LAS VEGAS - The competition heated up along with the temperature in Vegas on Sunday as the Fab 48 crowned a champion and the Adidas Super 64 brackets came down to a final four. Marcus Smart's dramatic buzzer beater placed Texas Assault in the 16-U semifinals.
Looking almost like a carbon copy of former Syracuse player Paul Harris when he played on the travel circuit, Smart is as physical and competitive player as you will find on this summer's travel circuit.
In a heated battle against the DC Assault, Smart was involved in physical altercation after physical altercation. And it wasn't that anyone was playing dirty. It was just that Smart has a man sized body that relishes contact.
As for his skill set, Smart handles the ball well and has a knack for penetrating and kicking. He is a force on the glass, and he loves to defend. The one difference between he and Harris is that Smart shoots the ball better although that would be considered his weakness.
Smart came up strong, however, with the jumper on Texas Assault's last possession. With the game tied, Smart crossed to the left and drained a three-pointer with .5 seconds left on the clock.
Smart finished with 20 points in front of a handful of Big 12 assistant coaches.
Phil Forte (Texas Assault 16-U, 2012)- Forte did a nice job handling the basket against DC Assault's defensive pressure. He also did a nice job finding the bottom of the net. Often a beneficiary of Smart's penetration and passing, Forte knocked down six three-pointers in the game for a total of 20 points.
Nick Barnyard (Texas Assault 16-U, 2012)- An athletic 6-foot-7 four man, Barnyard came alive for Texas Assault in the second half, knocking down some three pointers and coming up with some big rebounds. A high major prospect, Barnyard finished with 13 points.
Torian Graham (DC Assault 16-U, 2012)- The game high scorer with 23 points, Graham only impresses more and more with each viewing. The shooting guard is a high level athlete with length who can score from all three levels. He was also productive in other areas of the game on Sunday.
Nathan Britt (DC Assault 16-U, 2013)- Britt is an outstanding young point guard prospect. He has a mature command of the game and is good on both sides of the basketball.
Kris Jenkins (DC Assault 16-U, 2013)- A 6-foot-6 big bodied forward, Jenkins is another impressive young prospect for DC Assault. He can produce down low but also has a nice shooting touch from behind the arc.
Marcus Marshall (43 Hoops 16-U, 2012)- In a quarterfinal loss to Indiana Elite, Marshall was impressive. He was strong with the basketball at the point guard position looking good executing the high ball screen. He also shot the ball well from behind the arc.
D.J. Balentine (Eric Gordon Central Stars 16-U, 2012)- Smooth shooting Balentine was the man of the hour in Eric Gordon's quarterfinal comeback win over the Colorado Hawks. He sank five three-pointers and totaled 26 points with the vast majority of those coming late in the game.
Chris Thomas (Colorado Hawks 16-U, 2013)- An elite guard prospect, Thomas had an off game but still managed 24 points. That is small change after the huge scoring numbers he had put up in previous games. Ultra-athletic and skilled, Thomas is one of those type players who might be the only one capable of stopping himself.
Nigel Williams-Goss (Double Pump Elite, 2013)- A big point guard on the offensive end, Williams-Goss can control the tempo of the game with his size, skill set and feel for the game. Defensively, he projects as an off the ball defender.
Jehvon Clarke (Ohio Basketball Club, 2011)- A physical combo guard, Clarke worked his way into the paint for 16 points in a tough loss to Double Pump Elite.
Jermaine Sanders (New Heights, 2011)- A tough, physical lefty wing, Sanders scored from all three levels against the Memphis Magic Elite. At half he had a game high 17 points.
Wesley Saunders (Compton Magic, 2011)- This strong 6-foot-6 point forward has a knack for making difficult finishes in the lane look easy.
Shaquille Cleare (Houston Defenders Select, 2012)- He impressed with his ability to put a body on shot blocking specialist Norvell Pelle and score over him with jump hooks.
Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders Select, 2013)- The point guard out of the Harrison twins, Andrew has to be considered one of the top prospects in the 2013 class. At 6-foot-5, he is strong, athletic and skilled. His crossover move into a dunk over Pelle was one of the top moves I've seen over the summer.
Michael Chandler (D-Rose 17, 2011)- He had a big game against The Magic, scoring a game high of 27 points in a variety of ways. A couple of those buckets came off tough left handed finishes.
Ryan Boatright (D-Rose 17, 2011)- Locked in a quick on quick battle with Jahii Carson, Boatright did a great job creating scoring opportunities for his team. He finished with 14 points and plenty of assists.
Deshawn Delaney (D-Rose 17, 2011)- The 6-foot-4 small forward was the surprise performer of the game, scoring 24 points. He used his athleticism to slash to the basket and rebound while also knocking down a couple three-pointers.
Jahii Carson (The Magic, 2011)- He didn't shoot the ball from deep like he is capable of doing, but Carson used his quickness to produce 18 points.
Isaiah Austin (The Magic, 2011)- Austin is so talented and also so frustrating to watch at times. Points are sitting there waiting for him if he will post up, but he spends most of the time on the arc playing like a perimeter player. His abilities on the perimeter are more than intriguing, but he will never dominate games until he balances things out with some tough play around the basket. Austin scored nine points in his team's loss.
Antwan Space (Urban DFW, 2011)- He is a crafty four man with a deadly stroke from behind the arc. Although he is not a great athlete, he has a feel for the game, plays with energy and is guaranteed to stretch the defense.
Winston Shepard (Dream Vision, 2012)- He looked good shooting the ball from behind the arc Sunday and was also proficiently handling and passing it.
Thad Matta and an assistant were in the stands watching Chane Behanan as his Ohio Basketball Club came up short against Double Pump Elite. Playing below his usual standards, Behanan scored 13 points in the game.
After the game he said West Virginia, Ohio State, Louisville and Texas are recruiting him the hardest and have all offered. He is also hearing from Purdue and North Carolina.
Behanan, who is 6-foot-6, 235-pounds, is looking for a chance to play on the perimeter in college.
Academics are more important than recruiting to Michael Chandler at this point, but he did name Providence, Indiana, Miami, Tennessee, Xavier and Oklahoma as schools he is hearing from.
Ryan Boatright plans to visit Miami and Tennessee. West Virginia, UTEP and Baylor are also in the mix.
Deshawn Delaney is hearing from Wisconsin, Penn State and ETSU.
Memphis is already keeping close tabs on 2013 elite prospect Chris Thomas.
Josh Pastner has consistently maintained a front row seat for Adonis Thomas' game. Thomas had some stellar passes against the New Heights' zone defense.
Head coaches from Stanford, Washington, St. John's, USC and Oregon were on hand for the Compton Magic vs. Houston Defenders Select game.
Head coaches from UCLA, Washington and North Carolina were once again watching Dream Vision and Shabazz Muhammad.