Mayo betters Rush, McGee's team falls in Vegas

<b>LAS VEGAS</b> From the guard matchups to a rematch between two junior giants, Sunday was a fun time to be at the 10th Big Time tournament.

Reebok Big Time, Day Four

Big Time Matchups (Mayo vs. Rush)

It was sophomore against senior over at Basic High and when it was all said and done; our suspicisions were once again confirmed. O.J. Mayo, regardless of his class, is probably the best guard in the country right now with the others being Louis Williams and Monta Ellis. It was a close contest throughout but you never got the sense that Mayo would allow the D-I Greyhounds to lose. Sure, he jacked up a few ill-advised 3s but for the most part they looked on line. Mayo went 13-for-29 for 33 points and Rush scored 20 on a 6-for-12 night. They rarely guarded each other and Rush went 1-for-3 with Mayo defending him. Mayo was the better prospect at both ends of the floor.

Big Time Matchups (Oden vs. Caracter)

Round One went to Derrick Caracter at the Reebok ABCD Camp. Round Two was more draw than clear advantage. Oden's team ripped the Panthers by 20 as the sophomore center from Indiana scored 13 to Caracter's 17. Once again, Caracter was able to use his power and foot speed to score against Oden. Caracter's highlight was a baseline spin move for an athletic bucket.

Oden countered with a reverse layin over his right shoulder. Oden himself said last week that he "doesn't have any offensive moves" and that remains his weakness. He's a go-to-move away from domination. Caracter, when he brings it like he did tonight, acquits himself well and if he gets serious and trims down he'll have the world at his fingertips.

2005 Checklist

Danny Green, SG, NY Panthers: The New Yorker was superb against Emerald City. His first half offense – 20 points – included a 5-for-7 effort from deep. However, it wasn't just his perimeter touch that caught everyone's attention. Green was active defensively and rejected 5 shots to go with 8 rebounds. Right now he's about as confident as any player on the circuit and the results are big time.

Martellus Bennett, F, Houston Swoosh: This guy has way more offense than we ever imagined he had. We've often mentioned how difficult it is to score straight up against Oden and he did it twice, once off a serious power move where he rode Oden to the hoop. He finished with 17 and made Spiece earn a playoff win.

Josh McRoberts, PF, Spiece: Speaking of confidence, McRoberts exudes it. An injury in the second half slowed the train down but not before he showed off a big time spin move and his rebounding prowess. In the showcase game against the NY Panthers, McRoberts sat the game out with a bad ankle sprain.

Alfred Aboya, C, Blessed IJN: The competition level wasn't what he'll face in college but Aboya clearly showed that he's been working on his game and he's beginning to get more comfortable with the basic skill set. He's active and strong but not fluid. His baseline spin move was not only effective but it proved that he's been working individually on his game.

Andre McGee, PG, Inland: Things didn't start well for the guys from Inland when they're coach got tossed early. McGee then struggled to find the rhythm with his jumper and went scoreless in the first half. He put together a flurry late as Inland rallied but his 17 points (7-for-19 FG, 2-for-9 3s) weren't enough and his team was eliminated.

2006 Checklist

Mike Conley, PG, Spiece: Just when his team needed a little kick in the pants against Swoosh, Conley delivered. There is nothing forced about his game and the level at which he plays will allow him to run any high major team in America. When he's making the 3s as he was in his morning game he's as good as it gets AND he never forgets to feed the franchise inside. During the nightcap, Conley got the best of everyone he defended and everyone who tried to defend him. He wasn't the best prospect in the gym but he did have the best day of basketball that we saw.

Jerome Dyson, SG, Blessed IJN: Against the Arkansas Rockets, Dyson was the primary scorer. The native of Maryland who attends Proctor Academy in the northeast, did it from the wing and off the drive. He's a high-major scoring option in his class.

News & Notes

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was in the stands monitoring Josh McRoberts. … Chinemelu Elonu says he's hearing from Texas A&M, Miami, Texas, Illinois, Baylor and Pepperdine. In the stands today were assistants from Illinois, Texas and UMass. …

Mike Davis watched the Spiece Indy Heat in the morning. … Best we could tell, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Indiana and Duke were in the gym watching Daequan Cook. … Jim Boeheim was in the stands watching Derrick Caracter of the NY Panthers. … James Madison and Oregon State watched point man Kris Lowe. …

There's a rumor floating around that Danny Green is down to three but the guard quickly shot that down. In fact, he says North Carolina, Pittsburgh, St. John's, UConn, Virginia and Miami remain. The Red Storm sent its head coach and Pittsburgh and UNC countered with assistants in the morning. …

Oregon State sent coach Jay John and Arizona State sent a pair of assistants to watch Jeffrey Pendergraph Sunday evening. …

The Duke Blue Devils might have gotten a small break on Sunday. When McRoberts, who is having a terrific summer, was unable to play against the NY Panthers, it meant that over a dozen NBA guys wouldn't have a chance to lay a set of eyes on him. …

Scout's Seat

Mike Conley went to a little teardrop runner ala UNC's Ed Cota. That was the first time we've seen the teardrop in a while from Conley. … Chinemelu Elonu didn't score versus Greg Oden as he got into foul trouble early and never recovered. Darin Granger is a dangerous shooter from mid-range and he's just a junior. … Greg Oden rebounds and outlets like he's an NBA veteran. …

Leo Criswell did not score in the first half of the game against the D-I Greyhounds and when we left with: 30 remaining he had still failed to scratch. He took some ill-advised shots to begin the game and his playing time was reduced as a result of them. … Sophomore Bill Walker was very impressive in the game against KC Rocktown. …


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