DURHAM, N.C.--Seen, heard, and overheard on the courts from the campus of Duke University on day one of the 2004 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.
Something I thought I'd never hear myself say from the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium: "Dang, it's COLD in here!" The newly-installed A/C is working Really well.
DJ Augustine, the top PG in the 2006 class said of his recruitment that LSU and Wake Forest are
likely at the top of his list. But he stressed that it is early in the process and programs like Duke and UNC have been in touch via mail and are not out of the picture.
If you haven't seen Greg Oden (Spiece) before and you are attending this year's TOC, watch him now. You will probably never see him in a college uniform. I think an NBA team might draft him this year, were he eligible--at 16 years old. At 7-1, with long arms and legs, he's got good size and can move really well on both ends of the court. He's a game-changer on defense (someone opposing teams have to prepare for, specifically) and is always in the mix on the boards on offense. And he can carry more weight without losing any quickness.
NC State will be getting a steal (if a four-star player can be a steal) in 6-6 wing Courtney Fells, should he decide to sign with the Wolfpack in the fall. He's really long, has good ball skills, and works hard on defense. As with most high school kids, he needs to gain weight, but he has what it takes to be a factor in the ACC, under Herb Sendek's tutelage.
Tyler Smith, 6-7, 220-lb forward is a man among boys. He used his power and strength around the basket on his way to 28 points on the first day of pool play. Right now, he likes North Carolina (who he has "liked since the Jordan Era"), Tennessee, Duke, and Kansas, with Tennessee showing the most attention.
My two cents: Andray Blatche is quite a talent--one of the top talents in any class. He handles the ball very well for a 6-11 player. He also has NBA moves in his repretoire already, and he's a factor on defense. He has also said that UNC is his top college choice. It's worth it for the UNC staff to stay to stay in contact with him, but he should not take up a large percentage of their "recruiting resources" at the expense of other players who are more likely to matriculate at all and more likely to stay longer once they do.