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July 26, 2007

Wednesday in Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Get off the beaten path in Las Vegas, and you might just find something special. This was certainly the case on Wednesday, when 2010 prospect Joe Jackson put on a show, leading his Memphis Pacers to a win over the 16-under Michigan Mustangs.

Jackson, a dynamic 5-foot-10 point guard, literally did everything for his squad. In the first four minutes of the game, Jackson scored nine points, snagged three steals and dished out an assist. Only during one stretch in the second half did he slow down when another promising 2010 point guard prospect Terence Durham asserted himself.

For the game, Jackson had 31 points, eight rebounds, six steals and five assists. Durham wasn't far behind with his 25 points.

At a glance, some will dismiss Jackson because of his size. But if there was ever a 5-foot-10 player who played more like 6-foot-3, it is Jackson. For example, on one possession he posted his man up in the elbow area, squared up with a strong pivot and then exploded to the basket with one dribble and ended the play with a dunk off two feet over his man. His six steals also attest to his explosive quickness and uncanny anticipation of plays. He takes contact well and can stroke the ball from behind the arc as well as knock down high degree of difficulty shots on the move. One of his most outstanding traits is the way he can zigzag directions on the move.

A handful of schools have already taken notices of this future five-star prospect. Ole Miss, Tennessee and Memphis have already offered, and UConn is showing strong interest as well.

His teammate Durham, isn't as dynamic athlete as Jackson, but he has better size and strength at 6-foot-1. A high-major prospect, Durham knocked down four three-pointers in the game.

In other 16-Under action from the adidas Super 64, Indiana Elite squeezed by the Nashville Celtics with an overtime win.

Standing out as one of the better prospects in the game was 2009 6-foot-5 shooting guard Jon Hood of the Nashville Celtics. Hood led the Celtics with 15 points and spent a lot of the game handling the ball. A likely four-star prospect, Hood has above average athleticism and looked quite comfortable shooting the ball off the dribble.

Another very intriguing prospect for the Celtics is 2010 6-foot-4 wing athlete Casey Prather. A dynamic slasher, rebounder and defender, Prather had a number of impressively athletic plays in the game and finished with seven points. Both he and Hood hold offers from Ole Miss.

2009 6-foot-6 post prospect Drew Kelly scored 14 points for the Celtics on grinding move around the basket and a three-pointer.

Of the three Indiana Elite post players Stephen Van Treese, Bobby Capobianco and Jordan Prosser, Capobianco was the most productive with his physical play around the basket. He finished with 12 points.

Prosser and Van Treese both had six points a piece, and Van Treese had a couple highly impressive plays off the dribble in the open court.

In 17-under action at the adidas Super 64, Southern Illinois commitment Anthony Booker was extremely impressive. A mid to upper level four-star prospect, Booker consistently faced up the Wear twins for Pump N Run Elite and went to work. He scored 24 points on a combination of jumpers off hard pivots, pull up jumpers and moves attacking the basket. He also rebounded the ball well and found several cutters to the basket with sharp passes. A prospect who is in the process of rapidly improving, Booker has a chance to be a star for Southern Illinois.

Tyler Griffey, a 2009 prospect, had a solid game in the Gateway Basketball Club's loss, scoring 15 points. A skilled face up four who also does a nice job rebounding, Griffey listed offers from Missouri, St. Louis, Kansas, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Miami. He also noted that UCLA and North Carolina have just recently contacted him. A school list should be in place by the start of the school year.

For Pump N Run, Travis Wear put together some nice offensive to score 20 points, and Jerime Anderson was outstanding in a 24 point effort. Anderson repeatedly got to the basket and hit jumpers when the defense slacked off.

Reggie Jackson scored 17 points in Colorado Select's loss to the Las Vegas Prospects. Jackson shot the ball well from behind the arc and had some athletic slashes to the basket as well. Also a strong defender, Jackson does have some work to do as a ball handler if he is going to play some point guard in college like he desires. Jackson, whose recruitment has recently begun to pick up, noted that Nevada and Boston College have recently contacted him. New Mexico and Oregon are a couple other schools in the mix.

Olek Czyz went without a field goal in the first half, but he did get going late in the game to finish with 12 points on finishes at the basket.

Tyler Zeller and Jason Washburn faced off in an intriguing match up of big men when Indiana Elite played the Michigan Mustangs. Zeller had a game high 21 points on an assortment of moves in the low post, but Washburn was also impressive. A player with a knack for blocking shots from the weakside, Washburn also showed a little bit of offense, scoring 12 points in the game. He had some nice put backs, scored in transition and even knocked down a three-pointer.

A high major prospect in our estimation, Washburn claims offers from Utah, LSU, Penn State and Oakland to go along with interest from Indiana and Vanderbilt. Washburn said Utah is currently his favorite, and he would like to take an official visit to Utah, Penn State and Vanderbilt in the fall.

Lewis Jackson scored 15 points in the game and named offers from Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Bradley, USC, UNLV and Dayton. Jackson plans to cut his list to three schools next week.

Ohio State commitment Walter Offutt contributed 18 points to the winning effort.

Rivals.com's Justin Young caught Milton Jennings in action earlier this week and was impressed with his play. Wednesday Jennings gave us a top three school list of North Carolina, Clemson and USC. He claims offers from all three and said that Georgia Tech, Wake Forest (offer), Kansas and UCLA are also schools of interest.

In action from the Reebok Summer Championships, 2009 point guard prospect John Wall once again got to the basket at will and either finished or handed off some outstanding interior passes. In fact, he sent the game to overtime with a series of driving lay ups against the Mokan Players and then won the game for D-One Sports with a wrap around pass in the lane for a game winning assist at the buzzer. With great length for his position and unbelievable speed, Wall has a unique ability to finish difficult lay ups. In a game where he scored 23 points and had five assists, Wall missed only one shot inside the arc. If Wall develops anything close to a consistent jumper, it is hard to imagine how he could possibly be defended.

A dynamic talent who is making a push to be the top point guard in the 2009 class, Wall has a host of schools coming after him including Ohio State, Indiana, Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State (offer), Miami (offer), Kansas and Kentucky (offer).

Wall has a couple teammates who are high major prospects as well in shooting guard James Terrell and power forward Melvin Tabb.

Romero Osby came out on fire for the Southeast Elite scoring 17 points in the first half against NOVA United. The Mississippi State commitment was dialed in from the arc and scored on some physical moves around the basket. Osby didn't get a bucket in the second half, but Courtney Fortson and Josh Crumel picked up the slack, scoring 17 points each for themselves.



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