The Real Deal on the Hill got underway tonight with two rounds of games. Two of the favorites to win the event, the Indy Spiece Heat and the D.C. Assault both cruised to easy victories on court one at the Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. Leading the charge for both teams were top 2007 prospects, Eric Gordon of the Indy Spiece Heat and Adrian Bowie of the D.C. Assault.
Indy Spiece Heat
Eric Gordon- Gordon played a lot of point guard during the lopsided win while Michael Conley, Jr. spent a good portion of the game resting on the bench. Handling the ball with strength, Gordon consistently found the open man and wisely chose his opportunities to attack the basket. On the defensive end, he was very good as well. Did not shoot the ball as well from outside as he is capable of shooting it.
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Greg Oden- Oden did not play a lot of minutes, but as always, he radically changed the game while he win in there. He was fouled virtually every time he touched the ball around the basket, displayed tremendous hands while coming up with several loose balls, fired off some impressive outlet passes and came out away from the basket to pressure the ball on defense.
Daequan Cook- Cook played within the flow of the game, made most of his shots, and was most impressive passing the ball. Looked like a point guard at times as he zipped diagonal passes off the dribble. Made a difference defensively as well by getting in passing lanes.
Jamil Tucker- Rebounded the ball well, but did not shoot the ball well. Also, he never looked to attack the basket with the dribble when being pressured on the wing.
Aaron Pogue- The big man looked bigger than ever and made very little impact on the game. Struggled defensively in the low post.
Mike Conley- Played a solid game, but did not play a lot of minutes. Did not shoot the ball really well, especially from the free throw line.
Adrian Bowie- The lefty combo guard made a couple threes early, but was most effective attacking the basket with either his left or right hand. Plays strong defense. Made some poor passing decisions at times. Ended the game with 21 points.
Austin Freeman- Freeman is a big bodied wing with a very good midrange game. Works hard on defense, but his lateral quickness can be exploited. Has a nice shooting stroke and should improve his range with time. He is also very physical around the basket and comes up with points off hustle plays.
Michael Beasley- Playing with a banged up thumb, Beasley did not score a lot of points, but he made a big impact on the game defensively, blocking shots, coming up with steals and grabbing rebounds. Not a really explosive athlete, Beasley does have very good body control and a very good feel for the game.
Nolan Smith- Playing with a bruised foot and knee, Smith was not up to speed. He played well but not up to his usual spectacular standards.
Julian Vaughn- Watch out for this 2007 prospect. At approximately 6-foot-9 and very long, Vaughn was a defensive force. He rebounded, blocked shots and moved his feet well on the perimeter. He played very hard and finished the few times he got the ball around the basket.
During the opening round action on court two in Bud Walton Arena, Team Breakdown from Florida suffered a stunning upset loss to the hometown Northwest Arkansas Raptors, who were playing in front of a boisterous crowd. Edwin Rios went for 26 points, but 18 of those points came in the first half, and the Raptors, playing with no high major prospects, came from behind in the second half for an 81-76 victory.
Edwin Rios- A lefty, Rios loves to pull up for threes and shoot the midrange floater when going left. When he attacks the basket, he is skilled at drawing contact and then getting the shot up. He also shoots the three very well off the pass. Was exposed a couple times on defense and on several occasions, he and Jermonte Bush dominated the ball at the expense of involving their teammates.
Max Groebe- Has a beautiful shot and a very quick release. Lack of athleticism hurts him on the defensive end. He must also improve at creating his own shot. Can catch and shoot, however, with the best of them.
Dwayne Collins- He is a freakish athlete, but must do some serious work to improve his skill level. Had trouble catching some passes and is not comfortable with the ball when pressured.
Atlantic Celtics Black
Javaris Crittenton- Penetrated at will against the Nebraska High 5 team. Very tough to stop once he gets a head of steam going right. Passed the ball well, but did not look to take a shot from the outside.
Jonathan Mandeldove- 6-foot-11 and very long, Mandeldove can run and block shots. He looked very good in tonight's action. Originally signed with VCU but is now looking for a prep school for next year, since he has not qualified academically.