Adidas Texas Classic: Day One

<P><STRONG>PEARLAND, Tex. –</STRONG> With the NCAA coaches sitting a hotel waiting for the evaluation period to begin on Saturday, the thoroughbreds were slow out of the gate on Friday night. Action will definitely pick up tomorrow at the adidas Texas Classic. </P>

Day One, adidas Texas Classic

2004 Checklist

Derrick Roberts, SG, Houston Select: David Salinas told us he had players but little did we know just how good a few of them are. Take Roberts for instance. He's a sleek guard with a good handle and looks every bit like a high-major guy. He had a drive and baseline dunk that was awesome. He had 11 points on 4-for-6 from the field in a romp over Team Detroit.

Joe Jones, PF-C, Houston Select: The big fella got his 8 and 11 and took a seat for the remainder of the game. While his offense continues to improve, his rebounding prowess has never been in question. Jones got manly rebounds against Team Detroit.

Jerome Habel, PF, D.C. Assault: The kid must have had 7 blocks in a loss to the Long Island Panthers. Habel, a lefty, really showcased his overall game tonight. He made a few faceups but it was his rebounding and defense that set the tone.

Brian Laing, PF-SF, NY Ravens: The kid plays the same role for the Ravens that a former Gary DeCesare-protégé – Chris McCrae – did a few years ago. He's a warrior who will get on the glass and stay there. He bangs, hustles, rebounds and plays his tail off. He was one of the lone bright spots in the Ravens loss to the Illinois Fire.

Javan Adams, Houston Superstars, SG-PG: He's probably a little undersized to be considered a full-time shooting guard but that's where he'll likely wind up at the mid-major level. We were impressed with his offense, in particular his mid-range game. He had 17 in a game Friday night.

Steven Neal, ATH, Team Minnesota: Neal ran a lot of point guard in his team's opener. The guy can pass and handle well. He didn't shoot it from deep on this occasion but he did play in attack mode and get to the rim. He's a superior wing athlete and a high-major one.

2005 Checklist:

Greg Johnson, PG, NY Ravens: This NYC product is prepping in Massachusetts but he's balling with the Ravens this weekend. The kid can flat out distribute the rock – did I just sound like Dick Vitale or is it just me? – and sees the floor well. If you're open he's going to find you.

DeAndre Thomas, PF, Illinois Fire: He had a great game against the Ravens. The 6-8 soph was aggressive and played his tail off. He's got nice hands and isn't afraid to get in there and finish with contact.

Off The Dribble:

The Illinois Fire has quite a tandem on the wing in Aramis Brown and Jeremy Pargo (brother of Lakers guard Jannero). Brown does everything from behind the arc, and little inside it. Pargo, like his brother, also prefers to shoot it but he can get in the paint too. They combined for 37 in their first game. …

Ravens small forward Gavin Grant was held in check against the Fire. However, we did give him 7 big rebounds as he did his part and got on the glass throughout. … One of the most athletic plays we've seen all spring was turned in by Kiwan Smith of the Long Island Panthers. He ripped down the rim when a Josh Wright layin came off the front of the iron. Smith was there for a rousing dunk. …

Joe Jones and Derrick Roberts seem to be the two best prospects on the Houston Select roster but Chamberlain Oguchi isn't bad either. He can shoot it with range and is athletic as all get up. … Xavier got a good one in guard Darryl Garrett. The Team Detroit standout has not a good looking stroke, but a great looking stroke. …

News & Notes:

LI Panthers swingman Rashon Clark did not play in the evening game because he needed to get stitches after diving on a loose ball earlier in the day. … Two teams that did not show were Hunting Park and Inland Empire. … Gavin Grant says he's got "a lot of schools." Pittsburgh was recruiting and Ben Howland has him on his list at UCLA. …

Remember the tennis star Yannick Noah? Well, he's got a son, a big son. Joakim Noah is a 6-10 big man with the Long Island Panthers and he can play, basketball that is. … Houston Select lost the services of Jawann McClellan who opted to join the Houston Hoops. …

Houston Select guard Derrick Roberts lists Texas, Texas Tech and Texas Christian as schools he likes. We can see him at all three places. … His running mate, Chamberlain Oguchi likes Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, New Mexico, St. John's and Colorado State. …

Jerome Habel says he needs some press. The 5th year forward is hearing from Charlotte and Virginia Commonwealth but that's about it. He certainly had a good night on Friday. ..

Saturday will be a big day at the adidas Texas Classic. We'll be seeing some terrific players, including a handful like Al Horford that we've never seen at all. Plus, the college coaches will be in the stands and the kids will take up the level of play to another notch. …


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