Big Time: Sat. News & Notes

LAS VEGAS -- Rotary Select I and Marvin Williams [pictured] didn't win the adidas Big Time Tournament on Saturday but sure left a lasting impression.

Williams was sensational in a 87-73 semifinals loss to the Atlanta Celtics and their amazing frontline of 6-foot-8 Josh Smith, 6-10 Randolph Morris and 6-11 Dwight Howard.

The North Carolina recruit went off for 34 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-5 from 3-point land, and 13 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Bremerton, Wash., product left to a standing ovation and UNC assistant coach Joe Holladay was also probably excited.

"I think I'm going to remember this one," Williams said. "I tried to play hard and battle. We played with a lot of heart. They are a great team but we didn't back down."

The rising senior scored 18 points in the second half to keep Rotary from being completely blown out, and added five rebounds and three assists in 25:30 minutes. Among the highlights was a vicious tomahawk dunk in the lane, a NBA-like drive for a layup, making Morris lose balance and a mid-air collision with Howard on a dunk attempt, drawing a foul.

"It's one of his better games," Rotary Select I coach Adam Sedlik said. "He's had a couple like that. But when you consider the competition like the Celtics, who have three guys in the top 10, he definitely brought it today."

Rotary advanced to the semifinals after defeating Ft. Sooy-No Limit 88-73 as Williams scored 19 points (9-of-14 FGs) and grabbed five rebounds. Against the Celtics, they loaded up the frontline.

Rotary played Williams on the wing with 6-10 Josh Heytvelt and 6-11 Chester Giles starting. But Heytvelt, who scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win against Ft. Sooy-No Limit, couldn't get on track vs. Atlanta, going 1-for-4 (0-for-3 on 3s) for two points and two rebounds. Giles finished with eight points and seven rebounds against the Celtics.

"We had similar height, but they are a lot bigger than us and a lot more physical," Sedlik said. "It's something our guys have to work on and get in the weight room and get used to that."

Williams matched up with Smith for most of the game, and the Indiana commitment was almost as good, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 6-of-7 from the 3-point line.

"Playing Smith is tough," Williams said. "He's a great player, and I've played him before. It was a great matchup. And Howard and Morris are great players. It was tough battling on the inside."

Smith enjoyed facing such a formidable opponent.

"It is great to play against a talent like that," Smith said. "We know each other real well but we went at it like we didn't know each other. That is how you have to do things.

"Marvin is so versatile and he plays hard, too. But I felt comfortable with my 3-point shot, shooting it today."

Howard finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Morris had 16 points and nine rebounds.

"It's always fun to play against Marvin," Howard said. "We just went out there having fun and playing hard. The intensity level is always there between Marvin and I. We just want to go at it as it makes us both better."

As for the other Carolina targets, Livingston, who apparently has battled the flu this week, closed out his week with a 21-point effort against Rotary. He went 8-of-16 from the field (0-of-2 on 3s) and 5-of-6 from the line. He added seven rebounds and two assists.

J.R. Smith's Playaz Gold team also came out lethargic in a quarterfinal loss to the Michigan Mustangs I, 75-57. Because of his teammates struggles, it made Smith look like he was struggling, until the box score numbers came out.

The rising post-graduate senior ended up with 30 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point land. He went 7-of-10 from the foul line and had five rebounds and two assists. Coach Holladay was in attendance for the game.

And Morris had 17 points and five rebounds as the Celtics overpowered Connecticut Select 93-68.

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