Boo: Saturday Notes

HAMPTON, Va. -- After 15 hours of games on Saturday at the Boo Williams Invitational, we detail the performances of the UNC signee, top targets, introduce new targets and new names to watch, with quotes, photos, stats and in-depth analysis ...

New Target: C.J. Miles had a unique role with Team Texas this weekend. He's a wing forward, but he played at the bottom of the zone on defense and solely beyond the perimeter on offense. As a result, he only had 11 points – three threes and a soaring dunk (4-8 FG, 3-6 3pt) -- but his work on the boards was impressive, as he finished with 10 rebounds. Miles said he usually posts up on offense, but we didn't see it tonight, and he rarely took his man off the dribble either. The smooth 6-6, 195-pounder has the athleticism, but didn't get the opportunity to show it. As for an early school list? He listed the entire Big 12, UNC, Ga Tech, Illinois, UConn and others. The Tar Heels are starting to show heavy interest. "Roy Williams first came down to watch me practice and then he made the one phone call he's allowed [since the contact period began] and we talked," Miles said. Many other big-name head coaches have come to Dallas to see him as well, including Rick Barnes (Texas), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma), Billy Donovan (Florida) and others. "I'm going to try to narrow it down by the end of the spring and take some visits then," he added.

Stat Line of the Day: Perhaps this could also be called "Performance of the Weekend." Richard Hendrix's triple-double in the Alabama Lasers' stunning 30-point route of The Family was impressive not just because of the stats (24 pts, 14 reb, 11 blocks, 8-12 FG, 1-1 3pt, 7-7 FT), but also because he once again demonstrated the mobility and fluidness in a fast-paced game that will make him such a deadly weapon on the college level. His points came on mid-range jumpers, strong moves in the post, stickbacks, an athletic up-and-under move and even a three-pointer. His big hands swallowed up rebounds, he was quick off his feet for a remarkable shotblocking effort, and he ran the floor to help break the press, even leading a fast break on one occasion and trying a behind-the-back pass. And as if this performance wasn't enough, he followed it up in the evening with 19 pts (9-10 FG, 1-1 3pt) and 10 reb, highlighted by a smooth three-pointer, a deep baseline jumper and one of the top plays of the day – a drive on the break from the top of the key, by several defenders and two-hand slammed it in traffic. Anyone questioning his Top 5 status has been silenced this weekend. It's hard not to call him ‘a less explosive Elton Brand.'

Kevin Rogers
New Name to Watch: In the ‘Best Players We've Never Seen Before' category, Kevin Rogers of Team Texas is near the top of the list. He's listed at 6-9, 215 pounds, but plays stronger than his weight and runs the floor like a wing. He posted an efficient 14 points (6-6 FG, 2-2 FT) and 5 rebounds on Saturday night. UNC, Arizona, Kansas, UConn, Florida, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Louisville comprised his list. "Kansas, Arizona, Illinois and Florida have shown the most interest and have offered," he said. UConn is his favorite. "This is really the first big national event that I've played in, so it's like my coming out party." The athletic forward had an idea of what he's looking for on the collegiate level, too. "I want to go to a big university, and I'm looking for playing time right now," he said. As for what he does best … "My favorite part of the game is working on the low block and rebounding -- doing whatever my team needs me to do," he said. "I'm working on improving my defense out on the perimeter. I'm working on that now -- that, and my shooting touch." Some may wonder why a post player would feel the need to improve his perimeter defense, but for Rogers, it works. In the Team Texas' complex zone defense, Rogers mans one of the perimeter points of the zone, covering the ground from the baseline to the elbow -- and covering it very well -- with Rogers' long arms disrupting passing lanes. Rogers even handles the ball pretty well for a player his size, demonstrated by a drive from the top of the key that ended with a short leaner that kissed off the glass.

Fighting Through Fatigue: In the morning matchup with BABC, Tyler Hansbrough totaled 21 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. He made a living at the free throw line, attacking the basket and drawing the foul just about every time he touched the ball. For the game, he was 11-12 from the charity stripe. As usual, Hansbrough's determination and energy were the key to his solid performance. In the afternoon game against the Greensboro Gaters, he finally showed some letdown to his usually unrelenting fire. He struggled to get involved in the offense, missed some short-range shots and only had 6 points at the half, as his Eagles trailed by 17 at the break. However, just when onlookers were willing to write off Hansbrough and the Eagles, the elite recruit roared into the second half with four quick three-point plays, tying the game up in the final minutes before the Gaters pulled away. He had 26 second-half points for a total of 32 points (10-15 FG, 12-14FT), 8 boards and 2 blocks. Apparently there's no quit in Tyler Hansbrough.

Steady Ginyard: UNC signee Marcus Ginyard's morning performance was more of the same – consistent court leadership. He called the plays, ran the offense and set up his teammates, rarely attempting any shots of his own. He's one of the rare players who can finish with 5 points (2-4 FG, 1-1 3pt), 3 assists, 2 steals and a block and convinced onlookers that he's a big-time player. In the afternoon matchup, Albany City Rocks PG Tiki Mayben presented a tough challenge for Ginyard, and he responded with his best game of the tournament – 13 points on 5-10 FG, 2-4 3pt, and 1-2 FT, along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and smothering defense on whoever he was guarding. He was as assertive on offense as he's ever been, driving to the basket and setting himself up for soft jumpers out to three-point range. He still focused on distributing for Boo Williams' squad, but his shift towards hunting his own shot a bit more was refreshing. Ginyard made it obvious that he has the skills to take over a game when he wants to; now, everyone's waiting for him to do it more often. As a footnote, in the evening game he had 4 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. More of the same responsible and consistent court leadership.

Kevin Durant
Future Star: Ignore the baby face and the gangly physique when it comes to Kevin Durant, a 6-9 sub-200 pound forward for the D.C. Blue Devils. He's only a sophomore, and will undoubtedly fill into his recent big growth spurt, but he's already a force. He's got deep range on the jumper, dribbles the ball like a wing and fights hard in the paint, even though he doesn't have the build to battle thicker opponents. He's got the Tar Heels in his early Top 4.

Future Pro: Kevin Love – This kid's a freshman? Are you kidding me? Built like a tank, Love bulldozes folks for rebounds, scores in the post and throws outlet passes like Dan Marino. At 6-8, 245 – he's thick, sturdy and impossible to move in the paint. Don't know if we've ever seen a better passer for a big man at this level. The Oregon Select star has garnered some of the biggest buzz of the weekend, as most everyone is raving about him as an early pick for No. 1 in the class of 2007.

All-Tournament Lock: Jon Brockman, 6-7 PF -- 24 points, 10 rebounds in a quarterfinal loss tonight to the Georgia Stars. Brockman does a lot of the same things that Hansbrough does. He attacks the basket, hustles, and just asserts himself to ridiculous proportions in the paint. He's tough, athletic and quick. He's got a confidence about him that shines and seems to be one of the best rebounders in this event. Not only is Brockman a warrior, but we think he's on his way to being one of the best 20 players in the country. He listed UNC in postgame interviews and it won't be surprising to see the Tar Heels try to get seriously involved. Roy Williams placed a call to Brockman last weekend when the open period began. UCLA, Kansas and Washington join UNC on his early list.

Jon Brockman
Other Notables …

* Andrew Bynum (6-11 C) – He's got high-major size and high-major potential. In other words, he's a high-major center. Standing 6-11, 240 pounds with long arms, the NJ All-Stars junior was a strong shotblocker and has a few post moves. He wore down by the end of the game, and his stamina is an issue, but a few of his blocks and short-range scores were noteworthy. Think Brendan Haywood in high school.

* Chris Douglas-Roberts (6-5, PG/SG) – Ok, so he scored 30 points this morning and then when we showed up he had only two fields goals in the afternoon, as The Family was routed by Hendrix and the Lasers. With that said, he has the size, scoring ability and handle to be a terrific college point guard – and some who have seen him this weekend say he's the best guard in the entire junior class.

* Jon Scheyer (6-3, SG) – The shooting touch is a thing of beauty and he has a good feel for the game. His quickness and athleticism will enable him to play the wing guard spot at any school in the country. Was too passive for our liking, but that seemed to be an epidemic for the Illinois Warriors team. A clear high-major 2006 sharpshooter.

* Kevin Swinton (6-7, PF) – Having been disappointed by previous viewings of the Greensboro post player, Swinton, a Wake Forest commitment, performed well against Hansbrough in the Gaters win over the St. Louis Eagles in the afternoon. In the past we've seen him try to be a wing forward (and he doesn't have the handle or other attributes to succeed that far away from the rim), but he stayed within his game today, with some quick post moves, a nice baseline half-hook and some dunks for 17 points as well as 5 strong rebounds. Not likely to be a star for the Demon Deacons, but he showed signs that he will be a solid part of a frontcourt rotation.

* Scotty Reynolds (5-11 PG/SG) – Range, range, range. Reynolds is a confident scorer/shooter for Boo Williams who'll light up the threes in a hurry. Rumor has it that Michigan has already offered the sophomore from Herndon High in Virginia. He said UNC has told him they'll be watching him this summer.

* Wayne Chism (6-8 PF) – Tough athlete on Memphis YOMCA who passes the look test. He runs the floor, attacks the basket and blocks shots in the lane. If he hones his skills – he's got BIG TIME potential. One to watch down the road. Only a sophomore.

* Stefan Walsh (6-1 PG/SG) – Walsh is another talented sophomore in the BWSL backcourt. He's a dangerous outside shooter and capable ball handler that consistently looks to create shots for himself. He shoots a lot from behind the arc (and makes more than he misses), but did show the ability to slash into the lane and find open teammates or finish himself. He'll need strength, but he's definitely one to watch.

(Thanks to Dave Forsythe for his work this weekend as IC's official statistician)

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