NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Wednesday morning at the Peach Jam went through the motions after Tywon Lawson and Spencer Hawes did their damage in the first game of the day. Other players are getting it done as pool play continues to roll on inside the Riverview Park Center.
Hawes dominates again, Lawson continues to win
Down as many as 16 points with eight minutes to play, the D.C. Blue Devils whittled away their deficit to the Seattle-based Friends of Hoop team to come back and claim a thrilling 85-83 victory. Credit that to the poised play of future North Carolina point guard Tywon Lawson.
Lawson continues to shine as a scorer, putting in 29 in the come from behind victory. He sank every big free throw that the D.C. Blue Devils needed and gets inside whenever he wants to. Lawson is really underrated as a rebounder, too. He quietly kept it rolling for the Blue Devils and opened up the floor for his shooters, which proved to be the difference for the victory.
If the class of 2006 rankings didn't have guys like Greg Oden and Kevin Durant in it, Spencer Hawes would be tough to knock off the top spot. He's been sensational and downright unstoppable at the Peach Jam. The big man erupted for 32 points and 12 rebounds against the D.C. Blue Devils.
Simply put, Hawes just goes to work inside the paint and has every move in the book down packed. He's not intimidated by anyone and has such a good feel around the basket on both ends of the floor. The college game will embrace him for however long he wants to stick around.
The normal head coaching contingency was watching him again with guys like Jim Calhoun, Bill Self, Lorenzo Romar, Trent Johnson, Ben Howland and UNC assistant Joe Halladay.
Don't forget about us
After returning home to the U.S. from an exchange student trip to Spain a couple of months ago, Jerome Dyson is getting back to what made him such a hot prospect before he left.
"The hardest thing for me has been getting back into shape and adjusting to the way we play over here," Dyson said. "I've been getting my wind back but it's great to get back out here and play again."
He shot lights out, his forte, en route to 14 big points. Is he a point? Probably not full-time but the kid can pour in the points. That's why the high-majors are looking long and hard.
Not a big fixture on the AAU scene, college coaches made sure they were on hand to catch the D.C. area native in action against one of the best teams in the country. Gary Williams, Jim Calhoun, Herb Sendeck and Al Skinner were all in the gym for the game. Dyson said he's looking at Maryland, Connecticut, Providence, NC State, Illinois, Boston College and George Mason.
One of the key reasons to the Blue Devils victory was Hillary Haley. The 6-foot-6 forward took advantage of five straight FOH turnovers and converting them into four straight buckets of his own. Haley finished with 14 points on interior buckets and curled off screens to get to the basket. George Mason, South Florida and Rhode Island all three schools were on hand to see him shine. He said he's hearing the most from those programs but none of them have offered, he said.
Michigan duo getting looks
Durrell Summers gets a hard time from his teammates on The Family because he plays in Detroit's Catholic league. "Just look at him, he's got no scars on his arms," teammate DeShawn Sims said. Don't worry, Summers is tough. He lets his game speak for himself. The class of 2007 guard from St. Martin DePorres has been on a tear since the Nike All-American camp.
"The last couple of weeks have been a big step for me really," Summers said. "I feel like I've been playing good in front of a lot of coaches. I'm just working hard, playing tough and having fun."
Summers had Michigan head coach Tommy Amaker watching him and an assistant from Michigan State taking a look as he went for 21 points and seven rebounds against Howard Pulley. Summers said the two home schools are joined by Syracuse and Kentucky early on.
Sims also had a great day at the office, scoring 19 points and collecting 11 rebounds in an honest day's work. He's one of the top rebounders at the Peach Jam and he's doing what he does best and that's dominating the blocks and scoring on midrange jumpers. He even knocked down a three ball in the game.
With Michigan and Michigan State both watching Sims, he said he's not paying too much attention to who is on the sidelines this July. With Syracuse, Oregon and even North Carolina keeping watch, Sims said he's waiting until the fall to make some visits and get his recruitment into the next gear.
Odds & Ends
Arbry Butler may not have a big national name but he hopes that changes after this week.
"I've been waiting for something like this," Butler said. "My time is now."
The 6-foot-8 forward from Little Rock, Arkansas is taking advantage of his time in front of coaches. The slender forward is an athletic and long big man that rebounds and blocks shots. He works well from block to block and scored nine points and had three blocks and played great defense on Keith Clark.
Butler said his list includes Tulsa, Tennessee, Purdue, Ole Miss, Penn State, Florida State and Stephen F. Austin right now.
Demond Carter may be small in stature but he's big with his game, particularly his bread and butter - his perimeter game. His shot is one of the prettiest in the class of 2006 and it was working for him against the Metro Hawks. The future Baylor Bear sunk home five trifectas in the first half and finished with a game high 25 points.
Sure he's an undersized power forward. Sure's he's a man without a position. But Leonard Washington is a guy that makes you soon forget that he's only 6-foot-6 and playing in the post. The class of 2007 forward is tough to defend in the post and he's fairly consistent 12 feet and in. And anyone that can grab a rebound from the seat of his pants like he did on Wednesday morning, you have respect him. Washington even stepped out and knocked down a three.
Mount Vernon (N.Y.) teammates Mike Coburn and Jonathan Mitchell are an inseparable duo. The point guard and power forward are checking out the games together and they are working well with each other on the hardwood. Will the two go to college together, too?
Mitchell, a 2006 prospect, said Marquette is a top his list and Miami is no longer being considered. With four more official visits to take, Mitchell said he'd like to get to Marquette again as well as Georgia Tech, Virginia and Villanova, who has offered.
Coburn, a muscular point guard from the class of 2007, said he's hearing from 'Nova as well and Rutgers and Wake Forest. Coburn said he'd like to see where Mitchell goes to school and he'll look at recruiting closer next summer.
Obi Muonelo defines the term power guard. The Oklahoma backcourt stud uses his mature body to score at will from all over the court. He's a good ball-handler and can play the point at the next level. Muenelo finished with 19 points and six rebounds in a loss to the Arkansas Wings. As far as the high-majors watching him this week, the Oklahoma schools were watching him. Why more high-majors aren't in the gym watching him is an absolute mystery.
Blake Griffin, the younger brother of Oklahoma freshman-to-be Taylor Griffin, has worked hard inside the paint and sacrifices his 6-foot-8 body and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. He's one of the top rebounders so far in the tournament.