Kingwood Classic: Day 1, Part 1

HOUSTON, Tex. – The action was less than vintage opening night at the Kingwood Classic. The thought is things should pick up with the introduction of the college coaches on Saturday. Meanwhile, 2006 center Hasheem Thabeet was getting himself ready for the big weekend.


Hasheem Thabeet, C, Houston JR Hardballers – The 7-foot-3 (yes, you read that correctly) native of Tanzania had it going on. Against the Wolves he went for 23 and in all likelihood had 20 boards as well. Now, he wasn't playing against anyone his size but the effort was there. He dunked what he could and he's not bad. Should he qualify the high-majors would have no choice but to gobble him up and develop him further.

Mustapha Farrakhan, SG, Illinois Fire – He put it down from 3-point range and netted at least 6 of them in the opening game of the night. His lefty stroke is true and right now he'll get hit up at the strong mid-major level. The grandson of Farrakhan is a player.

Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Stars – He had the double-double in his team's win over Meanstreets. He's gotten thicker up top and he'll reject his share of shots as well. This team's success is predicated on how much Lawal imposes his will on opponents.

Evan Turner, SF, Illinois Wolves – The normally well-oiled Wolves machine lost on an overtime buzzer beater to start their tournament. There are a lot of folks here to see Turner. He opened going 4-for-9 from the field for 8 points and 6 rebounds. He's got a nice feel for the game and hopefully he'll be more aggressive as the event moves forward.

Ryan Hare (pictured), SF/SG, Illinois Fire – This is one of those kids who is tough, scrappy and brings it. He's got SG size but plays like a small forward. Liked him even more when he started making some 3s. Certainly a guy to put on the radar.

The Illinois Fire have always carried the reputation as a hard playing group and Hare is the next player in the pipeline to advance the cause. We had to scoot before the game ended but he probably finished in the 20s.

Hashim Thabeet is awaiting his most recent standardized test score. He's been in the country two seasons and said Connecticut and Southern Cal are nosing around. He also said of a ton of schools are interested and he wants to go to college next year. … Georgia Stars senior point guard James Florence is here with his old team. Tulane could be close to achieving a commitment from him. …

One of the real highlights of the spring AAU season was watching a game with former Detroit Lions defensive end Robert Porcher. What a good guy! …

Jacob Pullen said Iowa State recently offered him and his hearing from Nebraska, Dayton, Xavier, Miami, Notre Dame, Marquette and South Carolina. …

Durrell Summers and The Family were late arriving because of a delayed flight. We laid eyes on summers briefly and later learned he hit for 24 while looking smooth in the process.

Thomas Manzano of MBA Hoops is a mid-major type slasher who went from New York to Genesis One down south. … We liked forward Brandon Cook of MBA Hoops for his tenacity and athleticism around the cup. …



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