LOS ANGELES -- With only two games on the docket on Friday at the Pangos All-American camp, the action was light and laid back inside the spacious Galen Center on the campus of Southern California. One of the top players in the class of 2010 went to work while the rest of the pack spent the first night trying to find it's pace.
TYLER SHINES ON OPENING NIGHT
Both of the current number one players in the country, according to Rivals.com were on the floor during the opening hour of games at the Pangos event on Friday. While John Wall raced up and down the floor on one end, San Diego native and top dog from the class of 2010 Jeremy Tyler was working on another.
The 6-foot-9 forward showed flashes of why he sits atop of the 2010 rankings. He dribbled in from the high post to the low block and banked in a jumper early in the game. He knew when he had a mismatch down low and went right to the rim. Tyler showed some nifty footwork down low and scored at the rim whenever he really wanted. His passing skills in the post were also at a high level.
Tyler is a big time talent and that has never been a question mark. It's just a matter of when he wants to be a talent. For the first half of the first game of the night, the San Diego native looked like he wanted to shine.
NOTES FROM THE NOTEPAD
For point guards in the class of 2009, finding the little things to separate themselves is key. For Darius Morris, the thing was rebounding. An inch taller than last summer, Morris was good on the glass and used his good athleticism and length to get on the glass. He started the break quickly after snatching the rebound.
Morris scored the ball well and loved to leak out, which will probably be a theme this weekend for most players, and scored on the break quite often.
Tony Freeland, a 6-foot-5 wing from Fremont High School here in L.A., will probably be a name that pops up a lot this weekend. He's a bouncy wing that can fly up and down the floor. It will be interesting to see how well he shoots the ball.
Baylor bound center Cory Jefferson was aggressive on the glass, as a shot-blocker and at the rim.
Alabama bound point guard Reger Dowell has great body control and knows how to use his athleticism and get to the rim.
Guy Landry, a prep school bound guard, will always play hard. That's his calling hard. The 6-foot-4 guard always seemed to make a play when a play was needed. He showed an ability to defend the point and also defend the post.
Joe Burton, the wide-bodied center from Hemet (Calif.), has a great set of hands that can catch just about anything and latches on to rebounds within in his area.
Arizona wing Marcus Ruppel is intriguing. He hit a three, played well in transition and showed some solid ball-handling skills.
There are a number of long and athletic wing forwards in the event that love to run the floor and play at the rim. Seeing athletic plays will be the theme of the weekend here in SoCal.
A number of them shined on opening night: Solomon Singer, a 6-foot-4 class of 2010 prospect from Santa Monica (Calif.); Thurman Woods, a 6-foot-5 class of 2009 prospect from Compton Dominguez (Calif.); Michael Calhoun, a 6-foot-5 rising senior wing from Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.); Jerry Evans, a 6-foot-6 rising senior from Leuzinger High School (Calif.); Stephon Heard, a bouncy 6-foot-6 wing from Jordan High School in Long Beach, Calif.
Spending six hours in the air, adjusting to the three hour time difference and then getting on the floor for some basketball is not an easy task for anyone. That said, watching the out-of-towners play, it was obvious to see that the travel played a part in the heavy legs and lethargic play on opening night.
Saturday should pick up as far as some of the top players roll into town and make it out to the event. Guys like Jordan Hamilton, Roberto Nelson, Clarence Trent, Carlos Lopez, Jalen Kendrick and others are reportedly showing up for Saturday.
SCHOOL LIST CENTRAL
Jeremy Tyler, the present number one player in the 2010 Rivals.com rankings, offered a guarded school list that consisted of Southern Cal, Texas and San Diego State.
Darius Morris said he has offers from Michigan, Kentucky, Washington State and Southern Cal while Stanford, Washington, Texas and Oregon State are high on his list.
Class of 2010 guard J.T. Terrell made the cross-country trip from North Carolina for the event. The 6-foot-3 guard said he has four offers – Wake Forest, Virginia, Miami and UNC Charlotte.
AAU teammate and fellow North Carolina native Quddus Bello, a wiry 6-foot-3 guard is just a class of 2011 prospect and he's already on the high-major radar. He said Clemson, Maryland, Southern Cal and Wake Forest have him on the early mailing list.