With a field featuring several of the top teams in the state of Texas on hand at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio, it was time to hit the road. Among the participants were several division one prospects and the event even featured a terrific Friday night quarterfinal tilt between Darrell Arthur’s Dallas (TX) South Oak Cliff squad and future Arizona point guard Nic Wise’s Kingwood (TX) High. The matchup wasn’t just about big time players either, as it isn’t often that you will get to see the defending Texas state class 4A and class 5A champions go at it.
The Road Show wasn’t done for the weekend after a two day trip to San Antonio though, and found time to swing by to watch local star Isacc Miles and Mission (KS) Bishop Miege humiliate Kansas City (KS) Harmon in a season opening 70 point win.
Darrell Arthur - At this point Kansas and Indiana are locking heads in an all out battle royal for the 6-9 forward’s services and it wasn’t tough to see why on Friday afternoon. With his opponents trapping him at every opportunity, Arthur simply exploded off the floor and buried jumper after jumper. When he got a chance to face single coverage, the gifted athlete who continues to add muscle went inside and scored on easy dunks, turnaround jumpers and short jump hooks. By the time he was finished, he’d gone for 29 points and double digit rebounds in a fine outing that set up the quarterfinal tilt with Wise later in the evening.
Notably weary from his effort just a few hours earlier, Arthur never quite found his rhythm or solved Kingwood’s defense in a seven point effort. He got some clean looks at the basket but didn’t have the legs to finish like he usually does. Despite an off evening in his second game, and a tough loss to Wise’s Kingwood team, Arthur clearly demonstrated why he’s so highly regarded. He’s still more of a BF right now, but he’s got a future on the wing and has improved his overall perimeter game. During a brief conversation he reiterated that Indiana and Kansas have separated themselves from the field but it was interesting to note that Texas dispatched an assistant to watch him on Friday evening. The Road Show will see Arthur play two more times next weekend in Fayetteville, AR.
Isacc Miles - Perhaps the biggest question regarding arguably the top senior in the KC metro area has been whether or not he’ll make it academically. Miles recently answered that question by posting a qualifying standardized test score and got about the business of playing his senior season at Bishop Miege on Saturday afternoon. With Missouri head coaches Quin Snyder and Melvin Watkins along with UMKC assistant Ken Dempsey on hand to watch him play, the powerful 6-2 combo guard toyed with an overmatched KC Harmon team. Playing maybe two quarter’s worth of minutes Miles went for 28 points on an array of strong drives, open court dunks and pretty looking jumpers from downtown. He’s going to draw a lot of looks from high major programs this winter and is one of the top unsigned guards in the class of 2006.
Nic Wise - Many people, including the author of this column, have been pretty tough on Wise over the past few years. He’s been called out of shape, overrated, and flat out not good enough to play at Arizona. At this point, the author would like to personally apologize to Wise for doubting him because the bottom line is that the powerfully built 5-9 PG is a winner who craves the opportunity to deliver when the game is on the line. He played with heart, made his teammates better and did it all with the type of self confidence that you love to see in a star player. On top of that he’s in tip-top physical condition and as a result has improved his quickness making him even more dangerous.
Willie Warren - This class of 2008 prospect hails from the same high school, North Crowley, as former Jayhawk Keith Langford and the nearly 6-4 WG has a very bright future ahead of him. He’s blessed with a terrific frame, is a dangerous shooter out to 22 feet and maybe even more importantly he’s a fierce competitor. As he gets older and gains more experience he’ll learn to better use his athleticism and strength to attack the basket off the dribble a little more frequently but he’s being monitored closely by big time programs for a reason. Kansas has monitored him closely and Warren was on campus during June for an unofficial visit. However, he didn’t include the Jayhawks among his early top five of Texas, Georgia Tech, Miami, UConn and Cincinnati.
Ben Uzoh - An athletic 6-4 guard who plays all three perimeter spots for San Antonio (TX) Warren, Uzoh used the Lone Star to increase his stock significantly. As programs scramble to find players this winter, he’s going to get some looks and just might be good enough to play for some teams in the Big 12. His 35 point, 14 rebound and five assist effort was the single best effort the Road Show saw all weekend long. He hit deep jumpers, flew into the lane for jams, and embarrassed defenders with his ability to shake them off of the dribble.
- Total teams seen- 51
- Total games watched- 36
- Total miles traveled- 5,810
Up next- Jayhawk Conference Shootout, Coffeyville, KS, 12/04/05.