2001 Top Performer
Elton Brown, PF, Boo Williams He's allowed to play in the AAU's because of his age. In Boo's first game, he used his experience to help guide his squad. No one on Warrick County could hold him down in the post and he dominated the area. WC's Matt Kiefer is a tremendous offensive forward, but he couldn't handle Brown. He's too good a post scorer with too many moves to go along with his size. All of this is good news for Virginia fans because he's coming this fall.
2002 Top Performers
Dee Brown, PG, Illinois Wildcats He switches AAU teams faster than a Tim Hardaway crossover, but when he's with his boys from the Illinois Gold/Wildcats, he's usually pretty good. In the game we watched he buried 3s and was the fastest and best player on the court. He hit one 3-ball falling down out of bounds with a defender glued to him.
Robert Hite, SG, Queen City Prophets He scored 24 in an opening round loss but his athleticism was quite noticeable. This was a good rebound performance after he was just so-so at the big shoe camp earlier in the month. Queen City might have been a tougher out if Robert Hite, his high school teammate and running mate had been alongside him.
Andre Iguodala, SF, Illinois Warriors In what might have been his best performance of the summer, we think he hit for 25 when it was all over. His drive and dunk in the second half was one of the best we'd seen all summer long. In this game, he scored the basketball off drives and dashes to the rim. That's where he gets his offense and he was getting it done today.
JJ Redick, SG, Boo Williams He's back. The stroke is starting to look like usual and he charged up Boo in a couple of early round games. Redick's work off the dribble helped him get his confidence back up and then he starting drilling them from downtown like we know he can.
Justin Gray, PG, Charlotte Royals In what might have been his game of the summer, Gray looked sensational. He's a totally different player when he's making his jumper from deep like he was on July 31. When he's hitting, he's confident and gets his friends involved in the offense.
2003 Top Performer
Chris Paul, PG, Kappa Magic He hit for 31 against the Illinois Warriors. His brother is a college basketball player this year and Chris has yet to play a varsity game. He might get that chance this season. He's one of the top underclassmen PGs in North Carolina and his feel for the game; quicks and stroke were on display in this one.
Matt Kiefer. PF, Warrick County He might be the top big man in the nation when it comes to ball fakes and shot fakes on the perimeter.
Kiah Thomas, SG, Boo Williams He's headed to Old Dominion and he's a player. He was drilling 3s today and is going to help new coach Blaine Taylor.
Joe Chapman, SG, Illinois Wolverines He hit for 19 in one half that we watched and he had an audience. He's a strong-bodied scorer who lets it fly from deep.
Donte Patterson, G, All-Ohio This little guy drilled 7 3s in the game we watched in the middle of the day.
News and Notes …
We had heard that prior to the start of July, IN PF Sean May was recruiting Duke. Are the Devils interested? Maybe, maybe not. They sent both assistants to watch Redick when May was playing at an adjacent court so that may (no pun intended) tell you what their interest level in Sean is.
Tallahassee Wildcats SG Rashad Anderson gets credit for a buzzer beater that knocked out Cincy AAAU. A miss would have given Cincinnati AAU yet another upset for a program that is known to send people packing in AAU competition.
Gordy Zastrow has it rolling in Orlando. His team beat Bloomington Red on a last second shot. Zastrow is a senior guard who scores and will get a lot of low-major looks and maybe even a few mid-major chances.
Arkansas and Mississippi sat courtside watching guard Jason Forte.
Rumblings around the event have Arkansas making its move with Andre Iguodala with Arizona right there as well.
We hear Cincinnati may be the team to beat for NC athlete Eric Hicks. There's no need to classify Hicks by position so as they do in football, we'll just refer to him as an athlete. Arkansas, Clemson, Cincy and UConn watched him play yesterday. We hear Charlotte might be taking a pass on him.
Temple was in attendance specifically to watch IL big man Reggie George.
PG John Gilchrist is now looking at NC State, St. John's, Georgetown, Indiana, Wake Forest, Michigan State and maybe Florida State. The first four listed are his top schools. Michigan State only recently began inquiring but Jarrett Jack is their top target of the two. Wake Forest probably likes Justin Gray more since it's been with him all summer long. We hear the Pack is gaining power.