Talent at Washington Event

The FinalScore.TV Invitational was stocked with talent from the northwest. There were the usual names like Aaron Brooks, the Stewarts, Josh Heytvelt and Marvin Williams, but also new names that popped onto the scene...

The FinalScore.TV Invitational took place last weekend at Highline Community College in Washington. The tournament, an NCAA sanctioned summer evaluation event, drew 24 teams, including all the Washington select squads plus a pair of Portland Elite Legends squads, Las Vegas Select and Basketball BC from Canada.

The usual names were there, but just as exciting were the new faces that popped on the screen last weekend at the event.

But first, the Usual Guys:

6'9" 205 lb. Josh Heytvelt (Clarkston 2004), well, is a "usual name" to us here in the Northwest at least. He continued to impress as he knocked down threes with his effortless-looking, smooth stroke all weekend. He's a good athlete with strong legs, really gets up, and has the whole package: shot, size, handles, and speed. He continues to blow up and will be a major recruit next summer. Scouts from outside of the northwest who were here were saying that Heytvelt has the potential to be a top 40 player nationally, at least.

6' 8" 205 lb. Marvin Williams (Bremerton 2004) got it rolling at ABCD and kept it going this weekend. Marvin has become one of the most highly regarded bigs in his class. He had an awesome baseline drive with a thundering throw down early on that had the gym rocking. Marvin scored 19 in the semifinals but showed all weekend why he's getting the mad props.

6' 3" 170 lb. Lyndale Burleson (O'Dea 2004) played both backcourt spots. He did well in the absence of Brooks on Sunday running the point for Rotary Select. Lyndale wowed the crowd with an array of drives and finishes into traffic and an occasional mid-range jumper.

6' 6" 190 lb. David Pendergraft (Brewster 2004) drew lots of attention. He's already verballed to Gonzaga but folks wanted to see what kind of game David had. He didn't disappoint. His play of the weekend was a tip-in at the horn that gave his Eastern Washington Elite Blue team a win over Portland Elite Legends Black, with another future Zag Derek Raivio. Pendergraft showed major hops on the play, going way up to get the tip. He scored 25 against Payton's All-Stars earlier.

6' 6" 190 lb. Adam Morrison (Spokane Mead 2003) gave Gonzaga fans in attendance reason for joy. We knew Morrison could shoot but he really showed toughness inside this weekend. He had a nice back-in for two against Marvin Williams and worked his tail off getting boards and scoring. His Eastern Washington Red team scored 112 in their opener, Morrison had 31 and only one trey. He is a tremendous mid-range shooter.

Rodrick Stewart scored 18 in a win over Portland Elite Legends, 20 against Eastern Washington Blue, 27 against Rotary in the semifinals and 23 in the championship game against ICP. His jumper with 2 seconds remaining in the title game proved to be the game winner. Lodrick Stewart's best game was a 29-point outing against FOH Black. He had 20 in the semifinals and 11 in the title game.

Ryan Appleby was banged up as his neck was getting the ice treatment. We saw him scored 12 and dish out a ton of assists against Portland Elite Black. He and Derek Raivio (Gonzaga commit) went after each other pretty good. Raivio scored 19, 10 of those from the line, in a physical affair. Both looked tired after their week at Nike. Brooks played on Saturday only as he was off for the final tryouts for the National Junior team. His highlight was a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left that gave Rotary a win over Bucky's Green. He scored 13 in that one and needed a paper wrapper for all his dimes.

Thomas Gardner was a stud all weekend for ICP. He had 23 against Bucky's White, 31 against Eastern Washington Juniors in the semifinals and carried ICP in the first half against Payton in the final, scoring 19 of their 31 in the first half and finishing with 29. With his team down 48-44 with 3:12 to play, TG scored a quick five points with his trey giving ICP the lead and setting up Rodrick Stewart's heroics.

Now on to the New Names:

One of them that had coaches scurrying to identify him was a late addition and not in the provided roster packet: 6' 4", 190lb SG Ben Wade (2003) of YES Red. He's new to the area, having moved down from Alaska, and if they all shoot the ball like he does in the far northern reaches, coaches will be heading up the Yukon Trail to find more like him. He knocked down threes from all around the arc all weekend. Saturday he got the buzz going early and by the end of the day coaches were trying to find out more about him. He drew interest from the likes of UC-Irvine, San Diego and Idaho among others. He'll be attending Ingraham High School in Seattle.

Churchill Odai (2004) is a 6' 6" athletic wing. He's the cousin of a Seattle Supersonic and from what we hear he wants to attend a private school in Seattle. He's listed at 205 lbs. but looked lighter. His game was impressive with a nice balance of inside and outside skills. He runs the court well and handles it in transition. And his Gary Payton team does the transition thing in hyperspeed. In Sunday's final he only scored 6 points but they were in crunch time and he knocked down a pair of jumpers and two from the line at critical times.

Another Payton new guy was 6' 10" Chester Giles (2004). He sat out last season and we had not seen much of him but he showed looked strong all weekend, fighting hard on the boards and showing several nice post moves to score. In the semifinals he and Marvin Williams matched up and Chester held his own quite nicely. Payton, the tourney champion, had seen Rotary go on a 14-2 run to cut an 18-point lead down to six points. Chester had a nasty throw down on a bullet pass from Rodrick Stewart that pretty much took the wind out of Rotary's sails. That play showed his hands, lots of guys would have not handled the pass. He's listed at 225lbs.

6' 8" 215lb forward Josh Love (2003) also balls with Payton. He was at Auburn H/S last year but is transferring to Rainier Beach. Eight of Payton's guys are from Beach. He scored 17 in the semifinals against Rotary with a good balance between inside and outside scoring. He did most of his damage taking it to the rack or hitting the short pull-up jumper but also stepped out and knocked down the long ball.

6' 3", 180lb Rodney Stuckey (Kentwood 2004) was a late addition to the Rotary Select squad, that's Brooks, Williams and crew. He scored 16 in the semifinal loss to Payton. Rodney's strength is taking it hard to the basket. He's fearless on the drive. And about the time defenders think he's bringing it, he does the stop and pop thing with a solid mid-range jumper.

6' 3" 165lb SG Chad Troyer (Seattle Prep 2004) showed his shooting touch. He's a deadly shooter from well beyond the arc. Troyer, he's an Emerald City Pioneer, scored 22 against a pesky Eastern Washington Junior squad in a game the Pioneers lost in the quarterfinals.

6' 6" 180lb wing Jacob Proctor (Spokane Rogers 2003) scored 11 against ECP and had 19, with 4 treys, against ICP, that's Thomas Gardner and crew, in the semifinals. Proctor's Eastern Washington Juniors went 3-0 in pool play with a squad of mainly smaller school guys. They played the best team basketball of anyone in the event. The three Eastern Washington teams, Elite Red and Blue and the Juniors, went a combined 8-1 in pool play. They don't have s slew of really athletic guys but they all played good team ball, moved the ball around and found the open guy. Very refreshing to see during the summer.

5' 8", 150lb Garrison Carr (Issaquah 2005) once again showed us his shot. He's small, thin but dang he can shoot it. He scored 22, with 6 treys, for Rotary Style in their loss to FOH Black.

6' 6", 185 lb. Chris Keller (Jackson 2003) had 17, with 5 treys, for FOH Black in that win over Rotary Style. We've watched him knock down treys all spring and summer.

6' 1" 170lb SG Isaiah Tuggle (Federal Way 2003) lit up Rotary Select for 22 and had 16 against Portland Elite Black. His Bucky's Green team won't be in Vegas but will be hitting the Best of Summer the following week. Tuggle was at Foss in Tacoma the last three years but has moved to FW. He's strong, has no conscience shooting it from anywhere inside half court and hits em all day.

Over 50 coaches attended including North Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Marquette, UCLA, USC, Arizona, UW, WSU, Oregon, Oregon State, all the WCC and plenty from all the other West Coast D-1 conferences.

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