Saturday's Quarterfinal Matchups: Atlanta Celtics vs. Connecticut Select; Ft. Sooy vs. Rotary Select; Pump ‘n Run vs. Houston Westside; Playaz Gold vs. LI Panthers/Michigan Mustangs winner.
Shaun Livingston and Justin Cerasoli, Ft. Sooy: These guys were awesome on Friday. For their first trick, they knocked off Daniel Gibson and the Houston Hoops. In this one, Cerasoli hung a cool 35 points on the Hoops while Livingston went 9-for-14 from the field and collected 19 points; Gibson had 21 in the loss. Then, to reach the quarters, Cerasoli and Livingston did it again, this time to the Michigan Hurricanes. Cerasoli is posting the big scoring numbers and Livingston is picking his spots to shine.
J.R. Smith, SG, Playaz Gold: He had an amazing day. From a half court 3-pointer at half of one game to his overall shooting and sky walking skills, he's been hot. Remember, it was here in Vegas last year when he dazzled the college coaches. In one playoff game, there was a sequence where he came up with a pair of steals and then hit a key triple. He's made some big-time plays.
Lamarcus Aldridge, C, Team Texas: Everyone who has seen him extensively the past two years agreed that his 33 points against the Playaz was his best AAU game in a long time. At times in the second half he was dominant and the Playaz simply couldn't keep him off the glass. He had energy and was aggressive. There's been a lot of talk about Texas or the NBA but we can tell you that as of right now, the NBA guys we chatted with prefer Dwight Howard and Josh Smith a lot more.
Sebastian Greene, SF, Billy Shepherd: Credit the Billy's Boys with their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance at the Big Time. However, the Celtics would avenge last year's loss to them as they overwhelmed them with their inside power. Still, amongst the trees on man stood tall. Greene used his perimeter game, athleticism and savvy to compete at the highest level against the Celtics. Look, Josh Smith has been dunking on people left and right all tournament long. Against Greene, he finally was on the receiving end of one. This mid-major forward earned a number of scholarship offers with his fearless effort.
Nick Young, SF, Pump ‘n Run: He's looking for a prep school or a junior college right now and he'll have little problems finding either. Young has been Pac-10 good out here. He's been a slasher, a mid-range shooter and a reliable rebounder. He's instant offense and he'll play at the rim.
Roy Bright, SF, Michigan Hurricanes: He's strung together a nice tournament. A lot of people still don't know that he's a reliable shooter and has to be guarded on the perimeter.
Goran Sutton, PF, Michigan Hurricanes: Get him the ball and he finds a way to produce. He's a second-tier target for a number of high-major schools and someone is going to get a guy who plays hard, can fill a role and converts on his chances.
Darius Washington, M.A. Select, G: He still plays like he's most comfortable as a shooting guard and that remains the position he's been most successful playing. Simply put, the guy can get his shot off whenever he wants and he's a strong, athletic finisher.
Joe Krabbenhoft, SF, Dakota Schoolers: He looks to be the Schoolers best prospect we can remember since Mike Miller. He has all the trappings of a high-major small forward. We charted him against the Michigan Hurricanes and he had an efficient 18 points (5-10 FG, 3-5 3s). He's an average athlete but he's capable of playing high-major ball.
Charles Rhodes' body is starting to fill out up top and he plays with the purpose of dunking on you. … Jawann McClellan was clearly fatigued in his team's playoff loss this morning. The legs just weren't there to get the push he needed on his jumper. … Chris Lofton is going to be a nice addition for a mid-major program. Lofton has a very reliable stroke from deep. We're talking about a young man who made 9 3s in the state title game so you know he's got some intangibles. …
Chester Giles resembled the skilled guy we saw last year in the games we watched on Friday. Giles has plenty of scoring options in the post and he's going to move up on the recruiting lists of a number of schools. … Paulius Packevicius is trying to get to where Taj Finger is. Packevicius is continuing to improve but it's a gradual process and we still like upside. It was interesting to see him matched against a guy like Finger who has steadily gotten better. Finger taught him a lesson on one play as he spun baseline for a dunk. Packevicius' day will come. …
David McClure is a tough kid. On one play, Aldridge dribbled once, turned and threw down a nasty dunk right on top of him. So, what does McClure do? He comes right back down on the other end and makes a contested 3. That says something about a guy. … He's not getting a lot of minutes and he's certainly college-bound but the NBA guys are watching and in a few years they are really going to like his game. …
Darius Washington seems to have added some upper body strength to his game. … Rico Tucker threw down a pair of high-degree of difficulty dunks on Friday which certainly weren't easy at his size. His athleticism is his top asset and dunks like the 360 he did on Friday can be big time momentum changers. …
Here's a stat line for you: against Billy Shepherd, the Celtics frontline combined for 12 blocks. They also yielded a surprisingly high number of points in the paint, 28. … Alex Galindo is a Top 100 player and a nice prospect with a versatile game. His baseline drive and big time slam was slightly out of character but we liked it! …
News & Notes
In the morning, Iowa State and Tennessee were there for Roy Bright. Charlotte joined the parade in the evening. … Bo Ryan of Wisconsin, Sean Kearney of Notre Dame and Jeff Strohm of Marquette were in the stands for Krabbenhoft. He says he's hearing from Minnesota, Marquette, Creighton, Auburn, Notre Dame, Northern Iowa and Arizona. …
Shaun Livingston's morning crowd included the full staff treatment from North Carolina as well as assistants from Duke, Illinois and Arizona. … Chester Giles has a top five of Kansas, Arizona, Southern Cal, Washington and Miami. Coaches KU, Arizona and USC watched his morning game. …
Super Showcase Notes From Orlando
The Gauchos, winners of the Nike Peach Jam, will play The Family for the Showcase championship. The Gauchos defeated Team Breakdown and The Family knocked off Sports Academy. Earlier in the day, in a defeat, A.J. Price scored 36 against The Family. …
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