With basketball action taking place in high school gym all over the Las Vegas area in three different tournaments, Rivals.com spent some time Friday at Shadow Ridge High School, the headquarters for the adidas Super 64. With one of the better performances of the day, Greg Paulus led his team to a two point victory.
PAULUS TAKES CONTROL
In one of the better games of the day at the main gym for the adidas Super 64, Greg Paulus led SRAP to a 74-72 victory over in-state rival the GC Ballers. With SRAP running the high pick and roll almost exclusively throughout the game, Paulus scored 24 points off of difficult pull ups and finishes at the basket. He also took very good care of the ball while also handing out his typical high number of assists.
Teammate Andray Blatche contributed 17 points primarily off of offensive rebounds and drives from the wing. Blatche has the physical tools to be an NBA player, but as with quite a few other highly talented players in the class of 2005, he must get stronger and become a more physical player. Lack of strength is one matter. A distaste for contact is another. Or perhaps, the two go hand-in-hand.
2006 standout Paul Harris led the GC Ballers, running the point and scoring 17 points. Harris scored most of his points in the paint, but he did knock down two three-pointers in the first half. From the line, however, he struggled, only going 3 of 9 and missing a couple crucial ones late in the game.
LONG ON UPSIDE
Watch for the rise of Salt Lake Metro power forward Coby Leavitt as a high major prospect. Leavitt, 6-foot-9, 190-pounds, scored 16 points against the Colorado Select on an assortment of shots ranging from 18-footers, post moves, dunks, and tip-ins. Although he does need to put on weight and get stronger, Leavitt is long, athletic, and has a knack for being around the ball. Besides scoring, he rebounded well and blocked shots. Stanford and Oregon are the only two high majors that Leavitt is hearing from at the moment.
Another long westerner, Sam Warren of Colorado Pump N Run has a good upside as well. He runs well and can block shots. He made a couple nice post moves against Dallas Slam N Jam, but he will not be ready for the high major level unless he gains strength and learns to play lower to the ground in order to keep his balance and maintain good positioning.
Oakland Slam N Jam Soldiers had the services of a 7-foot-5 center named Jaber Rouzabahani. Rouzabahani is originally from Iran and has been living in Richmond, Calif., for the past six months. He will attend a yet to be determined prep school in the fall. While Rivals.com was on hand for his game, he had one tip-in, but did not attempt any other shots. He did get several rebounds, many without jumping. Rouzabahani needs to gain significant weight, but he moves well and appeared to have good hands.
Shawn Taggart of the Richmond Squires did not back down to the 7-foot-5 Rouzabahani. On one of his first touches of the game, Taggart took it right at Rouzabahani on a spin move in the post for a traditional three point play. Taggart is a very good looking prospect. He plays hard, is athletic, and at 6-foot-10 has skills both with his back to the basket and facing the basket. He will only get better as he gets stronger.
Taggart’s teammate Chris Johnson, 6-foot-11, will also only get better as he gets stronger. He stroked two three-pointer early in the game for the Squires.
LIGHTING IT UP
5-foot-11 point guard Andrew Brown of the Colorado Select poured in 25 points on 7 three-pointers. Several of those three-pointers were contested and off of the dribble.
In his game against the H-Squad, Mario Chalmers scored 30 points as his Alaska Pump N Run team squeaked out a one point victory. As far as 30 point game go, it was a very quiet 30 points.
LOTS OF FLORIDA TALENT
The Tallahassee Wildcats brought a very talented team to this adidas event. Daryl Merthie repeatedly penetrated the defense of Kansas City Pump N Run in the Wildcats’ lopsided victory. Alonzo Gee, 6-foot-6, is a very intriguing wing prospect with his size, athleticism, and ability to shoot the ball. Ryan Reid, 6-foot-8, controls the boards and does the dirty work inside. Jimmy Sutton and Abdul Harerra at 6-foot-10 a piece bring even more size to the Wildcats’ frontline.
NOT A GREAT DAY AT THE OFFICE
Seattle Rotary Select’s Terrence Williams scored a handful of points on dunks, but did not score from the outside and had difficulty connecting with his teammates on his passes.