Big Time: Telep's Day 1 Report

LAS VEGAS – Fifteen hours of basketball yielded some excellent performances. Lance Thomas was big time with his effort and Deon Thompson was one of many who improved his stock on Friday.

SPOTLIGHT GAME

Summer basketball is all about the matchups and this one was loaded. The Spiece Indy Heat held off a late charge from O.J. Mayo and the D-I Greyhounds to win 69-67. Eric Gordon led Spiece with 16 points and Greg Oden dunked when he wanted to en route to 10 points and 12 rebounds. Mayo struggled with his shot until very late in the second half and finished with 22 points but shot just 9-for-24 from the field and 4-for-13 from deep. Bill Walker, high school basketball's resident freak athlete, came up with the nastiest dunk on top of Daequan Cook and it had the capacity crowd – notice we didn't say overflow as to not alert the fire marshal –buzzing.

Deon Thompson (pictured), C, BWBA – Plenty of schools are here to see him and his 21 points against Aldrich were impressive, especially the foul trouble he put the big fella in. Bottom line: Top 100 prospect with hands, scoring moves inside and he's about to heat up his own recruitment. His opening effort here really stoked his recruitment fires.

Lance Thomas, PF, NY Panthers – A strong candidate for the day's top performer, Thomas was outstanding with 27 points and 8 rebounds. He turned himself loose inside and took it right at the Southern Cal All-Stars. When he's using his athleticism and quicks inside and making you foul him, he's tough. This is one of those performances that goes a long way toward making the Burger Game.

Chase Budinger, SF, So Cal All-Stars – Speaking of Burger Game performances, Budinger's wasn't too shabby either. Is it time to start referring to him as the Chase Budinger, former volleyball player? He went off for 28 points on 10-for-17 from the floor. This guy tried to jump over Derrick Caracter! Seriously, that what he was thinking! He came up with some huge hits from all over the court.

Kevin Galloway, SF, Classics – This guy makes plays. He's 6-foot-7 and ultra-athletic. He can handle, create and pass the basketball. Word is he's got to take care of business in the classroom and if he does, someone could wind up stealing a player who, a few years down the road, could really develop into a find.

Javon McCluney, SG, Newark Rams – Our mid-major find of the day is a 6-foot scoring machine out of Jersey. He had a field day from the perimeter, connecting on 5 trifectas. He's tough as nails and according to his coach, nobody is actively recruiting him. That'll change as college coaches scrambled to learn more about him postgame.

Darrell Arthur, PF, DFW – "Slim Shady" put together a rather nice effort. Not only was he busting 3s, he passed the basketball like a real player and finished with 20+ for the game. Those who weren't aware of his perimeter capabilities saw the flashes we've been witnessing since April. If this guy ever got consistent the sky would be the limit for him because he's that talented.

Davon Jefferson, PF, Team Danny Williams – The prep school bound forward has always played hard when we've been in the gym and Friday was no exception. He's so gifted athletically that you sometimes take what he's capable of for granted.

Will Walker, PG, Ill. Wolves – Boy does he like playing against the Hurricanes. In a spring game, Walker was very good and here in Vegas he initiated a 22-1 run to begin the game. During the run he made his first 3 shots and dropped 3 assists. Again, nothing flashy, but solid decisions and poise. Would like to see him finish more of his shots on the move, but he's a very good player; others are better prospects but few are as smart as players. 16 points (7-14 FG, 4 assists).

Cole Aldrich, C, Minn. Magic – Tough one for one the best bigs in the class. Thompson put some fouls on him which limited his time which took away from his touches. He would finish with 2 points and 7 boards before fouling out. From a scouting standpoint, there was little reason to be disappointed. Aldrich showed a terrific feel and passing touch; he dumped a pass over his shoulder blind to a cutter. Tough day for a strong player.

Brandon Jennings, PG, So Cal All-Stars – In a game featuring two of the better points in the senior class (Edgar Sosa and Doug Wiggins) it was Jennings who had the best outing. This rising sophomore has a deadly floater. Sosa and Wiggins are high caliber guards and deserve their props, but Jennings could have easily passed for one of the older guys in this game.

JuJuan Johnson, a 2007 power forward, already has offers from Purdue and Xavier. Both sets of assistants watched him in the morning. … A ton of coaches were here to see Corey Fisher with Long Island but he won't be here until later in the event. Same can be said for Alex Stepheson of RBC West. …

Kentucky assistant Reggie Hanson was scoping Perry Stevenson and Deon Thompson. … Will Walker has offers from DePaul, Dayton and Marquette. NC State, Michigan and UConn are in the mix but haven't offered. …

DFW power forward Justin Reilly likes Penn, Princeton, Columbia, Tulane and SMU. …

The contingent for Cole Aldrich included UNC's Roy Williams, Minnesota's Dan Monson and assistants from Kansas and Michigan State. … The crowd for Deon Thompson was thick: Arizona State, Gonzaga, UCLA, Washington, Nebraska, San Diego State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State. …

Notre Dame sent the full coaching staff, including Mike Brey, to see Tom Herzog. Matt Painter, Tommy Amaker and two Spartan assistants were there representing East Lansing. … Head coaches for Will Walker: Brian Gregory, Jerry Wainright, Bruce Weber, John Thompson, Tommy Amaker.

St. John's Norm Roberts was front and center watching his man Doug Wiggins. BTW, happy birthday to the Red Storm skipper. … Head coaches in the stands for Lance Thomas: Gary Waters, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Mike Davis, Norm Roberts, Dave Leitao and Lute Olson. …

Marvin Menzies and Steve Masiello watched Derrick Caracter. So did Rutgers coach Gary Waters and assistant Fred Hill. … Ben Howland and Lute Olson were present for Budinger. … USC had an assistant trailing Kevin Galloway. …

Pittsburgh and Providence were in the stands watching Eugene Harvey work. So was Seton Hall. … Darrell Arthur entertained Rick Barnes and Scott Drew. Kansas and Oklahoma had assistants present. …

The entire Cal staff sat and watched Patrick Christopher work. Lute Olson was there and so was Rick Barnes. …

Dallas Mustangs shooting guard Derrick Roland said he's hearing from UNLV, Florida, Texas A&M, Texas, UConn and Miami. Roland had a frustrating morning (2-for-10 FG) but is a talented wing. … Deon Thompson has offers from Arizona State, Pepperdine, Nevada and Kent State. He's hearing from UConn, Gonzaga, Oregon State, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Utah. The list of offers is about to grow exponentially. …

Dallas Mustangs forward Gary Flowers hasn't picked a prep school yet but he's committed to Texas A&M (Billy Gillispie in attendance) and has improved his mid-range jumpshot. … The reason you get excited about a kid like Deon Thompson is simple: he's got good hands and legit scoring moves. …

Blake Hoffarber has an ESPY for "Shot of the Year." Next year he could get an ESPY for purest stroke. He's got to put it down on the floor to diversify his game.

Over at another venue in the adidas Super 64, Quincy Pondexter continued his rise up the charts. Think Andre Iguodala ascension. … Devin Bawinkel can put it in the hole from the perimeter. …

Bill Walker's athleticism simply isn't quantifiable. You have to see him leap to truly appreciate the height and power he gets on his dunks. … Vernon Teel is going to get looks from a number of schools at different levels because he can score the basketball. ..

JeJuan Brown and Alex Tyus, two new additions to the D-I Greyhounds, turned in excellent rookie outings. … Kevin Love, So Cal's newest big man, throws the best outlet passes of any big man in high school basketball. He can carve up defenses with his assists from end to end. …

Jerryd Bayless was at it again today. He dropped 27 points and 7 dimes in his first outing. … Playing for Aneesa's Sports, Eugene Harvey dropped a short jumper at the buzzer to get his team a win. By the way, in doing so he prevented overtime in a gym that was probably 85 degrees! … Over at another tournament in Vegas, apparently Raymar Morgan put on a show. Go figure? He's been playing that way all month. …

Jermaine Beale of DFW had his best outing from the behind the arc that we've seen this summer. He dropped 4 3s in his game. … Speaking of 3s, Patrick Christopher can make a few of those. He's a skilled shooter and if he put it on the deck consistently he'll rise even higher in the rankings. …

"I want to get recruited harder than I am so I had to make a statement." – Will Walker, Illinois Wolves


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