Kingwood: Day 1 Report

HOUSTON –- The Kingwood Classic will be buzzing Saturday morning once the college coaches arrive. Friday night provided a nice warm up for what is sure to be a big time weekend.

Kingwood Classic, Day One

2005 Checklist

Brett Hoerner, PF, Belmont Shore: He wasn't the best player we saw Friday night but he scores big points for improvement. Hoerner finished strong last weekend at the Vegas Showcase and admittedly now his confidence is sky high and his play reflects it. Still in need of a lot of strength, he's finishing plays with dunks and blocking shots at a good clip. He had 15 points as Belmont aced the Illinois Warriors.

Levance Fields, PG, NY Gauchos: When it comes to slapping a press on somebody, the Gauchos are amongst the tops in the business. This year's leader of the crew appears to be Fields. He's stocky and strong and scored 11 points on just 3-for-11 from the field; though he was 5-for-5 from the line.

Greg Paulus, PG, SRAP: He's a game manager. He had 27 in a triple OT win when it wasn't his best night shooting it. Still, he hung in there and got the win. Paulus doesn't have a ton of players alongside him on this team so his hoops IQ can get squandered a little with SRAP. Regardless, he can get guys shots and is very competitive.

Jamar Smith, SG, Illinois Warriors: Coming off a subpar Boo Williams effort, Smith made it happen with his jumper Friday night. Not only did he make shots, he connected on jumpers from mid and deep range with skill.

Tony Freeman, PG/SG, Illinois Fire: He came out on the losing end of a 3OT affair but really played well in the second half of one game. Freeman has a big time stroke. He made four of them in the game we watched and did a nice job late in creating for himself and others. Still need to see more PG out of him but he can score it.

Andray Blatche, PF, SRAP: Prior to this weekend he'd been having some outstanding spring efforts. Friday night was not one of them. The Blatche we fell in love with last year was a monster inside. Against the Illinois Fire, he played too much facing the basket, over handled the ball and as a result wasn't nearly as effective as he could have been.

Jamal Boykin, F, Belmont Shore: We had him with 16 points and 5 rebounds against the Illinois Warriors on a night when he made two 3's and went 5-for-10 from the floor. He's a max effort, old school guy.

Julian Wright, SF, Illinois Warriors: His team didn't win, but he stuffed another stat sheet. On a night in which he scored 14 points (6-for-13 FG), Wright grabbed 14 boards. He had a few assists and involved in a lot of plays. If he can develop his perimeter game he can be one of the truly elite prospects in the country.

Henry Dugat, PG, Houston Select: There's room to maneuver up the PG charts if he can just string together some consistent games. Select won in a route Friday night so he wasn't really needed much. He's got loads of potential we'd just like to see him string together an entire weekend's worth of action. He's more than capable. He had 10 points and 2 assists in the win.

2007 Checklist

Jai Lucas, PG, Houston Hoops: Playing against O.J. Mayo and Co. he was outstanding. This guy is only 5-9 but he's tough and can get into the lane. He's got vision and plays like he was born to be a point guard. Lucas finished with 23 points.

News & Notes

Brandon Rush of the Atlanta Celtics says two schools are recruiting him the hardest right now: Louisville and Arkansas. Rush said that Stan Heath has been out to see him but Rick Pitino has not. … Andre McGee won't be playing for Inland this week. According to his traveling team coach he spent a night in the hospital after playing last weekend in Las Vegas. He had some issues with dehydration. ...

John Lucas Sr. and Jr. were on hand watching Jai Lucas play Friday evening. … The chatter around Houston Select team was that guard Henry Dugat would stay in-state. We're thinking Baylor and Texas are going to be strong. …

There exists a loophole in an NCAA rules that allows college coaches to watch games Friday night at this event. Apparently if a coach visits with a player at the school in which the event is held, the coach can watch the tournament that night even if the player isn't participating. The loophole allowed Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt to watch Jamal Boykin Friday night. Roughly a dozen schools were in attendance. …

Aldric Reynolds, a guard with Houston Select, is getting hit hard by Rice. … Mark May 5th down on the calendar. That's the day Sebastian Telfair will likely hold a press conference in New York City. Expect Telfair to declare for the draft and sign with adidas. …

Belmont Shore big man Brett Hoerner still wears a brace on his wrist from a fracture sustained during the season. An ever-improving Hoerner lists Washington, UCLA, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State. … Gauchos point guard Levance Fields will probably stay close to home in the end. Pittsburgh, Villanova and St. John's are some prominent Big East schools in pursuit and Georgia Tech is taking a look at him too. …

Jessie Sapp, a guard with the Gauchos, lists UConn, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Stanford and Arkansas. … Sophomore Curtis Kelly didn't play with the Gauchos because he played in a 16-year old game and didn't have the right jersey. Kelly says North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Texas and Virginia Tech are some early schools. …

He's not here, but his high school coach phoned in a list for St. Raymond's guard Ricky Torres. In pursuit are NC State, Pittsburgh, UConn, St. John's, Florida, Louisville, Florida State, Seton Hall and Virginia. Pitt comes to see him on Monday and the Red Storm will be there on Tuesday. …

Joey Cameron is playing with the Tennessee Travelers this weekend. He was on the Atlanta Celtics original roster for the event. …

Scout's Seat

O.J. Mayo went for a game-high 31 points in his opener. It's kind of ironic that he posted such a high number since we were really impressed with his passing ability. The guy can really dish it. … D-One Greyhounds freshman wing man Bill Walker is still playing with a knee brace on his right knee. However, that didn't stop him from throwing down the nastiest dunk of the event. …

The Georgia Warriors Jon Brock is a lefty lower mid-major lead guard with a big time stroke. … Nate Minnoy of the Illinois Warriors is a stocky forward who has worked on his jumper to make it more reliable to mid-range. … Andre Blatche appears to be transitioning from the center to the power forward slot. Here's to hoping he doesn't forget about his potentially dominant post game. …

Seketoure Henry, a guard out of Belmont Shore, continues to be hot from deep. He was making 3's in Vegas last week and hasn't ceased. … Jessie Sapp had a nice Boo Williams a few weeks ago and he's a fine slasher. …


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