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April 22, 2006
Kingwood Classic tips off
HOUSTON, TEXAS - The madness has started at the Kingwood Classic. Hundreds of teams have taken over the Lone Star State. Rivals.com ran around several local gyms to check some of the action on the opening night.
Adam Allen of the Tallahassee Wildcats makes a good first impression. The 6-foot-6 small forward from Milton (Fla.) High School earned a big reputation in the Sunshine State by leading his team to the state championship game as a post player. On the AAU circuit, Allen showed off an ability to step out on the wing and bury the three, which he did a couple of times in the first half of the 10 p.m. game he played in.
At times, Allen would relax on the defensive end of the floor and let his man get past him. On the offensive end of the floor, Allen would run to the corner and spot up for three. He is obviously trying to show he has a perimeter game.
A number of ACC and SEC schools will certainly be watching him this weekend. His father starred at Florida State while the younger Allen told Rivals.com last week that Alabama was his favorite school at the moment.
Memo to all of the teams in the Kingwood: Don't leave Blake Hoffarber open. The 6-foot-4 left handed guard for the Minnesota Magic Elite sunk home five three-pointers in a big win over Blessed IJN.
The class of 2007 guard is a tremendous shooter and it looks like he's added some size to his frame since the summer. He moves well around screens to free himself up for shots and utilized a quick two dribble move to square up for a bucket. Hoffarber finished with a team high 19 points in the 62-47 win.
Hoffarber said he's hearing from Wake Forest, Stanford, Georgetown, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Kansas and Minnesota. He's a tremendous shooter and with his improved physical traits, it is easy to see why he'll be followed around by the high-majors this month to get a long look.
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Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies fame sponsors the M33M Ballers and the Memphis area team is making Miller feel good about his namesake team. The Ballers are indeed ballers. Young ballers to be exact.
Headlining the young team is 2007 Memphis commitment Will Boggan. The 6-foot-10, 300-plus pound center is a load of a player on the blocks. His size will be the major roadblock to overcome before he can make a big impact at the next level and Boggan acknowledged that, saying he's a down the road kind of player rather than a now.
Boggan finished with 12 points in a win against the California Warriors. He showed off some crafty nimbleness for his mammoth size, spinning into the lane and put up a soft shot for two. On a later possession, Boggan sprinted down the floor and was rewarded for his hustle with a drop off pass that he quickly powered through the rim for a dunk.
Memphis can take their time with the Bell City, Missouri native. He'll need it. John Calipari and his staff obviously saw a player inside of him down the road.
Mitchell High School is sending off three of it's top seniors to college next year. Gone will be Thaddeus Young to Georgia Tech, Brandon Powell to Florida and Andre Thornton to Central Florida. Sophomore guard Jarvis Jones has been prepped for the takeover at Mitchell next year. The 6-foot-3 guard from the class of 2008 is starting to show that he is ready for the big stage.
A heady scoring guard, Jones has proven enough to recruiters that he is worth a long look. Jones said his list includes Georgia Tech, Illinois, Florida and Colorado early on.
Terrico White, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard from Craigmont High School, was the team's best option on Friday night from the backcourt. He showed off a good shooting touch from all spots on the floor as well as a good body and nice looking handle. White said Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Ole Miss are involved early.
Laurence Bowers will probably hear some Tayshaun Prince comparisons by the time he finishes his prep career. The 6-foot-7 wing forward from Elliston (Tenn.) High School banged home a couple of threes and used his length on the defensive end for some big blocks at the rim. He can handle the ball, put it on the floor and create havoc for defenders on the ball. Bowers said he is hearing from Tennessee, South Alabama and Vanderbilt. By the way, the class of 2008 prospect has a 4.0 GPA and scored 15 points in an opening night win.
Elliott Williams, a 6-foot-4 guard from St. George Academy in Memphis averaged 24 points a game this year as a sophomore. The M33M coaches are high on Williams's game. So are some high-majors. Williams said he is hearing from Virginia, Illinois and Georgia Tech.
Andre Clark, a 6-foot-8 forward from North Little Rock (Ark.) High School, is a potential guy. The sophomore said he is hearing from South Alabama, Ole Miss, Wichita State and Nicholls State.
Blessed IJN guard Zach Payton has a Division I body and at 6-foot-4, he can make some things happen as a combo guard. The Indiana native will be back at Laurinburg (N.C.) Prep next year. He said Tennessee, Miami, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Clemson are all recruiting him.
Jon Leuer, a 6-foot-9 junior from Orono (Minn.) High School was an intriguing prospect for the Minnesota Magic Elite squad. The class of 2007 forward made plays around the basket, showed off a strong basketball IQ and gave the Magic an option inside as Cole Aldrich is out of the country playing for the United States. Leuer said he is hearing from Minnesota, North Dakota State and Illinois State.
South Dade (Fla.) Tremayne Russell visited Marist and picked up an offer from them while Northeastern is also in the picture. His coach John Herron said Michigan has expressed some interest in the 6-foot-1 guard and will likely watch him this weekend while in Houston.
LaDarius Hall of the Tallahassee Wildcats is a big time shooter. He's shooting 50 from three so far this AAU season and that was his meal ticket this year at Thomasville (Ga.) High School. The 6-foot-3 junior guard said he is high on Florida State and Virginia Tech at this point.
Odds & Ends
College coaches are ready to scour Houston like a bunch of children on an Easter egg hunt for prospects.
Gary Graham is one of the best of finding intriguing players for the Kingwood Classic. His Smyrna Stars club will certainly bring out the mid-majors on Saturday. Graham's club has a roster dotted with a couple of unsigned seniors, including Tift Co. (Ga.) wing forward Justin Brownlee and Manny Adako, a 6-foot-7 forward from Winchendon Prep (Mass.) via Atlanta. The two will have a solid mid-major following this weekend.
Junior wing guard Austin Kelly banged home a trio of three-pointers to give the Stars a lead over the Houston Superstars. The 6-foot-3 junior guard is showing a little more pep in his step and was a force on the wing for Smyrna.
Eshaunte Jones did a good job of scoring the ball for Blessed IJN from deep, from the midrange and at the rim.
Former Ole Miss head coach Rob Barnes was in the house as a spectator. He was watching former Rebels commitment Herbert Terry in action in the opening round games.