Day Four: Davis Rises To Challenge

LAS VEGAS – The contenders have separated themselves from the pretenders at the Big Time. On Sunday, eight teams will challenge for the coveted tournament championship. Here's a look at some of the best matchups and performers from Saturday's action.

Big Time Big Man Tilt

Paul Davis, Chris Grimm, Shavlik Randolph and Michael Thompson. Together they average 6-10 across the board. When the Mustangs met the Heat on Saturday night, something had to give. In short, Paul Davis stole the show with a 34-point performance, including a sweet 14-16 from the line. He was the aggressor for his team and the sole reason why the Mustangs defeated the Heat and advanced to the semis. Credit Davis for a gutsy and smart performance. He's solidified his standing among the elite big men in the class and in August, will assume his place among the Top 10 prospects in the country.

Not fairing so well was Randolph. He fouled out after scoring 12 points, just two in the second half. Unlike Davis, he didn't get to the line at all. Randolph struggled with strength and competitiveness issues in this one. There's no question he's skilled, but now is the time to begin the process of filling out his frame. Right now, he's getting taken advantage of at both ends because he's not strong enough to mix it up. Yes, he does some great things with the ball, can really handle it and pass the rock, but physically, he's behind the curve.

Thompson was outstanding. He scored 28 points, plenty of them coming on aggressive dunks. His maturation process is nearly complete and his final summer performance should erase any doubts that might have existed in regards to his abilities. He's easily one of the best centers in this class. Grimm wasn't much of a factor at all for the Mustangs.

2002 Standouts

Brandon Roy, SG/SF, Seattle Yes Considering he was playing with a slightly torn meniscus, his performance in Vegas was terrific. Obviously, he's an even better athlete than he's shown but he's proven to a great scorer. The fluidity with which he roams the court is impressive. Big-time scorer.

Antonio Lawrence, SG, EBO If you just were to analyze athletic ability and raw talent, Lawrence would be nearly off the charts. He plays at a breakneck speed and with reckless abandon. Someone is going to have to harness all that ability and mold it into a basketball player. We understand that he's not a big fan of school at any level so it's not out of the realm of possibility that we see this young man dipping his toes into the NBA Developmental League waters.

Francisco Garcia, SG, NY Ravens There's just something about him that indicates he's going to be a big-timer. He's a smooth scorer, but maybe just as impressive is his ability to calmly handle the basketball. He's one of those guys who is always making something positive happen and he's a winner.

Elijah Ingram, PG, Tim Thomas Playaz He really revved it up in the second half of an early morning game we watched. When he's creating off the dribble, he's so good. Once he gets himself involved in that fashion, his jumper seemingly goes down easier. He loves shooting from the top of the key. Fast and fun to watch, Ingram is having a very good week and is the key to TTP's chances.


Dave Mallon, C, Donyell Marshall Foundation At 6-11, he's got the size. However, he's coordinated, can run, shoots jumpers off the catch and gets after it. Every time we watched him, he was better than the last time out. Schools looking for size at all levels need to do some homework on him.

Dominick Mejia, CG, Gym Rats At 6-4, he's sturdy and can play both spots though he's much more effective as a scoring wing. He can shoot it, handle it enough to be serviceable and has some intangibles. He's a leadership type guy and that's not something you can teach.

Jon Clark, PF, Gym Rats He's listed incorrectly on the rosters, so someone else is going to get a lot of his mail next week. Regardless, he worked his tail off and was good around the hoop in the game we watched. Again, another forward worth evaluating in a class short on big man depth. Relentless on the glass.

Richard Midgely, PG, EBO You can't help but to like him. He's a tough dude. He plays with passion and for the most part stays within himself. Midgely can stroke it from downtown and that's a good thing. He'll probably be a 3-year starter at Cal and that's pretty impressive.

Curtis Withers, PF, New Orleans Jazz He's used his athleticism to make waves for the Jazz as one of two imports for the team in Vegas. Withers has turned some heads with a few strong buckets inside and a little perimeter game that he's been cultivating. Nice effort for the week.

Terrence Whiters, PG, Atlanta Celtics Having been the guy who openly wondered what Whiters was thinking when he failed to feed Amare Stoudemire and Sani Ibrahim the ball back in June at the Atlanta Basketball Classic, I would like to say that he's since redeemed himself. After a solid ABCD performance, Whiters has been an important piece in the Celtics run to the quarterfinals. He's played much better and is starting to generate interest.

Lawrence Carrier, SF, Inland Here's a kid who first erupted two years ago at adidas ABCD Camp. Then, he looked to be headed the power forward route. However, he's taken a turn down wing forward lane and is now a legit 3-man. His game begins on the perimeter where he brandishes a reliable shot. He also rebounds and is looking more comfortable off the drive each time out.

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