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LAS VEGAS AAU DAY 2 NOTEBOOK: TOP MATCHUPS CONTINUE
Khan/Judah not the only prize fight in town
By Raphielle Johnson
While boxing fans enjoyed the battle between Amir Khan and Zab Judah over at Mandalay Bay, two of the top AAU teams on the West Coast did battle at Bishop Gorman in the Las Vegas Fab 48. Led by the interior tandem of 2012 Brandon Ashley and 2013 Aaron Gordon, the Oakland Soldiers withstood a late rally to beat Belmont Shore 85-80. Both showed off their vast array of skills, especially Gordon with a few thunderous dunks.
The game was also valuable to see what Belmont Shore big men Zena Edsomwan and Grant Jerrett could do against two of the best prep players regardless of class. Edsomwan isn’t the kind of player who’s going to dominate the basketball but rather do the little things on both ends of the floor needed to win. Jerrett had his moments as well but it proved to be a tale of two halves for the Arizona commit.
In the backcourt the battle was just as intense, with the likes of Dominic Artis and Jabari Bird taking on Ikenna Ireogbu and Katin Reinhardt for Belmont Shore. With regards to dribbling skills, Artis may not have an equal in the 2012 class (Kris Dunn is another to consider). Bird can do just about everything on the floor, and while the 2013 prospect needs to continue to improve as a shooter he’s shown the ability to knock down open shots.
Reinhardt, who has garnered increased attention from the likes of NC State and UNLV (to name two schools), is a good perimeter shooter who continues to improve his ability to make plays off the dribble. He didn’t have his best performance but did make plays late to make Belmont Shore’s near comeback possible. Ireogbu is a quick point who gets his teammates the ball in spots where they can make plays, and Eric Cooper was also heard from in defeat.
But that wasn’t the only showcase game involving clubs from the west coast as Dream Vision and Double Pump Elite put forth a very good show in the adidas Super 64. What more can you say about Shabazz Muhammad that hasn’t already been said? In front of a crowd that was heavy with UNLV supporters (hoping to keep him home) along with UNLV coaching icon Jerry Tarkanian, the top player in the 2012 class fought through a slow start and took things up a notch in the second half.
Winston Sheppard, who seems to be garnering a lot of attention from San Diego State (among other schools), is an athletic wing who often draws the opposing team’s best offensive player. Today that was Nigel Williams-Goss, who has become more aggressive in an important summer before he is one of the primary options for Findlay Prep. Anthony January, an aggressive wing who can drive to the basket and score in traffic, had his moments before a technical foul turned the tide of the contest late in the second half. And Jordan Tebbutt was the type of player who tended to blend in with the game, although he did draw the assignment of Muhammad for long stretches.
What did these two games have in common from a coaches in attendance standpoint? A who’s who of the profession could be seen in the stands, with schools such as Arizona, Kentucky, UNLV, San Diego State and others represented. Simply put, many of the schools with realistic hopes of reaching the top of college basketball watched these teams play.
- F/C Ryan Rosburg of Gateway Basketball Club provided a list of offers that included Creighton, Missouri, Missouri State, Murray State, Southern Illinois, Tennessee and TCU. Rosburg did a very good job inside, displaying good hands in traffic along with interior scoring and rebounding. He’s working on improving his outside shot this summer.
- In attendance for Gateway’s win over Ohio Basketball Club were coaches from Arkansas (Mike Anderson), East Tennessee State, Gonzaga, Missouri (Frank Haith), Southern Miss, Tennessee, TCU, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech (Seth Greenberg).
- Family First, who beat New England Playaz by two points, was led by the tandem of Jelon Hornbeak and Emmanuel Mudiay. Hornbeak knocked down open looks while also setting up teammates, while Mudiay was active on both ends of the floor (especially in passing lanes on defense).
- Hornbeak provided a list of offers that included Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Providence and Pittsburgh. With regards to his game, Hornbeak’s looking to improve his pick and roll game while also getting faster and stronger physically.
- Mudiay provided a list of offers that included Marquette (along with other Big East schools) while also mentioning North Carolina and schools from both the Big 12 and the Pac-12.
- While keeping his options open on the recruiting front Mudiay is working on his shooting off the dribble. On his talent, Mudiay stated that “God has given me a gift and blessed me with the opportunity to play basketball.”
- Playing well for New England Playaz were guard John Papale and wing Terry Brutus. Papale knocked down the open looks provided by the offensive sets, displaying good balance coming off of screens.
- Kaleb Tarczewski, with all three of his finalists in attendance, outplayed Isaiah Austin inside. Tarczewski simply proved to be too physical for the slender Baylor commit, so much so that down the stretch Family First went to Zeldric King for the assignment. Chad Rykhoek also played well inside for Family First.
- Colleges represented in the coaches area included Arizona, Baylor, California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Penn State (all head coaches). Keep an eye on Kentucky for both Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley.
- Jeff Coby of the South Florida Panthers played well in the night session of the Fab 48, helping lead the Panthers to a win over Seattle Rotary Select. Similar to Kuran Iverson, Coby is working on making the transition from the four to the three at the collegiate level. He did a number of things well on both ends of the floor, and he’s got solid leadership instincts as well.
- On Coby’s list of offers right now are Columbia, Furman, Holy Cross, Pennsylvania, Santa Clara and William & Mary. His hope by the end of the summer is to receive offers from higher-level Division I schools.
- Forward Antavious Simmons (Team Breakdown) will be a good prospect out of Miami in the 2013 class. There’s still some work to be done with regards to offensive skills, but he did a good job in the pick and roll game while also being active on the glass at both ends.