Big Time in Vegas!

LAS VEGAS – The opening round of the 2003 Big Time kicked off with some outstanding performances. From J.R. Smith to a few new faces on the scene, Vegas was alive on Monday.

Big Time, Day Four

2004 Checklist

J.R. Smith, SG, Playaz Gold: He was responsible for one of the top efforts of the day as he dropped 29 against Colorado Pump ‘n Run. In addition to being the top athlete in the gym, he passed it well, did his usual assortment of tricks above the rim and generally was impressive. The big-time skywalker helped his team avoid the opening day upset.

Mike Williams, PF, SE Pump ‘n Run: He's just got such balance to his game. Now that he's found his comfort zone (rebounding and making mid-range jumpers), he's really played well. He's always got energy and he consistently gets after it.

Darnell Harris, SG, Baltimore Select: After a first half that just wasn't good by his standards, he hit for 16 in the second half and got his jumper working. Harris' outburst fueled a big run by his team as they clawed back into it but eventually lost to SE Pump ‘n Run.

Jared Dudley, SF, Pump ‘n Run: He had 21 points today and he does it with hustle and determination. Dudley is one of those jack-of-all-trades guys. He plays with effort and passion and when the game is over he's done a terrific job of filling the stat sheet. A senior in 2003, he's qualified and hasn't decided whether to pursue scholarship offers for the fall or head to prep school for an extra year of seasoning.

Hector Hernandez, PF, Colorado Pump ‘n Run: The big guy came out in the first half on fire. He had 14 of his 16 in the opening half when he used some fine perimeter work to get things done. Clearly he likes facing the basket more than playing inside and after he nailed a pair of 3s, he astutely used a pump fake for a blow by to the hoop.\

Chamberlain Oguchi, SG, Houston Select: He's becoming one of the hottest wing targets in the country as the high-majors like him more everyday. Oguchi has a very reliable touch from downtown and people are really starting to take a liking to him. He had 16 in his team's win Monday evening.

2005 Checklist

Andris Dedrins, PF, D.C. Assault: Never heard of him? Me neither.

He's originally from outside of Lithuania, speaks English and has been here one month. Presently he's deciding if he'll stay in the country and if he does National Christian will be his destination. We know very little about him though they are saying he's a junior. Well, he was the second best prospect we saw all day behind Oden. This dude drop stepped and reversed dunked, hit cutters with a Stockton-to-Malone like comfort zone and blocked shots with both hands. The lefty is ridiculously good and we'd be interested in seeing if he stays in the country. By the way, he's so talented Jim Boeheim was there for his last game of the night.

Josh McRoberts, PF, Indiana Red: Here's a guy who's a pretty versatile power forward he had 9 points and 11 boards in the game we saw. He's still working on the inside scoring stuff but this kid is a big time prospect in his class.

Andre McGee, PG, Inland: The little man scored 21 points (8-19 FG) in his game. He was a little off from 3-point range (3-10) but he can get his shot either from downtown or off the drive pretty much whenever he wants.

Brandon Costner, PF, Playaz Red: We saw him play one game today and heard from 10 people how well he played in the other. He's a face-up four man who, if he ever gets as comfortable on the block as he is on the perimeter, will be an absolute terror. He's skilled and improving at a pretty good pace. He's a legit threat beyond the arc.

2006 Checklist

Greg Oden, C, Indiana Red: The Houston SuperStars couldn't buy a bucket in the paint when he was in the game and that's pretty much the way it goes all the time when he's around. What some might not realize is that this kid already has a tremendous feel and understanding for the game.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories