CIRCLE CITY STANDOUTS
Greg Oden - There really isn’t much left to write about one of the most dominant forces of high school basketball, but we’ll try. What more can be said about a guy who has blocked every shot that can be blocked, grabbed every rebound that can be grabbed and dominated the paint like Oden has? He’s sporting fresh ink on his left shoulder that reads “Always There” and it’s maybe the most perfect two word description of his game anybody could ever come up with. Saturday evenings stat line, 31 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.
Brian Carlwell - Although his stat line isn’t going to jump out as particularly impressive, Carlwell turned in one of the guttiest performances that will go down all winter long. After logging heavy minutes and dropping 22 points and 22 boards on Friday evening, the 6-10 center went toe to toe with Greg Oden and didn’t back down or give an inch. Oden got his, but nobody on the high school level is going stop him and anybody who watched closely realized that Carlwell played as well as anybody possibly could against him. His improvement over the past few years has been impressive to watch and he’s a terrific pickup for Bruce Weber and Illinois.
Eric Gordon - In the much anticipated battle between the recent Illini commit and fellow class of 2007 stud Derrick Rose, it was Gordon whose star shone brightest. The ever improving wing flaunted his athleticism, basketball acumen and delighted a throng of orange clad Illinois fans for 32 minutes in a sparkling 32 point outing. His back to back steals finished with cloud piercing jams were easily the highlight of the day. Had his shot been falling from deep like it usually does, Mr. Gordon would have gone for 40.
Derrick Rose - For whatever reason, Simeon plays their star point guard off of the ball and on the wing. That situation is one that takes away from what the 6-2 guard does best, create for others. Even on a night where he struggled as much as he ever will and only scored six points and had nine turnovers, Rose still made three or four plays that no other guard in high school basketball could even contemplate making. He’ll shake off the rough outing and his status as an elite backcourt performer in 2007 and potential college star remains unchanged.
Jamil Tucker - Playing for an athletic team without many scoring options other than himself, the 6-8 wing headed to Virginia was impressive. He’s got a silky stroke that is true to 22 feet, puts the ball on the floor and showed some competitiveness that has lacked in the past. He’s got top 50 in the country talent and it’s just a matter of turning himself into a consistent performer. 26 points and seven boards against a tough Indianapolis (IN) Arlington team was a nice start.
OTHER NOTES FROM INDY
The final stat line indicates a nice effort, but future Michigan Wolverine DeShawn Sims wasn’t quite himself on Saturday. The 6-7 forward’s shot was off but he found ways to get to the line and crashed the boards to finish with 21 points and 16 boards despite a 7-23 performance from the field in a tough loss.
Indianapolis (IN) Cathedral junior guard Stephen Thomas’s game doesn’t jump out at you, but the 6-1 combo guard is solid. He knocks down shots, handles the ball with proficiency and plays good defense. He’ll be one to watch on the mid to maybe high major level.
Indianapolis (IN) Southport’s sophomore PG Corey Wickware probably won’t realize it for a little while, but he made big time use of a golden opportunity on Saturday. The 5-10 lefty put himself on the map with a very impressive 20 point and 14 assist effort while leading his team to a thrilling overtime win.
Milwaukee (WI) King guard Korie Lucious is already well known even though he’s only a sophomore. However, the highly regarded 5-10 PG would probably like to forget his performance in Indy. Open shots didn’t fall and he committed some silly turnovers on a night where he only managed 3-13 from the field.
If Indianapolis (IN) Pike junior PG Jeff Teague continues to improve as rapidly as he has over the last year, the nearly 6-2 guard is going to start hearing from high major programs.
Finally, credit has to be given to the Illinois fans that made their presence well known in Indianapolis. It’s hard to know exactly how many showed up, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were five to six hundred orange clad Illini fans in the gym. …
- Total teams seen - 85
- Total games watched - 56
- Total miles traveled - 7,427
Up Next- Burlington (KS) High on Tuesday night.