Rundown of the First Day in Vegas

The first day of the Las Vegas tournaments provided some good action featuring UCLA prospects -- guys like seniors Josh Smith, Ray McCallum, Terrence Jones and Keala King, and juniors such as Norvel Pelle and Brendon Dawson...

I spent the entire day at the GBOA, since the schedule had plenty of UCLA prospects on tap.

Norvel Pelle, the 6-8 junior post was the first. He only got three touches in the post, but with a good collection of college coaches in the gym, he showed why he's considered a prospect with tremendous upside -- getting off the floor quickly, especially on the second jump, blocking shots, and being able to move his feet like a small forward. Coaches from USC, Cal, Washington and WSU were watching. It's believed that Washington likes Pelle quite a bit and that a Husky offer might be coming soon.

UCLA was not in the gym at the time, but Ben Howland was at early game of Shabazz Muhammad, the 6-4 talented sophomore wing from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Muhammad told Scout.com's Evan Daniels that he has scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Louisville, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Kansas and San Diego State. UCLA, UNC and Indiana are also recruiting him. He's planning to visit Ohio State in the near future.

The Chicago AAU team, Mac Irvin Fire, with junior power forward Mike Shaw, dropped out of the GBOA. UCLA has shown Shaw attention.

Filling in was the California Supreme #2 team, which also added junior guard Nick Johnson from Gilbert (Calif.) Highland.

Greg Hicks on Johnson:

The 6-1 Johnson is a very bouncy prospect with a nice stroke to the stripe, but he's not a point guard. Defensive intensity was just fair in the game I watched and he could have issues trying to defend quicker guards. Handle is solid for a two guard, but not where it needs to be to play the one at a high level.

Team Detroit featured a couple of UCLA prospects: 6-0 senior Ray McCallum, and 6-4 shooting guard Trey Zeigler. Howland was in the gym for this game.

McCallum is a solid true point guard, who definitely looks to pass first and set up his teammates. He has a good handle, plays with good balance and under control, and has a good shooting stroke to the three-point line. He's not a flashy-type of point guard, but a steady, solid one. He's not especially quick -- not slow by any means -- but not as quick as you might expect for a point guard his size. That doesn't mean he isn't a clear high-major point guard, especially in a year that is down for point guards nationally.

Zeigler is a good athlete who plays hard and can hit an open jumper. He's a bit raw off the dribble, but he gets a lot of garbage points through hustle and in transition.

Howland then stayed for the first half of the I-5 Elite game, which featured power forward Terrence Jones and point guard Stephen Holt. Hicks on Jones and Holt:

Terrence Jones, 6-7 PF Portland (Ore.) Jeffersonb, had a very productive game in a blowout win for his I-5 team. His body looks a little leaner than it did the last time we saw him and he's moving better as well. He's certainly got very good ball skills for a four man, but not sure how those ball skills translate at the next level (most college teams don't let the opposing four man drive from 25 feet away to the hoop for a lay-up). Outside shot is fairly accurate, but a slow release will need to be fixed at the next level.

Jones told Evan Daniels that he has scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, USC and Kansas, and that Washington, Oklahoma, Connecticut, USC and UCLA are the five schools coming the hardest.

Stephen Holt, 6-2 PG Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, only took a couple shots in the blowout win and he certainly pays a price for playing with Jones (who dominates the ball). Stat scouts won't get Holt because he doesn't put up big numbers, but the body, athleticism, feel and skill level are all there for a high major player.

Holt said Arizona and UCLA have been showing some interest lately, with Washington State, St. Mary's, Portland, Utah, Stanford, San Diego State, Boise State and Utah State also in the mix. He said Portland, Utah, San Diego State, Boise State and Utah State have offered.

-- UCLA assistant Scott Duncan watched Keala King, the 6-4 guard who is now reportedly going to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. King looked good, having a great combination of size and quickness, but also very impressive vision and passing ability. He can be out of control at times, and try to be too flashy, but his natural instinct is exceptional. He's a very good ball-handler for his size and could give you time at the point guard position. Along with UCLA, Stanford, Cal and USC were in the gym. King told Daniels that Harvard, Stanford, California, Arizona and Arizona State are the schools showing him the most attention, and that Michigan and Kentucky are also in the mix.

Brendon Dawson, the 6-5 junior SF from Indiana was up next and he showed to be an intriguing prospect. Dawson is really bouncy, with good quickness to go along with a good body and long arms. He's not a great shooter yet but has a good looking stroke. With those long arms and jumping ability he's an exceptional rebounder. Dawson came to UCLA's Advanced Skills Camp for a day and has interest in the Bruins.

Howland returned to the gym to watch Seattle Rotary, featuring Josh Smith, the 6-9 senior center from Kent (Wash.) Kentwood. Smith wasn't very active in this game, getting perhaps three or four rebounds while standing around watching out of a stance. He's such a physical force, though, that when he gets the ball in the post it's near impossible to keep him from sealing and scoring. Once he gets in a college program, gets in shape, and learns to play harder he has the potential to be a force.

Rotary faced off against Memphis Magic, with Jelan Kendrick, the 6-5 senior small forward from Atlanta. Kendrick might have been the best all-around prospect in this one gym all day -- a Chris Douglas-Roberts type. He's long and quick, with one of those very flexible bodies, and that allows him to guard just about any-sized wing. He also has exceptional handle for a player his size, which enables him to create off the dribble for himself and others. UCLA has been trying to get involved with Kendrick.

Daniels also wrote about Jordan Price, the 6-5 sophomore wing from Decatur, Georgia: Price was possibly the biggest surprise of the day. We'd heard he was good, but we didn't realize he was going to be this good. The 6-foot-5 2012 prospect played some on the ball, but we think his future position will be out on the wing. He has a tight handle, a strong frame and above average hops. Around the rim he uses his body very well and he's already developed himself into a terrific finisher at the rim. He told Daniels he has early scholarship offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Michigan, along with interest from Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina.


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