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July 12, 2005
Peach Jam impresses in morning session
Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Mike Jones, Sherron Collins, Brian Zoubek, Luke Harangody and Kyle Singler are among those missing from the summer circuit staple.The story at the Peach Jam this year could be who didn't make it to Augusta rather than who did.
However, there was more than enough talent to go around and several of the nation's top prospects lived up to their reputations.
Jamil Tucker in a holding pattern
Indiana small forward Jamil Tucker was rumored to be making his college decision this week but the 6-foot-9, 210-pound small forward told Rivals.com that as of now he has no plans to make a decision.
"I'm not going to decide anything yet. I want to take some visits and see how everything works out for me," Tucker said. "I spoke with the Ohio State staff and we agreed to wait until the end of the summer before I announce anything.
"I want to take some visits so I can see what the campus life is like and also the basketball facilities. It's important I met the coaches in their environment and find out where I fit into their plans."
Tucker indicated that he was open, but at this point, seven schools were the most serious contenders for his signature.
"Ohio State is still up there with Purdue, Michigan, Arizona, UCLA, USC and Indiana," he said. "I want to visit USC, Ohio State and Indiana for sure. I like those three a lot. I wouldn't say they are my top three but they are way up there.
"I'm not sure about the others but I'll narrow my list down when schools starts back."
Rising seniors shine
Jamil Tucker went to work in his morning contest against the New York Gauchos. UConn commitment Curtis Kelly was given the task of slowing down Tucker but it was the officials that kept the match-up respectable. Tucker sat out half the game with foul trouble but still tallied 18 points (shooting 7 of 10 from the field) and pulled down nine rebounds. A motivated and highly energized Tucker is a handful for any defender and he not only was making his jumper, including a couple of treys, but he also made good decision and worked hard on both ends of the floor.
Kelly got off to a slow start and didn't have his best game from the field but he still managed 15 points, most with Tucker on the bench, and seven rebounds. To say the 6-foot big forward is a little unorthodox would be a stretch but, game in game out, he finds a way to be productive.
Kelly's teammate Edgar Sosa was on fire. The future Louisville Cardinal decided midway through the second half that his best offense was going to come by attacking the basket and that is just what he did with impressive results. Sosa, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, fed off his defensive pressure which led to six steals and several easy lay-ups. But the New York native has no problem driving against a good defender and he finished with either hand. In addition, he rebounded his position well and made a few jumpers from deep.
Tennessee power forward Brandan Wright scored 15 points (13 in the first half) and pulled down seven rebounds in his opener. Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina are still the front runner's for his services. Not surprisingly all three staffs were front and center for his performance.
Oklahoma commitment Scotty Reynolds scored 17 points Tuesday morning in his team's blowout win. Reynolds, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, hit three from outside the arc and had a couple of nice drives to the rim.
Jon Scheyer, who is headed to Duke, struggled from the field in his first game at the Peach Jam. Scheyer, 6-foot-6, 175-pounds, connected on only 4 of 15 attempts but he did knock down two open looks from the 3-point line. He had what would have been several nice assists but his teammates had trouble finishing early. He scored 11 points in the win, pulled down three rebounds and turned the ball over five times.
Combo forward Manual Cass broke open with a 19-point and 12-rebound effort. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Illinois standout attacked the basket and his quickness on the offensive glass to get several hustle baskets. Illinois and Purdue are on the boards with offers and those two along with Arizona are his three schools. Dayton, Marquette, Purdue and Xavier are also in the running.
Roy Williams, Ben Howland, Bill Self, Lorenzo Romar, Skip Prosser, Frank Haith and Leonard Hamilton were the head coaches in attendance for the Spencer Hawes and Jason Bennett match-up. Assistants Andy Kennedy and Josh Pastner were also checking out the action.
Underclassmen on display
If you are looking for a high energy guy then 2007 South Carolina Raven Mike Holmes is your guy. The 6-foot-7 forward dives on the floor for every loose ball and plays defense like it's actually part of the game. On offense he's no slouch, scoring a game high 22-point, mostly on hard posts in the paint and offensive rebounds. Wake Forest, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, NC State, Syracuse, South Carolina and Clemson were mentioned as possible destinations.
Another underclassmen on the Raven squad to watch is long, lean and bouncy small forward Leron Dendy who is quick up and down the floor and shows a developing pull-up jumpshot to compliment his post game. North Carolina, Oklahoma, UNLV, South Carolina and Clemson has his early favorites.
2008 South Carolina shooting guard LaShay Page found his way onto the 17-under circuit for the first time and showed that he can score on anybody. The rising sophomore banged down three 3-pointers and showed no fear against the older competition. It will be important for him to develop his handle and decision making skills to become a complete guard. Wake Forest, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Kentucky make up his early list of favorites.
Speaking of the Ravens, with so much talent on the floor it's not surprising to see the gym packed with college coaches. Among the staffs spotted in attendance were Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Clemson, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Houston Hoop point guard Jail Lucas currently has offers from Oklahoma State and Texas, who are among his favorites, with Kansas and Kentucky rounding out his list.
SYF combo guard E'twaun Moore has his hands full trying to guard Sosa but the 2007 Indiana native did a good job in the first half when matched up man-to-man. Purdue and Miami have offered and sit among his eight choices along with Illinois, Oklahoma, UNLV, Michigan, Michigan Sate and Iowa.