Day One, Boo Williams Invitational
Ra‚Sean Dickey, PF, SC Ravens: The big fella did more than just come to play on Friday; he brought his "A" game against a very talented Alabama Lasers frontline. Against D.J. White, Yamene Coleman and Richard Hendrix, Dickey excelled. By our count he had 21 and 7 and was as aggressive as we've seen him in a long time. Best effort of the day we saw.
Malik Hairston, SF, The Family: First of all, he's just 16 years old. Against BABC, he had 17 points (7-11 FG, 3-4 3s) and showed why he's one of the up and coming talents not just in the Midwest, but in the nation. He's a smooth scorer who has a great feel for the game.
D.J. White, PF, Alabama Lasers: Just wasn't his kind of ballgame. He wasn't able to get many touches, especially in scoring position and never got into the flow. One of the country's Top 10 recruits was held in check with 4 points and 3 boards.
Shawne Williams, SF, Memphis YOMCA: This long athlete continues to improve his game. He made at least four 3s against Albany. He's growing into his body, though he still needs to get stronger. He's headed for a very good summer and will rise nationally. He had 21 points.
Jordan Farmar, PG, California Team Select: Easy to see why he‚s coveted nationally. Farmer plays with pace and presence from the point guard slot. He keeps you honest from downtown and works to share the ball well. He had 18 in the nightcap against Louisiana Select.
Alabama Lasers Frontline: With Richard Hendrix and Yamene Coleman in the mix alongside White, the Lasers are loaded. They play a lot of guys so one of the challenges will be to keep the bigs fed inside. Hendrix is one of the best rebounders in the nation while Coleman's length and skills can't be overlooked.
Greg Paulus, PG, Albany City Rocks: This guy can really bust it from downtown. Paulus played out of position as a shooting guard alongside Tiki Mayben. He's just a sophomore but plays with the intensity and determination of a kid much older. Fierce competitor.
Off The Dribble
Albany‚s Dayshaun Wright, a prime Syracuse target, scored 14 points. The 6-6 Wright got a lot of points in transition. He's kind of in position limbo because of his height. He's got a power forward‚s game and to be successful at the highest level he's got to rebound well. We liked BABC's Sam Dolan as a solid mid-major power forward. Memphis guard Andre Allen had 15 points in his team‚s win.
The Family might have the best perimeter package in the nation between Hairston, Joe Crawford and Ron Coleman. Each is different but they all can rebound. In a game we didn't see, Team Florida‚s Jason Rich had 16 in a half. BABC's Gerry Corcoran will be a strong candidate for best of class in 2004 with his jumper. He hit five on Friday and is a solid mid-major shooter.
Though he wasn't playing against anyone with size, California Select's Robert Swift showed an improved offensive package. The seven-footer has the natural tools to be a player for Southern Cal. The hook shot is impressive at this stage in his career.
News & Notes
Farmar didn‚t travel with the team. He had school work to finish up and hosted Arizona on Thursday. Missing In Action this weekend: Memphis guard Charles Hampton (prom), Albany's Will Daniels (prom) and St. Louis‚ Kalen Grimes (SAT), The Family's Marquise Gray (funeral). Hampton is said to favor LSU for football at this juncture.
Down eight points in the second half, Albany's Greg Paulus said: "It won't happen, I won't let us lose." He then proceeded to make a pair of 3s and a runner. But, Albany lost in OT. Paulus likes Notre Dame, Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke and Xavier. He's a Big East or ACC guy. BABC's Colby Santos is the nephew of BABC coach and Boston Celtics scout Leo Papile. He's also one of the top underclassmen in New England.
We can‚t wait to see St. Louis Eagles scorer Brandon Rush. We'll catch him and he opened with 8 points Friday night. In another game we didn't see, Team Texas duo Jason Horton and Lamarcus Aldridge combined for 40 of the team's 55 points. Aldridge had 20 and 16. Remember the name Demond Carter. Louisiana Select's PG is a freshman was the MVP of the state tournament as an 8th grader.
Scores From Games We Watched
California Team Select 67, Louisiana Select 52 SC Ravens 58, Alabama Lasers 56 Memphis YOMCA 60, Albany City Rocks 55 (OT) BABC 68, The Family 67