LAS VEGAS- The Reebok Summer Championships got off to a rousing start with its eight team Create and Finish Cup during pool play. Kenny Boynton's second half outburst erased a 14 point halftime deficit for Team Breakdown.
With a little help from his teammates, Boynton basically ripped the heart out of the Northwest Panthers in the second half with his ferociously competitive play. He hit tough shot after tough shot over one of the best, and perhaps best, defender in the class Avery Bradley. Boynton also put on a show defensively in the second half, switching over to guard point guard Abdul Gaddy. Boynton's defense frustrated Gaddy and disrupted the Panthers' offense.
The game started out like it was going to be the Avery Bradley show. His hesitation crossover move past Boynton for a dunk in transition was perhaps the highlight play off the day. In the second half, however, while Boynton took over the game, Bradley just didn't get many touches. Bradley certainly could have hunted down the ball more, but it also looked like his point guard Gaddy got caught up in a personal battle with Boynton and forgot about his hot shooting teammate.
Gaddy played a solid first half, but during Breakdown's second half comeback, he didn't play with the poise that we are accustomed to seeing him play with. He focused too much on getting his own shot from the perimeter when his team needed him to set up Bradley for scoring opportunities. Breakdown did do a nice job defending the high ball screen forcing Gaddy to the sideline and not letting him turn the corner into the lane.
After watching four high level guards go at it in a big time game, it was amazing to see how much more faster and athletic Wall is compared to the other guards in the class. Early in the game World Wide frustrated Wall by double teaming him in the full court and then collapsing everyone else into the lane when he beat the penetration. Most of Wall's turnovers occurred in this situation. But in similar fashion as Boynton, Wall simply took over the game in the second half with his overall play.
It has been a whirlwind of travel recently for Kelly who just returned from playing in Argentina with the USA U18 national team. After a slow start, however, Kelly got it going later in the game and put together a nice stat line. Richard Howell out muscled Kelly during much of the game, but down the stretch, Kelly manned up on several key possessions down the stretch.
Despite his thin frame, Henson makes plays in traffic around the rim due to his length and quick jumping ability. He did have some trouble trying to make plays on the perimeter with the dribble (we had him for a few more turnovers than the official stats), but when he kept the game simple, he produced.
Whereas Henson's thin frame is a concern, Sidney's heavy frame is a concern. When the game slows down, Sidney's strength and skill set is imposing. When the game gets going, however, Sidney gets lost in the shuffle.
Triple Threat 85, Belmont Shores 77 OT (Left game early in the second half)
Creek impressed with his smooth shooting stroke and solid defense. He didn't make a lot of plays off the bounce, but showed composure with the basketball and a feel for getting the ball into the basket.
Thompson didn't have a big first half, but came up with his points in the second half.
Raymond Penn had a monster game for the Houston Superstars, scoring a Reebok first day high 37 points in a tough loss to the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. A lightning quick undersized point guard who can drain threes, Penn claims offers from Missouri, Mississippi State and Colorado State.
Gerardo Suero stood out for the Upstate Basketball Club, scoring 24 points and making a variety of plays all over the court. A 2008 prospect attempting to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse, Suero said he is hearing from UCLA, St. John's, Providence, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Memphis, USC, Washington State and DePaul. Providence, Pittsburgh, Memphis and Washington State were in the game watching Suero, who is new to the States from the Dominican Republic.