Saturday, July 23, 2011

Las Vegas: Day One

For anyone who hasn't been to Las Vegas for the premier 4 day period of the NCAA live recruiting period, it's hard to fathom.  With three major tournaments going on (Adidas Super 64, Las Vegas Live and the Fab 48) there is a shortage of hotel rooms, car rentals, and long lineups to eat.  It's like a trip to Disneyland.  The "ride" is the ultimate, the college scholarship offer which allows a student athlete and his family to obtain a higher education debt free.

Unfortunately it's smoke and mirrors for 90% of the teams who come chasing this elusive Holy Grail.  They'll be stuck in gyms with not a single college coach or hope of seeing one.  On the other hand, the national level programs get all the love.  The Las Vegas Fab 48 Invitational Division sees up to 200 coaches per game looking primarily at the crop of 2012.
The D1 Nation is well represented with the Oregon D1 Ambssadors entered in the 15, 16 and 17U divisions of the Fab 48, along with the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston squad.  Coach Mike Hardge's Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin  along with the two class of 2013 Texas teams are entered in the Las Vegas Live event and playing "up" in the 17U division while the Texas D1 Ambassadors 2014 squad is in the 15U division of Las Vegas Live.

Las Vegas Live:  Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio 76  Central Kentucky Storm  60
Texas D1 controlled this contest from the opening tip.  They cruised through the game with a 20 point lead for the majority of the affair.  2012 W 6'6" Jeffrey Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights was the high scorer with 17 points and 6 rebounds.  2012 F 6'9" Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks.  2012 PG Carter Josephs of San Antonio Clark had an "all stat sheet" game as he had 5 points, 5 steals, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the win.
2012 G Carter Josephs filled up the stat sheet

Las Vegas Live: Texas D1 Ambassadors-Morse  49  Team Missouri 48
This group of 16 year olds are learning to compete agianst more experienced players.  Team Missouri was a much bigger, physical opponent but great shot selevtion allowed Texas D1 to be in control for most of the game.  That is, right up until the last minute where Team Missouri roared back to take a one point lead.  Enter 2013G Darrius Brooks of Pflugerville who threw up a wild shot for the game winner (his 12th point of the game).  He got balanced support from emerging WG 2013 Zach Nunnery of Austin Bowie who had 12 points and added 10 boards.
2013 G Darrius Brooks hit the game winner
Las Vegas Live:  Northwest Cougars (Montana) 56  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Bostic 48
Balanced scoring is a good sign, there just wasn't enough of it.  The Pflugerville trio of Darrian Bostic (9), Napoleon Onyeje (9) and Justin Moss (10) led the way.  2013 G Rasmus Bach of Austin Anderson added 8.

Las Vegas Fab 48:  Oakland Soldiers Blue (California)  74  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin  61
The Soldiers controlled the boards, and that's where the game's decided.  2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown continues to raise his game.  He scored 17 points, had 4 rebounds and added 3 assists.  Hardge got into the paint at will.  2013 G T.J. Williams added 11 points and 2014 P Kendrick Morris had 10 points and 12 rebounds mostly in an impressive first half.
2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown
Las Vegas Fab 48:  Team Loaded (Virginia)  78  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 64
North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis hit his first 4 three point attempts and Texas D1was forced to play catchup all game.  Twice they cut it to 4 points but a combination of great free throw shooting and an inability to keep the Team Loaded guards out of the paint was the difference.  Five Texas D1 players reached double figures in the game.  2011 G Jalen Washington is playing himself into a late July scholarship with 12 points, 8 rebundsm and 4 assists.  2011 F Keynan "Slim" Willis of Crosby had 13 points and a hefty 14 rebounds. 2012 P Aly Mohamed had 12 points and 4 rebounds while 2012 G Devon Turk scored 11.
2012 G Jalen Washington is a late July steal as a late qualifier
Las Vegas Fab 48:  Team Philly  (Pennsylvania)  77   Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 64
Facing their second Top 40 nationall ranked point guard in the Class of 2012 (Maurice Watson)yielded the same result as the morning encounter.  Watson got where he wanted, when he wanted on the court.  2012 G Alex Caruso (coming off a serious ankle injury) had a big game with 14 points and 5 rebounds.  Aly Mohamed and Keynan Willis chipped in with 10 a piece.
High major 2012 G Alex Caruso is still recovering from his ankle injury