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July 13, 2008

Peach Jam: Sunday morning

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The morning session of games on Saturday at the Nike Peach Jam were somewhat calm but there were some nuggets to uncover in the three game set, including a closer look at an impressive Russian center.

STAR POWER

There is something to be said about consistency and future Minnesota Gopher Royce White is a perfect example of that. The five-star forward scored a handful of times 10 to 15 feet from the basket and showed some nice work with his back to the rim. When he went into the passer's role, the results were pretty.

Everything he has done so far on the national stage has warranted his high accolades and his career for the Gophers is looking like it will be very strong for the home state school.

When Athletes First stud Xavier Henry fouled out with just a hair under 11 minutes to play in the second half against Louisiana Select, someone in a bright canary yellow jersey needed to step up for the kids from Oklahoma.

Terrence Boyd decided he was going to be that guy. All the middle linebacker look-alike did was scored 24 points and challenge anyone that wanted to step into his way inside the paint. His physical brand of basketball is certainly intimidating.

It may not be pretty but Boyd's game seems to amp up when it is needed the most. He embodies the warrior role quite well.

HI, MY NAME IS…

When a 6-foot-9, 250-pound big man runs up and down the floor with good energy and passes, shoots and stays in constant motion, coaches are going to perk up. That's what happened on Sunday morning with Kyryl Natyazhko from Team Florida.

Sure, he only scored nine points and his team lost by 19 points. But there was something about the Russian import that had people talking. All things considered, Natyazhko was the nicest high-major surprise of the day.

The big man missed quite a few shots but he looked good in the process. His jumper is solid and his understanding to find a good post position was commendable. He'll have to focus some of his energy to crashing the boards and finding other ways to impact the game outside of shooting a lot of shots. There was enough shown to warrant the interest from the likes of Miami, LSU, Baylor and Xavier.

Drawing the assignment to guard Natyazhko in the post for Howard Pulley was Mike Broghammer. The 6-foot-8 rising senior did a commendable job. Broghammer scored eight early points in the match-up and then settled for passing the ball around.

Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Western Michigan, Colorado State and Lehigh, Broghammer says, have offered while a number of schools were watching. It wouldn't come as a big surprise if a high-major school were to pop and offer a free ride after this week's work from the Peach Jam.

Louisiana Select forward Eddie Ludwig will be a nice college basketball player wherever he goes. He finds ways to impact the game, whether it is scoring, passing, getting into creases or making a simplistic basketball play. His versatility was on full display against Athletes First and he made just enough positive plays to be a difference maker.

Ludwig said he has offers from LSU, Tulane, William & Mary and "most all of the Louisiana schools." Vanderbilt, Arizona State, Butler, Davidson and Virginia are also looking, he said.

California Supreme relied heavily on its backcourt to earn a good win over the always-tough Mean Streets. Rising senior Justin Cobbs has been steady across the board this summer and his strong play on Sunday.

The 6-footer said Cal, Stanford (offer), Colorado (offer) and Washington (offer) are showing the most interest at the moment.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Cal Supreme was paced by Gary Franklin, who scored 26 points in the morning game. The 6-foot guard knows how to get the ball through the rim and has been one of the most consistent combo guards in the West this year. He said Arizona, Utah and Baylor have offered scholarships while Cal is currently looking at him, too.

Louisiana Select has a trio of young players that played well on Sunday morning. Guards Langston Galloway and Cedric Jenkins both had their moments in the spotlight while Matt Derenbecker led his team in scoring with 17 against Athletes First.

Galloway, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, has been a hot name here in Augusta because of his scoring ability. He was rather quiet in the game we saw but there was a flash here and there to understand why Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Marquette, Cincinnati and Indiana have shown interest in him.

NOTES FROM THE NOTEPAD

  • Simply put, there wasn't a better passer in the building during the first session of games than big man Daniel Orton. The five-star prospect shined like he always does in a high-low set but also found cutters with precision passing.

  • Here is something that you don't see very often. All five starters for Athletes First fouled out of the game against Louisiana Select. The game went to overtime and Select won.

  • A good low/mid-level program will likely land a nice sleeper in Athletes First guard Donte Foster. The 6-foot-2 guard is the fifth starter in the star-studded lineup for his team. He's an athletic rebounder that knows how to score the ball.

  • Mean Streets wing forward Jordan Walker has the tools to be a solid player in a conference like the MAC. The bouncy rising senior scored 18 points in a loss.


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