If you are a North Carolina fan, the main gym at the Alerio Center in Westwego (La.) just outside of New Orleans on Saturday afternoon was the place to be. As Team Texas squared off with Hampton (Va.) based Boo Williams, there were several players with interest in the Tar Heels taking the court.
Suiting up for Team Texas were six-foot-five C.J. Miles -- a smooth shooting lefty wing from Dallas (Texas) Skyline -- and another lefty, six-foot-eight power forward Kevin Rogers from Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff. Taking the court for Boo were Carolina commitment Marcus Ginyard, a six-foot-five combo guard, and 2006 interest Stefan Welsh, a six-foot-two combo.
With the referees taking early control of the game and dictating the pace thanks to their inability to swallow a whistle, the first half was a complete and total nightmare. The four players combined for a grand total of six points, with Rogers scoring three and Welsh adding three as Miles and Ginyard went scoreless.
Although the second half featured more whistles, they all settled into a groove. Most impressive was Rogers, who went off for 14 second-half points as he led Team Texas to a 81-76 win. He scored off of sweet mid-range jumpers, off of spin moves, dunks and offensive stick backs. He used his quickness and long arms to impact the game on the boards and also stepped up his intensity on the defensive end blocking a few shots.
For Ginyard and Miles it was a different story, as neither ever really got going. Miles finally scored his first basket with 11:31 to go in the second half off of a tricky spin move to fall away for a jumper from the right baseline. More often than not, though, his shots found the back of the rim as Miles struggled to finish with just seven points. Ginyard would finish the game with only four points while handing out four assists and spending a majority of his time running the point.
OTHER CAROLINA RELATED NOTES
* Go ahead and take 6-8 BF Joey Cameron from Leeds (AL) High off of the board as a potential 2005 target for UNC. The well built big man announced on Saturday that he has verbally committed to Tennessee.
* Also making waves with terrific play on Saturday was The Family's talented 6-5 point guard Chris Douglass-Roberts. He's long and lanky, but oh-so-multi-dimensional with his ability to score and distribute. He worked over Syracuse bound Tiki Mayben in his early game and bounced back in the afternoon session to spearhead a 19 point second half comeback against the Miami Tropics. He's got terrific feet and always seems to find himself or a teammate in the right spot. By summer's end he could have a legitimate claim as the top PG prospect in the country.
* There was a Cassan Breeden sighting in New Orleans on Saturday as the 6-7 combo forward got in some action with the South Carolina Ravens. He looks a bit rusty and seems to be taking time to make a decision about what he wants to do but has potential. He's a quick athlete who gets up and down the floor and into the air in a hurry and showed developing touch from the wing. However, he is still lacking off of the dribble and needs work there.
* Perhaps the star of the day was Jon Brockman of Friends of Hoop Seattle. The 6-7 man's man from Snohomish (Wash) High made a mockery of those trying to stop him from getting to the basket on a regular basis. He was an absolute bulldozer destroying anybody that Athlete's First or the Kansas City Keys could send in his direction to stop him. He plays with the same type of intensity that Tyler Hansbrough does and is pretty explosive when he catches and turns. If he adds any range to his jump shot, he has a legitimate shot to be a McDonald's All-American.
* Speaking of Hansbrough, you can't forget about him or Richard Hendrix. The two are scheduled to square off in one of the most anticipated head-to-head matchups on the spring circuit this year. However, a giant monkey wrench may have been thrown into Sundays plans for a heavyweight bout. After ripping through Martin Bros. in typical fashion for 29 points (including 15 trips to the line, he made 13), Hansbrough drew two technical fouls in the St. Louis Eagles blowout loss to the New York Gauchos and was ejected. As bad as the technical calls were (in all honesty they were bad calls by nervous refs trying to gain control of a game), the ejection might mean that Hansbrough has to sit out his next game. The rules are a bit unclear so we will have to see.
Hendrix certainly held up his end of the bargain in setting expectations for Sunday. Looking more fit and athletic than ever, the 6-8 power forward owned the glass as he led a spirited Alabama Lasers overtime victory against Martin Bros. He finished the game with 21 points, but it was his final six in overtime that put the game away. He's facing up and shooting 16-footers now and is a legitimate shot blocking threat.
Stay tuned to Inside Carolina for more coverage of the Carolina targets at the Memorial Day Classic …