Las Vegas: Day Four (Telep)

LAS VEGAS – Deshawn Sims had a monster day. That big guy from Indiana, Greg Oden wasn't bad either. It was a big time day in Vegas.

Deshawn Sims, F, REACH – This young man is on some kind of a run. One day after posting 28 points and 21 rebounds against the NY Panthers, he was at it again. Sims hit up the Arizona Magic for 34 and then later in the evening dropped 29 on the Smyrna Stars. Sims shot 3-for-8 from downtown in the evening but it was his work in the post that made him so dominant. Beasting guys inside then dropping turnarounds just off the block while going 10-for-14 from the line was only good enough for his second best effort of the tournament!

Greg Oden, C, Spiece – The best player in America was on the floor and no one was allowed to play with him or at least it seemed that way. Oden was thoroughly dominant against the Blue Chips. The highlights: multiple deflating blocked shots, a short step back jumper (new to the arsenal) and a scoreboard that gave his team a lot more points than his opponent.

Davon Jefferson, PF/SF, Team Danny Williams – He was the dominant performer against Houston Elite. Jefferson went off for 35 points and was a terror inside with his athleticism. There was no answer for the energy that he brought and this one turned into a show. His shot isn't textbook but he even dumped in a few mid-range jumpers. The post graduate standout is a big time prospect. Don't be surprised if he goes the route of prep school next season and then declares for the draft making him one of the first to do so under the new collective bargaining agreement.

Damion James, SF, Houston Elite – His club simply couldn't slow down, let alone stop Jefferson. James, one of the elite athletes in the country, proved that he can attack with the best of them. In the loss, James finished with 24 points for his final effort at the Big Time.

Christian Polk, CG, Arizona Magic – Wow, he laid it on the line against REACH and came up short. Polk dropped no less than 5 3s (including a big one late) and scored 27 points. He hit some huge shots down the stretch in his team's 100-96 setback.

Ramon Martinez, SG, NM Force – Shorthanded, Martinez made the most of his opportunity to impress coaches by hitting up the D-I Greyhounds for 37 points. He scored every way you can: mid-range, deep, transition. More importantly, this potential mid-major prospect stepped up and rose to the occasion to keep his short-handed club in the game.

Ekpe Udoh, PF, TX Bluechips – OK, so his team was anything but competitive against Spiece. We're writing about him because he's shown significant improvement in his game. At this stage of the summer, he's mustered up a lot of confidence and it's allowed him to play facing the bucket to mid-range. High-major offers are now a certainty.

Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG, Arizona Magic – While playing in attack mode, Bayless spent a lot of time as a distributor against REACH. We had him down for 21 points, 5 boards and 6 assists. By our count, he went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the loss.

Delvon Roe, F, King James 16s – He's got a chance to be a player because he's so energetic and gets after it on the glass. In a tournament ending loss, Roe went for at least 20. Just a rising sophomore, should he develop his perimeter game he could become a lock high-major prospect.

Expect the Oregon Ducks to be extremely strong with Tajuan Porter. They dispatched the 3-man staff to his late game. … Matt Hill of the Bison continued his strong play with 28 and 16 against Team Breakdown. … Former teammates Bryan Davis and Darrell Arthur squared off with Davis' team getting the 70-69 win. The stat line had Davis with 27 and 6 and Arthur with 21 and 5. …

Michigan Hurricanes wings Alex Legion and Darquavis Tucker combined to score 48 points against the Fox Valley Skillz. Charlie Chapman led the Valley with 27. …

Bruce Pearl took in an early game of Marques Johnson, his future guard. … Ole Miss assistant Grant Pate watched future Rebel Terry Hebert. …

Deshawn Sims had Michigan, Syracuse and Michigan State all in the house watching. … Oklahoma State was in the gym watching Davon Jefferson. … Cal and Washington took in a morning game of Patrick Christopher. … The Sooners watched Damion James. … Ohio State, Michigan and Pittsburgh sent assistants to see Kosta Koufus. …

Auburn was there for Johnnie Lett early. … Ramar Smith's crowd in the morning included Jim Calhoun, Frank Haith, Billy Donovan and assistants from Tennessee and Michigan State. … Mississippi State watched Joe Watkins. . ..

Deshawn Sims said that his current three schools are Michigan State, Michigan and Syracuse. It's a good bet others will continue trying to jump in after his play in Vegas. … Jerryd Bayless (pictured) lists North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana as his current favorites. …

Patrick Christopher listed California, Washington, Kentucky, Texas and Southern Cal; he claims offers from all but UK and to date has yet to speak with Kentucky Wildcats head coach Tubby Smith. ...

Blessed IGN forward Terry Herbert (Ole Miss commitment) is one of the better offensive rebounders at the event. … Derek Glasser's strong drive against Armon Bassett gave his RBC West team a huge win. … Ray Hall of RBC West isn't a pretty athlete or the quickest guy in town but put in a position to finish inside he uses his muscle to create enough space. …

Many are wondering why the Oregon Ducks are moving on mighty mite point man Tajuan Porter. Well, the Ducks are comfortable with smaller guards (see James Davis, Aaron Brooks) and that's a key point. Plus, this guy is a tough customer and has serious range on his jump shot. Most coaches would not be comfortable with his size, but the Ducks have been down this road before and had success so it's easier to project Porter in their system. …

Gary Graham of the Smyrna Stars might be the strongest traveling team skipper in the country when it comes to 1) finding diamonds in the rough and 2) producing mid-major talent. His roster is a veritable buffet for mid-major programs to feast on. …

Young Guns

On Sunday, Breakdown's Kenny Boynton dropped 45 points on the Oregon Rebels. A day later, KC Pump ‘n Run rising soph Travis Releford, a guard, hit for 31 and reportedly 20 boards! …

"Jerseygate" Delays Action

An unfortunate event took place at the Big Time on Monday. Two members of the New Mexico Force left their jerseys in their hotel room and headed to the gym to play the D-I Greyhounds. Without the proper jerseys, the Greyhounds coaching staff protested that the Force should not be allowed to play. The underdog New Mexico Force had battled for four days to earn the right to play the heavily favored Greyhounds and a 53-minute debate ensued.

In the end, two of the Force's best players – Kasey Cunningham (pictured) and Steven Spensley – were told they could not play until their jerseys arrived; both were playing for a scholarship and traffic was horrendous that time in Vegas.

In Cunningham's case, he had played extremely well during the week and is on the verge of making the mid-major leap to high-major with a slew of coaches in the gym to see him. O.J. Mayo has his scholarship locked up, Cunningham does not and needed the exposure. The decision to not allow the players to participate goes against the fabric of what summer basketball should be about. On Monday, Cunningham checked into the game with 3:57 seconds remaining after his jersey arrived. With the game long decided, it was too late to make much of an impression on anybody. Thankfully, the New Mexico Force plays later this week in Los Angeles.

"I think what happened affected my recruiting. They didn't get to see me play against the best in the nation. It douses my flame." – Kasey Cunningham on missing the game against the Greyhounds


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