Trevor Ariza, PF, Team California Select: For a good portion of the game, Ariza crashed the boards and was a presence as a power forward. Then, the zone was installed by Boo Williams and Ariza went to work. The Westchester Comet, certainly not known for his perimeter prowess, banged out five 3s versus Boo's Boys. Team Cali came up short, but not lost in our memory will be Ariza's shot making from downtown.
JR Giddens, SF, Athletes First: With Roy Williams in the house, Giddens played a big part in his team's thrashing of the Georgia Stars. The vociferous wing man turned it up on offense and then helped his team tighten the screws against the Stars in the decisive first half.
Darian Townes, C, Boo Williams: For a half, Townes patrolled the paint against Team California. The Georgetown-bound big man is kind of the forgotten man in the Class of 2003 but that shouldn't be the case. Young for his age, Townes is a big-time shot blocker. For some reason, Townes wasn't on the bench for the second half and we'll try and find out why in the near future.
Marquie Cooke, PG, Boo Williams: Like Townes, he had a big first half that helped key his team's run. He shot it pretty well and made some 3s. He played much better in this game than we thought he did at the recent Nike All-American Camp.
Off The Dribble
For most of the spring and early part of summer, we've been rather perplexed by the play of Georgia Stars big man Rashaun Bryant. He's been inconsistent and played in spurts. However, last week at Nike, he put it together and played well. Here are the Peach Jam he's been able to play hard and be active and that's all you can ask. … If defense wins championships, look out for Athletes First. The kids from Oklahoma suffocated the Georgia Stars in the first half of their game. … Athletes first wing man Robert Meacham had a big night as he scored and was the energizer for his team. However, we hear Meacham's future lies in another sport as he's a big-timer on the football field. …
Around The Gym
The grapevine tells us that Montrose Christian power forward Linas Kleiza is out for the summer after having surgery on his meniscus. … Georgetown head coach Craig Esherick was in the gym tonight watching future Hoyas Darian Townes and Matt Causey. … Billy Donovan and Mike Davis were both on hand to see Trevor Ariza's display from downtown. …
In the family ties department, we hear Louisiana Select power forward Paul Milsap is related to one of the assistant coaches at Louisiana Tech. … Team California Select assistant coach DeAnthony Langston played college basketball at Long Beach State. What's unique about Langston now is that he's on TV. One college assistant told us that Langston picks up parts in commercials and movies that require basketball stand ins. … Clemson coach Larry Shyatt was in the stands watching Boo Williams guard Mario Taybron. … Rashaun Bryant is being recruited by South Carolina, Auburn and Western Kentucky. WKU's Dennis Felton was on hand for tonight's festivities. … We hear Brent Petway is strongly considering Michigan, Florida State, Syracuse and UConn, though we aren't sure who beside Michigan has a firm offer on the table. … Tulane head coach Shawn Finney was in the stands, presumably watch Louisiana Select forward Paul Milsap and guard Jay Jackson. …