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July 26, 2005
Big Time ends with Big Bang
Las Vegas -After five days and a couple hundred basketball games, the Reebok Big Time Tournament came to a close with the expected match-up of the Spiece Indy Heat, led by 2006 No. 1 player Greg Oden, and the D1 Greyhounds with 2007 top prospect O.J. Mayo at the helm.
It's all about Mayo versus Oden
Even though Spiece Indy Heat and the D1 Greyhounds met Friday night, it was the hope of most of the fans in attendance that the championship came down to those to team and the re-match of the top two players in the 2006 and 2007 class.
Spiece Indy Heat 73 D1 Greyhounds 67
It was the same story, different verse too much Greg Oden, too much of the time. The country's best prep player continued his domination Tuesday afternoon's in the Big Time championship with an 18 point, 13 rebound and eight block performance while leading the Indy Heat past the D1 Greyhounds by six points.
While Oden was the game's biggest presence it was the big plays from a couple of his friends that put the broke a 60-60 tie. With 3 minutes left future Buckeye Daequan Cook drove hard for the basket and finished at the rim with a finger roll while being fouled. He converted the free throw, and after a defensive stop, 2007 wing guard Eric Gordon sealed the deal with a long trey from outside the arc.
Cook finished with 15 while Gordon totaled 18 points. Cook's future Ohio State teammate Mike Conley also enjoyed a good day at the office coming in with 14 points
The D1 attack came primarily at the hands of O.J. Mayo, who showed he is the most complete player in the nation. Mayo shot the ball better than in previous meetings, knocking down 7 of 16 from the field, but he also impacted the game on the boards with a team-high 10 while also dropping five assists and limiting his turnovers to one.
After a great tournament run Bill Walker slowed down a bit and wasn't the high energy guy we witnessed previously in the event. With that said, he is still a freak athletically and continues to impress with his improved outside jumper. He scored 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting.
Alex Tyus enjoyed a solid tournament performance but faced with the impossible task of defending and then trying to score on the imposing Oden. He finished with eight points and was the victim of the majority of Oden's shots.
Fabulous Final Four
Fans in attendance at the Foot Hill gym in Las Vegas couldn't also have been happier when the final four field of Spiece Indy Heat, D1 Greyhounds, SoCal All Stars and Team Danny Williams.
D1 Greyhounds 87 Team Danny Williams 76
If you were looking for athletic prospects with big-time skill sets you have to love the opening semi-final game that featured D1 shooting guard Bill Walker and Danny Williams small forward Davon Jefferson.
In possibly the best plays of the summer happened on consecutive possessions, when Walker electrified everyone in the stands when he beat Jefferson off the dribble, going both left and right off dribble moves near the half court line and taking off a foot inside the free throw line, for powerful dunks. However, while those two plays were certain the highlights of the game, it's the fast developing offensive arsenal of Walker that impresses the most. Shooting 10 of 14 from the floor, Walker finished with a game high 27 points and four rebounds.
O.J. Mayo struggling from the field has been the rule this week not the exception. He finished with 26 points but knocked down on 7 of his 25 shots. But Mayo is a unique talent who also contributes with his rebounds, a game high 8 and five assists.Alex Tyus added 18 and nine rebounds.
Team Danny Williams, who are so named in honor of injured teammate Danny Williams was led by Jefferson who has been one of the top prospects in the event. He scored 26 points (10 of 16 from the field) and pulled down seven rebounds.
Spiece Indy Heat 71 SoCal All Stars 47
With Taj Gibson not on the roster and Kevin Love out with an injury, SoCal had their work cut out for them against the nation's top low-post threat Greg Oden. They would be right. Up 35-19 at the half, Oden saw little action in a game that turned ugly early.
While on the floor the 6-foot-11 Oden started out 6 of 6 from the field on his way to a 18 points and 10 rebound performance. The rest of the Spiece team enjoyed modest number while giving the bulk of the minutes to some of the more unknown prospects.
The SoCal All Stars never showed the high energy, fast pace game that we are used to seeing and it was obvious from the outset that this wasn't going to be a competitive contest. 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings shot 5 of 13 on the night while leading the scoring with 14 points.
Elite eight features some of the nation's top players
The Big Time tournament started Tuesday morning and some of the nation's top players and AAU team were still alive and fighting for the overall championship.
Team Danny Williams 80 Reach Legends 79
In what was the closest and most competitive early morning game, Team Danny Williams outlasted the Reach Legends for an 80-79 win. Leading the way for Danny Williams was former UNLV commitment Davon Jefferson who finished with 24 points (10 of 19 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Seketoure Henry chipped in 25 points including three-pointers while Tyrone Shelley added 15.
Ramar Smith wasn't at his best and a lot of that was due to a leg injury that plagued him throughout the game. DeShawn Sims scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a losing effort with Smith totaling 19.
D1 Greyhounds 79 Oakland Soldiers 63
O.J. Mayo enjoyed his finest shooting night of the tournament going 8 of 15 from the floor and leading D1 to a 79-63 win. In his morning contest Mayo totaled 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists and no turnovers. Bill Walker, who has been the most consistent D1 player this week, scored 19 points (8 of 9 shooting) and Alex Tyus recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Soldiers saw their scoring come from a variety of players with Jeremy Williams 13, Adrian Oliver 12 and 2008 standout Drew Gordon leading the way. One interesting note is that Gordon found himself stretched thin this week; he not only played in the Big Time but also put in work for Shakur Village at the Main Event.
SoCal All Stars 85 Portland Panthers 71
Even without the services of Kevin Love, who was out with a strained knee, SoCal jumper out quickly on the Panthers, leading 53-36 at the half, and never looked back. Chase Budinger led the way with 27 points (11 of 19 shooting) and six rebound while Cal commitment Taylor Harrison knocked down all 6 of his shots and finished with 17 points and six rebounds. 2008 sensation Brandon Jenningsonly scored 2 points but dropped seven dimes. Taylor King scored 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Portland small forward Phillip Nelson continued to put on a shooting clinic from outside the arc (8 trifectas) on his way to a game high 31 performance and also grabbed six caroms.
Spiece Indy Heat 85 Michigan Hurricanes 46
With Alex Legion, Tom Herzog and Tory Jackson on the roster you would have expected the Hurricanes to have at least a fighting chance to stay close to the Indy Heat but that wasn't the case. Greg Oden led a balanced attack but more importantly set the tone with his first half play. He knocked down 8 of his 9 shots and pulled down nine rebounds despite sitting for most of the second half.
Heat's three-headed guard system continued to impress with 2007 Eric Gordon bringing 16 to the table, and Ohio State commitments Mike Conley Jr. 14 points, Daequan Cook 10 also playing well.
Jackson led the Hurricanes with 15 in a losing effort with Herzog and Legion both finished with eight.