Las Vegas: Day Four (Goodman)

While there were plenty of upsets on one side of the bracket, EBO continued to cruise to the championship game. The Lopez twins will go up against a surprise finalist from Philly.

LAS VEGAS – As the adidas tournament began to take shape, there were some major upsets on that side of town – but one powerhouse team continued to roll.

Quincy Pondexter, SG-SF, EBO: Finished with 18 in a semifinal victory against the Illinois Fire. His outside shot has leveled off a bit after a red-hot week in Suwanee, but he showed a versatile offensive game that has made him one of the most sought-after wings on the west coast – and in the entire nation.

Brook Lopez, C, EBO: Got into early foul trouble, but when he was in the game, he was dominant. Showed his impressive ball skills on one possession, going coast to coast for a mammoth dunk. Can also step out and bury shots all the way to 3-point range.

Derrick Jasper, PG, EBO: Maybe the most underrated point guard in the nation. He's got size, makes good decisions with the ball – and also defends and rebounds extremely well from the guard spot. Shot needs to get better. Check that: He needs to shoot more and become more selfish.

Jonathan Mandeldove, C, Illinois Fire: He was clearly overmatched against the Lopez twins in the semifinals, but that doesn't mean he didn't get after it. The big man, who grew up in Illinois before moving to Georgia, battled hard every possession – but everywhere he looked, he saw a 7-footer. Mandeldove's offense never got going, but he blocked a handful of shots and finished with double-digit boards.

Travis George, PF, New England Playaz: The well-traveled forward has a good body and rebounds extremely well. That will have him in demand – especially if he can get his academics in order. His offensive game is coming along, but he needs to develop a go-to move in the post.

Reggie Redding, SG, Philly MJC: Played a terrific game, especially down the stretch when it counted, in the upset win against DC Assault. Hit the game-winner on a runner off the glass with five seconds left and then made a nice defensive play to seal the contest as time expired. Great pickup for Jay Wright & ‘Nova.

Jon Han, PG, New England Playaz: Everyone passed on him a few months back and now the low- and mid-majors should be taking a close look because despite his baby face, Han can shoot it from long range and also distribute the ball. Headed to either Laurinburg or Winchendon in the fall, he's a clear mid-major guy.

Rakim Sanders, SG-SF, New England Playaz: The St. Andrew's (R.I.) wing can really shoot it from the outside, and he's also been much better at putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. Also has a terrific body, but will need to work on his defense prior to getting to the next level.

Billy White, F, Las Vegas Prospects: There's no questioning his athleticism, but the knock on him from some was that he can't shoot it from the perimeter. Well, White has shot it well from beyond the arc.

Luke Babbitt, F, Las Vegas Prospects: Finished with 18 points in a loss to the Playaz in the quarterfinals. The 6-7 Reno native is versatile offensively – he stepped out and knocked down shots from the perimeter and also battled in the post. Definite high-major kid with plenty of room to improve.

Earl Clark missed most of the tournament with a sprained ankle. … The game between the Illinois Fire and Playaz Basketball Club almost got ugly at the end with coaches getting into a heated exchange. The Illinois Fire coaches also got into it with the refs in the semifinal loss to the EBO. … Kenny Boynton Jr., a guard from the Class of 2009, is putting up numbers for Team Breakdown. He had 45 the previous night and went for more than 20 on Monday. … Thaddeus Young will likely trim his list to 5-7 schools by the second week of August. He said that only two coaches that he's personally spoken to in the last couple of weeks are from UConn and North Carolina. … Playaz guard Nick Vier, whose playing with an injured ankle, said Vermont and Fairfield are his current co-leaders. Both have offered the Playaz 6-1 point.

Luke Babbitt mentioned USC, UCLA, Washington, California and Michigan. … New England Playaz guard Cory Bingham, a 6-3 guard who is cousins with incoming freshman Antonio Anderson, mentioned Purdue, San Diego, High Point, Rhode Island, Charleston, UMass and UNLV.

``It almost turned into a riot." – One coach walking out of the gym after watching the Illinois Fire edge out the Playaz Basketball Club.


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