Big Time: Williams, Ibekwe shine on Day 3

LAS VEGAS -- It was win or go home on Wednesday during the adidas Big Time Tournament for the players and teams.

It also meant a lot of traveling for coaches and media members because it could be the last chance to watch certain players.

Among the players exiting the Big Time included Marcus Williams, Brian Butch, Ekene Ibekwe and Lamarcus Aldridge.

But before they departed, we caught up with some of the guys.

Los Angeles natives Williams and Ibekwe both had a couple of monster performances while playing for Southern California All-Stars and H-Squad/Belmont Shore, respectively.

Williams went for 34 points against the Illinois Fire on Tuesday but struggled on Wednesday with turnovers. After great team success on the traveling circuit this spring/summer, Williams was disappointed with losing to the Illinois Fire and getting eliminated against the Student Athletes Broncos of New York.

As for college, Williams listed North Carolina, UCLA, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Connecticut.

"Some of the things I'm looking for include weather because I don't like cold weather and I want to be close to my family because of their support," Williams said. "I also want to play point guard. Some people think I'm a one or two (shooting guard), but I think I'm a one."

One aspect North Carolina has going for them is its court.

"I really like the rims at the Dean Dome, but I think Duke might have even better rims," Williams joked.

Williams, who is transferring to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, said the new experience at the prep powerhouse would help prepare him for college.

"It will help me with maturity, the classes will be harder and being away from home will be new," Williams said. "Plus, East Coast players get all the ink."

However, Williams is looking forward to a road game in Las Vegas this year.

As for Ibekwe, his best performance was a 30-point effort Wednesday versus Western Wisconsin Shooters. Ibekwe also added two 3-pointers in the 83-66 win.

The big man from Carson, Calif., is interested in Maryland, Arizona, North Carolina, USC and Arizona.

"I'm looking for style of play, atmosphere and academics," Ibekwe said. "It doesn't matter whether I'm away from home or not."

While some believe USC is positioned well, Ibekwe is going to visit Maryland in Sept., and plans to figure out his other visits in the next few weeks.

Ibekwe also had nice things to say about North Carolina and Arizona.

"UNC has sent a lot of its players to the NBA and I like their colors as they are the same as my school colors," he said. "And I know a couple of the Arizona players like Hassan Adams and Isaiah Fox."

Injury updates: Butch continued to play well even though his back was definitely hurting.

Butch scored 18 points but his Fox Valley Skillz Black squad lost a tough one to Oregon Ice Metro 64-61. The Skillz are possibly playing in a Kansas City tournament but Butch said he wouldn't be playing.

Also, Philly's Mustafa Shakur came back from his hip pointer and played like the top 10 talent that he is. His Hunting Park Warriors team won a pair of games Wednesday vs. the Oklahoma Stars and New York Elite.

News and notes: North Carolina coach Matt Doherty made his presence felt at games involving Butch and also Seattle rising junior Marvin Williams Jr… Boston Celtics star Antoine Walker cheered on the Illinois Fire late last night, then showed the players what traveling in style is like when he popped into his limo… Kansas' guards Aaron Miles and Michael Lee watched their old traveling team, the Portland Elite Legends Black… LeBron James was sporting Boston Celtics Walker jersey… Houston Superstars & 3 Stripes coach John Eurey caused a scene after getting into it with the scorekeeper in the Superstars overtime loss to the Portland Elite Legends… Miami (Fla.) got a commitment from Elijah Clarke of New York City and California got a commitment from Leon Powe… The Michigan Hurricanes picked up Dion Harris and Michael Cotton, which proved the difference in their overtime win over the Texas Top Prospects… And in the game of the day, the New Orleans Jazz and super soph Tasmin Mitchell defeated the Illinois Celtics 113-104 in four overtimes.


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