LITTLE ROCK - Memphis Magic didn't exactly put forth its best effort in its last pool game on Saturday, but then got downright defensive about it.
That was bad news for the All-Ohio Red squad.
Joe Jackson poured in 21 points to lead four Magic players - all 2010 prospects with interest in the University Arkansas - in double figures as it bagged a 63-53 win over All Ohio and moved into the Real Deal in the Rock's Sweet 16.
"We played great team defense, just great team defense," Magic head coach Eric Robinson said. "That was the best that we have played since we have been together as a team. That's best I have ever seen them play."
Adonis Thomas added 12 point, Mardracus Wade 11 and Tarik Black in the win over a team that had won last week's Boo Williams Invitational.
"We played a heck of a game," Jackson said. "We came out with a lot of intensity and wanted to make a statement, get after them on defense and take them out of their game. We wanted it more. We needed to knock that chip off of their shoulder."
Jared Sullinger had 22 points to lead All Ohio, but had to work really hard for those tallies.
"Our main focus was to go out here and played help defense and clamp down on Sullinger," Wade said. "We did that. We controlled the boards, knocked down shots and came out with a real big win. We like to get into people and make them turn it over."
The Magic play again Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and must win four more games to take the title.
O o o
Southeast Elite's Marquez Cothron, another Arkansas target, had 28 points in a win Saturday afternoon over the Atlanta Celtics to cap pool play.
But his team's tournament run ended late Saturday night when the Brandon Bass All-Stars downed Southeast Elite 70-64.
Cothron, a 6-8, 215-pound post, averaged 33.5 points and 18 rebounds this past season for Flora McDonald.
"I like to go inside out," Cothron said. "I will take three shots inside before I take one out. That's my motto."
He has offers from Arkansas, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and many others.
"They (Arkansas) are still in the running," Cothron said. "They let their guy play. They let (Michael) Washington play. They let their big guys play."
Cothron says he will probably not sign until the spring of 2010.
"But at the end of the summer it will be narrowed down to five schools," Cothron said. "When the season is over, it will be narrow down to three schools and I will take (official) visits to those schools.
"I am going to take a couple of (unofficial) visits this summer to Kansas and Arkansas," Cothron added.
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