USA Festival: Day Three (Morning)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – This morning's game that pit USA Blue vs USA White looked to be a laugher, as the Blue team jumped out to a 23-point lead, but it turned into one of the most intense and competitive games of the spring and summer.

Jrue Holiday, Scotty Hopson and Delvon Roe built a lead for USA Blue that looked to be too much to overcome. Holiday worked it well off the dribble and played tough defense on Tyreke Evans. Hopson mixed in a few three-pointers and drives to the rim, while Roe held down the fort in the paint and stroked mid-range jumpers.

Hopson goes for 19
To go with the strong play of those three, Evans and Greg Monroe both got in foul trouble and were forced to the bench in the first half. The rest of the USA White squad looked dejected, and almost to the point where they were ready to give up.

Then in the third quarter, down 23 points, Evans, Monroe and Travis Releford strapped USA White on their backs and carried them to an improbable comeback. Evans got it going late in the third and went on a personal 11-point run. Monroe figured things out in the paint and began scoring at will. To top it off, Releford began pushing the break and got a number of buckets off strong drives in transition. The final score USA White 125 – USA Blue 120.

After this competitive and intense match up, we left the gym wanting more action, and that's exactly what we'll get tonight. The two teams are set to match up again when the four-team tournament begins.

Delvon Roe, PF – Not many guys have been as efficient as Roe has been through the first three days. On his way to 32 points and 15 rebounds, Roe hit a few jump hooks, scored off spins in the paint and drained a trio of mid-range jump shots.

Jrue Holiday, SG/PG –We knew he was good during the morning session, but his stat line is even better: 28 points, 12 assists (only 2 turnovers) and 10 rebounds. The smooth operator can play either guard position at a high level, and can score or set up teammates with the best of them. In this contest his jumper was falling, and his pull-up jumpers were extremely effective.

Scotty Hopson, SF – There's no doubt that Hopson has a ton of talent wrapped into his 6-foot-6 frame. The Mississippi State commit is athletic as they come and has showed an improved jump shot this weekend. One of the best plays of the day was his backwards dunk on Deshawn Painter. He finished with 19 points on 9 of 15 shooting in the morning contest.

Monroe turns it up!
Greg Monroe, PF – His offense was great this morning and his defense continues to improve. His 29 point (12 of 17), 14 rebound effort included a number of buckets off face up drives and a few short jumpers. He loves to spin in the paint and often times it frees him from defenders for jump-hooks or easy left hand lay-ins.

Tyreke Evans, SG – There isn't much more we can write about Evans. He's clearly established himself as one of the best in the country, and his 37-point (14 of 22) effort facing adversity was impressive. Evans and Holiday will face off again tonight and you can bet we'll be front and center.

Travis Releford, SG – The more we watch this recent Kansas commit, the more we like him. He goes about his game in a much different way than most of the top guys in the 2008 class, but is certainly effective. Yesterday he seemed to be feeling it out, and today he asserted himself much more. His explosiveness running the floor was fun to watch, not to mention he had no trouble finishing with contact on strong drives.

Armwood gets an offer
Isaiah Armwood has a scholarship offer from Villanova. He is also hearing from Louisville, North Carolina, Georgetown and Miami-FL. He said he likes ‘Nova, but there is still a long ways to go in his recruitment.

Greg Monroe still has a long list of schools that include Texas, Duke, LSU, Georgetown, Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky and USC. He said he hopes to start narrowing it down in August.

DeMarcus Cousins says UAB is the leader and said Mike Davis is "like my dad." He also listed Kentucky and Texas as schools making him a priority.

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