JOHN: Kemp, Young impress in Las Vegas

Willie Kemp showed solid ball handling skills and was especially effective in traffic, weaving through defenders and finding the open man. Kemp did not show much offensively today, but scoring was not what his team needed and Kemp played well, running the offense and defending the perimeter.

Thaddeus Young had the opportunity to impressed about 100 coaches in the main gym at Desert Pines at the adidas Tournament today, and he did not disappoint. Florida's Billy Donovan, North Carolina's Roy Williams, and coaches from schools like Oklahoma, Gonzaga, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Memphis and Illinois, to name a few, were all on hand to watch Young's Team Memphis team play a surprisingly solid DTA team today.

Team Memphis is positively loaded with talent. Among Young's teammates are outstanding prep players like Willie Kemp, Pierre Niles, Wayne Chisum and Tim Johnson.  But Thaddeus Young was the show and the player everyone came to see.

Young has the entire package like few other players. He can handle the ball, shoot from long range, zip a pinpoint pass, spin in the post and finish with his nifty soft left handed hook shot, rebound and play defense. On three occasions in the first four minutes of the game with DTA, Young sky'd for a rebound, and drove the length of the floor, weaving nearly effortlessly through opponents to the basket. Young did not miss a shot until the 11:25 mark of the second half. He thoroughly dominated his defenders.

Teammate Willie Kemp showed solid ball handling skills and was especially effective in traffic, weaving through defenders and finding the open man. Kemp did not show much offensively today, but scoring was not what his team needed and Kemp played well, running the offense and defending the perimeter. 

DTA played Team Memphis head to head for the entire first half.  It was Kemp that his a three pointer at the 11:17 mark of the second half to put Team Memphis up for good. Kemp's final stat line would not impress many people. 1-5 from the field and 1-2 from the free throw line.  But Kemp did a lot to help his team win today, making the big pass, grabbing a key steal, deflecting a pass and bringing the ball up against the press.

Kemp and Young also received some key help from big men Wayne Chisum and Pierre Niles. Chisum, a 6-foot-9 pure athlete from Central High in Tennessee, is an explosive dunker and very active around the basket. He is a super shot blocker, though he does appear to be somewhat foul prone. Niles is a 6-foot-8 wide body that looks more like a football linebacker than a basketball player, but he has a very solid outside touch to go along with his considerable banging skills.

DTA played Team Memphis fairly close for three quarters of the game, largely due to the efforts of 6-foot-2 Rufus King guard Troy Cotton Jr., 6-foot-3 James Pruitt and sharpshooter Jerrod Buchholtz. Pruitt, in particular, played extremely well and was not intimidated playing Team Memphis. He has a soft, accurate three-point shot and can really penetrate with the ball.


After the game Kemp listed UK first among schools he is interested in, and said he would like to visit the Cats. He also said Memphis, Tennessee, Florida and Illinois were among schools he was interested in.

"I like Kentucky a lot," Kemp said, "you have to respect what they have accomplished. They seem to be great every year. But I will have to see what options I have."

Young said there was no news about his recruitment and that nothing would be expected to change soon.


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