The 2005 Arizona Republic All Star Basketball Classic has come and gone. A great event that in time will turn out to be a hot commodity to be nominated as a participant.
Some thoughts on the game, players and fans:
John Hines, director forwww.Northwestsports.org has again pulled off a class event.
AWA proves why it should be the home to all State Basketball Championships.
The fan turn out was good (in my mind) and will only get better.
A number of point guards who participated forgot why they got nominated. Keeping your head down, over dribbling and forcing a number of shots is not the reason. Those who saw the game know what I am talking about.
- Ray Murdock: The best future DI player on the court. Long arms, athletic, can bounce, shoot the 3 and attack the glass with strength. Big time upside, great 3 man body and will have a great career in the WCC at University of San Diego.
- Kaleo Kina: Played the hardest, treats every game like his last, and the rest of the "All-Stars" should take notice. If KK was more athletic, add 2 inches he would not be attending the Naval Academy. Kina is a joy to watch, and will be highly successful back East.
- Chaz Neal: Solid guard who needs more development at the 1. Juco route will add needed coaching, skill development and exposure.
- Lawrence Hill: Ankle injury slowed him down. We are all looking forward to his career on "The Farm".
- Joey Shaw: Voted MVP. Needs some Kaleo Kina in him. Just does not play hard at both ends. The Indiana-bound athlete can overcome some lack of size/strength with a "play hard for 94 for 40" aka-94 feet for 40 minutes.
- Eli Davis: So Utah-bound. This kid busts his ass. Will have solid DI career. Plays at a higher level than where he his headed.
- Monti Washington: Athletic wing who needs lateral quicks and improvement handling the rock. Juco route may help him. Best performance in the Dunk competition. Great kid who has always beat the odds, and we see him doing it again. We will hear about Monti again in the near future.
- Michael Strittmatter: Princeton-bound. Had a quite showing. Have heard the Tigers already have him on a program.
- Daren Jordan: Oral Roberts-bound. Needs to learn the 1. Athletic scorer who played hard.
- James Anderson: BYU-bound. Rail thin, and should be a red-shirt for the new coach at BYU. (Old coach took Fresno State job last week) Needs development, strength and experience.
- Alex Farrer: Plays hard and can shoot from 18. Juco - DIII/NAIA could be the answer.
- Nkem Ojougboh: Big time body who needs skill level to catch up. Headed to Texas San Antonio.
- Mike Martin: Athletic wing who is hearing from DI's across Mid-West/East Coast. Prep School will be his route if nothing materializes in next 4 months.
- Tim Maiden: Texas San Antonio-bound. This showing was not the TM we have seen. Head down, forced shots and over dribbled.
- Matt Komenda: Utah Valley State-bound. Bruiser who if he could add 2-3 inches would be MM-HM player.
- Tareq Ramirez: Just committed to Grand Canyon. Great choice and will be a success at this level. Can score in bunches.
- Graham Hatch: Wichita State-bound. The Shocker fans are in for a treat. Hatch is best 2g in AZ in our opinion.
- Chris Osborn: Air Force-bound. Another big time athlete that can shoot it from 3. With added skill development will be huge for the Academy. Could play at higher level. Won slam dunk comp and proved "White men can jump"!
- David Burrows: Plays hard. Can shoot it from 3 and snake his way around glass. Juco-DII could be his direction.
- Justin Taylor: Can score, good athlete and handle the rock. Juco could be his ticket to DI. Remember Seth Robinson? Phoenix Christian-Scottsdale Community-Boise State all in one year. Taylor could repeat the feat.
- TJ Topercer: Was a late addition. Which baffled us. Topercer has received big interest from the Ivy League, but could go Prep. Needs to play 3 at that level and has the "face the basket" skills to do it.
- Devin Stewart: Proved he was the best PG on the floor. Plays hard, distributes the ball, has the mental toughness. Needs the outside J. Saddleback Juco (California) cranks out DI guards and is all over Stewart.