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USA Basketball - Day 2

The second day of game action at the USA Basketball Development Festival was anything but a disappointment. Games with over 300 total points, lots of dunks, a passing display by the West's Jordan Farmar, the East's Isaiah Swann rocking a fro and plenty of good old fashioned smack talk. <img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

It isn't surprising that the South finds themselves in Sunday's gold medal game after beating the West 130-128 in an exciting playoff round game in the evening session. However, nobody figured that they would be playing a North team that had gone 0-3 in round robin play. To make matters worse, the North had to play their playoff game against the East without 6-6 stud PG Shaun Livingston who sat out with an injury. Still, the North guys found a way to win by grinding out a 119-113 decision in a spirited game.

If the game is on the line and you have to get a score, there isn't anybody that you want on your team more than Darius Washington. The 6-0 guard is a scorer supreme who is absolutely fearless down the stretch. His impossible double pump finish with six seconds to go against the West secured the South's spot in the gold medal game. Washington was good for 19 points in each of Saturday's sessions and appears to be playing like he was last summer when he put the Florida Hoopsters on his back and carried them to the finals of the Big Time. That is a scary thing if you plan on defending Mr. Washington.

Jordan Farmar is going to make an immediate impact for the point guard starved UCLA Bruins. He put on a personal clinic about how to play the point position during the evening session when he went for 19 points and 13 assists after dishing out 12 dimes in the morning session. If you give him an open look from the three point line he'll make you pay and he is blessed with uncanny vision in the transition game. Farmar has a great personality and demeanor on the court and it is obvious that people enjoy playing on his team because they know he will give them the opportunity to score.

It's too bad that Marvin Williams hurt himself during his masterful performance in the morning session. Williams was all over the place and had the entire package on display as he racked up 23 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes of play in the West's 169-138 shellacking of the North. He finished with both hands, cleared space for rebounds and handled the ball in transition. Unfortunately Williams and Livingston weren't the only players bitten by the injury bug as Matt Hagen, James Gist, Davis Nwanko and Tiki Mayben all sat out the evening session with injuries.

Engaging in some of the best smack talk so far this summer were the South's Jawaan McClellan and the West's Arron Afflalo. Too bad their evening performances weren't quite on par with their jaw jacking. The two wings, with a proclivity for making jump shots, combined to shoot a frigid 10-33 from the field. It should be interesting to watch how their friendly rivalry evolves over the next few years when Arizona and UCLA square off.

There can't be a more aggressive offensive rebounder than Texas bound Mike Williams. The 6-8 BF has scored a double double in each and every game at the Developmental Festival and backed up Friday's standout performance with 16 and 10 in the morning session and 19 and 12 during the playoff round. Through four games he's hit on 37-58 shots, scored 84 points and snared 54 rebounds. Against the caliber of competition that is in Colorado Springs, that is big time stuff.

For the second day in a row the East's J.R. Smith threw down the filthiest facial of the day. Saturday's victim was Marcus Monk who Smith caught with a two handed double pump job plus a foul. The 6-5 Smith is an electric athlete with a silky smooth jump shot and was good for 55 points and 18 rebounds on the day and made 11-23 three pointers. Also throwing down their share of rim wreckage were Kalen Grimes, Tyler Smith, and Dorrell Wright.

After firing up 47 shots on Friday, Duke bound WG DeMarcus Nelson was still firing at will. He threw up another 39 shots on Saturday making 18 of them en route to 46 Saturday points.

The South's Randolph Morris was super during the evening session scoring 25 points on 9-10 shooting from the field and 7-7 shooting from the line. The 6-10 Morris can be mechanical at times, but he has the chance to be a top notch college center.

Also deserving of some mention is 6-6 Wake Forest bound WF Cameron Stanley who has quietly had a good weekend. He's athletic and loves to run the court and possesses some of the same qualities as recently departed Josh Howard.

According to the official stat sheet, Steven Hill had nine (!) blocks in North's win over the East but he may have even had more. The Branson (MO) big man is a patient defender who swats away shots with either hand and his stock is on the rise.


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