USA: Telep's Friday PM Report

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – It was blowout city as the South improved to 2-0 at USA Basketball. Brandon Rush led the North to its first win of the festival.

USA Camp, Day Two Evening Session


South 158, West 125 (South 2-0, West 0-2)
North 104, East 93 (both teams 1-1)

Player Checklist

Richard Hendrix vs. Jon Brockman: This matchup of elite power forwards didn't materialize, largely due to the nature of the route the South slapped on the West. Both guys basically did their thing (Hendrix 20 pts., 6 rebounds; Brockman 15 and 12) and it was too bad the game got out of hand and what could have been a strong matchup never was given a chance to produce many meaningful possessions.

Mario Chalmers, PG, West: First, the good news: he went for 39 points on 14-for-22 shooting, including 5-for-11 from deep. Basically, there wasn't a defensive answer for what he did with the basketball. The bad news is the West was never in this game and the team needs leadership and direction more than scoring from the top rated point guard in the land; they're chemistry is awful. Unless something changes, he's going to put up outstanding individual numbers and the West is going to get run out of the gym each time out.

Mike Mercer, G, South: Others scored more points in the game, but it was Mercer's impact early that set the tone for the route against the West. This might have been his best game of the summer. Size wise, Mercer can play the two guard and his game might be heading in that direction and that's not a bad thing at all. His physicality in terms of getting in the lane and finishing with dunks is a very unique trait for a combo guard.

Brandon Rush, SF, North: Make it two in a row for Rush. His 24 points and 12 rebounds were enough to give the North its first win. Rush is coming off a subpar NBA Camp but he's been awesome thus far here. His confidence is really high right now so there's no telling what's in store for Saturday.

Julian Wright, SF, North: After he was a little miffed about his opening game and his role on the squad, Wright worked out his frustrations to the tune of 10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals. A balanced stat line is his calling card.

Martell Webster, SG, West: The fact of the matter, given the timing of his return on the summer circuit, Webster is just going to have to play his way into game shape. After two games here, Webster is averaging a respectable 11.5 points but is shooting just 10-for-28 from the field and 1-for-10 from downtown. He's getting 6.5 boards a game but has only been to the line twice. Since we know he's strong, athletic and a superior scorer, we understand that it's going to take time to come back from the multiple foot injuries. He's not in game shape, he's playing above sea level and the level of competition is pretty stiff for a guy who hasn't laced them up in a while.

Andray Blatche, PF, East: If the stat man is correct, Blatche rolled up 17 points in 13 minutes. Add in 9 rebounds and a 6-for-9 shooting night and that's something to build on.

2006 Checklist

Brandan Wright, PF, South: His team is the most star laden bunch of seniors at the camp. So, like a super prospect waiting his turn, all Wright is doing is making the most of his chances. He's getting on the glass, using his long, athletic frame to his advantage and winning over admirers. He's a Top 3 prospect in his class and just might be No. 2 behind you-know-who in 2006.

Inside The Numbers

How do you make a 1-for-9 field goal performance look stellar? Simple, hand out 10 assists just like Greg Paulus did against the North. … Josh McRoberts went for 13 rebounds and 7 points in a win. … All stats in the South-West game are skewed due to blowout nature of the game. Midway through the 3rd quarter this game became laughable. …

News & Notes

The South's Tyler Smith pulled a muscle in his back and it's been particularly painful but he's playing through it and did a nice job in the evening. … C.J. Miles caught two inadvertent elbows from Clarence Holloway in the morning game. The bows sent him to the floor and Miles said that he wasn't himself until an hour before the evening game. …

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