Next Level Ballers: Day 1 Rundown

DALLAS – We got to see plenty of action on an abbreviated first day of action at Wes Grandstaff's Next Level Ballers tournament in the Lone Star State. While my colleague will be running around from gym to gym in Akron, the venue at Duncanville High couldn't be any easier to navigate.

Luke Loucks, G, Team Florida – Definitely not one of his better performances (7 points). He is a smart player with court savvy, but he appeared rattled by the athletic Texas Blue Chips squad. He didn't handle the pressure well and appeared tentative on offense.

Adam Pegg, Team Florida – The Palm Harbor big man may not be the most athletic guy, but he's a terrific mid-major pickup. He finished everything inside using either hand and also stepped out and knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers. Scored 16 points in the loss to the Texas Blue Chips.

Eric Frederick, F, Texas Blue Chips – The Oklahoma native, who spent this season at Cornerstone Christian, displayed a versatile inside-outside game – although most of his damage was done in the paint. Handles it well and his game is comparable to UConn's undersized power forward Jeff Adrien. His outside shot wasn't falling, but his form wasn't all that bad. Finished with 11 points – with most of the damage coming before the break.

Greg Monroe, PF, Louisiana Select – It was probably an average or maybe even a below-average performance for the nation's top player in the Class of 2008, but he still had 18 points in a win. His skill set is amazing. He grabs the ball of the defensive glass and goes coast-to-coast with virtual ease. Passed the ball well and has almost limitless potential.

Matt Gatens, SG, Martin Brothers – The Iowa commit took over the game against the Dallas Mustangs down the stretch. The 6-foot-3 all-around backcourt standout finishes and plays with plenty of poise. He uses angles extremely well and also makes his teammates better. Finished with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the win.

Grant Gibbs, G, Martin Brothers – Hit a deep trifecta, but it wasn't his shooting that impressed us. He really knows how to play and passes the ball extremely well. He's got good size (6-5) and also gets his nose dirty fighting for boards.

L.A. Pomlee, PF, Martin Brothers – The long and athletic forward, who hadn't played in about eight months or so after missing his entire junior season in high school, has his explosiveness back in a 15-point effort. He is bouncy and thrives in transition – with an array of dunks. He'll still need to become more effective on the glass and with his post defense, but in all fairness, he's been out for a while.

Alex Scott Haralson, SG, Jackson Tigers – The Provine High (Miss.) strong wing showed he could score – especially from long range. Nailed a couple of contested 3-pointers and wasn't afraid to let it fly from just about anywhere. Played hard and finished with 25 points in the loss to YOMCA.

Anthony Jones, SF, T-Mac All-Stars – He's a 6-foot-11 small forward who wants no part of stepping inside the three-point line offensively. He's got plenty of talent, but he needs to expand his game instead of standing on the perimeter. Defensively, he alters and blocks shots. He got a piece of Xavier Henry's last-second 3-pointer that could have tied the game.

Phillip McDonald, SG, T-Mac All-Stars – Mostly a catch-and-shoot guy right now, but he's not afraid to put shots up. He's long and is a smooth shooter. He also defended fairly well, but he'll need to put the ball on the floor with more frequency.

Leslie McDonald, SG, YOMCA – The youngster out of Memphis scored 18 points in a win against the Jackson Tigers. He is a deceptive athlete, is smooth and really elevates when he shoots the ball. He moved well without the ball and while he didn't shoot the ball as well as usual from long range, he found a way to be productive. His dunk with four minutes left was key in the win.

Xavier Henry, SF, Athletes First – There's not much that isn't in this kid's offensive repertoire. He's long, can shoot it from NBA range and also puts it on the floor and gets to the basket virtually at will. He handles the ball well, fights for boards in the paint and always plays hard. An elite player who is extremely difficult to contain.

Mesquite Horn (Texas) 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward Quincy Acy didn't play after suffering a severely sprained ankle at the Kingwood last weekend. Acy will be re-classified into the 2009 class and said he likes Texas, UConn and Texas A&M. … Leslie McDonald said he'd like to pursue architecture even if he has a career on the hardwood. … J'Covan Brown wasn't in attendance with the T-Mac All-Stars due to the prom. … Greg Monroe said he has gained only five pounds since last July.

Greg Monroe said he is wide open. He mentioned that new schools such as UConn, Georgetown and Florida have emerged to go along with Duke, LSU, Texas, Louisville, Kansas and Kentucky. … Grant Gibbs said that Northern Iowa and Indiana State have both offered and that Iowa State visited his school on Thursday. Gibbs also said that Wisconsin, Washington State, Iowa, Creighton and Wichita State have expressed interest. … L.A. Pomlee is up to 230 pounds and said that Iowa, Bradley and Wisconsin are the three schools that have shown the most love. He said that Oklahoma inquired earlier in the week. … Eric Frederick mentioned Syracuse, UConn, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Xavier. … SMU, Delaware, South Florida and Tennessee Tech are interested in Adam Pegg, according to the Team Florida coaches. … Louckes has been offered by Georgia Tech, Florida State and Michigan. … Brian Morrison, a long 6-foot-9 junior from Team Florida, has interest from Butler and Western Kentucky. … Leslie McDonald mentioned Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia Tech. He also said that Ohio State, Georgetown and Duke are in the mix. … T-Mac coach Chris Walker said that Phillip McDonald's list consists of Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, Boston College, Notre Dame, Miami, UNLV, Texas A&M and Baylor. … For Steve Tchiengang, Walker mentioned Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Syracuse and BC. … Anthony Jones' list: Texas, Oklahoma State, UConn, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Baylor.


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