Kevin Durant, F, DC Blue Devils: We weren't in the gym for his nightcap but word quickly leaked out of a 38-point performance that was laced with 3-pointers. So far, he's been the MAN in Hampton this weekend.
Sherron Collins, PG, Illinois Warriors: Somebody has to move over on the point guard list to make way for Collins who thrust his name into contention for top point in this class by virtue of a fantastic Saturday of ball. We charted him twice and in two games he went for 31 points and 13 assists combined. There is no denying his candidacy for at least a Top 3 ranking at his position, if not higher. The guy strokes it, defends and can find guys and deliver the basketball. He's a stud.
Scott Reynolds, SG, Boo Williams: Anyone who is familiar with his game knows that Reynolds is more than capable of finding "The Zone." Well, in his team's first round playoff win, he got into the zone and parked there. Reynolds was absolutely smoking 3s to the tune of 24 points on 5-for-8 from downtown. We've said it before and its worth repeating confidently: he is one of the elite 3-point shooters in America.
Paul Harris, City Rocks: The nuclear weapon of high school basketball players in that you aren't quite sure what to do with him but you're glad he's on your team and you wouldn't want him getting into enemy hands. We caught his act once to the tune of 22 points and 13 rebounds. Understand this, no one rebounds at 6-foot-4 the way Harris does. He's on loan from the G.C. Ballers but no matter what team you put him on he makes things happen.
Nic Wise, PG, Houston Hoops: Caught him live once and then heard the legend grow in the nightcap. Apparently Wise hit for 31 points including 9 3-pointers for the Hoops. In a playoff game? That's a big time effort.
Darrell Arthur, PF, Team Texas: He was average in the morning but apparently in the playoff loss to Durant and Co. he went off. Unofficial stats gave him 27 and observers were clamoring about the quality of the matchup which also apparently had Tywon Lawson getting 31 points! Lawson told some that it was his best AAU game ever!
Anthony Gurley, SG, BABC: For two days he's been putting up numbers at the Boo. He's the best scoring threat on his team and they need his points. So far here, he's been a wrecking crew on the perimeter, busting jumpers and finishing plays. His stock is on the rise.
Isaiah Dahlman, SF, Pulley Panthers: He was an ironman on this occasion. Pulley won a morning overtime game with just five players and by the afternoon fatigue had set it. Dahlman had it cooking on the perimeter in the game we watched but just didn't have enough in the tank to finish out the day. This young man really shoots it with skill and confidence from the outside.
Brian Carlwell, C, Ferrari: He continued to show the kind of flashes that make the big boys excited. He's not quite having an Andrew Bynum-type awakening but he's growing each time out. Stamina seems to be a concern but he's productive in the minutes he plays.
Byron Faison, SG, S.C. Ravens: Who is this guy? In a loss, he was lighting up Ferrari on the perimeter. He's got a smooth stroke, is a nice athlete and scored it almost at will. It'd be nice to see him a few more times but we'd probably come to the same conclusion: the kid can play and he was the Ravens best player in the game we caught.
Tyjuan Porter, PG, The Family: Once you get over the fact that he's 5-foot-8, you begin to marvel at what he gets done. Porter beats you with his ability to make jump shots. Now, consistently getting them off in college is one thing, but for right now, Porter gets shots because he's quick enough to free himself, beat a defender to the spot and let it fly. He'll get recruited at the highest mid-major level possible.
Leon Freeman, SG, The Family: We snuck him into the Top 100 after remembering just how much we liked him last June and hearing more about his stellar play as of late. Well, the word is out now because Freeman earned his player's card here. There are plenty of 6-foot-4 SGs but there aren't many who combine his stroke and athleticism. The guy is rising and quickly earning admirers!
Jamil Tucker, SF, SYF Players: The book on Tucker is that he's outstanding at times but not consistent and Saturday played out that way. For a half, Tucker had it his way as he handled the rock, made shots and generally looked like a big time wing. The second half was another story as he slowed down but he's a talent and how good he becomes is completely up to him.
Damion James, SF, Houston Hoops: Make no mistake about it, this is one of the finest wing athletes in America. He's making the adjustment to playing with a new team and that can take a tourney or two but having said that, he's got game. The Sooners will be quite happy with his ability to use his athleticism to score.
Demond Carter, PG, Louisiana Select: "Tweety" caught fire in the second half of a game and nearly shot his team all the way back into the game. With 4 minutes left against the Ill. Warriors, Carter unleashed a 3-point barrage that came up just short.
Jon Deibler, SG, All-Ohio: Before we go any further, it's important to note that this young man made an early commitment to Valparaiso. OK, with the formalities out of the way, we can report that in a morning game he torched Albany for 26 points, including 9-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-9 from downtown. He's confident, talented and one of the very best 2007 shooters we've seen. He had a huge high school year and there is little doubt that he's got the kind of talent needed to play in say Lexington, Lawrence, Durham, Chapel Hill or Storrs. If this young man makes it to Valpo you can consider it the recruiting steal of this young century!
Leonard Washington, SF, Louisiana Select: The young man took the SAT in the morning and hurried over to suit up for his game. He arrived late but impacted the game during the brief spurt he played. Immediately upon entering the contest, Washington stroked a mid-range jumper, took a charge and energized his squad. He'll be a big name in his class.
Will Huberz, SF, SYF: The 6-foot-5 wing player is smooth and smart. He's got outstanding touch on the perimeter and a poise and confidence to his game. Looked nice on Saturday.
E'Twaun Moore,CG, SYF: One of those guys that is always around the ball making plays. Not sure if he's a combo or straight shooting guard but he gets into the lane and uses his length to his advantage. He'll make some shots on the perimeter and is a super slasher.
Gary Johnson, PF, Houston Hoops: We never miss a chance to write about a max effort guy. Johnson goes about 6-foot-7 but plays bigger. He's so athletic and bouncy on the inside and he gets after it. Someone cut his wrist and in a matter of 10 minutes every guy on the SYF team had his blood on them. The guy is constantly in motion working the glass.
As spring rolls on, look for The Family duo of Ramar Smith and DeShawn Sims to get even stronger. Each has had his moments here and both have played like 25 prospects. … The S.C. Ravens are going to need Mike Jones to really become a factor this spring. He's got plenty of talent to really impact games but didn't at the Boo. … Albany has a nice catch and shoot wing prospect in Lazar Haywood. …
Word got around town that Brandan Wright (go figure) had a huge morning game. He went for something like 32 and 16. … Bryce Webster will use the Boo Williams as a learning tool. He was disappointed in his weekend performance that lasted only two games as he took the SAT in the morning. …
Keith Clark did it on game for Athletes First. The showing we caught had him busting 3s from deep. … For the second day in a row the best defensive guard we saw was Ferrari's Darian McKinstry. … They saw Ramar Smith rises in big games and he was a shot maker for The Family in a loss to BWSL. He missed a game-tying free throw but did more than his share of work in the contest, including nailing a few pivotal outside shots to go with a pair of acrobatic finishes. …
HAMPTON, Va. – Can Valpo really keep Jon Deibler? Who does Leon Freeman favor? All this and more as we talk you around the gym for the latest news and notes from the Boo Williams Invitational.
Jon Deibler wants to play with his brother who signed with Valparaiso this year. He's also a man of his word and is hesitant to retract a verbal commitment to the school. The 6-foot-5 sophomore on the All-Ohio squad restated that he's committed to Valpo. However, he did add that some schools, namely Ohio State, N.C. State and Michigan, are still showing interest should he opt to open things up. This is going to get very interesting in a hurry. Regardless, Valparaiso's staff did an amazing job recruiting and evaluating this young sophomore.
The Family shooting guard Leon Freeman says that Michigan State is his favorite school. Freeman added that Purdue, Ohio State, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Valpo, Indiana and Georgia Tech are recruiting him. … S.C. Ravens guard Byron Faison said that Florida State and Kentucky have shown interest. …
Danny Ainge was in the building for the 8 AM game Saturday morning. With the P.I.T. taking place in nearby Norfolk, Ainge probably figured it was worth his time to lay a set of eyes on Paul Harris. … City Rocks guard Lazar Haywood is interested in Providence, Rhode Island, Florida State, Syracuse and Louisiana-Lafayette. …
In general recruiting news, Florida Air Academy senior guard Walter Hodge, is on an official visit to Florida this weekend. Kansas coach Bill Self was in last week to see him but has not offered and Auburn remains a player. … Here's a recruiting nugget that we came across on Saturday: one source said that Illinois had strengthened its position with Top 25 prospect Jonathan Scheyer who is not in attendance here as he's still banged up from the high school season. …
Darrell Arthur told a pool of reporters that he's wide open. … Sherron Collins also took the 5th when asked about a school list though a little digging returned the names of Iowa, Illinois and Georgia Tech as major players. Remember current Jacket Will Bynum attended the same school as Collins. …
Mario Little, a wing with the Illinois Warriors, said he likes Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue and Northern Illinois. He claims offers from the last two mentioned. … Jamil Tucker has roots on the West Coast and in the Midwest thought he claims to lean more toward the Midwest. He had no idea who is presently recruiting him and that means that a good number of teams are going to read this and try to get involved! …
Isaiah Dahlman would like to have his list trimmed to 3 by month's end. Tom Izzo, Al Skinner and Steve Alford have been in to see him already this month and Illinois, Georgia Tech and N.C. State are coming next week. … Anthony Gurley said he's torn in regards to leaving his Massachusetts roots. Miami, BC, Wake Forest, Georgia and N.C. State are on him but no one has offered to date. …