Kyle Singler, SF, Portland Legends: With Love sitting out of the title game because of cramps, Singler used the opportunity to elevate his game. We didn't see the contest because of an early flight, but the word on the streets is that Singler more than delivered the goods!
O.J. Mayo, PG, D-I Greyhounds: The roar of the crowd coming from the main gym indicated that Mayo was up to something in the semis. Now, his team didn't win this tournament but we've got to remember something: neither did Oden and Conley with Spiece last year. When it's all said and done, the best players on the Greyhounds are sophs and this is a big time marathon of an event in which wisdom often times trumps age.
Kevin Love, PF, Portland Elite Legends: The high school version of Elton Brand was at it again as he was taking his team deep into a big time event before missing the title game with cramps. He's slightly more athletic than he would appear to be and he's got the whole bag of tricks inside. Still, his two best plays of the day came of hits ahead on the break where he feathered in a couple length-of-the-court passes to streaking teammates.
DeAndre Jordan (right), PF/C, Houston Swoosh: This was our first look at the 6-foot-10, 210 pound lefty. Blessed with a crazy wingspan, he's not a dominate player yet but he's got the kind of body that is going to fill out nicely and when it does …. wow! Jordan did give everyone a taste of his potential when he caught it baseline spun and dunked from the block over somebody. Write the name down and hope your favorite school can barge in because after his center court exploits every program in America has him in their sights.
Tracy Smith, PF, Georgia Hurricanes: With one of his AAU contacts sitting on the sidelines inspiring his team to "ride the horse" Smith plugged away. Even against the Legends he was able to muscle inside and put in work. Reclassified into the sophomore class, Smith has a chance to be a really strong inside player if conditioning becomes a priority.
Luke Harangody, C/PF, SYF Players: There was a stretch where he created a buzz by lifting SYF deep into the tournament. Harangody is a meat and potatoes kind of big man. He'll stick to what works inside and as one observer noted: "You could shoot him twice and he's still going to the basket to score and you can't stop him." Man, this bunch from Indiana put all the pieces together after a so-so showing at the Boo Williams.
Harrison Smith, SG, Houston Swoosh: Apparently he's played his best basketball of the year here at Kingwood. We saw him last summer and figured him to be a mid-major guy. Well, on Sunday he was looking like a Top 100 prospect with a strong, athletic body and the ability to drill 3s. He's from the same high school that produced Daniel Gibson and he's about to get scholarship offers from a wide array of schools.
Perry Stevenson, PF, Louisiana Stars: We like him at 190 pounds so imagine if he can crack the 200 mark! Here's the deal: he's a talented player who has enough tricks inside to score. The lean fella is an excellent shot blocker and loves to offensive rebound. He's extremely thin and that'll scare away some schools. However, he's a guy you have to project two years down the line anyway, once he's been through a college strength and conditioning regimen. The hope is that as a sophomore in college he's dunking the balls he leaves on the rim now. No matter how it shakes down he had 24 points (9-for-11 FG) and 9 rebounds in a playoff win and those are good numbers. Remember too, he was an all-star at ABCD last year!
Raymar Morgan (left), SF/PF, King James Stars: Here's a guy who has made strides with his game in terms of aggressiveness and production. He's going to be a high level high-major player and if he can tighten up his mid-range game he can really be effective because he's an excellent athlete once he shakes loose inside. He had 17 in the game we saw (15 in the first half).
Jordan Hill, C/PF, Smyrna Stars: On Friday night he was merely feeling his way around after having not played high school ball last year. By Sunday afternoon high-majors were getting his address for their mailing lists. Now, there's still work to be done and weight to be added but the proverbial light was "going off" with each game we caught. By the time he left he was in the midst of going from prospect to player in a span of 3 days.
NEWS & NOTES
Spencer Hawes (right), whose uncle, Steve Hawes, played in the NBA, sure can draw a big time crowd. Lute Olson, Roy Williams, Ben Howland and Lorenzo Romar were front and center watching Seattle FOH Sunday morning. … Arizona State was watching Kevin Coble and Kal Bay. …
Raymar Morgan said that Michigan State and Ohio State are recruiting him the hardest. Syracuse, UConn, Arizona, Miami and Cincinnati are in there too. The Spartans and Buckeyes are marking him hard. "They've been over to the school already and everything," Morgan said.
Here's an interesting note: not a single high-major head coach was watching O.J. Mayo's first playoff game of the day. Obviously no one is taking him very seriously in regards to college. … Villanova assistant Brett Gunning was watching Baltimore Select's Rob Jackson. …
Marques Johnson had a nice crowd watching him. We counted Matt Painter of Purdue and two assistants from Illinois and Georgetown. … Perry Stevenson had Texas, Baylor, LSU and Mississippi State in the gym watching him. Slap Texas Tech, Kentucky and Georgia Tech on the list and you've got a complete rundown of his recruitment. …
LaRyan Gray is a swingman to be aware of in Big 12 country. He's got Baylor, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech and La-Lafayette on him right now. … Before Harrison Smith erupted on center court and dropped 34 in another game, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State, UConn, Florida State and Florida were on him. … Watching Kevin Love and Kyle Singler ball in the semis was Roy Williams and Ben Howland. …
Oregon State was front and center for more than one of Seth Tarver's games this weekend. … Look for Boston College to move on Harrison Smith. BC landed Marquez Haynes out of Texas last year. … Super sophomore DeAndre Bryant's list will get longer before it gets shorter but starting with Arizona, Florida State, Arizona State, Houston, Texas A&M and Oklahoma isn't bad.
Ricky Harris, a wing, was Baltimore Select's top player all weekend long. Kent State and Tulsa are recruiting him. … If you're looking to pinpoint what separates O.J. Mayo from your average sophomore sensation, ponder this: no one, maybe not even Greg Oden, has the kind of drawing power Mayo does. The bottom line is that right now he's putting fannies in the seats.