The elimination round of the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., is set for quarterfinal games to be played at 6:00 PM EST. Thursday night. As the only team with an undefeated pool play record and an average margin of victory 15 points, Boo Williams is the odds on favorite to win the event going into tonight's action. Controlling the paint for Boo Williams is one of the fastest rising prospects in the country Duke Crews.
Duke Crews continues to terrorize opponents in the paint. In limited minutes this morning, he scored 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Last night he went for 19 and 9.
Crews, whose recruitment is blowing up, listed Cincinnati, Xavier, St. John's, Rutgers, Maryland, Georgetown, Illinois, Virginia, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State. All but Illinois and North Carolina have offered. North Carolina is closely tracking Crews, however.
"Coach Williams saw me play once in Dallas," said Crews. "He has been at every one of my games here.
"I have no idea where I want to go to school or what schools I want to visit. I just want to go somewhere I can go in and contribute early."
Jason Bennett, who had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 blocks in his morning game, is down to Cincinnati, Miami, Georgia, Wake Forest and Connecticut according to his high school coach Rex Morgan. Bennett leads the event in blocks with 18 in 5 games. Coach Bobby Huggins has been courtside at all of Bennett's games.
He is running the floor well along with blocking numerous shots. His offense is coming along, but his free throw and his hands need work. At the rate Bennett is improving, he appears destined to make money playing the game.
Brandan Wright put up big numbers again this morning, scoring 25 points along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks. Wright is third in scoring with 22.4 points per game and is second in blocks with 3 per game.
Besides dunking for points, Wright is hitting the turnaround baseline jumper, making his free throws and even scoring down low with his right hand. Beginning with his play at the Nike All American Camp, Wright's game is progressing to a higher skill level.
Wright plans to visit each of his top three schools Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina. Louisville will also get a visit. Coach Roy Williams was courtside for Wright's game this morning.
Spencer Hawes is also being tracked by Coach Williams. Coach Lorenzo Romar, Coach Lute Olson, Coach Ben Howland, and Assistant Coach Dooley from Kansas were also courtside.
Hawes, who went for 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in a blowout win over the Metro Hawks, plans to trim his list to four or five schools next week. Presently, he is listing UConn, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Stanford, Washington, UCLA and Arizona.
UCLA should make the cut, since Hawes is planning to visit the school in late August. Hometown Washington should certainly make the cut as well.
"There is a lot of pressure for me to go to Washington," said Hawes. "It has been there for a while. My friends talk about it all the time, and even random people on the street will say stuff to me about going there."
Although Virginia Tech is the front runner right now to land bouncy shooting guard Doneal Mack, Florida is quickly gaining ground.
"Florida offered me at my school on Sunday," said Mack after scoring 19 points in a tough 3 point loss to BABC. "Connecticut wants me to visit, but first on my list is Virginia Tech. I have a great relationship with the coach, and they were one of the first schools to recruit me.
"I want to visit all three schools in the fall."
Coach Billy Donovan was at his game this morning.
Mack's teammate on the South Carolina Ravens Mike Holmes is out of action possibly for the rest of the summer with a knee injury. Holmes said the early prognosis is either a stretched or torn meniscus in the right knee. The 2007 combo forward had a very good Nike All American Camp and listed South Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech as the schools recruiting him the hardest.
Despite his team not making the elimination round, Obi Muonelo had a strong event, averaging 17.6 points, 3.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Muonelo has a top three of Oklahoma State, Florida and Connecticut. He would like to see Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke get involved as well.
Illinois Warriors swing man Manual Cass went for a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in a 13 point win over the New York Gauchos. Cass' recruitment has picked up since his strong play at the Nike All American Camp. He is presently listing Xavier, Cincinnati, Marquette and Virginia, with Xavier and Cincinnati being his two favorites.
Duke commitment Jon Scheyer led the Warriors in scoring with 19 points.
Also impressive for the Warriors was 2007 power forward Bill Cole, who finished with 9 points and 13 rebounds in his battle against Curtis Kelly. Kelly finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Cole has a soft touch out the arc, moves well, and despite his thin frame, does not back down from contact.
Speaking of contact, Jerome Dyson is a physical guard who fearlessly takes the ball to the basket. The combo guard has a top six of Connecticut, Maryland, Providence, North Carolina State, Boston College and Notre Dame. All have offered, but none stand out as favorites although Dyson did say he would definitely visit Connecticut and Maryland.
Baylor commitment Demond Carter has had a fantastic event leading Louisiana Select into the elimination round. Carter out played Tywon Lawson Wednesday night, scoring 29 points in the 11 point win. Carter went for 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists this morning in a win over the Miami Tropics.
Carter is getting solid support from 2007 prospect Leonard Washington, who scored 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds this morning. The athletic lefty looks to be on his way to becoming a legitimate small forward. He is making outside shots, passing the ball well and attacking the basket with his right hand as well as with his left hand.
Right now, Texas is the team to beat for his services.
"I like Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Georgetown, Washington and Washington State," said Washington. "Texas has offered and that is my main school. I like the coaching staff and the way they recruit."
Small Forward Sleeper Prospects
Lucas Hargrove- 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. Handled the ball well. Hit some three-pointers. can score inside. Long and has a good feel for the game. Not sure if he can guard a small forward, but he is a small forward on offense.
Orane Chin- 2007 prospect has a solid all around game. Usually in the right position defensively, he competes for rebounds and can shoot, slash and feed the post on offense.