Bracket Play Begins in Orlando

Wednesday night at the Milkouse at Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports, bracket play began with several KU prospects still in action.

The Gold Division had courts 1-4 buzzing at the Milkhouse Wednesday night. After a relatively mundane day of games, the action began to heat up.

St. Louis Eagles vs. Georgia Blazers

The Eagles second straight game against a team from Georgia and it also provided a second straight loss.

Shockingly, the Eagles came out uninspired in this one with a lackluster first quarter where they were down as much as 20-6. KU target Scott Suggs was a bit more active in this one and even attempted to drive the lane a couple of times but to no avail. Suggs and his teammates were struggling mightily in the first round of bracket play.

Suggs, who wears NBA socks, unfortunately air-balled his first attempt of the evening from the floor, but the St. Louis-area team would not give up.

Scott finally got it going a bit after a crafty steal and layup. With his long arms he’s able to create havoc in the passing lanes on defense. Suggs attempted another drive and a scoop with the left hand and did not convert but was able to draw the foul. It was good to see him a bit more aggressive in this one. Just when Suggs had it going after a pull up J he was hit in the eye and forced to leave the game.

The Eagles fought valiantly without him but came up on the short-end of things, 63-56. Unfortunately, that’s all we’ll see from the Eagles now that they’ve been eliminated from bracket play.

I saw more from 7-0 John Brandenburg in this one. He was a force inside on the defensive end and seemed more active in this one. He still has a lot to learn about footwork and needs to strengthen his hands but I don’t think any major school would turn down his potential.

Self was in attendance for the duration of this one.

Howard Pulley Panthers vs. The Family

We could only run and catch a quarter of this one, but there was no way we’d pass up another chance to see Rodney Williams do his thing.

It’s his amazing and deft court vision that continues to wow us. He seems to do no wrong on the basketball court and has amazing control of his game for such a young prospect. We haven’t seen him shoot it a ton but you can see he has a solid stroke. His athleticism is out of this world as he again featured a jaw-dropping put back dunk in this one. His jumping ability is so quick and effortless and before you can blink the ball is through the hoop. He appears to be a confident kid and we enjoyed seeing his game.

DaShonte Riley hardly played when we were at this game but The Family advanced with a 74-70 overtime win.

Louisiana Select vs. Blessed IJN

Greg Monroe again was a big part of why Louisiana Select was able to come back and advance to Thursday’s Quarterfinals (72-57). It was a hard fought 15-point win for the Louisiana-based team as their number one player put up 17 points.

Monroe was blocked a couple of times in this one but still couldn’t be stopped. Twice he turned a blocked shot into a dunk. While Miles Plumlee’s 6-10 frame was enough to bother Monroe at times, he still couldn’t reduce Monroe’s effectiveness on offense.

Monroe, ranked as the best power forward in the class of 2008 according to Scout.com showed countless reasons why in this one. His ball-handling was precise, he was active on the boards, his drives were with a purpose, and inside the paint he could not be stopped.

If there’s anything I can pick on with Greg it might be his defense. He gets a bit lackadaisical at times and I’m convinced if he puts his mind to it, he could be a force on the defensive end. Monroe strikes me as the type of kid who’s only going to get better.

It’s easy to see why he’s the hottest commodity in Orlando this week.

His teammate, 6-4 Deshawn Patterson led the Louisiana Select with 26 points as he shredded Blessed IJN’s pressure defense for layups. 

Louisiana Select will take on a tough Westchester Hawks team in the quarters tomorrow.

Others we got a glimpse of today….

2009

DeShawn Painter – 6-10 - Boo Williams Summer League16– great size and length. He’s got a wide range of ways to attack you. Is drawing great interest from big name schools. His skills are advanced at such a young age. He can elevate and block shots too.

Alex Oriahki – 6-9 – BABC – just looks like a man among boys. His body is developed beyond his age. Has a super nice touch and is a very physical player. The sky is the limit for this kid.

Jamaal Coombs – 6-7 – BABC – we didn’t get to see a lot from him but has a quality handle for a 6-7 player.

2008

Andrew Steele – 6-3 – Alabama Challenge – he is a very strong kid with a solid jump shot. Body is developed beyond his years.


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