LAS VEGAS, NEV. - DeShawn Sims was a surprise face to see at the Reebok Big Time tournament but the 6-foot-7 forward made sure everyone knew he was in the gym against guys like Lance Thomas and Derick Caracter.
Big dogs go down to little bite
David beat Goliath. That's what the fans were saying after the R.E.A.C.H. Legends put the New York Panthers out of the Big Time Tournament in an 86-85 overtime thriller.
Thanks to 5-foot-7 Tajuan Porter David did beat Goliath. The smallest player on the court hit the biggest shots of the night to help his team put out one the favorites to win the event.
With less than five seconds to play and down by three, Porter was fouled on a three-point attempt and calmly sank all three freebies. Edgar Sosa answered back with a three of his own but with less than a second to go, Porter pump faked and was fouled again. And once again, he calmly sank all three free throws, putting the game into overtime.
Leave it to the smallest guy on the floor to make the biggest play. Porter's game was huge. He finished with 23 points and six rebounds.
"I just try to compete every time I step on to the court," Porter said. "I know I'm the smallest guy out there but I try to do big things to show people that there is more than just someone's size."
In overtime, DeShawn Sims took over. He had two huge jump shots to give the R.E.A.C.H. squad the eventual victory. While his jumpers where huge, his 21 rebounds and 27 points were even bigger. Sims put together the best individual game on Sunday.
"I told coach that I had to do it and play well," Sims said afterwards. "I knew I could slack on defense against those guys. All of that talking they do, it was fun to beat them."
The Panthers did get a performance from Lance Thomas, Derick Caracter and Sosa. Thomas ended with 22 points and six rebounds while Caracter had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Sosa was hot in the first half, going for 14 but cooled off in the second half and had 19 to close the game. R.E.A.C.H. got 18 points from Ramar Smith.
Porter's recruitment sounds like it's a one horse race.
"Oregon - that's my style of basketball. They've really come on strong and made it feel like a family atmosphere for me," Porter said.
Oregon head coach Ernie Kent was on hand for the game as were assistants Scott Duncan and Kenny Payne. It was a good night for the Duck staff. They had a chance to see Sims put on an absolute show. Sims said Oregon is in the race for his services.
Sims also had Tom Izzo and an assistant on hand to see Sims as did Connecticut and Syracuse, the other contenders for Sims. Rick Pitino was on hand to see Sosa and Caracter play. Memphis head man John Calipari also stopped by to see the big fella.
Cali big man making a major statement
If you haven't heard of Ryan Anderson, a 6-foot-9 forward from the Sacramento area, yet, well now it's time to. The big man for the Basketball Town Pharaohs went off for 28 points and 14 rebounds on Saturday and followed it up with 29 points and six three pointers in a big win over Stamford Express.
Head coaches know who he is. He had USC's Tim Floyd, Oregon State's Jay John and Cal head man Ben Braun on hand for his game. Assistants from Arizona State and Gonzaga were also there.
Anderson said he is holding offers from Cal, USC, San Diego State, San Jose State, Wyoming, Tulane and Santa Barbara. In the last two months, Anderson said he's heard from Arizona State, UCLA, UConn, Wake Forest, Maryland, Gonzaga, Washington State, Utah, Oregon and Oregon State.
Anderson said he'd like to visit Cal and Gonzaga once his travel season ends.
Put any doubts aside on whether or not Anderson is a guy that can play at the high-major level. He can. With his size, ability to clear space inside and score at will, schools are going to get a player that brings a lot to the table.
Philly shooter is close to deciding
Christopher Matthews, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Washington D.C. playing with the Philadelphia Crusaders, had people asking for more information about him. The class of 2005 prospect connected on nine three pointers against the Spiece Indy Heat and finished with 27 points.
Matthews recently qualified and he's looking at four schools - Temple, Providence, Washington State and UTEP. The Philadelphia Lutheran product said he could decide in the next week.
Odds & Ends
Nothing has changed for Daniel Hackett on the recruiting front. He's still high on Syracuse, the alma mater of his father Rudy. The SoCal All-Stars guard is a fine scoring guard that is riding the success of a strong ABCD camp.
Artesia (Calif.) High School is becoming a national power and with guys like 2008 star guard Malik Story on board, the school should be one of the great ones for the next three years. He's a strong-bodied guard that is holding an offer from USC, he said, and high interest from Arizona, Iowa State and UCLA.
Matt Lagrone, a 6-foot-9 power forward for the SoCal All-Stars has a favorite. The San Diego native said Nevada is high on his list and he could be committing to the Pack soon. He's also looking at San Diego and Utah.
George Goode, a 6-foot-8 small forward from the Kansas City area, said things are starting to pick up with his recruitment. He's got an offer from Baylor and high interest from Kansas, Cincinnati and North Carolina, he said. Goode, a class of 2007 prospect, had a good morning game by putting in 21 points and hit from all over the floor.
Goode's teammate Isaac Miles said he's holding offers from Missouri, Florida State and Missouri State, formerly known and Southwest Missouri State. Miles said Illinois and Kansas are also looking at him. The 6-foot-3 guard said he's looking at prepping at IMG in Florida or Boys to Men in Chicago.
Bill Self, Rick Barnes and the entire Texas staff and Scott Drew of Baylor were all front and center to see Texas big man Darrell Arthur in a thrilling morning victory. The three schools are high on Arthur's list but details on where they rank with him remain scarce.
Urban DFW Elite point guard Jermaine Beal had a number of coaches watching him on Sunday. Illinois, Texas, Vanderbilt, USC, Texas A&M and Baylor all showed up to see him in action. Beal said he's still wide open but he'd like to visit Illinois and Texas first.
Perry Stevenson had assistants from Georgia Tech, Kentucky, UConn and LSU watching him. His Louisiana Stars team went down in defeat.
Lute Olson and assistants from Texas and Indiana were on hand to see Jerryd Bayless in action at Coronado High on Sunday night.