Friday Night in St. Louis

The St. Louis Eagles Invitational isn't one of those mega-gigantic AAU affairs that fans, kids and scouts have grown accustomed to. That's right, there are only seven teams playing in the 17 U age bracket. However, just because there aren't many teams it doesn't mean there aren't great players.


Brandon Rush - School might be out at Durham (NC) Mt. Zion for Mr. Rush, but he was teaching a class on wing play Friday night at Fontbonne College in St. Louis.

Entering the game for Minneapolis based Howard Pulle -- a team Rush has played with each of the last couple of summers -- with just over two minutes remaining and quickly announced his presence. A deep left corner three, was quickly followed by a two handed tip dunk over the entire gym and a salty spinning eight foot jumper after a crossover in the open court.

Rush continued in that style the rest of the game before finishing up with 29 points, 11 rebound and at least eight blocks from his wing position. The scary thing is, he wasn't even seeing the ball much from his teammates. Even so, it is pleasant to see Rush playing a complete game and completely dominating.

The rap for his entire career has been whether or not Rush is willing to go hard on a consistent basis, and he is going in the right direction. One thing is for sure, he has learned that he can't be stopped on this level if he gets after it and relishes embarrassing opponents off the dribble and burying smooth jump shots.


The Tennessee Travelers have plenty of size for a club team and go 6-8, 6-8, 6-10, 6-8 and 6-8 with their big men. The two headliners are Joey Cameron and David Palmer. Although both were taken advantage of by Tyler Hansbrough, they had their moments. [Read feature story on Hansbrough]

While Palmer, an Illinois commitment out of Antioch (TN) High, struggled to score, he showed a few flashes. He played as hard as he has all spring and looks to have gotten a little bit of bounce in his step after some time off. He also knows he's been getting criticism, so you have to credit him for taking it in stride and working to improve.

Cameron, a native of Leeds (AL), looks the part with his muscular 6-8 frame and raw athleticism. However, he is just that…………………raw. He doesn't show much offensively and will be best served in a running and pressing type environment.

Dodie Dunson is a relatively unknown guy nationwide. However, if the 6-foot-two point guard from Bloomington (IL) High has always been playing this well, he hasn't gotten enough love from folks in his home state, either. Dunson looked absolutely fantastic hitting threes, scoring in the post and hitting mid range jumpers. He's intelligent with a long and athletic body and could be a Big 10 or Big 12 caliber guard if he can continue superb play like on Friday night.

Isaiah Dahlman is a good looking 6-foot-five lefty wing guard from the class of 2006. His hometown of Braham (MN) is quickly becoming a destination spot for coaches. He shoots, goes right or left and has a live body. He already owns several high major offers (most recently from Michigan) and will be deadly once he learns to put the ball on the floor with consistency. He could be a top 35 type guy before it is all said and done. Top Stories