Colorada Springs, Colo.--Most of the people in the gym at USA Basketball hit the proverbial "wall" on the next to last day of competition at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival. However, Guys like J.R. Smith, Marvin Williams and Robert Swift still had plenty in the tank.
West (2-1) 169, North (0-3) 138 South (2-1) 123, East (2-1) 121
Marvin Williams, PF, West--No doubt this was his best effort. He played in just three quarters and watched the fourth because of an ankle injury. USA Basketball's stat disagreed with us, but unofficially we had him with 23 points, 13 boards and four assists. Williams is a special player but not because he excels in one area. He does so many things that make him standout and his athleticism sneaks up on guys.
Robert Swift, C, West--He's a serious candidate for the most improved player in the class award. From the way he plays to the way he approaches games, he's come a long way. The guy is a big time scorer and an excellent post passer. 19 and 10 for the future Trojan today.
Arron Afflalo, SG, West: This was probably his best outing of the event and it was a complete effort. Afflalo handled it, passed it and played with confidence, poise and athleticism.
J.R. Smith, SG, East--The most athletic wing here went for 31 points. He helped himself from the perimeter by stroking 6-of-13 attempts. He also had 10 rebounds. J.R. has been pretty impressive over the course of the last three days.
Dorell Wright, SF, West--Those who have been here haven't seen the same guy we saw two months ago. However, on day three he started to show off. Wright does things athletically that other kids simply can't pull off. Once he really gets a feel for how to play he's a truly scary prospect. He scored 18 points and made a number of high-degree of difficulty plays.
Sebastian Telfair, PG, East--"Bassy" struggled with his stroke, going just 1-for-7 from downtown. However, he more than made up for it with a camp-high 14 assists. He finished with 13 points.
*For some strange reason, Richard Hendrix only played six minutes game two. In the next game, he got 17 minutes and put up 13 points and nine rebounds.
*North guard Drew Neitzel seems much more comfortable shooting on the move then when he's got time to think about his shot.
*Robert Swift does a super job of recognizing the double-team and passing out of it.
*Shaun Livingston didn't play much in the second half of game three because of an injury. In watching him through three games, we've seen him force just one bad shot.
*Though his offensive game is not diverse, Kalen Grimes has been able to finish with strong dunks when presented with the ball in scoring position as he's been the last two days. He's probably more center than power forward and will benefit greatly by playing with a good point guard in college. … Russell Robinson got it going as his shot started falling in a 15-point outing.
*What separates a good rebounder from a great one is his ability to chase or get traffic rebounds. Marvin Williams is one of the best traffic rebounders we've seen in the class. He gets boards he's not supposed to.
*Steven Hill of the North has legitimate post moves. He's probably undervalued nationally.
*Bryce Taylor will make more open three-pointers than anyone else in the class.
Inside The Numbers:
*Mike Williams' streak of double-doubles continues. Though he didn't achieve the feat at halftime like he did in the other games, he finished with 16 and 10.
*Speaking of double-doubles, Dayshaun Wright hung 20 and 10 on the South.
*Though the North-West game was ridiculously out of hand and everyone's numbers were severely inflated (except for maybe Marvin Williams) Jordan Farmar finished with 12 assists.
Darius Washington and Jordan Farmar
North 119, East 113 South 130, West 128
Medal Round: Gold Medal Game will be South vs. North and the East and West will play for the bronze.
*Darius Washington, G, South--Washington had 19 points in the win but the most important ones came with just seconds remaining as he dashed toward the hoop and hit a high-degree of difficulty drive. It was a big-time play. Darius has done an admirable job balancing some point guard duties in with his scoring.
*Jordan Farmar, PG, West--He nearly stole the show --literally. Farmar came up with a steal late in the game but then blew the layin that could have tied it. No matter, his effort in this one was outstanding and he's playing on a tender ankle. First of all, he's an assist machine. He makes heady decisions, takes care of the ball and bangs 3s when he needs to. He's an elite level point guard in our book. 19 points to go with 13 assists. The highest compliment we can pay him is that he's got an uncanny ability to be on the same page as his teammates almost all of the time.
*Randolph Morris, C, South--By far his best and most complete outing at the event. He did a nice job of playing big and when they gave him the 10-foot face ups he canned them. Morris missed just one field goal and was perfect from the line. He tossed in 25 points. There's loads of potential in that body and all he's got to do is get consistent with his efforts. This was a big-time game for him.
*Jason Rich, SG, South: We're writing about Jason because he's struggled somewhat with his offense this week. However, in the evening game he came out firing and was aggressive. He trusted his jumper and it didn't let him down. 13 points in the win and key during a first half stretch.
*Malik Hairston, SF, North: 27 points and 10 rebounds later and the North had its first win of the camp. Hairston went 13-for-19 from the floor.
*Steven Hill, C, North: Razorback fans are going to be very pleased when he arrives in Fayetteville. Hill had nine blocks and made it tough for the East big men in the paint.
J.R. Smith, SG, East: His jumper has been on all day long. This time he went 5-for-9 from three-point range. He had 24 in the loss.
At one point, it looked as if the West was going to run the South right out of the building. Farmar continuously was hitting Robert Swift who was beating the entire South team back on defense. In fact, the West killed the South in transition for most of the night. … DeMarcus Nelson does one thing about as well as anyone in the class. He gets to the rim in a hurry and with strength. Then his athleticism takes over and he's a great finisher.
Inside The Numbers:
*Sebastian Telfair had eight assists.
* Maarty Leunen had a quiet double-double with 11 and 11.
*Yes, Mike Williams' double-double streak is alive. He did his thing in the paint and went for 19 and 12. In fact, he made a handful of mid-range jumpers too.
News & Notes:
Pac-10 fans take note. Jawann McClellan and Arron Afflalo are going to bring a big time rivalry to the league. What started as some trash talk at the Pangos Camp three weeks ago has carried over to here. McClellan blocked an Afflalo shot and then Arron stroked a deep three right back at him and it was on. These guys are going to spice up future Arizona-UCLA matchups.
Injuries hit the camp hard on Saturday night. Shaun Livingston turned an ankle in the first session and did not play. James Gist might have bruised his knee and he sat out. Marvin Williams had someone land on his ankle and he didn't play either.