N. AUGUSTA, S.C. - Julian Wright has had an up and down spring and summer. Wednesday night was an up game for the 6-foot-8 small forward from Illinois, as he put on a show at the Nike Peach Jam at the Riverview Park. Wright went head-to-head with elite forward Richard Hendrix and the outcome went in the Chicago native's favor.
Illinois Warriors 77, Alabama Lasers 67
Julian Wright came alive in a big way by scoring 21 points and collecting eight rebounds. The 6-foot-8 small forward put on an offensive show, especially when he was on the wing. With his length, Wright can get from the top of the key to the bucket with two to three dribbles. He scored accordingly once he made it there. He attacks from the wing nicely, too. That was evident when he put the ball on the floor from the corner and went baseline for the two-hand flush.
Wright also pulled up in front of Richard Hendrix and sunk a couple of three pointers. Wright showed that he has the handle to play the small forward spot and he didn't hesitate to attack, attack, attack. It was the best showing this Rivals.com reporter has seen of him since the Spiece Run N Slam.
Arizona head coach Lute Olsen and his assistant Josh Pastner were sitting baseline and former Wildcat and Illinois Warriors alum Andre Iguodala was sitting behind the bench. Illinois head coach Bruce Weber was also in attendance to watch Wright. DePaul also remains in the mix, the prospect said.
Wisconsin landed a player when Phillip Perry decided to verbally commit about a month ago. The 6-foot-2 combo guard is a tremendous shooter and displayed his quick release on four three pointers. He's a quick defender and should fit in nicely for Bo Ryan's Badgers.
Hendrix had a rough time despite his hard-earned 28 points in the loss. The 6-foot-7ish power forward scored almost at will inside the paint and he used his size to muscle in for two each time he touched the rock. Hendrix had three and-one situations.
In an interesting and ironic scene, the two schools in the mix for Hendrix's services, Alabama and North Carolina, were sitting mid-court to watch the big-timer in action. Roy Williams and Mark Gottfried and staff would love to have the Alabama native on their roster next season.
YOMCA Team Memphis 67, Team Florida 64
He might not be a pure point guard, but 6-foot-7 J.P. Prince brings versatility from the backcourt that most wings don't. The rising senior does a great job of penetrating to the cup and kicking it out to the open man. The lefty works hard around the bucket and has a nasty first step. Prince gets after it on defense, too. You gotta love his potential and size. He scored 11 points, secured three rebounds and had three assists in the victory.
Pierre Niles might have the biggest arms in the class of 2006 and he put them to good use as he got all nearly all of 12 of his points on dunks and put backs. The 6-foot-7 forward collected a team high five rebounds, too.
It was another scoring session by Team Florida's Keith Brumbaugh. The 6-foot-8 small forward put in 27 points and connected on four NBA range three-pointers. He worked hard for rebounds as well but there are still concerns about his set shot and inability to pass the ball with defenders hanging all over him. Don't be surprised to see him pick Florida State over the NBA (for now) by the time the summer ends, according to sources close to the situation.
From gym to gym
Antonio Pena, a 6-foot-8 power forward for the New York Gauchos, had his way with the big Team Texas frontline of Bryan Davis, Kevin Rogers and Darrell Arthur. Pena scored 26 points and reeled in 12 rebounds but it wasn't enough to win. The Lone Star State team had five players in double figures.
Often injured Martell Webster did not play in the evening session and his Friends of Hoop-Seattle team needed him against Boo Williams Summer League. North Carolina commitment Marcus Ginyard and talented rising junior Vernon Macklin both scored 18 points, respectively. Spencer Hawes, a super-talented 6-foot-10 rising junior from Seattle, had 14 workhouse points to lead FOH.
Every tournament has it's blow up name. Obi Munell, a 6-foot-5 class of 2006 shooting guard from Edmund, Okla., took just two games to make believers. He dropped 28 points against the South Carolina Ravens in the afternoon match-up.
Miami Tropics' guard Dennis Clemente has had a nice start to the tournament. He's had games of 18 and 20 points, respectively. The 6-foot-1 rising senior has his hands full tomorrow against the D.C. Blue Devils and Friends of Hoop-Seattle.