Kingwood Classic: Day 3 Rundown

HOUSTON, Tex. – DeAndre Liggins and Indiana Elite were the class of the Kingwood Classic. Liggins and his mates put it on Pump ‘n Run Elite as it captured the treasured title.

In keeping with the traditions of the great state of Texas, Hal Pastner does the Kingwood Classic in a big way. When over 750 teams (in different age groups) gather for the festivities, Sunday afternoon's championship marks the end of marathon weekend.

In the title game, Indiana Elite got up big early in the second half against Pump ‘n Run and never let up. The well-schooled machine from the Midwest used 11 points from do-it-all winger DeAndre Liggins in the first half to maintain a slight advantage before turning it over to the capable hands of Tyler Zeller and Lewis Jackson. Zeller, who was impressive off the bench, finished with 21 points. Jackson dropped 9 dimes. Mix in 15 points from energizer forward Emmanuel Negudu and it was lights out for a winded Pump ‘n Run crew.

Indiana Elite scored a landslide victory in the title and blew out the Pumpers. Sensing that his team might be struggling and out of gas, elite guard Jrue Holiday laid it on the line in the first half but he and the Wear Twins couldn't muster up the energy needed to swing with Elite. Plus, Walter Offutt seemed to have fresh legs and he sliced his way to 14 for the victors.

Indiana Elite has plenty of good players but they won this event because as a team, no one was able to match them.

Holiday Sends Message
Jrue Holiday, SG, Pump ‘n Run – If there's a more complete wing in the class we've yet to see him. Plus, we've yet to see anyone value winning to the degree Holiday approaches the game. As committed defensively as he is as offensively and proficient with his left as a finisher. He's in complete command of his game and affects the outcome each time out.

DeAndre Liggins, SF, Indiana Elite – He's going to move up the charts because he's a talented wing who is beginning to display versatility to his game. Again, as good as he it, he won't be for everyone and that's because many won't have a clear vision how to use his skills. However, the program that puts together the proper plan of how to unleash him will be thrilled with the results. We'd project him as an uptempo wizard because he can go end to end, handle it and defend multiple positions.

Carter McMasters, PF, Smyrna Stars – As if the jump shot and the 6-foot-10 weren't enough, McMasters pays homage to Dirk Nowitzki by sporting No. 41. His size and perimeter game are what's attracting the big boys. He'll play on the perimeter but will need to add strength to guard four men. Has high-major interest.

Emmanuel Negedu, PF, Indiana Elite – The energy, powerful dunks and commitment to playing his area inside are impressive. As he climbs the college basketball ladder he'll want to expand his game to give you different looks. He's got a face and attack mode in his bag of tricks and the commitment to dunking ala Ousmane Cisse. The guy seemingly never runs out of energy.

Anthony Tucker, PG, 43 Hoops BC – Tucked away on a lesser-profiled AAU team was one of the gems of the tournament. Tucker stuck 3s when he was open but it was his feel, poise and ability to move the basketball to the proper places that caught our eye. Systematic big schools will look and the mids will fawn over him.

White Is Versatile
Reeves Nelson, SF/PF, Pump – There's no doubt he emptied his tank in the semis because he wasn't the same guy in the title game. We can list the superlatives hurled his way by the college guys in the stands but this one was the most common: every major coach in the nation we spoke with marveled at his intensity and competitive approach. Because of that he's a tremendous offensive rebounder.

Royce White, F, Howard Pulley – Liked him on Saturday, loved him on Sunday. Was able to showcase a versatile offensive game that included mid-range perimeter hits and the ability to face and attack. Sure, we'd like him to be an inch or two taller but the bottom line is the kid is a player.

Jeremy Tyler, C, California Supreme – His team trailed by 17 at the half before he led the charge back. Eventually, Supreme succumbed but not before one of the elite big men in the nation gave you a taste of his talent at both ends. Most rising senior Top 25 big men can't match him in terms of moves and counters inside.

The early morning crowd for Jrue Holiday: Ben Howland, Roy Williams, Lute Olson. … Colorado is going to enter the fray for winger Brad Tinsley. … Willie Warren's crew for his final game: Bill Self, Billy Gillispie. The new UK coach also saw J'Covan Brown's last game. … Mike Krzyzewski was front and center Sunday morning, along with a ton of elite high-major head coaches. The prevailing thought was Reeves Nelson was his target. …

Tucker Opened Eyes
Who's hot on DeAndre Liggins? Try Memphis, Illinois and Kentucky. … Sophomore Richard Howell from the WW Renegades has a litany of interested parties: N.C. State, Michigan State, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. …

Carter McMasters has Wake Forest, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Clemson and Virginia Tech on him. Chattanooga would love to have him as well. … Anthony Tucker has offers from Utah State, Western Michigan and Wisconson-Green Bay. Boston College, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin are looking. Tubby Smith watched him on Sunday. …

Jerime Anderson was outstanding for Pump ‘n Run until the title game. He's more aggressive this season and economical with his drives. There's a fire in him as well and he was outstanding in the first game Sunday morning. … Larry Drew injured his ankle Sunday morning and missed the final two playoff games. …

Another guy we liked from the California Supreme team was SG Tyler Lamb. Just a freshman he's already a strong perimeter shooter. … Willie Warren had three major guards to deal with from the Pump team. He caught fire late but it wasn't enough in a Sunday playoff exit. …

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