Pump Elite Takes Best of Summer

The Pump N Run Elite team has been dominant all summer and the talented Southern California squad won another touranment yesterday at the Best of Summer. James Harden and Austin Daye led the way for the victors...

The Pump N Run Elite team won the Best of Summer tournament yesterday, as it defeated the Worldwide Renegades team 64-57 in the championship game. The game wasn't really that close, as the Pump team opened up a 15-point lead in the second half and cruised to the victory. James Harden, the 6-5 senior shooting guard from Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, and Austin Daye, 6-9 SR SF Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge, led the way for the Pump squad.

Daye had one stretch where he hit a couple threes in quick succession and then a nice, running back shot from about fifteen feet, as the Pump team started to pull away. But Harden – clearly the MVP of the tournament – was the difference-maker for the Pump team. Harden has a complete game and he dominated the action in this tournament. He can score in a variety of ways and he gets to the free-throw line often. He loves to get to the basket and draw contact. He's an excellent passer and he rarely turns the ball over. At the next level, we think he may end up playing some backup point guard, because he makes great decisions and he's very strong with the ball.

We spoke with Harden prior to the championship game and asked him where his recruitment stands at this time. "It's just Arizona State and Washington," said Harden. "Those are the two I'll choose from." When we asked Harden about the timing of his decision, he replied, "probably in the next couple days. I'm getting tired of all this stuff."

Clint Chapman, 6-10 SR C Canby (Ore.) High, is another player who was extremely impressive in July. Chapman has improved as much as any big man in the west over the last year. He's become a good shooter out to the stripe and he can finish around the basket. But what has coaches really intrigued is his frame, length and upside. Chapman has very good feet, nice hands and he gets up pretty easy. After an outstanding July, Chapman is going to be ranked as the #2 center in the west, trailing only Kevin Love.

Chapman has schools from all over the country trying to get involved with him, but it looks like he'll probably stay in the west. At a game on Sunday morning, coaches from UCLA, Cal, Washington, Arizona State and USC were in attendance watching Chapman.

The Double Pump Elite team reached the semifinals of the Best of Summer and Justin Holiday had a lot to do with the Pump team's success. Holiday, a 6-6 senior wing from North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall, shot the ball very well during the tournament. Holiday is a big-time athlete and he excels in the open-court game. His length and quickness make him a potentially outstanding defender. But his shot has been inconsistent to date and there has been some question about his ability to score at the next level. In this tournament, though, Holiday shot the ball with confidence and he may have taken a step forward in his offensive development.

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