Las Vegas: Day Three (Telep)

LAS VEGAS – Sunday was a day for taking in some guys we hadn't seen before and checking up on Deon Thompson. Plus, we got to see why Wayne Ellington has star power!

Wayne Ellington, SG, Playaz – His father called it his second-best shooting performance ever (see Eddie Griffin Challenge last fall his best effort). Ellington rained 3's early and often as his team raced out to a 26-2 advantage over a young Florida Starzz team. In fact, he drilled his first 5 trifectas and had 26 points at the half. He finished with 29 and went 9-for-13 from behind the line (he played sparingly in the second half).

Deon Thompson, C, Branch West – Being the third best center in the West this year isn't such a bad deal when you consider the top two guys are Spencer Hawes and Brook Lopez. There are tons of players in Vegas but in one man's humble opinion, he'll leave Vegas as the hottest in terms of national rise. Against junior DeAndre Jordan (a potential elite guy in his own right) Thompson was dominant scoring 23 points on 9-of-12 from the field. His teammates let him down in the closing minutes when they jacked up ill-advised shots and didn't get him the ball late. He was angry and had every right to be, which actually made us value him even more as a prospect. He's experiencing a sort of Andrew Bynum-like awakening.

Matt Hill (pictured), C, Nebraska Bison – One of the guys who will leave this event having seriously improved his stock. Good feet, scoring tools and size at 6-feet-10 inches. Who knows where he'll end up as the big boys are regularly keeping tabs on him. We'd like to see him get even more aggressive but in terms of hot prospects, his name is moving up the list in a hurry.

Phil Nelson, SG/SF, Portland Panthers – He's had some big games out here and although Sunday night's win wasn't a big games numbers-wise (18 points, 4-for-12 3s), clearly he's one of the better net strippers in the class.

Trevon Hughes, PG, Wisc. Swing – This guy routinely puts up the big number. He's a sub-six-foot tank of a point guard. He did all he could to bring his squad back against a feisty Team Oklahoma. When he finally ran out of bullets the score sheet read 34 points.

Josh Young, CG, Team Oklahoma – The mid-majors lined the sidelines for a morning game to see this guy. He's a 6-foot-1 scoring guard who can handle and use his athleticism to his advantage.

Isaac Miles, PG, Rocktown – He's going to visit IMG to see if he likes it as he seeks to transfer. This is a tough guard with a solid body. He projects to be a Top 100 kid in his class.

Rakim Sanders, (pictured), SG, NE Playaz – How about the body type of Dion Glover and an offensive package of Ramar Smith? Not bad, huh? This powerful wing can really score it and although his shot wasn't falling in the game we saw, his potential and ability were impressive. Plus, we loved the fact that he was the only guy on either team out early stretching, getting himself ready to play!

Charles Buckner, F, Houston Swoosh – He's one of the best athletes we've seen in his class. He's 6-foot-5 with elite athleticism and energy. He'll need to develop an offensive package but right now, athletically, he can impact a game.

Corey Stokes, SG, Playaz – One of the kids on the Starzz gave him two nudges below the belt and he decided that he had enough. His answer was a run of 3-pointers as he finished with 18 in an easy win.

Andy Poling, PF/C, Portland Panthers – So far, he's got the sweetest jump hook of any big man we've seen here. Strength is a problem at this stage but his skill package appears to be along the lines of a big time prospect.

There's chatter that Wellington Smith could pop for Georgia Tech. "I'm going to call them sooner or later," Smith said. However, he's also waiting to see if Maryland offers. "I love Georgia Tech but Maryland is close to home."

Noah Hartsock of Team Oklahoma sat out today in keeping with the Morman tradition. Teams showed up regardless to be seen. … Xavier Silas has offers from Rice, Louisiana Tech and Boston U. … Spencer Hawes and Seattle FOH won and overtime game against the DC Blue Devils. We didn't see it but apparently Durant had a big time dunk with Hawes in the vicinity. … The loaded New York Panthers were beaten at the Reebok event by the REACH Legends led by Deshawn Sims and Tajuan Porter. ...

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was courtside for Trevon Hughes. Iowa assistant Greg Lansing was there as well but this one is looking like the Badgers all the way. … Josh Young of Team Oklahoma was watched by Richmond head man Chris Mooney, UNC-W's Brad Brownell and a Tulsa assistant. …

Matt Hill's early crowd read Nebraska, Creighton, North Carolina, Purdue's Matt Painter, Iowa, Gonzaga and Georgia. …

Roy Williams took in Wayne Ellington's huge game and Mike Krzyzewski was there for Gerald Henderson. Adding to the national championship feel in the gym was Jim Calhoun doing a little Corey Stokes research. … Earl Clark did not play due to injury but that didn't stop Jay Wright and Gary Waters who were courtside. …

Phil Jones' crowd included SJU's Norm Roberts and assistants from Seton Hall and Georgetown. … Rakim Sanders is good enough to warrant Al Skinner's presence plus assistants from Temple and Ohio State. … Bill Self and Bruce Weber watch Rocktown's George Goode. Illinois is also thought to be looking at teammate Isaac Miles. …

Peeking at DeAndre Jordan was Texas coach Rick Barnes and assistants from Wake Forest, UNC, Oklahoma and Virginia. … The crowd for Deon Thompson included UCLA skipper Ben Howland, the entire Arizona State staff, Jim Calhoun and assistants from Washington, Virgina and UNC. ...

Lorenzo Romar and Oregon State's Jay John watched Phil Nelson's last game of the night. John was also keeping tabs on committed teammate Lathen Wallace. …

Matt Hill has offers from Nebraska, Creighton, Purdue, Utah, Nevada and Gonzaga. He averaged 19 and 10.5 last season. … Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Florida State were four schools Isaac Miles rattled off. …

Deon Thompson's passing ability for a guy his size is tremendous. He's got great feel and is going to be a superior assist man from the post. In games two very highly regarded big men in the 2007 class, Thompson has held Cole Aldrich (2 points, 7 boards) and DeAndre Jordan (4 points, 3 boards) in check. …

Mid-major alert: Jerard Ajami from the Wisconsin Force can really score it from the two guard slot. … Mid-majors might want to give Team Oklahoma point guard Brent Jackson a good look; tough kid. … Paul Guede of Wisconsin Swing is a strong mid-major plus right now who, with improvement, could slide higher up. …

The Playaz scored 75 points in the first half of a game, fueled by a ridiculous 15 first half 3's. … Gerald Henderson had the patented mid-range stroke on display. … Phil Jones of the Student Athlete Broncos was slowed in his game because he played the first half with two left shoes. You don't see that often. … Xavier Silas of the San Antonio Celtics is a solid wing who is prepping a year and has grades. … If Phil Nelson can add a shot fake to his routine he could seriously burn defenders who respect his stroke. …

"So far, he's been average by his standards. I talked to him and he said that he's going to turn it up though." – Playaz coach Jim Salmon minutes before Wayne Ellington dropped 9 3-pointers against the Florida Starzz


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