AAU Nationals: Day One

ORLANDO – The conclusion of pool play and the start of the playoffs has weeded out some of the marginal teams from the main field at the AAU Nationals. Monday was a day to see some guys we hadn't seen before and scope out the field for the remainder of the week.

AAU Nationals, Day One

Press Conference Alert

On Tuesday, according to our sources, Dorell Wright will hold a 4 pm PT press conference at the Best of Summer event in California. At that time, we expect Wright to commit to DePaul over interest from Southern Cal, Connecticut and Florida.

2004 Checklist

A.J. Ratliff, SG, Spiece Blue Demons: The game comes effortlessly for him. You almost have to chart him to see just how economical he is with his chances. Against an outmanned Hoopnuts team, Ratliff went for 18 and was 6-for-11 from the field. We snuck him into our Top 50 at the start of the summer and he's earning his place there.

Channing Toney, SG, Georgia Stars: The son of the "Boston Strangler"

had 23 points in an afternoon game. Toney is starting to pile up the high-major interest and it's because he's got good SG size to go with a mid-range and deep game. He went 9-for-18 from the floor in the game we watched and just pumped in jumpers.

Frank Holmes, PF, Memphis YOMCA: With guys like Andre Allen (12 points), Corey Brewer (12) and Shawne Williams (16) taking care of business on the perimeter, Holmes did his deal in the paint to the tune of 24 points as Memphis won its contest in a route.

Charlie Burch, PF, BABC: It might not be sexy to recruit 6-6 power forwards all the time but this is one guy we're starting to get sold on. Mid-majors and high's are going to take a long hard look at him because at the end of the day, you simply can't argue with the production. He understands that his strength is in the paint and he plays to the strong part of his game.

Ralph Mims, SG, Maine Select: He's another guy who is on the cusp of high-major status and certainly is going to get some looks from those programs. If you haven't seen nor heard of him, he's a nice looking athlete with a good perimeter stroke.

Michael Scott, SF, Indy Hornets: Apparently he's played better than his effort on Monday, but there's a lot of potential to like.

There's no doubt that the buzz word on him is potential but he's 6-5 and with arms as long as his, looks are deceiving. He likes to face up on the perimeter and he's a very good looking mid-major prospect with loads of long-term potential.

Scout's Seat

Thought we haven't crossed paths with him yet, apparently Rudy Gay is having another nice tournament. … Speaking of crossing paths with someone, Lena Park/Metro Boston junior Kendric Price and I got acquainted today. The 6-7 Price was hustling for a loose ball when he plowed into me on the baseline. The next thing I know, I'm on my back having been knocked through the curtain and clear onto the court behind me. No hard feelings, it was a hustle play and I took the charge. Just thought I'd clear that up in case there were some other versions of this story that start circulating. …

The word around Orlando is that Springfield Rockets standout Drew Richards has really elevated his game this week. … Derrick Simmons of the Florida Starz is a mid-major prospect whose bounce, athleticism and rebounding ability will serve him well. … Ryan Amoroso's 3 free throws sealed Minnesota Magic's win over BABC. … Zach Pancratz of Schaumburg First Class made enough jumpers to get more than a few mid-major programs excited. …

Want an athletic perimeter? Memphis YOMCA is rolling out Shawne Williams and Corey Brewer. That's right, the Tennessee Travelers loaned him to YOMCA for the week and somehow you have to figure this team into the championship equation. … Speaking of Brewer, his defensive abilities fit so well with the defensive scheme the Florida Gators implement. …

The game of the day was a double-overtime thriller won by the Illinois Wolves over the Tallahassee Wildcats. Everyone in the building had the game as a major upset and it certainly was on paper but this is the same Illinois Wolves 16 team that captured the 16-and-under championship at the Tournament of Champions. …

News & Notes

At the start of the Peach Jam, Shawne Williams said he was not committed to Memphis. Now he's saying "it was a little verbal commitment." Folks, it sounds like Williams is ticketed for Memphis. … The AAU's attracts a lot of weird sounding AAU teams. Apparently there is a team sporting "Law and Order" jerseys down here. However, our pick for worst AAU team name of the summer is a toss up between the Virginia U-Turn Warriors and get this None Of The Above. That's right, None Of The Above is an actual AAU team name. …

Trent Plaisted of the San Antonio Bulls is a Top 100 sleeper candidate. He's a Mormon but says leaving for a mission might be hard if he's playing well at the time. He has offers from Washington State, BYU, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State. Stanford wants to see if he's admitted and Kansas, Florida State and Georgia are peeking on him. … Ralph Mims was watched today by Rutgers, Minnesota, Florida State and Providence. … At this point in the year, anyone over 6-7 is getting looks from the big timers. Who said size doesn't matter?

Appalachian State sent its full staff for Team Florida forward Andrew Reed. … Michael Scott of the Indy Hornets has offers from Southern Illinois, IUPUI, Butler and Kent State. He also likes Valpo, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Evansville, Dayton and Wright State. He's "open" and averaged 13 points a game last year. …

Today coaches from Florida, Arizona and Kansas watched Tyler Hansbrough. … Anthony Solomon of St. Bonaventure and Darrin Horn of Western Kentucky were among the head coaches that watched Charlie Burch today. … Columbia head coach Joe Jones took in Morris County Bulls guard Rob Thomas' early game. …

Georgia Stars forward Wynton Witherspoon has offers from Virginia Tech, Kansas State, St. Bonaventure, College of Charleston, Boston College and Western Kentucky. … Stars teammate Channing Toney prefers Georgia, Gonzaga and Tennessee. He'd like to hear from North Carolina State, Connecticut, Notre Dame or St. John's. … Another Georgia Star, Paul Delaney, says he's got offers from Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska and Marshall. …

The Houston Cougars would be fine with a recruiting class that dealt primarily with players from the Memphis YOMCA roster. In particular, the Cougars love Andre Allen and Frank Holmes as a package. … Corey Brewer's ensemble included a pair of bright blue Florida Gators logo socks. Nice touch. Billy Donovan was front and center for him. … A.J. Ratliff's list is long and includes Kansas, Iowa, UConn, Indiana, Marquette, Xavier, Purdue and N.C. State. Notre Dame, according to Ratliff, is trying to get in and make a run. …

There should be some excellent matchups in the coming days as the pool of teams dwindles down to a more manageable number!


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