Ok, I have to admit, I was curious so when I had some extra time Monday morning I went to check out Michael Jordan’s son Jeffrey Jordan. He plays for the 16U Rising Stars Gold team, and I have to say he looks nothing like Michael. There’s nothing flashy about Jeffrey he’s just a solid point guard. He makes good decisions and does have some athletic ability. The junior Jordan drew plenty of attention yesterday and had several television cameras covering his game.
Metro Hawks point guard Mike Coburn had a better game Monday morning. Still haven’t really seen enough of his outside shooting to evaluate it. As a ball-handler he’s got a lot of speed and likes to push it but at times he gets caught over penetrating. You can see the ankle is still bothering Mike but he did drop a couple of nice dimes in this one. Coburn isn’t always the Metro Hawks primary ball-handler and is more of a combo guard for his NY team. I actually wish they would put the ball in his hands more because he’s by far their most effective point guard.
By now most of the 2007 prospects have a list of schools they’re checking into but Coburn is not that far along in his recruiting process. The Mt. Vernon, NY prospect says that right now he’s just not sure how much interest there is from schools. But when asked who he’s heard from Mike named the following schools; Georgia Tech, Kansas, Connecticut and Rutgers.
Coburn gets advice from someone UCONN fans are familiar with; fellow Mt. Vernon native Ben Gordon.
“He talks to me about the game period, not really about UCONN, but about the game and life,” Coburn said.
As they always do, Boo Williams drew quite a crowd for their afternoon contest vs. the Cleveland Titans. Stefan Welsh showcased his scoring ability in this one torching the Titans for 28 points. He was awesome with Xavier and Florida assistants looking on. Vernon Macklin showed more of his high-flying act with a huge put-back slam with 5 minutes left in the game. The next possession Vernon tried a one-handed slam over his defender that would’ve brought the house down but he lost the ball just before slamming it home. Macklin finished with 16 points and 13 boards, he just grabs everything above the rim. I haven’t seen many able to challenge his rebounding ability. Duke Crews had a bit of an off game offensively and scored just 5 points. Crews did have 7 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. Head coaches at this one from Penn State, Georgia Tech, St. John’s, George Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Northwestern, NC State, Georgetown and Rutgers.
The next matchup on court 6 pitted 6-10 Illinois commit Brian Carlwell against Brandan Wright. Ferrari and the Mufreesboro Stars were both 2-0 so this one was to win Pool F. At first glance Carlwell doesn’t seem like an athletic big man but that’s simply not the case. He can score inside but doesn’t really dominate. Bruce Weber is going to love having Carlwell in his lineup. He runs the floor well for a big man and seems like the type of player who gets better every time he takes the court. The Illini commit finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Wright got off to a slow start but finished the first quarter with 5 points. A poor job boxing out at the end of the quarter resulted in a Ferrari put-back with time winding down. After that Wright provided plenty of highlights; a huge put-back jam tied the game at 34, then showing off his ability to defend and run the floor, he had a block at one end, ran the floor, and finished it off with an alley oop dunk! There were also several one-on-one matchups with Carlwell. The first time Brandan took the ball and faced up at the top of the key he drove and was stripped by Carlwell. Two other times Wright faced up and was able to score on a couple of nice drives and a pull up. Brandan’s team got the win and the #3 ranked player from 2006 finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 terrific blocks. I thought this was by far his best rebounding performance of the tournament. It was the usual crowd for Brandan at this game with a couple of new additions; Head Coach Tubby Smith of Kentucky, and Carolina sent an assistant to watch all of the Tennessee star’s games Monday.
Between games I checked out Terrell McKenzie again and saw very little of his game but did she him can two 3-point shots from the top of the key. I also watched the Illinois Warriors a couple of times Monday. Duke commit Jon Scheyer is a skinny guy but boy is he tough and he can really get to the rim. I thought Manuel Cass reminded me very much of Julian Wright. Julian is thicker but Cass is really athletic and can do a bunch of different things. I’m not sure which schools are recruiting him but I can’t imagine the Carbondale, IL star doesn’t have some majors knocking on his door.
In my final game of the day, Wright’s Mufreesboro Stars took on the Alabama Lasers. It was about quality and not quantity in this one for Brandan. Though he only finished with 13 points, and 3 rebounds those points came on some smooth offensive moves. What amazes me about Wright is how quickly he’s at the rim. In a split second he’s off the floor and dunking the ball. Everything he does just looks smooth – the way he runs, the way he rebounds, the way he passes the ball. No wonder why he draws the crowd of coaches that he does.