In prior years there would usually be one or two players everyone knew Wake was after, and a few more players that people assumed Wake would like to target. This year, there are at least a dozen expected participants who fall into three categories - players already committed to Wake, players already offered a scholarship by Wake or players Wake is recruiting who might receive an offer down the road. The good news is that the weekend provides a great opportunity to check out some future Deacons. The bad news is that unless you are committed to spending several hours watching basketball this weekend, it'll be tough to check out every possible Wake target.
To makes things a little easier, here's a rundown of schedules for certain players. Keep in mind that for events like this, you never can be 100% certain of a player's participation until you see him on the court with your own eyes. Occasionally players will switch teams at the last minute, and you'll always have some players who miss part of the tournament because they are back home attending prom, graduation or some other event that reminds the rest of us that we are talking about high school kids.
Chris Paul, Rey Terry Kappa Magic
Fri 6:30pm UNC Car. - Tennessee Travelers
Sat 8:30am ECH HS - New Orleans Jazz
Sat 4:40pm Smith 1 - Alabama Ice
A great chance for Rey Terry to play his way back into the hearts of recruiting gurus. If the Magic win their pool, they could potentially meet up with the Michigan Hurricanes in the first round of Sunday's playoffs. The Hurricanes feature Olu Famutimi, and there are rumors that LeBron James might also join them this weekend, giving the Hurricanes two of the five best small forwards in the country for Reyshawn to go up against.
Todd Hendley Raleigh Heat
Fri 6:30pm Smith 2 - Team Minnesota
Sat 8:30am NCST Car 2 - Champion Sports (UT)
Sat 4:40pm ECH HS - Playaz Black
Anthony King, Jeremy Ingram NC Red Storm
Fri 6:30pm Cameron - Illinois Fire
Sat 11:30am Smith 1 - Southern California All Stars
Sat 4:40pm Wilson 2 - New Jersey Celtics
This could be a big weekend for Anthony King, who has been on the verge of becoming a high major recruit. His match-up against Southern California's Mohamed Abukar, who recently committed to Georgia over Kansas, will be interesting.
PJ Tucker NC Gaters
Fri 6:30pm Smith 1- Team Texas Elite
Sat 2:00pm UNC Car - Gary Payton Seattle All Stars
Sat 7:00pm Smith 1 - Beach Ball Select
Like Anthony King, PJ Tucker has a great opportunity to show if he deserves to be included with the nation's elite players. All three of the Gaters' pool play games feature opponents of note. Team Texas features national top 5 sophomore (and apparent UNC target) Daniel Horton, the Seattle All Stars feature the high flying Stewart twins, and Beach Ball Select's roster is expected to include UNC signee Raymond Felton along with enigmatic big man Major Wingate, who if playing hard will present a major challenge for PJ Tucker.
Wayne Marshall Hunting Park (PA)
Fri 9:30pm Smith 2 - North Greenville (SC)
Sat 11:30am Reynolds - Charlotte Nets
Sat 4:40pm NCST Car 1 - Georgia Elite
I'm looking forward to seeing Wayne Marshall play again - he really impressed me at the Southern Invitational a couple weeks ago. Teammate Mustafa Shakur is the best PG in the class of ‘03 in my opinion.
Will Sheridan Tim Thomas Playaz Gold
Fri 5:00pm Smith 3 - Middlesex Magic
Sat 10:00am CH HS 1 - Fox Valley Skillz
Sat 3:20pm Smith 2 - Southeast Pump 'N Run
I don't know how intentional it was, but the Playaz Gold's pool features four of the best big men in the tournament. Although 6-11 Daryl Watkins will see most of the minutes at C for Playaz Gold, expect Will Sheridan to get some minutes head to head against elite big men Brian Butch (Fox Valley), Jackie Butler (Southeast) and Hassan Fofana (Middlesex).
Artie Bowers Tim Thomas Players Black
Fri 6:30pm Card Gym - Champion Sports (UT)
Sat 8:30am CH HS 1 - Team Minnesota
Sat 4:40pm ECH HS - Raleigh Heat
Regis Koundjia DC Team Assault
Fri 8:00pm Cameron - Georgia Stars
Sat 10:00am ECH HS - Long Island Panthers
Sat 4:40pm Reynolds - Topp Sports
To be honest I'm not sure of Regis' current status. Wake was recruiting him when he committed to LSU several weeks ago. Recent rumors are that he has backed off his commitment, but I do not know how likely it is that Wake will try to get back in the race.
Chris Taft, Jermareo Davidson Worldwide Renegades
Fri 9:30pm Wilson 1 - Columbus Blazers
Sat 2:00pm Smith 2 - Warriors Elite (NC)
Sat 7:00pm Reynolds - Seattle Team YES 17
UPDATE: According to StruttingWolf.com, Corey Gibbs will also play for Worldwide Renegades, although he will not join the team until Saturday.
I expect the Renegades to advance deep into Sunday's playoff if their expected roster shows up. Chris Taft is one of the most skilled big men in the country, while I wouldn't be surprised if 6-10 Jermareo Davidson is one of those players that has people searching their programs to figure out who he is. Jermareo hasn't received a lot of attention to date, but his bounce and athleticism caught my eye at the Southern Invitational. Big time rising junior PG Sebastian Telfair is also expected to play for the Renegades.
UPDATE: Warren Scott Jackson Panthers
Fri 5:00pm Smith 2 - Atlanta Celtics Black
Sat 8:30am Mt. Zion - Los Angeles Rockfish
Sat 4:40pm Smith 2 - Derek Smith All Stars
Today's Raleigh News & Observer claims the 6-8 combo forward that Wake has been looking at for awhile will be playing for the Jackson Panthers this weekend.
As the weekend draws closer, I'll update any roster or schedule changes that come to my attention. Check out www.bobgibbons.net for the weekend's full schedule.