N. AUGUSTA, S.C. - Coaches packed in to see a great game by rising junior Vernon Macklin in the night cap here at the Nike Peach Jam. The 6-foot-10 forward has put together a dandy of week while Oregon’s Kevin Love put his Oregon Select team on his shoulders for a hard fought win. The youngsters were the headliners in the evening rounds of games.
Boo Williams 87, D.C. Blue Devils 70
Vernon Macklin and Scotty Reynolds combined for 47 points and led the way in the offensive onslaught against their geographic rivals. Macklin, the 6-foot-10 rising junior, has been playing like the player everyone he could be all week. He was the recipient of several Reynolds and Marcus Ginyard passes and he knew what to do with the ball once he touched it. Macklin dunked just about everything he could get his hands on and used his length to his advantage and scored 24 points while pulling down four rebounds and distributing three assists to boot.
Reynolds, one of the best shooters in his class, lived up to his reputation. The 6-foot-1 rising junior guard lit it up from deep and had little trouble of getting to the basket off the dribble any time he wanted. Just when you think he’s going to score every time he touches the ball, he’ll run the point efficiently. Reynolds had 23 points in the win.
North Carolina commitment Marcus Ginyard has a well-deserved reputation as a defender and a darn good one at that. At the Peach Jam, he’s solidifying himself as one of the best shut down players but he’s also showing that he can score if needs be. The 6-foot-4 guard has a better looking shot than what we recalled from last summer.
Macklin matched up with fellow class of 2006 elite prospect Kevin Durant for the majority of the game. Durant, a 6-foot-8 lanky small forward, struggled to hold his own against a bigger and stronger frontline. Durant is improving his interior game but he quite simply does not have the strength at 185 pounds to be effective inside.
Durant’s teammate Tywon Lawson had perhaps his toughest game of the tournament despite scoring 14 points. The 6-foot rising junior has been one of, if not the best, point guard at the event but he struggled to find his shot and Boo Williams’ defense was too smothering to get anything done.
Had Eric Price, another 6-foot point guard, not had his best of game of the week (23 points), the score would have been much wider. Price used his quickness to get basically whatever he wanted.
Quietly, Boo Williams power forward Daryll Monroe had a great game inside. He grabbed 11 rebounds and has nice size (6-foot-8, 230-pounds). Mid-major programs would love to have him on their team to hold down the fort inside.
Lots of Love
Oregon big man Kevin Love, a 6-foot-8 rising sophomore, had his best game of the tournament against a scrappy New York Gauchos. Love has an array of moves in the post and makes defenders wonder how he beat them for position. In fact, he might have the best moves on the blocks than any player in the country regardless of age. He finds a way to win and has great vision in a busy motion offense. His outlet passes are perfect every time. You’d think he played quarterback. Love finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in the hard-fought win.
Oregon Select started the game on a 23-8 run while the Gauchos fought back with a 21-11 run of their own to end the first half. The Northwestern squad could have been behind more than that if it weren’t for the deadly three-point shooting of 6-foot-5 rising senior guard Jeremy Reedal. He’s a mid-major player but he’s got the potential to be a major player at that level for four years.
Other than the great performance by Levance Fields, the Gauchos struggled to find any offense, especially when they need it in the closing minutes of the game. Fields could score at will and finished with 24 points in the loss.
From gym to gym
There isn’t a better scorer here at the Peach Jam than that of Miami Tropics 6-foot-1 guard Denis Clemente. On Thursday, he averaged 32.5 points a game. His scoring arsenal is well-rounded and quietly deadly. Arkansas and Miami-Fla. Have been recruiting him the longest and if Clemente decides to pick one of the respective schools, they’ll land a dandy of a player.
The Jon Brockman that has dominated the USA Youth Development camp, the US Junior National team in France, and every Nike event dating back to May is eating up the field here, too. He had a workman’s 23 points and 17 rebounds against the Miami Tropics.
Early Arizona pledge Nic Wise has had a good showing in N. Augusta. The class of 2006 guard scored a game high 19 points against the Metro Hawks in the nightcap. Wise’s passing has been pinpoint while his shot is falling all day.
Jerry Smith and Marcus Landry both deserve some ink with their solid play against Team Texas in the nightcap. Smith was automatic when he dialed in from deep, scoring 22 points in a 72-64 loss. He’s a big point guard that has to be defended on the wing or else he’ll burn you with his jumper.
Marcus Landry, a 6-foot-7 power forward is a workhorse with good athleticism. On one play, he cut through the lane, spun off a defender with a defender and then threw down an impressive two-hand dunk.
Team Texas was led by Terrel Harris, a dandy of a shooting guard. Harris had 17 points as did C.J. Miles. Miles had Bill Self (Kansas), Roy Williams (UNC), Lute Olsen (Arizona) and Georgia Tech assistant coach Cliff Warren all staying late to watch him play.
BABC power forward Jeff Adrian is earning his stripes and could be one of the top post players in pool play. He doesn’t have ideal size at 6-foot-6 but he gets the job done and helps his team win along the way. Against Albany City Rocks, Adrian scored 23 points and pulled 12 rebounds.
He’s back. Shawne Williams played like the top ten player we knew and loved last season. The fifth-year prep (he’ll play at Laurinburg Prep next year) scored 28 points on deadly shooting and athletic moves to the bucket against the Alabama Lasers. He’s still committed to Memphis, he told us, and at 6-foot-8, he could be one of the top pro prospects in the country.
Yamene Coleman was a welcomed late-addition for the Alabama Lasers. After missing the first three games, Coleman, all 6-foot-10 of him, gave the southern squads needed size and another rebounder to go along with Richard Hendrix. Coleman looked good against a big YOMCA Team Memphis frontline.