Las Vegas: Monday Roundup

The day before, it was O.J. Mayo's team that went up against Kevin Love's squad - but the game didn't live up to billing. Less than 24 hours later in Vegas, the two top players from the Class of 2008 went up against one another and while the game came down to the last second, neither player was spectacular.

LAS VEGAS – One day after the matchup between arguably the two top players in the Class of 2007 left plenty of luster, it was the two top guys from the Class of 2008 that went up against one another on Monday.

Tyreke Evans vs. Greg Monroe.

Sure, they don't play the same position – but it was going to settle who's the No. 1 player in the land in the junior class, right?

Wrong.

While it was Evans' Team Final squad that edged Monroe's boys from Louisiana, it was Monroe who played at a higher level on Monday.

Evans' ankle injury was more apparent, especially with him not able to make shots from the perimeter. He only took five shots prior to the break, making one shot, and finished with 8 points in the victory.

There were few highlights for Evans – other than a couple of drives to the basket and a few nice passes.

For Monroe, he displayed a few more flashes than Evans of what could make him the top player in the land.

Monroe had a few strong moves in the paint, altered and blocked plenty of shots and also continued to show people that he's more than just a low-post guy. On a few occasions, he led the break with the ball in his hands.

Mamadou Diarra, F, French Hoops – Diarra played a bunch for Stoneridge this past season and his skill package gives him a chance to be an impact guy down the road. He's so long, can run the court and also makes shots from the perimeter and in the paint. Still needs to become stronger and continue to learn the game. Hit the game-winning trifecta as time expired to beat Albany.

Jason Henry, SG, South Georgia – The West Memphis High (Ark.) versatile wing, who showed he can run the point as well, was eyeballed by the entire Tennessee staff – and for good reason. Henry can do it all – he handles the ball exceptionally well for someone his size (6-6), can shoot it from long range and just needs to be a little more physical.

Dele Coker, C, Albany City Rocks – If he ever got the ball on a consistent basis, he'd be scary. He just goes out and rebounds, runs the court and plays hard on both ends of the court. Gave a solid effort against a ridiculously tall French Hoops squad and took a last-second loss hard.

Mark Lyons, PG, Albany City – Lyons will join Dele Coker at South Kent next season. He's a fiery jet who gets into the lane and makes things happen. He's not intimidated to take it in against the big boys and he's got the athleticism to be able to finish over big men. His biggest area of concern is being more consistent on his outside shot and making quality decisions.

Ian Markoff, C, Team Hoop Zone – Last year it was Josh Lomers who got the attention of college coaches for this small San Antonio team. This year it's Markoff, who isn't quite as thick – but is more mobile and nearly as intriguing. Markoff has a good body and should end up in the Big 12 at the end of the day.

Matt Howard, PF, Spiece Central Stars – The floppy-haired kid out of Connersville, Ind., is a pleasure to watch – even though he got into some foul trouble against Triple Threat. He's scrappy, physical and may not look the part – but he came up with a couple of key blocks (one against Chris Braswell) in crunch time and finds a way to be involved in just about every play.

Jeff Jones, SG, Triple Threat – He's got far more confidence and he's getting more shots than he did a couple weeks ago at ABCD and it shows in his game. He made plenty of shots, but it was his unselfish play and feel for the game that was impressive in a loss to Spiece.

Jeff Allen, PF, Triple Threat – By now everyone knows that Virginia Tech got a big-time steal in Allen – who just plain gets after it. Terrific athlete who can dominate on the glass because of his relentless play. He's headed to Hargrave and should waste no time making an impact for Seth Greenburg.

Corey Stokes, SG, Metro Hawks – Here's a guy who has really re-established himself. He's back hitting shots consistently from the perimeter and that'll make him deadly. Still needs to work on putting the ball on the floor with more frequency.

Luke Loucks, SG, Team Breakdown – Here's a kid who won't get a ton of attention, especially playing on a team with Kenny Boynton and Edwin Rios. Loucks knows how to play – he has terrific court vision and makes it easy for Boynton and his teammates to get open looks. He'll still need to work on his outside shot, but the Clearwater High combo guard is one to watch.

Devin Ebanks, SF, Metro Hawks – Ebanks is talented, but he'll need to show he can dominate games more frequently if he wants to remain among the elite players in the Class of 2008. The plan is to attend Patterson School in the fall. He was active on the offensive glass, but still needs to put on some weight so he can do a little more off the bounce.

Luke Loucks said he's heard from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Illinois. … Stoneridge/French Hoops coach Babacar Sy said that Mamadou Diarra is not committed to USC, but the Trojans are the leaders at this point. He also mentioned Baylor, UConn and Fresno State. … Ian Markoff recited a list of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Georgia Tech and Georgetown. … Jeff Jones' list includes Virginia, Wake Forest, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Charlotte, Florida, Maryland and Miami. Don't expect Jones to re-commit to the Terps. … Jason Henry is headed to Light of the World Academy (Ga.) or Patterson and said he is looking at Memphis, Tennessee, LSU and Oklahoma.

St. John's has made it a priority to try and get Dele Coker. In fact, Norm Roberts was the lone head coach at Coker's morning game. … According to Albany City Rocks coach Jim Hart, Clemson recently offered Mark Lyons.

Coaches In The Gym – Here's who was in the gym for Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans' matchup: Rick Pitino, John Brady, Roy Williams and his entire staff and all three coaches from Mississippi State. UConn assistant Tom Moore and Texas assistant Russell Springmann were also in attendance.


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