GBOA Challenge of Champions: Day One

Although four teams failed to show up, the GBOA Challenge of Champions still had plenty of talent to keep us interested. Terrence Jennings, Mark Lyons and Eloy Vargas were among the top player today.

Terrence Jennings, PF, Oakland Soldier – We love big men with a nasty streak and Jennings brought his out at the GBOA today. Going up against Eloy Vargas in the first game, Jennings attacked the rim and went right at Vargas with jump hooks and a variety of other moves. Although the match up would be considered a draw, Jennings showed how active and explosive he can be.

During the second game he managed to block a handful of shots and was a force on the defensive end. On the last possession he got the ball in the corner and drained a three-pointer as the buzzer sounds to beat Compton Magic.

Going forward he'll need to continue to polish his post moves, as often times he'll dribble into a bad spot, but he's certainly an interesting prospect with some upside.


Lyons Goes For 26
Mark Lyons, PG, City Rocks – Xavier got a steal in this one. "Cheeks", as he's known to most, went to work off the bounce against the Richmond Squires on his way to a 26-point outing. He scored the majority of his buckets off drives to the basket, but showed he's capable of pulling up from downtown as well. At 6-foot, Lyons is an athletic kid, with a nice frame and the quicks to get by most defenders. If he gets his attitude (he got into it with the opposition a few times) in check he could turn out to be a pretty good one for the Musketeers.

Eloy Vargas, PF, Team Breakdown – We've heard the hype over Vargas the past few months and he certainly played up to it at the GBOA. He stands 6-foot-11, has extremely long arms and managed to get his hands on a bunch of shots against the Oakland Soliders. For a guy his size he runs the floor well and has a great stroke from deep, as we saw him drain at least a pair of three balls. Vargas is loaded with potential and he's starting to bring more of it out.

Brandon Jennings, PG, Belmont Shore – His game against the Richmond Squires was one of the better performances we've seen from Jennings. He drilled five three-pointers in the first half and finished with 29 points for the game. The Arizona commit also played extremely well with future teammate Jeff Withey. The two fed off each other, as Jennings found Withey in the post time after time. Jennings has always been talented, but we are extremely impressed with the maturity that he's showing at this stage in the game.


Simpkins Gets Serious
Matt Simpkins, PF, I Can All-Stars – After watching Simpkins play today -- we think he could be turning the corner. Although we'll need to see him replicate his performance a few more times, he looked the part. Simpkins, a 6-foot-9 combo forward, played mostly facing the basket and did most of his work off drives and in transition. Hopefully Simpkins has this thing on track because he could have a nice future if he gets down to business.

Jeff Withey, C, Belmont Shore – Since last summer Withey has steadily improved. At the adidas It Takes 5ive Classic he was solid, but not dominant. So far in Las Vegas he's stepped it up a notch. At 6-foot-11 he's long and athletic, which allows him to block shots and throw down nasty dunks. He's starting to get stronger and is really developing into a quality big man.

Jordan Hamilton, SF, I Can All-Stars – We underestimated Hamilton's jumper a little bit. The 6-foot-7 wing came out firing on all cylinders, as he stroked a bunch of pull-up jumpers from deep. Hamilton is also a solid handler and excels in transition. He's already been made a priority by a lot of schools and we can certainly see why.

Chris Brew, SG, Oakland Soldiers – This is the first time we laid our eyes on this 2009 prospect and we were quite impressed. He relentlessly attacks the rim and is athletic enough to make adjustments once he gets there. He didn't show off a jumper, but we are intrigued with Brew and how he could potentially develop.

Brandon Jennings and Jeff Withey are running with Dinos Trigonis and his Belmont Shore squad for the rest of July. The two played extremely well together today and as a team they were fun to watch. Trigonis also has Darius Morris, J.P. Olukemi and will have Renaldo Woolridge for the Reebok Summer Championship.

The D-1 Greyhounds were missing an inside presence this spring, but it looks like they have that taken care of. The Greyhounds picked up Kenny Frease for the last evaluation period, and they'll certainly be a contender in the Reebok Summer Championship, which starts on Sunday.

Everyone seemed a little feisty at the GBOA Challenge of Champions. There were multiple altercations, a lot of verbally abusing referees and a ton of technicals given out. Although we weren't present for this incident, there was even word that a kid quit his team mid-way through the game, took off his jersey and headed for the exit.

Terrence Jennings said he's hearing from Maryland, UNLV and Washington. The 6-foot-9 big man claims offers from all three schools.

Kenny Boynton still has a long list of suitors. He mentioned Connecticut, Duke, Ohio State, Louisville, Texas, Florida, Florida State and Miami.

Chris Brew, whose brother just committed to Santa Barbara, has a scholarship offer from them and is also hearing from Arizona, Washington and Oregon.

J.P. Olukemi claims a scholarship offer from California. He's also heard from Washington and Kentucky.

Darius Morris said he has scholarship offers from Washington State, Arizona State, Portland, California and Boston College. He's also getting interest from Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington.

Karron Johnson has a scholarship offer from Virginia. He's also hearing from Memphis, Maryland, Seton Hall, Clemson, Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

Jordan Hamilton claims offers from Texas, North Carolina State and Arizona. Syracuse, Washington and Connecticut are also showing strong interest.

Matt Simpkins said his top three schools are California, Washington and Connecticut. He claims offers from all three. He's also interested in Southern California and Florida.


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