Branch West Reebok left his AAU coach Ricky Nelson and several coaches such as Arkansas' Stan Heath just shaking their heads.
"He can know down shots, he rebounds great for a guard and he is a great passer," Nelson said. "Right now he doesn't have very many faults at all. He has come a very long way from being a scoring guard to a complete point guard that can score when you need it."
Adams was a two guard for Gulfshores last year, but has made a seamless transition to the point this summer.
"He had to make that transition to be able to have a great career," Nelson added. "He understands that and has it all working right now."
Adams had 11 points and 10 assists, many of them going to 6-8 high school and AAU teammate Gerald Green, who has committed to Oklahoma State and tossed in 31 points on Saturday morning in a 73-72 loss to Team Detroit.
Houston Elite rallied from a 9-point deficit to take the lead only to see a last-second shot eliminate them from the tournament.
"I get everybody involved and I need to because we have so much talent," Adams said. "But there are also times when the moment calls for me to start knocking down some shots and be the threat as well."
o o o
One player who has taken a step up the Arkansas recruiting ladder this weekend has been 6-9, 230-pound center Jeremy Mayfield of Irving (Texas) MacArthur.
Mayfield had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks Saturday night, but it wasn't enough as Belmont Shore downed his Team Fort Worth squad 73-65 and eliminated them from the Reebok event.
"I really feel good about how I have played this summer, but it's been a long summer and my legs are getting tired and I hate to lose after putting so much work in," Mayfield said. "I'll just get some rest now and get back after it when it comes time."
Mayfield, who went to the NBA Players Camp as well as the adidas Superstar one, is drawing interest from Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, Texas, Portland State, Baylor and North Texas to name some schools.
"He is a great shot blocker and I think plays as hard as any big man in the country," Team Fort Worth coach Vonzell Thomas said. "He is a pretty good shooter. If he gets in the right system, he is going to be a great pick-up for some college. He needs to be where he can run and use his athletic ability. There are good reasons that eight or so high D-I schools are after him."
Mayfield will begin narrowing his recruiting focus with Arkansas likely to be one of the teams he investigates thoroughly.
"They have called me a couple of times and I am very interested in Arkansas, but I am truly wide open and just taking a look at everybody right now," Mayfield said. "But yes, I am going to check out Arkansas and everything they have to offer."
o o o
...One prospect who has certainly not be overlooked here is 7-54, 260-pound center Jabar Rouzbahani of Iran, who has been in this country for four years and is playing for the Oakland Slam and Jam.
Rouzbahani, who can touch the rim without jumping, actually worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors before the draft, but all decided he was too raw to draft.
He is now planning on going to either high school or a prep school and then making a decision on college or applying for the 2005 NBA draft.
...Rashard Woods, Adams' teammate on Houston Elite who was a star at the adidas Superstar Camp a few weeks ago, is struggling this week in Las Vegas and actually went scoreless in Saturday's game.
"My shot is just not falling and it's very frustrating," said the 6-5 Woods, who notes Arkansas, DePaul, Illinois, Oklahoma and Baylor are still on his list. "I was down in Fayetteville for a tournament last December and really liked what I saw."
Jovan Adams Gives Wink Toward Arkansas
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