Las Vegas: Monday, Part I

LAS VEGAS – Jrue Holiday's huge effort against the Atlanta Celtics was far and away the best performance we've seen in Vegas thus far. We're not sure where he's staying out in Vegas but he earned a suite at the Bellagio with his latest signature performance.

Jrue Holiday, SG, Pump – For our money, this was the AAU performance of the summer. In complete command of every facet of his game, Holiday had 14 in the first half and finished with by our count 26, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. The highlights: a left-handed high-arching floater off the glass and a behind-the-back dribble runner, also with the left ala LeBron. One of the most intelligent guards we've seen in recent years, Holiday's performance, for our money, is the gold standard for the summer. He went ahead and raised the bar with this one.

Demetri Goodson, PG, Houston Select – This kid is on that list of point guards to see if you're in need of a playmaker. Certainly not the biggest lead guard he's adept at getting teammates and he will find you. Tough minded and tenacious, he's a high-level mid-major player who could fill a niche at a bigger program. He had 11 points and 7 dimes. The concern is his ability to convert 3s which is probably valid. The counterpoint is the kid has a presence at the position.


Booker Breaks Out
Anthony Booker, PF, Gateway – There was a poster in the hallway of the gym with Chris Lowery, the head coach of Southern Illinois' face on it with the caption: "Wanted For Stealing." If you saw the first half of Booker's early game it would have become clear to you that the Salukis beat the posse to Booker. He had a monster half and finished with 18 for the game. When he stopped getting touches Gateway's troubles began. Dramatically improved since the spring, he's a high-major post player headed to the Valley which by the way is a helluva league these days.

Phillip McDonald, SG, T-Mac – After spending the last 4 months in gyms watching guys jack shots, we've grown to appreciate McDonald even more. He comes with an excellent pace to his game, range on his jumper the willingness to attack the rim when he's got a lane.

Kyle Kuric, SG, Evansville – This one could get interesting. Diverse crowds from Duke to Southern Illinois watched him play and by all accounts he's a must-have for some elite mid-majors. However, here's the tricky part: he's a very good athlete with range on his jump shot. He may receive higher offers and word is he'd be enticed by the high level programs.

Victor Rudd, SF, 2D1 – There's a lot to work with including a spring in his leap and a perimeter package. We'd like to see this high-level talent string it together and really announce himself in a big way. He's very capable.

Tyler Griffey, PF, Gateway – He had a rough go of it in his first game though we heard he played stronger in the night. A strong crowd took in the first game, a 1-for-8er which yielded 7 points and 3 boards. We think at this stage he's in need of strength in his upper body which should help him finish tougher inside.

Anthony Marshall, G, LV Prospects – One of the traits we've consistently noticed about Marshall is his defense and commitment on that end of the floor. Always around the ball, playing the passing lanes and generating steals. Marshall is the rare wing athlete whose "D" is ahead of his offense in a Marcus Ginyard-like way.

Derrick Favors, C, Atlanta Celtics – As good as he was on opening day he was even better against Pump. Favors dunked fading away and made difficult catches in the post. There will be quite a recruiting tussle for this impact player.

Wade Collie, SF, Triple Double Elite – The book on Collie is that he's not the most consistent performer. However, his morning game against D-One yielded a pleasant surprise. An outstanding student, Collie should get some attention after making 3s and showing at least a mid-level skill set.

We heard news of another de-commit today. Kwamain Mitchell will opt out of his verbal pledge to St. Louis per multiple sources. … One a related note here's a potential solution to the de-commitment trend. Why not have kids sign letters as soon as they commit. Then we'd only let guys out if they weren't admitted or there was a coaching change. What do you think? How many freshmen would get offers if that was the case? …


Goodson Has Options
Toure Murray's list includes Wichita State, Oral Roberts, Florida Atlantic, Tulsa, La.-Monroe and North Texas. … Terrel Holloway is getting hit hard by Tennessee and South Florida. St. John's, Cincinnati, Oregon State, Nevada and St. John's are chasing him. …

Demetri Goodson had Mark Turgeon of Texas A&M, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel and Gonzaga's Mark Few at his game. The rest of the list is Texas Tech, West Virginia, Fresno State, SMU, Houston, Utah and Utah State which also were represented from what we could tell. …

Delwan Graham is getting hit hardest by LSU, Wichita State, Purdue, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Florida and Southern Cal are in the mix. … Charlotte, Southern Illinois, Xavier and Central Michigan, Evansville and Dayton are on Kuric's list. We're expecting some action out of Louisville and Duke with him and have heard everything from offers to offers to prep a year. ...

Jerime Anderson has a high level understanding of playing with others and a great feel for the pick and roll. … Word association: John Wall. Speed. … Raleigh's Ryan Kelly continues to get taller. The Ravenscroft 2009 prospect is knocking on the 6-9 door. … Toure Murray is an excellent mid-level prospect who is worth a look as a slender shooting guard with feel. … Utah got its leader in Chris Hines, the hard-nosed sort the new staff will appreciate. … Chris Singleton was busting 3s to keep the Celtics in the game against Pump. …

Kavon Moore, a mid-level scorer, had Kent State's Jim Christian, Fairfield's Ed Cooley and Bowling Green's Louis Orr in the stands. … One coach referred to it as having the feel of an ACC conference meeting. John Wall's morning crowd included head coaches from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Miami, Indiana and St. John's. Assistants from Clemson, Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky and Ohio State were on hand. … Davidson, Stanford and Delaware watched Ryan Kelly. …

Kyle Kuric's morning crowd was Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville's Rick Pitino and Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery. At night, Lowery was there again but he had company. IU's Sampson, Michigan's John Beilein, Penn State's Ed DeChellis and Wright State's Brad Brownell were there. …

Tyler Griffer's first crowd: Bruce Weber, Roy Williams, Matt Painter, and Mike Anderson of Missouri. … The entire Tennessee staff attended one of Singleton's games. …

"He plays bigger than he looks but never looks as big as he's listed."

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