17 Championship – Spiece Indy Heat 77, D-I Greyhounds 58
16 Championship -- Illinois Wolves 76, Arkansas 64
Before the event began, two former Spiece players and one current standout had their jerseys retired at the Spiece Fieldhouse. Having said that, it's only fitting that Greg Oden followed up his jersey retirement ceremony with a championship performance.
An early flight took us away from the championship game but apparently there was no answer for Oden and combined with MVP Mike Conley, Spiece just overwhelmed a young bunch of D-I Greyhounds led by super recruits O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker.
Over in the 16's, the Illinois Wolves were led by MVP Demetri McCamey as they captured a hard fought championship in a very tough division laced with promising 2007 recruits.
Greg Oden, C, Spiece: After having seen him basically run out of gas at The Real Deal on the Hill it definitely looked as if Oden was pacing himself the first 8 games of the event. Reports from the championship game were that he was outstanding and got it done for the Spiece crew. Nothing flashy, unless you count shot blocks as being sexy, otherwise he's merely your average 7-foot-1, humble, polite, gifted and successful No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2006. There's Oden and Kevin Durant and then the rest of the field in 2006.
Brant Leitnaker, C, Cincinnati Cowboys: He's a big 6-foot-9 guy that the larger programs in his area seemingly missed out on. Leitnaker is getting hit up hard by the mid-majors in his region and could be a shade higher if he can be a consistent, half-to-half producer. You have to respect the size and keep watching him.
O.J. Mayo (pictured), PG, D-I Greyhounds: If there's a better player in the country at making plays off the dribble we haven't seen him. Mayo is becoming a wizard with the basketball and the vision he's got on the court is amazing. Put yourself in his shoes: right now he's the best draw in high school sports and that means every time out you have to meet and exceed people's expectations. So far he's done an excellent job delivering the goods on the court and his demeanor has been terrific.
Bill Walker, SF, D-I Greyhounds: Frankly, he's the most athletic wing we've seen on the circuit. Walker will drive you and then either jet past you or throw it down over you. The guy has the unique ability to rise out of traffic and hammer down dunks. More than once he simply tried to avoid the charge by launching himself over another kid. He simply beasts guys with his athleticism and is on a completely different level with his size, speed and athleticism when he's attacking the tin.
Eshaunte Jones, PG/SG, Blessed IJN: If you go back and check the stats, he might have made more 3s than anyone at the event. He's a good looking prospect and seemingly gaining confidence each time out. To take his game to the next level we'd like to see him do more off the dribble going to the rim.
Demetri McCamey, G, Illinois Wolves: He's a powerful guy who can handle and pass it and was the MVP in his age group. With a body built for college buckets right now, expect to hear quite a bit about him in the summer and he's got a huge reputation in his home state.
Isaiah Martin, PF, Illinois Wolves: He's a swift, agile 6-foot-8 forward and he runs the court extremely well. Again, another guy to put on your radar because you'll be hearing a lot about him in the coming months.
Kosta Koufos, PF, King James Shooting Stars 16: He's got a Greek background and a great touch around the basket. Demonstrated some skilled work in the post and the high-majors will be all over him.
Erving Walker, PG, Team Next: There's been a lot of talk about this young man out of New York and he's a good player. For example, he can flat out stroke that thing from past the arc and he's a confident point man. The bottom line is will get any bigger; we'll call him 5-foot-6. But, he can play and he's got natural leadership abilities.
NEWS & NOTES
King James wing Marcus Johnson has offers from St. Joseph's, Dayton, Duquesne, St. Bonaventure and Akron. Illinois, Arizona and Syracuse are sniffing around as well. Johnson could take an official to St. Joe's this spring. … Brant Leitnaker has a 3.5 GPA and he's got Arkon, Ohio, Bowling Green, Indiana State and St. Bonaventure chasing him. West Virginia's head coach was in last week to see him. …