J.R. Smith, SG, Playaz Gold: He was responsible for one of the top efforts of the day as he dropped 29 against Colorado Pump Œn Run. In addition to being the top athlete in the gym, he passed it well, did his usual assortment of tricks above the rim and generally was impressive. The big-time skywalker helped his team avoid the opening day upset.
Mike Williams, PF, SE Pump Œn Run: He's just got such balance to his game. Now that he's found his comfort zone (rebounding and making mid-range jumpers), he's really played well. He‚s always got energy and he consistently gets after it.
Darnell Harris, SG, Baltimore Select: After a first half that just wasn't good by his standards, he hit for 16 in the second half and got his jumper working. Harris‚ outburst fueled a big run by his team as they clawed back into it but eventually lost to SE Pump Œn Run.
Jared Dudley, SF, Pump Œn Run: He had 21 points today and he does it with hustle and determination. Dudley is one of those jack-of-all-trades guys. He plays with effort and passion and when the game is over he‚s done a terrific job of filling the stat sheet. A senior in 2003, he 's qualified and hasn't decided whether to pursue scholarship offers for the fall or head to prep school for an extra year of seasoning.
Hector Hernandez, PF, Colorado Pump Œn Run: The big guy came out in the first half on fire. He had 14 of his 16 in the opening half when he used some fine perimeter work to get things done. Clearly he likes facing the basket more than playing inside and after he nailed a pair of 3s, he astutely used a pump fake for a blow by to the hoop.
Chamberlain Oguchi, SG, Houston Select: He's becoming one of the hottest wing targets in the country as the high-majors like him more everyday. Oguchi has a very reliable touch from downtown and people are really starting to take a liking to him. He had 16 in his team's win Monday evening.
Andris Dedrins, PF, D.C. Assault: Never heard of him? Me neither.
Josh McRoberts, PF, Indiana Red: Here's a guy who's a pretty versatile power forward he had 9 points and 11 boards in the game we saw. He's still working on the inside scoring stuff but this kid is a big time prospect in his class.
Andre McGee, PG, Inland: The little man scored 21 points (8-19 FG) in his game. He was a little off from 3-point range (3-10) but he can get his shot either from downtown or off the drive pretty much whenever he wants.
Brandon Costner, PF, Playaz Red: We saw him play one game today and heard from 10 people how well he played in the other. He's a face-up four man who, if he ever gets as comfortable on the block as he is on the perimeter, will be an absolute terror. He's skilled and improving at a pretty good pace. He's a legit threat beyond the arc.
Greg Oden, C, Indiana Red: The Houston SuperStars couldn't buy a bucket in the paint when he was in the game and that's pretty much the way it goes all the time when he's around. What some might not realize is that this kid already has a tremendous feel and understanding for the game.