Tucson, Ariz.-Gonzaga commitment Austin Daye dominated the opening of the game, event MVP James Harden was solid throughout the game and 2008 point guard Larry Drew shared the sugar as the Pump N Run Elite easily defeated the Houston Hoops 67-48 in the finals of the inaugural Cactus Classic.
Daye immediately established Pump N Run's dominance in the championship game with 14 points and 2 assists out of the first 20 points for the Pump N Run. Long and highly skilled, Daye hit three pointers and then used his shot fake to create pull up jumpers and passing opportunities.
Extremely thin and in need of strength and a more consistent aggressive attitude, Daye has an upside that will significantly raise his stock over the summer.
He finished with 20 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block and 3 steals for the game.
Harden continued his spectacular play with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the championship game. The event MVP can score from all three levels, unselfishly makes the extra pass and defends and rebounds with a passion.
Drew, who averaged over 5 assists per game to lead the event in assists, dropped 8 dimes in the championship game.
A crafty ball handler and passer, Drew consistently punished opponents with his masterful execution of the high ball screen from the wing. The overwhelming chunk of Pump N Run's half court points were the result of Drew playing two man action on a side with typically either Daye or Harden.
Drew uses a combination of different speeds, impeccable timing and a quick release of the pass off the dribble to make it happen.
Post player Kenton Walker, who averaged 6.5 rebounds per game for Pump N Run, capped off a strong weekend with 10 points in the championship game.
Houston Hoops 73, Las Vegas Prospects 72
2009 prospect Tommy Griffin knocked down some big shots in the first half on his way to a team high 19 points, and 2008 prospect Corbin Ray hit a couple crucial three-pointers in the second half to help the Houston Hoops pull out the victory.
Jai Lucas scored 12 points and dished out 6 assists while controlling the tempo of the game. Lucas had a strong weekend, averaging 17.5 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Gary Johnson had to play through foul trouble but managed 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Craig Brackins, who shined as one of the better prospects during the event, had a very strong game against Johnson and the Hoops, scoring a team high 19 points along with 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
Brackins scored with both left handed and right handed jump hooks around the basket and was the best big man on both ends of the court during the game.
2008 prospect Luke Babbitt, who averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds per game, went for 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assists in the loss.
Pump N Run Elite 74, Illinois Warriors 69
Pump N Run had four players in double digits with Austin Daye leading the way with 21 points, Kenton Walker had 16, James Harden had 15 and Larry Drew put in 14 points.
The Warriors were led by Brandon McGee's 20 points.
Larry Drew is hearing mainly from UCLA, Arizona, Washington, California, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida and Stanford.
Billy White of Las Vegas is down to Memphis, LSU, Arizona and UCLA. White, who averaged over 7 rebounds per game, claims offers from all four schools and is favoring Memphis.
2008 post player Jeff Withey, who is on the mend from a broken foot, has a top four of Arizona (offer), Kentucky, Kansas (offer) and UCLA.