LAS VEGAS, NEV. - The bell sounded and the games began on Friday at the Main Event. Coaches poured into Durango High School to see guys like Harper Kamp go to work on opening day of the event.
Arizona big man Kamp-ing in the paint
Harper Kamp brought his hard hat and lunch box to Durango High School on Friday night, and went to work against any and all of the Georgia Stars big men. The 6-foot-7 power forward scored every way imaginable en route to a 32 point performance. Kamp showed his soft touch with face up jumpers as well as mixing it up in the paint with several jump hooks and power moves.
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With a gym full of coaches, Kamp put in the best game so far at the Main Event. Afterwards, Kamp said his recruitment is starting to really take form. Arizona, Illinois, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and BYU are showing interest and his only offer is from Washington State. With time on his side, the class of 2007 prospect said he's enjoying the process of getting to know the recruiters.
"I'm a people person so I want to go somewhere that I can get along with people," Kamp said. "I want a good relationship with my coach and my teammates."
The Stars 16 and under team is playing up at the Main Event and with guys like Gani Lawal, Jeremy Price, Lance Storrs, Jamar Moore and others on the roster, they were ready for the challenge. However, Kamp was just too big of a challenge to stop. The Stars threw everyone at him and no one had success.
Georgia Tech and Kentucky watched Lawal do his thing. Alabama was on hand to see Price and Storrs. Florida State was keeping close watch on Moore. The 'Noles were smart to offer him early.
Floridians playing themselves into high-major interest
Life for Zachary Peacock is good. The 6-foot-7 power forward from Miami (Fla.) Norland High School has answered any critics on whether or not he's a high-major forward. Against the Texas D1 Ambassadors, Peacock was outstanding. He powered his way to the basket, played smart and effective basketball inside the paint and grabbed about a dozen rebounds to go along with his game high 21 points.
Two months ago, his list included a host of mid-majors with schools from the SEC showing an initial interest. Now he's listing Florida and Georgia Tech as his top two schools. The Gators have long been in the picture, dating back to the high school season and former Tennessee-Chattanooga now Georgia Tech assistant Charlton Young has helped the Yellow Jackets join the race. Young recruited Peacock when he was at UTC. Peacock said both programs have really caught his eye.
"I'm pretty satisfied with those guy but I'm not saying that it's just them," Peacock said. "I'm looking at everyone else. Those two just stand out to me the most right now."
Peacock said he'd like to visit both schools in the fall and he's keeping a third visit open for another school. If he continues to play like he did on Friday, he'll have a lot of schools to decide from.
Sometimes it just takes one event to get the ball rolling. Damian Hollis, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Coral Springs, Fla., had a great week at the Playaz Ball and played himself into a handful of high-major offers.
The solid shooting wing said he racked up free rides from Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Indiana and Florida Atlantic after the event in New Jersey. Since then, he's also hearing from Boston College, Pitt and Temple.
Marquee match-up lives up to billing
The main event at the Main Event had to be the King James Shooting Stars against the Houston Hoops. Both teams came ready to play and both teams got big time games from their big time players and in the end, King James reigned supreme with a 78-73 victory.
Led by 18 points from both Raymar Morgan and Marcus Johnson, the Stars were able to get over the hump and make it happen against the younger and scrappier Hoops squad.
It's hard to find more athletic players than that of the 6-foot-3 Johnson. He's a high-flyer and isn't afraid to show that off. He is great in transition and loves to play in the open floor. Johnson said Dayton, Pittsburgh and Memphis round out his top three and each program has offered.
Just because Ohio State recently offered Morgan, don't expect him to become the fifth player to commit to the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-7 do-it-all forward said he likes the fact Thad Matta tendered a free ride but it doesn't give the home state school the upper hand.
Morgan said Michigan State, Michigan and Connecticut have all offered as well and he'll have to make some big decisions after the AAU season is over. All but Connecticut were at the game on Friday and Morgan said he's more worrying about finishing strong on the summer circuit than picking a college home.
The Hoops were led by the blue collar play of 2007 prospect Gary Johnson. The 6-foot-7 power forward was killing it inside the paint. He made play after play inside and did his best damage in the first half. He had help from future Arizona guard Nic Wise, who added 14 points in the defeat.
New York big man not under the radar for long
At every tournament each year there are guys that make coaches thumb through their incredibly overpriced information packets looking for the name of a player that catches their attention. On Friday it was Brad Sheehan.
The 6-foot-10 center from Shaker High School in Latham, N.Y. showed off an array of skills including a nice 12 foot face up jumper, a left handed score inside and a baby hook. He's an effective high post player that has improved by the tournament this year.
Some high majors have taken an interest. Syracuse and Georgia Tech are his top two at the moment with interest from Virginia, Providence, Rice, Notre Dame, West Virginia and the Ivy Leagues. Coaches from all of the listed programs were at Sheehan's late game at Durango High. His recruitment is starting to bring in more and more big-timers and they aren't just looking either. Syracuse recently offered him.
"I think it all really started at Nike," Sheehan said of the high-major attention. "People are saying I'm playing better and they like my potential. I feel like I'm playing good. My overall post moves are getting better. I know I need to work on getting bigger and stronger and being a better rebounder."
Sheehan's teammates Edwin Ubiles and Mark Lyons also had good games against MBA Hoops Orange. Ubiles had a team high 17 points while Lyons, a 2007 point guard, added 15.
Ubiles said he has offers from Seton Hall, UMass, Siena, LaSalle and Rhode Island and interest from some high-majors including Connecticut, Memphis and Boston College. Nearly ever school mentioned had a coach in the gym to see the 6-foot-6 forward from St. Thomas More (Conn.). Lyons said he's looking at Buffalo, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Binghamton and UMass.
Odds & Ends
Florida State commit Josue Soto is here with the South Florida Heat. His main team, the Miami Tropics, is done for the summer. Soto had 17 points against Texas A&M bound Bryan Beasley and company from the D1 Texas Ambassadors.
When West Virginia landed Joe Mazzulla a lot of people asked, "Who?" After watching the 6-foot-2 guard from Rhode Island, a lot of people are now saying the Mountaineers landed a major sleeper. Mazzulla does a lot of things right. He makes plays and fit's the bill for WVU's style of play. He'll be a perfect fit for the Big East School.
Arizona point guard Kalvin Bay's list includes Gonzaga, UNLV, Utah, Oregon State, Washington State, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona State and a new offer from Arkansas State.
Watch future Florida State center John Kreft long enough and you'll notice two things about his game. 1. He tries to dunk everything. 2. He needs to improve as a rebounder.
UCLA head coach Ben Braun and Oregon State head man Jay John were at the early game to see Canadian center Jamie Vanderbeken. Assistants from Pepperdine, Cal and Utah also caught his game.
Go ahead and put Darrington Hobson on a high-major watch list. The class of 2007 small forward was the highlight of the day for the Texas D1 Ambassadors. He was active on the offensive end, showing a nice array of moves, a good pull up jumper and solid handles. Hobson said he's hearing from Virginia, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, UCLA, Georgetown and Villanova. Hobson said he'll likely transfer from Gulf Shores Christian in Houston to Stoneridge Prep in California.
DePaul, Illinois and Wisconsin Nayal Koshwal and Thijin Moses do their thing in the auxiliary gym. The duo each had their moments but didn't string together a fantastic game. The 6-foot-8 Koshwal is a force inside and rebounds by bullying his way around guys. Offensively, he's primarily a five feet and in player while Moses can stretch the defenses out with his shooting and versatility with the ball. Both players are in the class of 2007 now and will play at start up prep school Boys to Men in Chicago.