Las Vegas: Wednesday, Part II

LAS VEGAS – Luke Babbitt did all he could for EBO but it wasn't enough at the Super 64. We've got coverage of Babbitt's 37 plus the awakening of Lorenzo Brown and more de-commitment news.

William Buford vs. Malcolm Lee – For an 8 am elimination game this one was spirited to say the least. We had a near altercation between the teams, some outlandish displays of officiating and two high level guards getting buckets. Not lacking in controversy, Lee's crew finally succumbed as Buford and his crew advanced. Lee finished with 23, Buford had 15 and had the 18-point win to hang his hat on.

Luke Babbitt, PF, EBO – The Nevada Wolfpack, to the best of our knowledge, has never had a McDonald's All-American. This year they are likely to get their first. In a playoff loss, Babbitt hung 37 on Seattle Rotary. For a guy who had a big rep early in high school and then cooled off a bit as a junior, he's got it rocking again and the fire is burning strong. We'll credit him for increasing the toughness factor in a big way. Babbitt boxed a kid out harder today than we've seen any big this summer. Overall July has been a statement month for him and he's earned any accolades that come his way. If he remains hunger from here on out great things could happen for him.


Dulkys Sank 5 3s
Deividas Dulkys, SG, Branch West – Apparently he's had a strong tournament but in his last game here he was outstanding. The Lithuanian, soon to be a post grad at Findlay Prep, scored 29 points and stroked 5 3s. He tired late in the contest as he hit just 5 in the second half but his start was en fuego. He's the hot name right now – or will be – if you're looking for a stroker.

Travis Releford, SG, KC Pump ‘n Run – On one of the most well-coached, balanced AAU teams in the country, Releford is the rock. Steady on the defensive side, he's a stat stuffer offensively. He's probably best described as a utility guard at this stage. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 steals in his final game of the day.

Lorenzo Brown, SG, WW Renegades – This was the performance we've waited all spring and summer for out of Brown. We've always thought of him as one of the best talents at his position but an injury slowed him this spring and we thought he'd lost his edge a bit. He's on a team with established older wings and tends to defer.

In the second half against Brach West, Brown put on a show. He took over the game and started playing aggressive, controlled basketball at a high level. He finished with 13 and hopefully this was the game where he hit "reboot" and continues to prove why he's highly regarded.


Dotson Ignites Rotary
Abdul Gaddy, PG, NW Panthers – Capable of being the top point man out West, Gaddy didn't have great stuff in his final game but you can see the recipe for an outstanding high level prospect. He's got the body of Mustapha Shakur but much more offensive potential. His confidence waned and his team struggled as he searched for an answer to his own woes from the perimeter. Frankly, as talented as he can be, he's got to play with an edge and will (remember, we're talking about a young rising junior).

Aaron Dotson, SG, Rotary – Dunks aren't everything but in Dotson's case a big hammer down fueled a win. Once Dotson crushed his dunk his confidence soared and it was contagious. Peyton Siva caught fire and scored 21 and the rest of the Rotary backcourt couldn't miss. Dotson himself began attacking off the bounce with confidence and it filtered over into his own perimeter game. He's tracking the high-major route for sure.

Winthrop added a strong backcourt component this week. Georgian Reggie Middleton, according to a source, is headed to the Big South power. … Mark McLaughlin, a Top 100 prospect, de-committed from Washington State prior to the event. Southern Cal and Nevada could be in the mix. …

Dulkys has heard from Miami, Gonzaga, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Diego State, Oregon, Oregon State and Fresno State. … Justin Brownlee isn't sure on the prep or junior college option for next year. He's hearing from LSU, Kansas and Murray State plus a long list. …

Ron Anderson of DC Assault is a mid-major plus center who is qualified for 2007. He may prep a year. Drexel, Tulane, OId Dominion, VCU, LaSalle and potentially Providence and George Mason. would like him to enroll ASAP. … Aaron Dotson has heard from Washington, Washington State, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Kansas. He's transferring to Rainier Beach. …

Texas arrived at 7:30 am for face time with Darius Miller. Later in the game they were joined by Billy Gillispie and Illinois' Jay Price. … Leonard Hamilton and Dennis Felton arrived early to get facetime with DeQuan Jones. … Steve Fisher was in attendance repping his gear for San Diego State. … Abdul Gaddy's crowd was head coaches from Oregon State and Arizona State plus assistants from Washington, Oregon, Gonzaga, Arizona and Cal. …

DeQuan Jones is easily one of the best athletes in 2008. Still, his coast to coast jaunt and throw down in traffic caught you a little by surprise. Regardless, it was a sick dunk and but the gym into frenzy mode. … Zareh Zagaryan of Branch West is a solid contributor. Everything he does is with a purpose. …

Watching Michigan State operate is interesting. In the past the Spartans tended to stick to their recruiting area. However, they branched out in Georgia last year and in 2009 made in roads in New Jersey. They sent an assistant to see Lorenzo Brown and appear committed to developing a pipeline in the Peach State that began with Chris Allen. …. The end of the July is the perfect time to gauge where a kid's recruitment is headed. There wasn't a single high-major school in the gym watching Carter McMasters. … Marcus Denmon used an interesting bounce to rattle home the game-winning shot over DC Assault in a playoff contest. …


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