basketball Edit

New York City battle highlights action in Las Vegas Fab 48

LAS VEGAS – College basketball coaches all over the country have flocked to Las Vegas this weekend for the final July recruiting period. One of the top events in Vegas is the Fab 48, and the opening night featured several showcase games between top travel teams.

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NY RENS WIN LOCAL BATTLE

Behind the great play of Jordan Tucker and Jose Alvarado, the Rens cruised to a big second half victory over New Heights in the battle for New York City bragging rights.

The Rens actually trailed early in the second half, but then four-star wing Tucker (No. 38) caught fire and before you knew it the game wasn’t close. At 6-foot-7, Tucker has such a smooth, quick release on his jumper that you’re almost surprised when he misses. His shot is why he’s being so highly recruited, but he also made some nice drives to the basket to complement his perimeter stroke.

Prior to the July recruiting periods, Maryland, Syracuse, Arizona, Indiana, Villanova, Miami and USC comprised Tucker’s list.

A new school has emerged as a potential option: Duke.

“They haven’t offered yet, but that’s what I’m working for,” Tucker said. “They said they really like me. They just said I need to keep working and we’ll see what happens.

Tucker said he’ll sit down with his father after he returns from Las Vegas and will begin setting up visits.

THREE SCHOOLS PUSH FOR LAWRENCE

The showcase game that brought out the most high-major head coaches without question was the matchup between Pro Skills and Expressions Elite. John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Self, Chris Mack, Rick Barnes, Andy Enfield, Chris Beard, Danny Manning and Steve Wojciechowski were all in attendance.

Four-star small forward Kimani Lawrence (No. 46) had a really productive outing for Expressions Elite. He started off the game by rattling in a couple deep balls. Later he mixed in some nice drives to the basket, a pull-up jumper, and some rim-rattling dunks. For a small forward, he checks all the boxes that coaches generally need in the position. He’s a versatile scorer that defends and helps on the boards.

Lawrence said Texas, USC, Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Marquette and Wake Forest are involved in his recruitment. However, he said three schools have put in the most work.

“All those schools are pretty even, but I’d say the ones hitting me the hardest are USC, Texas and Pittsburgh,” Lawrence said.

POLLEY PRODUCES

As a four-star prospect, small forward Tyler Polley’s recruitment has been pretty quiet up until this point compared with his peers ranked in the four-star range. If he plays like he did on the opening night of the final recruiting period of July, he could see his stock rise in a big way.

Polley wasted no time making his mark on the game on Wednesday night. He knocked down a three, a mid-range jumper, and threw down a dunk in transition in the opening minutes of the game. Throughout the game, he continued to prove himself as a shooter, but more than that, a shooter that can hit contested shots. He’s not just a spot-up shooter either; he hit some shots off the dribble as well.

Polley said Saint Louis, Rhode Island and Dayton are the newest schools to join his recruitment in the past couple weeks. They join a list that already included Tennessee, Temple, UAB and Xavier.

John Calipari, Roy Williams, Chris Mack, Tubby Smith, Andy Kennedy, Jim Larranaga and Leonard Hamilton were all in attendance for the Each 1 Teach 1/DC Premier game, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Polley’s list grow.

Tyler Polley ()

MORE NOTES

CJ Roberts said South Carolina, USC, UNLV, TCU, SMU, Baylor, Virginia Tech and Kansas State are the newest schools to recruit him. Miami, Texas Tech and Purdue were on him hardest prior to the recruiting periods.

Chuma Okeke had a big night in helping the Georgia Stars come back from an early deficit. He said Georgia, Kansas, Auburn, Florida State and Florida are the main schools involved in his recruitment. Mark Fox and Bruce Pearl watched him on Wednesday night.

Jamark Pickett, a 6-foot-8 wing from DC Premier, is an intriguing prospect in the 2017 class. He’s a highly skilled player with pure stroke.

Naji Marshall said TCU is now recruiting him. It joins Xavier, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Georgetown.

Seton Hall, VCU, Indiana, Rutgers, St. John’s and Georgia Tech have all offered Jose Alvarado. Syracuse and Texas have not offered yet, but there is quite a bit of mutual interest. He’s already visited Seton Hall, St. John’s, Rutgers and VCU.

Isaiah Washington said Minnesota, Providence, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Butler and Syracuse comprise his list right now.