Fabulous Friday At The Peach Jam

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Friday was a great day of hoops at the Peach Jam. Most of the games were very close and some kids were able to come up with a few big-time performances. Things are beginning to heat up in the pools and Saturday morning is very important as only the top two seeds from each pool advance.

Commitments

The streak ends! Wow, for the first day since July 6 no one that we know of made a commitment on the circuit. This won't last for long as guys like Ricardo Billings and some others could be ready to pop soon.

2002 Standouts

Lester Abram, SF, The Family Friday was definitely his day. He averaged 25 points in two games and stole the show. His athleticism led to numerous tips and drives to the rim. His Friday performance was about as good a single day effort as we've seen this summer. He connected on 20-34 field goals. Michigan has itself a future star because when it comes time to win, Abram seems to always answer the call.

Hassan Adams, SG/SF, Sports Express His team isn't doing so well after and old fashioned whooping at the hands of Boo Williams, but Adams has been money. I'm not sure there exists a better finisher and driver to the rim in the class as Adams as he's great in the air with either hand. He always comes to play and busts his rump. He's quickly moving up the recruiting charts and he's a consistent 3-point stroke away from taking his game to another level.

Andre Iguodala, SF, Illinois Warriors JR Morris of the Wisconsin Playground Warriors was on his way to a 30-point effort. Morris was scoring at will; three straight times to be exact with a much smaller Dee Brown guarding him. Then, Iguodala came to the rescue and for most of the second half he held Morris to just one hoop – a stickback off a missed shot. That was it as Andre locked him up and refused to give him good looks. It was a big-time defensive effort that didn't go unnoticed.

2003 Top Performers

Brandon Wallace, SF, Augusta/Carolina Hoopsters This kid has to be one of the top players nationally at his position. He shoots it and is long and athletic. He is the go-to-guy on a team loaded with young kids. No wonder why South Carolina head coach Dave Odom strolled into the game with a huge smile on his face.

Kris Humphries, SF/PF, Pulley Panthers He's probably not done growing yet so projecting his position is a little tough. He plays with intensity and he looks like a different player than earlier in the week at Nike Camp when a back injury flamed up. He's not a great athlete, but he gets a lot done.

2004 Standouts

Resean Dickey, C, Augusta/Carolina Hoopsters This kid was awesome in the post as he already has a few moves that are overpowering. He's an elite level member of his class. He didn't play in the second half of the evening game against Emerald City due to foul trouble.

Andrew Haskins, SG, Emerald City Having only seen him once, it's tough to say just how good he is, but he's got a chance. Haskins is athletic and can score. He hails from the same high school as current UNC SG Brian Morrison.

Surprises

 Kentucky Hoop Stars junior SG Michael Bush struggled with his jumper in the early game and was horrendous from the field. Then, in the nightcap he hit for 25 points, including seven 3-pointers. … Here's one I never would have thought possible. Boo Williams SG JJ Redick says he's lost a little confidence. This coming from one of the best shooters in the class is a shocker. Sure, he's been off from downtown but there's no need to back off on the throttle. The feeling will come back and when it does look out.

At Nike Camp, Emerald City C Kevin Field looked to be a low-major guy. However, at the Peach Jam he's been able to show a short to medium-range jumper and he's been great at passing the basketball. … Rick Cornett was on his way to a big evening as he was taking advantage of the lack of size on the Playground Warriors. In fact, it was the best we've seen him play all summer long with 13 points and 8 boards. The Warriors then went with a smaller lineup midway through the second half and he didn't play as much. … Props to The Family's Derrick Ponder. This big-time football player hit for 23 in a win over Howard Pulley. Ponder says no one is really recruiting him right now.

News and Notes:

If GA PF Chris Ellis is close to making a decision like some feel he is, the big man is keeping a great secret. He listed Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Greensboro and Florida International. … We hear Ellis' Georgia Stars teammate Wayne Arnold could be close to deciding as well. … Alabama-Birmingham had PF Chuck Davis on its campus Friday. … DC Blue Devils sharpshooter Chris McCray struggled early today as he complained of dizziness when in the ballgame. …

Michigan State is making a move for a point guard. The Spartans and Tom Izzo were on hand to evaluate Jarrett Jack Friday morning. Jack has not been able to make the unofficial visit to Georgia Tech and probably can't until August. He will listen intently to a pitch from the Spartans. … New Mexico head coach Fran Fraschilla was in the gym watching Brandon Bowman. … Bowman's Sports Express teammate Hassan Adams lists California, Tennessee, Seton Hall and Boston College. However, Kansas, UCLA and Arizona are going to contact him and we bet they will start recruiting him in the near future. …

Wyoming was on hand watching Sports Express PG Brandon Heath. … Now that Indiana has its point guard in Marshall Strickland, expect Georgetown, Maryland and St. John's to turn up the heat on him. We think Elijah Ingram could pull the trigger for SJU this month so that could bode well for the Terps and Hoyas. Georgetown head coach Craig Esherick was on hand watching Gilchrist tonight. …

LSU has a commitment from junior college sophomore PF Jaime Lloreda. The Dixie big man will play in Baton Rouge. "It's a good opportunity; to go and play for a program on the rise," said his former high school coach Rolando Delaberrara. … In other Berkshire news, C Kevin Young is gaining in popularity but the schools on his list are shrinking. Florida, Missouri and Miami have made substantial moves and are in good shape. …

Intangible Award

Having spent so much time on the road getting to know the players and their situations since the end of the Final Four, I can say this: there might not be a player in the Class of 2002 that receives as much respect from his peers and opposing players as SG Bracey Wright. When Wright struggles, he deals with it and the other kids feed off of him. When he's great, they marvel at him. No matter what the circumstances, he always has their ears and the other kids not only respect him, but they look up to him. It's really neat to see how Wright has earned the respect of his peers and how he handles himself. That's why this kid is an important recruit. He's going to be a huge asset for a program and that'll come to fruition even before he starting making 3s.

Notable Performances We Didn't See Live

 Sean May, PF, Bloomington Red Though his team lost to the Raleigh Heat, May was excellent. He scored 35 points and grabbed 14 boards; 10 were offensive.

Dee Brown, PG, Illinois Warriors Against Sports Express he blew up for 28 points including 6 3s. Brown is a hired gun as he normally plays with the Illinois Gold.

Shawan Robinson, SG/PG, Raleigh Heat Robinson connected on a game-winning 3-point for the Heat in its contest against Coast To Coast.


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