TOC: UNC Target Update

DURHAM, N.C.--Two games into his Tournament of Champions, Carolina top target Kevin Love called his personal performance "disappointing," but he vowed to show fans and scouts in attendance what he's capable of doing before he returns to the west coast.

Love found himself in foul trouble and sat for much of the first half before fouling out with 2:49 remaining in his team's second game of pool play. "Maybe it's playing over here at Duke," he joked. Nevertheless, the Southern California All-Stars handily defeated the Jackson (MS) Pathers 90-73, paced by an unofficial 20 points from Blue Devil commitment Taylor King, who lit up the Panthers for five three-pointers in the first half.

Love finished with an unofficial 17 points and six rebounds, adding a pair of blocks and two steals. It was a grinding performance for the talented big man, who was taken out of his game by two quick fouls, including a questionable offensive foul. When his third foul came early in the second half, Love looked notably frustrated. With the game edging closer, however, Love buckled down and showcased an impressive all-around game. He laid down several key screens to get King open looks, worked hard on the defensive end, and looked every bit the leader, calling out plays to his teammates.

While the media contingent for Love's second game was considerably smaller at Cameron Indoor Stadium than it had been for the previous night's contest at the Smith Center, Love was still telling the reporters in attendance how much he had enjoyed his unofficial visit to the Carolina campus. Love reiterated that he has no timetable for a decision on whether to head east or remain on the west coast, and that it will take time for him and his family to process their options at UNC and UCLA.

Forward Anthony Randolph also saw his afternoon end on a sour note on the court, as his Dallas Mustangs fell for the second time in pool play, with an 83-78 loss to Blessed IJN (Fort Wayne, IN). Randolph, too, was plagued by foul trouble, and with him on the bench for much of the first half, his Mustangs dug themselves a deep hole. Randolph returned in the second and helped his teammates claw back, briefly taking the lead for a stretch before tenacious defense and clutch shooting by Blessed IJN reopened the gap.

Randolph is a silky smooth player who seems most comfortable on the perimeter. His length, impressive reach, and jumping ability made him a force at the top of a zone defense employed by the Mustangs' coaching staff, and he finished unofficially with five steals to go along with 22 points and five rebounds. Physically he needs to gain strength and develop his inside game, but there is little doubt that he has the tools to be a high-major college player.

Randolph denied interview requests after the game, explaining that his family has advised him not to answer questions after an interview with one recruiting source led several schools to be left off his list by mistake. As for that list, he would only say his is wide open.


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