July 26, 2005

Friends of Hoop claim Main Event

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - Friends of Hoop Seattle did it again. Spencer Hawes and the boys from the Emerald City survived the marathon of games and was able to not only hold off the D.C. Blue Devils 78-61 but completely take out Tywon Lawson and Kevin Durant to claim their second straight Main Event title.

It's been a great July for the Hawes, the No. 4 ranked player in the class of 2006. He's had some vintage games this month and his second Main Event championship just capped it all off. And he did it without the help of NBA draft pick Martell Webster, Kansas freshman Micah Downs and Washington forward Jon Brockman.

If Hawes doesn't have every move in the book down packed, he will soon. Perhaps his jump shots don't extend to 30 feet and beyond. Besides that, Hawes is simply put one of the most complete big men to come out of the high school ranks in some time.

Even with 26 points, the one thing that Hawes does so well is passing the ball. Sure he's a 6-foot-11 center but he runs the floor with little trouble and sees his teammates filling the lanes and finds them in transition. From the blocks, Hawes really does a good job of feeling on where he is and knows how to score in the paint and passes out to his shooters.

It's starting to sound like a broken record, but the head coaches continue to trail the big man. Stanford's Trent Johnson and Washington's Lorenzo Romar were in the stands for the championship game. The two were at every Friends of Hoop game in Vegas. Think they want the big man? North Carolina, Connecticut and UCLA also had assistants on the sidelines.

Hawes maintained that he will look at the list a little closer in August and then go from there with visits.

"I'm just trying to have fun with playing and not thinking about recruiting right now at least," Hawes said after the huge win. "This is just an opportunity to show what I can do. It wasn't just me though. It was my whole team. I have some great teammates."

Hawes had 10 points from Isaiah Thomas and great defense from Jamelle McMillan, the son of new Portland coach Nate McMillan.

Starting with 172 teams in the 17 and under division, Friends of Hoop had to go through the D.C. Blue Devils twice, once in overtime and on Tuesday. They also had to knock off Portland Legends, King James Shooting Stars and Toronto Mission.

The D.C. Blue Devils did not look like a team featuring the top small forward (Durant) in the country and the nation's top point (Lawson). Durant, usually one of the elite shooters in the country, was frigid from the floor. He was sub 25 percent shooting and did not look like the No. 2 player in the nation. Durant finished with 14 points in the game.

Ironically, Durant was the runner up in the three-point shooting contest between the Las Vegas Prep Showcase and the Main Event championship.

Lawson, usually a scoring tear on the summer circuit this year, also had his issues. For once, he didn't look to score that often and when he did, he encountered the same problems that Durant had. Shots just weren't falling. But McMillan did a great job holding the future Tar Heel in front of him. Lawson ended with a disappointing 10 points.

The only real offensive spark came from shooting guard Bobby Maze, who added 14 points.



 

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