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July 12, 2006
Peach Jam: Opening day
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Buckle up. Things are already moving at a quick pace after the first day of the Peach Jam at the beautiful Riverview Park. The big timers were as big as they get on Wednesday as Kyle Singler, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and Chandler Parsons got it done.
Singler sizzles in Augusta heat
Kyle Singler didn't play well on Wednesday. Well, for two minutes at least. Once the rust rattled off, the floppy haired Oregon native went to work in a big time way against Patrick Patterson and the rest of the talented Boo Williams team.
Singler put on a versatile clinic against the star-studded team. After starting the game off one of seven from the floor, Singler scored 20 points in the first half and helped his Portland Legends team climb to a 38-23 first half lead over Boo Williams. It was all Singler. He had a hand in every play on both ends of floor.
His play drew comparisons of Adam Morrison and even the great Larry Bird. Whoever, Singler was outstanding. He is shaping up to be one heck of a college basketball player. Singler does it all. On one play, he drove to his left and dunked a ridiculous attempt home for two. Three plays later, he sunk a three-pointer. His outlet passing is just as good as his offensive rebounding skills. Both are incredible.
Singler's performance in front of head coaches from all of his suitors - Duke, UCLA, Kansas, Arizona and Washington - was one of the best in recent memory at the Peach Jam. It was one of those kinds of schooling. 29 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks is about as good as it gets here and it was a treat to see it.
Just as good
What hurt ankle? Tyreke Evans sure didn't look like a guy that was working on 75 percent strength. The class of 2008 stud was outstanding on opening day.
Evans played a near flawless offensive game against The Family in a 76-71 victory. Evans sunk home five three-pointers and not a one of the buckets hit the iron. Each of the scores popped the nets about as perfect as they could go through. His shot is so difficult to defend because of his reared back motion and fade away attempt he utilizes.
As good as he is on the offensive side of the ball, Evans rebounds with the best of them and has incredibly quick hands on the defensive end of the floor. When it is all clicking, Evans is one of those guys the college coaches come to watch just for sheer entertainment. Odds are, the coaches will be entertained quite a bit this week in Augusta.s
As good as Singler was on opening night, Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon certainly came close to the top performer on opening day. Gordon joined Rose on the Mean Streets Express team for this week in Augusta and went right to work with his new team.
Gordon was outstanding against the Alabama Lasers, scoring 22 points and rebounded eight boards. At times, he was forced to play the power forward position because of the lack of size on the team. Athletically, Gordon makes himself play bigger than his 6-foot-3 lists. He's so quick off the floor, even Bawa Maniru wondered if all kids in America jump like does. Gordon doesn't mess around when he gets into the paint.
In typical fashion, Rose set the tone of the game with his incredible feel for the game. Even Gordon said Rose is too unselfish at times. That is coming from someone that has never played a pick up game with Rose.
Making everyone around him better is Rose's main concern. He does that and does it better than anyone else in this class. His second jump is sometimes better than the first off the hardwood and all four players at his disposal better be ready for the pass. He'll find guys better than the FBI.
The best is yet to come from Rose. Believe that. Rose and Gordon play Tyreke Evans and Team Final on Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets are already selling on eBay.
Chandler Parsons said he picked up offers from Rutgers, LSU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame after the Nike All-America camp. Indiana might be next, he said. If the 6-foot-8 sweet shooting forward from Lake Howell (Fla.) HS continues to play like he did on opening day, he'll have to buy a storage shed for all of the offers he'll have.
Parsons was outstanding against Team Texas, scoring an eye-popping 34 points. He sunk a handful of long balls but also benefited from stellar passing from his high school teammate Nick Calathes, who finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Calathes and Parsons are on the same page at all times. Each player makes each other better and the little defense played by Team Texas probably helped the Florida boys do their thing a little easier. Nevertheless, both Sunshine State players opened the Peach Jam up with a bang.
Fresh off a commitment from Michigan, Corperryale Harris didn't slow his game down at the Peach Jam. In fact, he continues to improve on the parts of his game that needed the most improvement. Despite a tough loss to Team Final, Harris was hitting perimeter shots off the dribble at a consistent clip. He was the best player on The Family on Wednesday morning.
After winning MVP honors in the Nike All-America camp underclassmen all-star game, Willie Warren kept firing up shots in the morning game against Team Florida. Being down by almost 30 points, Warren found a rhythm and scored 12 straight buckets and roughly 20 points in the second half. Warren finished with 30 points. It wasn't pretty but he can score. Shot selection is not his best trait, but the class of 2008 prospect is a guy that will draw a host of high-majors over the next two years.
Odds & Ends
Robbie Hummel will decided between Indiana and Purdue on Monday at an afternoon press conference at his Valparaiso (Ind.) HS.
Paul Williams, a 2008 prospect from The Family, picks his spots to shine amongst a pair of Michigan State commitments and a Michigan pledge. Williams, a sturdy 6-foot-4 lefty guard, buried a handful of perimeter buckets en route to a solid 17 points.
Another big 2008 guard to keep an eye on this week in Alabama native Nick Williams. The 6-foot-4 forward turned two guard is always improving. His perimeter game is strong but so is his passing and rebounding. The SEC schools are following him like it's a manhunt.
Another 'Bama 2008 prospect that is making noise is Bawa Maniru. He is a work in progress and showed flashes of brilliance at the Nike camp last week in Indy. That continued on the first day of the Peach Jam. Playing against a small Mean Streets Express team, Maniru used his 6-foot-10 frame to his advantage. He scored a team high 15 points and secured seven rebounds. He is a work in progress but the upswing is in motion.
There is no such thing as too far away from the basket for Rotnei Clarke. The class of 2008 guard can flat out shoot the rock. Since seeing him in April, Clarke has put his body through serious work and is now able to get by a defender or two that he might not have been able to. Clarke showed off a nice two dribble move to the left and pulled up for a jumper. If you like watching a pure jump shooter, he's your guy.
Whatever grade he is in, Devin Ebanks is a major prospect. At 6-foot-7, he's a terrific shooter and possesses a motor that doesn't quit. Ebanks makes plays and he gives headaches out to the opposition because he is just so hard to defend.
Once Chicago Simeon forward Tim Flowers's career is over at a mid-major, he'll be one heck of a security detail member. He's a no-nonsense guy and plays like that on the hardwood. He just punishes people down low.
Jeff Robinson scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds against The Family and provided Team Final with another scoring punch besides Evans. Word is he had three three-pointers against Team Florida in the night game. Robinson, a Memphis commit in 2007, is playing good basketball and finding his spots to do what he does best and that is be a pure athlete. He slashes to the hole, rebounds in traffic and creates opportunities to score with back door slashes and offensive rebound put packs.
Malcolm Delaney is not stopping. After shining at the Nike camp, the Baltimore guard is playing for offers here at the Peach Jam. He's putting together nice games in front of coaches.
In the numbers
Here is a look at the box scores from around the Riverview Park center from the games we did not get a chance to see in action.
Isaiah Thomas scored 29 points, pulled down eight rebounds and dished out five assists against the Miami Tropics in a huge 73-48 win. Max Groebe put in 22 points in the defeat.
Patrick Patterson had a 16 point, 12 rebound and three block performance in a 64-49 win over Howard Pulley. Blake Griffin, another bruiser, had a solid line of 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 66-61 defeat to the Illinois Warriors.
Cameron Tatum of the Georgia Stars, had a huge scoring day on Wednesday. He scored 26 points against Memphis YOMCA and word is, he scored upwards of 30 points in the night cap. Teammate Chris Barnes had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Fresh off a commitment to Clemson, Terrence Oglesby went on a scoring tear in his future home state. The Tennessee native scored 24 points against the Metro Hawks.
After a stellar showing at the Nike All-America camp, Greg Monroe put in the work against the New York Gauchos with 31 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in a defeat.
Jordan Theodore of the New York Gauchos 16U squad scored 35 points in the win over Monroe and the New Orleans Panthers.
Max Kenyi, 2008 - Every year Washington D.C. puts out guard prospects. Kenyi, a long 6-foot-3 guard from Gonzaga Prep, could be next. Kenyi scored 16 points and distributed five assists in a tough loss to the Metro Hawks.
Murphy Holloway had a double-double for the South Carolina Ravens 16U team in a 76-69 win over The Family. Holloway, a 2008 prospect, scored 16 points and secured 10 rebounds. LeShay Page had 20 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Kewon Short of the SYF Players 16U team scored 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 75-73 win over California Hoops. Brandon Walton, a 6-foot guard from the class of 2009, led the Hoops with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Get to know the name Chris Reynolds. The class of 2008 prospect from August (Ga.) Glenn Hills HS is coming off a stellar performance at the adidas Rising Superstar camp in Indy and picked up where he left off there. Reynolds was the lynch pin in a 69-62 win over Team Melo with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Keep in mind he's a guard. And a darn good one at that. Reynolds needs to find a way onto the high-major radar for the southern schools.