SIX MINUTES, SIX MINUTES, WISH DOUGIE FRESH WAS ON
Any true hip hop fans will recognize that quick reference to an all time rap classic, "The Show". Unfortunately, six minutes meant three overtimes and pure basketball hell during a game between the Syracuse/Rochester Rap (SRAP) and the Illinois Fire. At two minutes a pop, you don't expect a ton of scoring. Still, the 6 total points and subjecting onlookers to 6-10 Andray Blatche running a minute of clock in spread offense and screams of "score on that M- effer" as a Fire offensive set were just too much. Thanks to Blatche for hitting on a nifty six foot floater off a drive and spin for a merciful finish and a 66-64 SRAP win.
RUSH HOUR DELAYED
It is all there for the taking for Kansas City native Brandon Rush, if he wants it. There simply isn't anybody with as many athletic gifts and potential in the class of 2005 as Rush has. However, he needs to step up and take what could rightfully be his if he ever wants the credit he should deserve as a prospect.
Rush still won't overpower anybody, but has added muscle and weight since matriculating to Durham (NC) Mt. Zion and he did walk onto the floor with clear purpose Friday night. Unfortunately, a tough New York Gauchos team and ball hogging guards prevented Rush from ever getting too involved and doing what he is capable of. Hopefully, he won't take the easy route and blame teammates for a night where he could have played better. It says right here that Rush will bounce back Saturday and have a big time performance against the Miami Tropics.
Even on his off night, Rush does deserve credit for literally putting his teeth on the rim during one preposterous block.
MORE NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM eBOSS
I really like what Lawrence Hill can do, but in the long run Chandler (AZ) High's 6-6 WF Joey Shaw may be the best prospect from the state of Arizona in 2005. He's a slender shooter who can get in the lane and finish as well and oozes potential.
Illinois Fire 6-7 BF De'Andre Thomas might only be a Denny's Grand Slam special short of three-hundy, but he is a high major prospect. Great hands and touch equal a kid who deserves a high major gambling they can get him in better shape.
Greg Paulus already looks like he has the supposed "Duke thing" down to a tee. He's a crafty 6-1 PG who works refs for calls and specializes in flops on both ends of the court. He knows how to play the game and can make a lot of good things happen with his passing ability and shooting, but he does look a little slow legged and has lots of kids gunning for him. Paulus will have to learn to finish better around the rim before he gets to the ACC.
Overheard on the sideline of the SoCal All-Stars game against the Georgia Stars: "What are you doing playing like a teammate, don't you know you're the star?" Interestingly enough, the person who said that came from the crowd on the other side of the gym and grabbed a kid off the bench to tell him.
Also heard at the SoCal v. Stars game: "Why on earth did that fool try to jump with Louis Williams on that play? He had to know he was going to get banged on. That is the early leader for bang of the year." The source of that quote, PrepStars.com's Rob Harrington.
In the last two games Belmont Shore's 6-9 BF Brett Hoerner has to have dunked at least 15-18 times in the last two games. The Fullerton (CA) High prospect is primarily known as a finesse guy, so all of the crams are helping his reputation and proving he can attack the rim.
O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D? Not yet, but those calling Taylor King -- a 6-6 WF from the class of 2007 who committed to UCLA prior to his freshman year -- the "next Larry Bird" were a bit premature. Hopefully things work out, but the scrutiny King will face only underscores the dangers of offering kids at that young of an age. Edit: what originally followed the Taylor King thoughts has been edited due to FCC regulations.
Finally, all credit due to event organizer and Houston Hoops head honcho Hal Pastner. He promised a first class event and through one evening he more than delivered.