Peach Jam: Thur. AM Notes & Quotes

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Featured in this report from Thursday morning's action at the 2004 Peach Jam are some familiar names (C.J. Miles, Kevin Rogers), as well as important underclassmen to become acquainted with (Curtis Kelly, Tywon Lawson, Kevin Durant) ...

C.J. Miles -- The talent is there; you can see the potential. But C.J. Miles has yet to give a dominating performance in our presence this spring and summer, as we've detailed. He's almost too unselfish at times. He has a talented cast around him, so he doesn't have to, but he makes you want to see the entire arsenal. His scoring comes in the flow of the offense so it's not flashy and he never seems to have as many points as the box score indicates. Case in point Thursday morning, as his final tally was 16 points (5-10 FG, 1-4 3pt, 5-6 FT) in Team Texas' 87-60 win over Albany City.

"That's why some people are recruiting me as a point guard," Miles said of his unselfish play. "If I'm having a rough start … or if someone else is having a good game … I don't need to shoot a lot."

Hard to argue with that premise, however in seeing about a dozen of his games this year, again he's never had a big outing. At some point he's going to need to develop a take-charge mentality to provide big numbers for the occasion when his team needs him.

Miles said he'll play the "2/3" in college, as his size and versatility enable him to run the shooting guard or wing forward spots. He's the ideal college wing: he CAN score in bunches, but his ego doesn't require it. His defense is solid, but has room for improvement.

His top five stand at Kansas, Texas, Georgia Tech, Arizona and North Carolina – with Illinois being a potential fifth official visit if he chooses not to officially visit nearby Texas (since he's been to the campus numerous times).

There's no leader, though he admitted the Tar Heels have an edge because of Roy Williams' involvement.

"I like Coach Williams' program," he said. "He was recruiting me when he was at Kansas during my sophomore year. His was the first major college program that came to one of my games -- the first big program I got mail from was Kansas and they were the first to watch me workout and play."

As for the fickle package deal with AAU teammate Kevin Rogers? That's apparently back on – for now.

"Right now [the chances of it happening are] 99 percent," Miles said.

Kevin Rogers -- Similar to Miles, in that he's shown just how talented he is, but for the most part tends to let the offense come to him and therefore doesn't put up big numbers. His best game of the circuit was in April, and since then he's yet to live up to that big showing. Rogers' Thursday morning tally was 12 points (6-11 FG, 0-1 FT) and 5 rebounds. He's a solid post player, but not one of the elite in his class at this point because of his lack of assertiveness. He is a capable player – and the skills are there for him to be one of the best, but he doesn't dominate the paint on either end of the court the way Hendrix, Hansbrough, etc. can.

He is learning to play more in the post, which is a good sign, and many of the nation's top programs recognize his skill and upside.

Rogers claims an offer list of "UNC, Kansas, Texas, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Illinois, Oklahoma, Baylor and Cincinnati." Head coaches from most of those programs were on the sidelines for his morning game.

"I'm trying to narrow it down to a good five, but it's been hard," Rogers said.

As for the biggest factor in his decision?

"I'm looking for a good business school because I want to major in accounting," he said.

Rogers had been previously quoted as saying that since he missed taking the SAT, he wouldn't be able to take official visits until he took the test in October. Apparently that isn't the case.

"I have a PSAT score, so I can visit officially," he said. "I thought I couldn't at first, but they said you can visit with a PSAT score and I'll take the real test in October."

Curtis Kelly -- He's only a rising junior, and showed flashes earlier this summer of terrific potential, but struggled this morning, limited by early foul trouble, and had only 4 points and a rebound. Kelly has the talent to be an inside presence but tended to float to the perimeter too much in this game. Considering what we've seen earlier this summer, this was simply not one of his better showings. He's shown the ability to crash the boards and use his length and athleticism to be a factor in the paint, but not today.

A number of schools are involved, but Kelly reiterated postgame that his three favorites are Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Texas.

Tywon Lawson -- This was our first look at the rising junior point guard from Forestville, Md. who plays for the DC Blue Devils. He not only lived up to expectations – he easily surpassed them.

Lawson, a strong 5-foot-11, exploded through the full-court press and got to the basket at will.

"I try to push it up court, look for the open man or take the open shot," he said postgame. He's a waterbug at the point who can light up the scoreboard. Lawson proved to be almost "untrappable" in the half court, which led to a lot of free throws. And he can score from behind the arc on in, but his high scoring totals can be misleading in that it can make him look selfish on offense, which he's not. His totals for Thursday morning were 31 points (7-11 FG, 3-5 3pt, 14-16 FT) and 5 assists in a six-point win over the Miami Tropics. Needless to say, a big-time performance by a big-time point guard sure to among the elite in the class of 2006.

NC, Duke, Michigan, FSU, Wake Forest and Louisville are the schools that comprise his current school list, and he said all have been sending him mail and have been in touch with his high school coach.

As for any early leaders?

"Georgia Tech and North Carolina."

Kevin Durant -- Much has been written already here about the 6-9 rising junior forward, but he keeps giving us reason to write about him some more. His 26-point (12-19 FG, 2-2 FT), 11-rebound effort would have gotten more attention were it not for Lawson's 31 points.

Initially, he didn't make a strong impression, but as the game progressed he began to show the entire package: he scores, he rebounds, and he runs the floor like a gazelle. In fact, it's hard to think of a post player that gets up and down the court faster than Durant. At 6-9, he's only 190 pounds, so he's of course going to need to bulk up, but he's not afraid to mix it up in the paint with the big boys (7-2 Jason Bennett, in this game). With two years to hone his game, and the expectation that he'll put on weight and further develop the offensive skills, there won't be many better frontcourt players in the class.

Durant said he has two high-major offers thus far – Arizona and Maryland – with UNC, Texas, NC State, Louisville, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Michigan rounding out the list.

Notes on other UNC targets: Richard Hendrix recorded 18 points, 10 boards and 4 blocks in the Alabama Lasers' 63-58 win over The Family … Jon Brockman (Friends of Hoop) rebounded from last night's disappointment with 29 points and 9 boards in a route over the hapless Tennessee Travelers. … Marcus Ginyard coasted with 8 points, as Boo Williams hammered Peach Jam Select to improve to 3-0 on the week … The St. Louis Eagles again failed to get the ball inside enough times to Tyler Hansbrough, and so they once again lost – falling to 0-3 here. Their starting backcourt combined for a single assist, though Hansbrough still managed 25 points (7-12 FG, 11-11 FT). Walter Hodge had 33 points to lead Team Florida past the Eagles, 87-72. ... Andrew Bynum had 9 points and 7 boards against the Metro Hawks.

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