The Indy Spiece Heat cruised through pool play with a convincing 20 point victory over the DC Assault. Greg Oden further cemented his No. 1 status as he dunked on the competition, rebounded over the competition, passed through the competition and intimidated the competition. The guard trio of Mike Conley, Eric Gordon and Daequan Cook were quite impressive as well.
Wayne Ellington is another player that is making a statement with his play at the Real Deal on the Hill. This smooth athlete who appears to always be in control no matter how fast he plays has an uncanny ability to make the plays that anyone could make but most everyone never makes. Although he has an abundance of athletic ability, Ellington does not rely on it. Instead he has a solid fundamental base to his game where he can pivot through a defender, put the ball on the floor, change speeds, make a pass fake, make a shot fake and then step through for an easy shot. He has a beautiful blend of new age skills and old school fundamentals.
The Michigan Hurricane backcourt duo of 2006 prospect Tory Jackson and 2007 prospect Alex Legion had a strong showing in the morning pool games Saturday. Jackson played tenacious on the ball defense while also knocking down three-pointers within the flow of the offense. Legion scored in just about everyway imaginable while also doing a good job finding open teammates off his penetration.
Michigan Hurricane center Tom Herzog needs to put on 30 more pounds before he will be ready for high major ball, but once he gets that needed bulk, watch out. He has tremendous footwork in the post, a soft touch around the basket, poise when faced with the double team and good timing as a shot blocker.
Indiana was counting on Shaun Davis from the College of Southern Idaho to come in next year and compete for the starting point guard spot. Instead, the former Hoosier commitment is following his former junior college coach Gib Arnold to USC. Arnold just recently accepted an assistant coaching spot on Tim Floyd's staff.
Scuttlebutt amongst the coaches has a very prominent owner in the NBA convinced that a 20 year old age limit will be instituted before this year's draft, not the 2006 draft but the coming 2005 draft.
Speaking of a potential prep to pro guy who is thinking strictly college, Thaddeus Young plans to created a school list of five to eight schools by the end of the summer. He said that ten to 15 schools are scheduled to visit him this month and that Tennessee, UAB, Auburn and North Carolina a number of other schools have already been in to see him.
Unsigned senior Maurice Thomas created quite a stir amongst the coaches with his 20 plus point and 10 plus rebound performance against Athletes First. Coaches from numerous teams were scrambling to ascertain Thomas' availability. Thomas did tell Rivals.com after the game that he has been hearing from Tennessee, Wake Forest, UTEP and USC but is wide open. Recruiting Analyst Justin Young will have more in the coming days on this story.
In this Blessed IJN, Athletes First game, Obi Muonelo was the story for Athletes First. The bruising combo guard led Athletes First to a win with his physical defense and driving to the basket. He also put the game away with a three-pointer late in the action. Muonelo's abilities have attracted the attention of a new set of schools along with Oklahoma State, Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona. According to Muonelo, Connecticut wants him to officially visit. North Carolina has begun calling, and Miami has offered. Muonelo also said he plans to visit Florida and Arizona along with Connecticut.
Memphis Pump N Run survived a mighty scare before pulling off a 77-74 overtime victory against regional rival Midstate Ballerz in the championship elimination round of 16. Give credit to point guard Willie Kemp for securing the victory by leading the second half comeback with 15 points in the second half and overtime. Kemp went coast to coast, weaving through traffic to hit a lay up at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. He also had several steals and a few hustle plays to go along with his scoring, which mainly came from three-pointers and pull up jumpers.
Stay tuned to Rivals.com for coverage of Championship Sunday at the Real Deal on the Hill and more content from the event during the week.