Brandon Bass: From now on, we'd like to refer to Bass as "America's Recruit". Why? Well, there probably isn't a program in the country that wouldn't want to have a guy just like him. So, we'll dub his America's recruit. The guy played hard all week long. He chases rebounds, blocks shots and makes his mark each time out. At 6-7, he's a true warrior.
Matt Webster, PF, Billy Shepherd Sports: He scored 28 points in the quarterfinal win over Ft. Sooy. The good sized upset was made possible by one simple fact: while Sooy was shooting 3s, Shepherd was making layups. They ran their system like a machine. Webster's 28 included 2 3-pointers. He has a soft touch that extend to the line. Justin Petty also scored 25 in the win. They took 14 2-pointers compared to Sooy's 24. Beautiful basketball by the "Hoosiers" playa likes.
Curtis Stinson, SF, NY Ravens: His quarterfinal game pretty much exemplified the Ravens team. They aren't the most talented team here but they play the hardest. Stinson scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. The Ravens have terrific chemistry and from the start that was the difference in their win over the Long Island Panthers.
Darius Washington, PG-SG, Fla. Hoopsters: He scored 34 points in the upset win over the Michigan Hurricanes. The most impressive stat was his 14-for-16 from the line. The least impressive stat was his 7 turnovers which included 3 in the final 1:30. But, as the day continued, his offense carried the Hoopsters right up until the last :30 seconds of the championship game. 32-for-35 from the free throw line in 3 playoff games pretty much tells you what you need to know.
Jamar Butler, PG, Team Ohio: Stop Six won the championship but we couldn't help be impressed with Butler's 24 points in the title game. Love his defensive ability.
From The Press Room
"Don't let them French Lick you. I don't want to see them making a movie in this joint," one NY Ravens fan said to coach Artie Green minutes before his game against the Billy Shepherd Sports team who ran through the big time just like the boys from "Hoosiers."
"We don't have a single guy in Indiana as athletic as any of these guys," Billy Shepherd swingman Dan Cage said after his team's upset of Ft. Sooy. "And they haven't played a single team like us."
"It's not so much playing together as it is everyone spending time together and getting to know each other," Billy Shepherd PG Peyton Stovall said of his team's chemistry.
Off The Dribble
The Michigan Hurricanes raged back from a 12-point deficit and nearly pressured the Florida Hoopsters into a loss. In fact, they had a chance to win the game but a pair of Dewayne Green free throws were short with less than 2 seconds left in the game. … Drew Neitzel was a healthy scratch from the quarterfinal game. He didn't play at all. In his defense, we think he played extremely well throughout the course of the week and his poise could have helped the Hurricanes this morning. … Olu Famutimi struggled in the quarters as he went 3-for-18 from the field. Still, he was pretty impressive this week.
Richard McBride was 6-for-12 from downtown in his team's loss. He finished with 27 points. … The Ravens shot just 5 3s in their win over the Panthers. …
Quarters: Florida Hoopsters 73, Michigan Hurricanes 72; New Orleans Jazz 83, DTA Wisconsin 53; NY Ravens 78, Long Island Panthers 68; Billy Shepherd Sports 96, Ft. Sooy 83.
Semifinals: NY Ravens 75, Billy Shepherd Sports 42; Florida Hoopsters 63, New Orleans Jazz 54.
Championship: New York Ravens 71, Florida Hoopsters 69.
Around The Gym
Rick Majerus was up early this morning. He was at Green Valley watching a Mitch Platt workout. Majerus was the only coach in the gym. He's obviously going to try and get Platt to add Utah to his list of definite visits. Said list already included Oregon and Texas Tech. … Early Riser Award: Louisville assistant Kevin Willard was the only major college assistant coach in the gym for the start of the Hurricanes game against the Florida Hoopsters. We'll give Ohio State's Paul Biancardi the honorable mention here as he wasn't far behind. … Speaking of Biancardi, he was in the gym early getting a good seat to watch DTA Wisconsin star DuPree Fletcher. … In the gym for Famutimi this morning were Lane Odom of Missouri, Oronde Talifiero of Arkansas and Willard of Louisville. …
The Florida Hoopsters Taurean Green is the son of Florida Atlantic coach Sidney Green. … Surprisingly, LSU or Cincinnati were not in the building this morning for Brandon Bass. Rick Stansbury of Mississippi State was. … Dave Leitao of UConn watched Sammy Mejia. So did Jim Boeheim. … Villanueva's early session friends were Norm Roberts of Illinois, Mike Jarvis of St. John's, Louis Orr and Brian Nash of Seton Hall and Tom Moore from UConn. … We hear Gary Forbes could be on the verge of committing to Georgia Tech. … Indiana sent an assistant to watch Shaun Livingston. Illinois assistant Norm Roberts was also there and we don't think he's missed a Ft. Sooy game this week. …
Billy Shepherd point guard Peyton Stovall has offers from Ball State, Wright State and Evansville. Wichita State, UNC-Wilmington and Boston College have shown interest. … Shepherd winger Dan Cage has an offer from Wright State. UNC-Wilmington is looking. Virginia has called and so has West Virginia. "West Virginia is my favorite right now," Cage said.