Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NIKE Peach Jam, July 13

This article was originally written on July 13.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – The Nike Peach Jam continued on Monday, as elite AAU teams from across the country got more comfortable and acclimated with the surroundings and facilities – and it showed in the level of play. There were more close games, better-played games and plenty of marquee match-ups. For Big East fans, a big-time battle ensued when the New York Gauchos took on the Playaz, while the Albany City Rocks also took on Team Final. One of the more interesting moments I’ve ever seen in an AAU game occurred in the Gauchos-Playaz game, when NY’s Doron Lamb literally stood near half-court and held the ball for the last five-plus minutes of the first half – for no apparent reason, other than the coaching staff telling him to.

There were plenty of other interesting games and performances throughout the day; here’s a look at some of the major players:

Tobias Harris, 6-8, Albany City Rocks, 2010: Was very, very impressive throughout the day. In his opening game today, despite the loss to Team Final, Harris was exceptional. He showed his complete repertoire, hitting threes from the corner with consistency, as well as getting baskets around the rim off of rebounds or penetration. Harris finished very well at the basket, and was not discouraged even after getting blocked by Mike Gilchrist or Rakeem Christmas. Apparently, he was even better in his second game. “He played good in the first game? Well, he played great [in the night game],” said an ACC head coach.

Brice Kofane, 6-8, Albany City Rocks, 2010: One of the more surprising performers of the day, Kofane didn’t do much offensively – but he didn’t need to. He was absolutely outstanding at the other end, coming in and immediately blocking three consecutive shots against Team Final. He was also a very good rebounder and caused problems all day on the interior. Offensively, he got good position and showed good vision, and even got a few baskets off of offensive rebounds and put-backs.

Rakeem Christmas, 6-9, Team Final, 2011: Christmas didn’t do much offensively against the City Rocks, outside of a few dunks and finishes at the rim. He also ran the floor pretty well, enabling him to get easy points in transition. However, he was outstanding on the defensive end, blocking shot after shot. His length and reach make it difficult for people to go up against him and score, while his athleticism helps him control the glass.

Mike Gilchrist, 6-7, Team Final, 2011: Arguably the best player in the nation regardless of class, Gilchrist showed why during his morning game. He was outstanding offensively, getting to the basket at will and finishing effectively. Gilchrist also got fouled often, and showed off his nice free-throw touch. He was also a menace on the backboards at both ends, and had multiple blocks, including back-to-back blocks of Harris.

Terrence Jones, 6-9, I-5 Elite, 2010: The lefty admittedly did not have a very good offensive performance, but he was solid on the glass and played well defensively. However, I would have liked to see a lot more from him at the offensive end. Jones did not use his size very well, not taking advantage of his edge in height against smaller defenders. When he got the ball, he was not aggressive and did not look for his shot. Defensively, though, Jones blocked several shots and rebounded well.

Brian Richardson, 6-5, Boo Williams, 2010: Richardson was one of the more impressive shooters all day. He was outstanding from behind the arc, although he did get a little shot-happy at times. He has a very nice stroke and deep range, and could also catch and shoot in transition. Furthermore, Richardson showed the ability to take the ball to the basket if a defender does not respect his dribble-drive enough. He also made a couple of solid passes.

Jeremy Lamb, 6-4, Georgia Stars, 2010: One of the biggest surprises of the day, Lamb had a fantastic offensive game and could start seeing some high-major interest if he continues to play like this. According to a high school coach in Georgia, Lamb “killed” them twice during the season and is only getting better. He is long and athletic and can score in a variety of ways. He had several strong takes to the basket and was effective finishing. Lamb can also shoot mid-range and three-point jumpers, and he played well on the glass and defensively, too.

Mike Shaw, 6-8, Mac Irvin Fire, 2011: Despite playing on a loaded Mac Irvin team, Shaw stood out. He is long, versatile and athletic, and he played well at both ends of the court. He had a couple of nice blocks and also guarded the ball well, getting very low in a defensive stance. He played the passing lanes well, and also led a fast break after a steal. He is very solid going to the rim and will drive into traffic if necessary.

Wayne Blackshear, 6-5, Mac Irvin Fire, 2011: Blackshear is a very physical, strong wing who takes it to the basket very well and can finish with contact. He has three-point range, but struggled with his shot today. When driving the lane, though, he is shifty and unpredictable; however, he missed a couple of easy lay-ups today, though. Blackshear is athletic and can run the floor for transition baskets.

Carlton Brundidge, 6-2, The Family U-16, 2011: A well-built, strong-bodied guard, Brundidge is an excellent penetrator who can really get to the basket. Furthermore, Brundidge has deep range and will shoot from three consistently. He can penetrate to the rim and dish it off to teammates for open shots. Brundidge is quick with the ball and shields it well when driving. Defensively, he picks up steals and plays passing lanes well.

Savon Goodman, 6-5, Team Final U-16, 2011: Goodman is apparently receiving high-major and Big East interest, but I was not very impressed with him today. He does not move well without the ball at all, and mostly just stood in the post waving his hand for the ball. He does get good position and uses his size well, but he didn’t get enough touches. When he did, though, he attacked the rim and also made a few nice passes from the high post.

Rod Days, 6-7, Team Florida U-16, 2011:
When watching Days, one immediately notices that he has excellent size for his position. He is long and athletic and can do a lot of things. Days has good dribbling ability, but he knows his limits – he does not hesitate to pass the ball off to a smaller guard. Offensively, he did not show much aggressiveness or utilize his size advantage, but he was very good at the other end of the floor.

Bradley Beal, 6-3, St. Louis Eagles U-16, 2011: Beal, one of the more highly-touted players in the class of 2011 (and probably should be playing on the U-17 Eagles, who could clearly use him), showed off his outstanding shooting ability in his game. He loves hanging out on the wing and getting kick outs or passes in transition so he can hit open shots. He also had a couple of nice baseline drives that led to points. Beal is athletic and can change his shot when in the air. His jump shot, though, is his best asset: he has nice rotation and release, and he gets very nice lift.

Nerlens Noel, 6-9, BABC U-16, 2012: Noel is a fast-riser in the class of 2012 and showed immense potential today. The New Englander is very long and lanky, but he is extremely athletic and mobile for a player his age and size. He can block shots and rebound inside and also showed a nose for the ball when contesting passes to the wings. Noel can run the floor and has solid hands. He can also finish and dunk well down low.

Shannon Scott, 6-2, Southern Kings U-16, 2011: Coming off of a very impressive performance on Sunday, Scott followed it up with another good showing today. He has very good size for a point guard, and he has a good build. Scott is long and can defend, playing solid on-the-ball as well as when guarding passing lanes. He can handle the rock and break pressure by himself, and is also a good distributor. He is a good playmaker and has a nice stroke. However, Scott did dribble himself into trouble at times, leaving himself vulnerable to traps.

Amir Williams, 6-10, The Family U-16, 2011: Williams was not as immediately impressive as his teammate Brundidge, but he has more potential due to his size and skill set. He is tall and long, and he has good physical tools. Williams runs the floor well and also showed some dribbling ability. Offensively, he gets good position and can turn to the basket and finish. On the defensive end, he has good reach and can block shots and rebound.

Recruiting Notes:

- Harrison Barnes: North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas, UCLA, Stanford, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota
- Has visited all of those places besides Oklahoma, it seems
- He said he’s wide-open and not favoring Duke and Kansas

- Tobias Harris: Connecticut, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, Memphis, Notre Dame, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland, Louisville
- Has visited Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and wants to see Kentucky
- Plans on cutting his list to five or six schools after July

- Terrence Jones: Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Georgetown, Marquette, Maryland, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, USC, California, Texas, Kansas – all have offered besides Duke and UNC
- Has taken visits to North Carolina, Georgetown, California and Oregon State
- Will narrow list at the end of the summer

- Cameron Clark: Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Arizona State, Memphis, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas
- Has visited Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, will check out Arizona and Arizona State soon

- Justin Anderson, 6-6, Boo Williams, 2012: Texas, North Carolina, Duke, Oklahoma, Georgetown, Villanova
- Top three are Texas, North Carolina and Oklahoma
- Has visited North Carolina and Georgetown

- Rod Days: Louisville, Miami, South Carolina, Florida State, Florida, Stanford, Oklahoma, Delaware
- Has visited Louisville, Connecticut, South Carolina, Florida State and Miami, and wants to see Florida
- Top three are South Carolina, Louisville and Stanford

- Doron Lamb: Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Marquette, Connecticut, Arizona, Rutgers, St. John’s
- Recently visited Kentucky, and enjoyed his time there
- Has also visited Louisville, but said he does want to go to school there
- Wants to visit Kansas and Oklahoma

- Mike Shaw: USC, Florida, Texas, Louisville, Illinois, Ohio State
- Has visited Texas and Louisville, wants to see Florida and USC
- Said he would like to play in college with teammate Wayne Blackshear; he said they saw Louisville and Texas together

- Michael Gbinije: Did not list any schools, but said he is interested in playing in the ACC


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