PF Justin Burrell, Long Island Lightning – Burrell, a St. John's commit, earns today's honor of being the most impressive. He played two games and averaged 20.5 points per game. The first game was a blowout, but in the second game Burrell dominated in the paint on both ends of the court against the Florida Rams. He finished with 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting with five dunks. He added 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. Burrell runs the court very well and is extremely explosive.
PG Corey Fisher, Long Island Lightning – Fisher was also impressive against the Rams finishing with 12 points and 6 assists (would have had two more if not for easy layup misses). He did a great job of dictating the flow of the game with a very good hesitation dribble. His deceptive quickness kept his defenders on their toes all game. With Fisher and Burrell, the Lightning are the team to beat in the tournament, which concludes Saturday night.
SG Fred Brown, Tallahassee Wildcats – Brown put up 30 points in a victory over In the Zone. With a deficit in the second half Brown hit three straight 3-pointers to put his team ahead and gave them all the momentum they needed. He finished with five 3-point field goals.
SG/SF Dominique Sutton, In the Zone – Sutton had 23 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals in the loss to the Wildcats. At 6-foot-5 he is considered by some to be a small forward prospect, but in today's games he was the team's primary ballhandler on the press and looked like a natural.
PF/C Gertavian Blake, Jacksonville Lee Bulls – Blake (6-9/240) is a player to look out for. He is currently uncommitted, but is hearing from Miami, St. John's, Murray State, East Tennessee State, Oklahoma State, Stetson, and Wichita State. He has a great frame with long arms, big hands, and a good mindset on the game. Blake should be a productive player in whatever program he fits into. He is attending Jean Ribault Senior High School in Jacksonville, Fla.
SG Gary Clark, Florida Rams – Clark, a Florida commit, scored 18 points in the Rams victory at 9 a.m. and 12 points in the loss to the Lightning. Clark is a good shooter and will look to get back on track in their next game.
SG Chris Allen, Worldwide Renegades – Allen played today, which was not a surprise after his team lost their first game of the tournament. He did not play in the game with a wrist injury and although he was on the court today his team fell to 0-2 in the tournament. Allen finished with 12 points and did not take over when his team needed him too.
SF Alvin Mitchell, Team Breakdown – For the second straight day Mitchell was impressive. All he did today was score 21 points in a 66-57 victory to give his squad a 2-0 record in the tournament. Mitchell looked for his shot throughout the game, but did not force the issue. He did a great job of coming off of screens as well as spotting up for jumpers. It will be interesting to see how he does in tomorrow's game at 1:00 p.m.
PF Eloy Vargas, Team Breakdown – Vargas is a highly skilled forward that can shoot the ball. He averaged 17.5 points per game in the two 16U games and was solid off the bench in the one 17U game.
SG Dante Anderson, Jacksonville Lee Bulls – Anderson continues to be a prospect to watch in the '08 class. He was an ABCD camp invite and has been productive in the tournament's first two days. Today he scored 12 points in an all-around team effort and displayed his shooting skills.
PG David Blackwell, In The Zone – Blackwell scored 23 points with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the evening game. Blackwell has a strong body with a good frame.
PG Luke Loucks, Team Breakdown – Loucks scored 11 points in his game of the day, a 16U game. After an off-day yesterday he bounced back and showed good control in the open court with his passing and ball-handling skills. He is not afraid to let his teammates get their shots, but still stays active on both ends of the court.
PG Darius Gabriel, Long Island Lightning – Gabriel did not do much scoring in the two games he played, but he did manage to dish out a total of 15 assists. He is a very strong dribbler with both hands and passes with a lot of authority.
PG Kenny Boynton, Breakdown South – Boynton had 15 points in the 17U game and 25 in what would have been a matchup against Lance Stephenson if Lance's squad would have showed up for the tournament. Boynton is an explosive player that can get his shot off at will. Still working on his jumper, he hit quite a few perimeter shots inside the 3-point line much like Dwyane Wade does.
SG Adam Allen, a Florida commit, is still bothered by an ankle injury that limits him from "getting any kind of lift"…PF Julian Gamble is receiving interest from St. John's and Rhode Island today according to his AAU coach…PF A.J. Stewart was quiet again and battled foul trouble today…PF J.J. Hickson scored 14 points in a quiet performance after an impressive day yesterday…The SE Elite, led by PG Rico Pickett (Alabama commit), begin play tomorrow…PG Edwin Rios, a Miami commit, is 0-for-12 from the floor in the first two games.
There were over 30 different colleges represented at today's event including at least five head coaches.
Assistant coaches were represented from the following schools: Miami, Florida, Pittsburgh, Georgia, St. John's, Cincinnati, N.C. State, Central Florida, South Florida, Marshall, UTEP, FIU, Richmond, Jacksonville, Marist, Wofford, Duquesne, UL-Monroe, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop, Gardner-Webb, Rhode Island, Citadel, and Georgia State.
PG Luke Luocks (2008) has interest from all of the Florida schools including the big three—Miami, Florida, and Florida State. He also has interest from Illinois, Iowa, Virginia Tech, USC, and Clemson. USF and Clemson are recruiting him the post.
Justin Burrell was great in both games and has looked better than J.J. Hickson and A.J. Stewart who are ranked ahead of him at the power forward position. What separates Burrell from the other two is his strength and explosiveness at both ends of the court. Hickson has more low post moves and Stewart can stretch out the defense more, but Burrell has been a beast.
"Playing AAU basketball helps keep me and a lot of people off the streets. It is a blessing to be a part of this. We get to see the world and travel to places we have never been to. I just love this experience."
-- Gertavian Blake (2007) Jacksonville Lee Bulls
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org