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April 25, 2005

Portland Elite Legends take Kingwood crown

The championship game match up of a Kevin Love led Portland Elite Legends and an O.J. Mayo led D-1 Greyhounds fizzled out with an upset loss of the Greyhounds to the SYF Players and the cramping legs of Kevin Love. In the championship the SYF Players' just did not have enough gas left in their tank to contain one of the best 2007 prospects in the nation Kyle Singler.

Singler did most everything a player could do in leading the Portland Elite Legends to a 68-48 victory. Singler scored on the first three possessions of the game and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 blocked shot. While players on both teams were cramping up after playing eight games in less than 48 hours, Singler only came out once early in the second half after banging his head on the floor.

Singler did practically everything for his team, including playing the point guard position for most of the second half and never turning the ball over once.

Luke Harangody, who played outstanding during the day to led SYF to the finals, ran out of gas in the championship and was ineffective during the second half in particular. He finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds but did not score a field goal in the second half.

In both the quarterfinals and semifinals, Harangody scored over 20 points and had over 10 rebounds has he physical manhandled and out worked both the Houston Hoops and Blessed IJN.

Not overly athletic, Harangody excels at out working his opponent for position and takes all his moves north and south to the basket with an uncanny ability to shift directions after picking up his dribble to avoid the charging foul while sending his defender further back on his heels.

Then to compliment his attacking of the basket, Harrangody is able to step out and knock down the three-pointer as he did twice against the D-1 Greyhounds.

Harangody listed Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern and Ohio State, with offers from all but Nothre Dame. Expect the Irish, however, to offer Harangody as Mike Brey chased him around throughout the day. Iowa's Steve Alford was front and center to watch him as well as was Indiana assistant coach Donnie Marsh, who was tracking both Harangody and Jamil Tucker.

Tucker scored 21 points in SYF's upset win over the D-1 Greyhounds and put in 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds during the championship game.

Tucker is an enigma in the fact that he has an athletic body and natural endurance, only briefly coming out of the game in both the semis and finals. It appears that he is learning to spend less time hanging out behind the three point line and not coming up with rebounds or defending with intensity. In flashes Tucker will attack the basket with the dribble or defend with intensity. If he would play with that type of effort on a more consistent basis, like his teammate Harangody who plays to exhaustion, hits the bench and then plays again to exhaustion, Tucker could be a five-star player.

Also playing well in the championship game was Seth Tarver of the Portland squad. Tarver is an active small forward who can do a little bit of everything on the court. He finished the championship game with 11 points and around double figure rebounds while also defending Harangody strongly in the post.

Marquis Hall had a solid game for Portland as well, doing a good job handling the ball and knocking down two timely three-pointers.

Mayo and Company fall in the Semis

O.J. Mayo scored 18 points in his semifinals loss but shot a very poor percentage against the ferocious defense of Tyrone Appleton. Applegate, who will prep next year, again and again force Mayo into tough shots on move that normally produce easy looks at the basket.

Bill Walker played a much more inspired brand of basketball than he had earlier in the tournament against Jamil Tucker in the loss to SYF. Walker relentlessly attacked the glass and finished with 24 points on primarily offensive rebounds and transition buckets. Despite being a 6-foot-5 power forward at this stage in his development, Walker is nearly unstoppable around the basket with his enormous wingspan and ridiculous athleticism. If Walker ever develops the game of a small forward, he will easily be a top five prospect. One sign of improvement in Walker's skill game is his 7 of 8 shooting from the foul line in this game.

Working his way into things

Struggling to adjust to his new team the Georgia Hurricanes, Jodie Meeks finally came alive in the morning sweet sixteen game against Friends of Hoop, leading his team in scoring while running the point. This game was coming off a late night win on Saturday night against his former team the Georgia Stars. Meeks then led his team to a win over the King James Shooting Stars before losing by four points to the Portland Elite Legends in the semifinals.

Beyond his years

Remember the name Renardo Sidney, who is just an eighth grader from Jackson, Miss. Sidney scored 20 points and grabbed double digit rebounds against a very talented 16-under Dallas Mustangs team in the quarterfinals of the 17-under Silver Division bracket. At 6-foot-8, Sidney snatches rebounds out of his area, finishes with a smooth jump hook, runs the floor with ease, makes three-pointers and catches everything thrown his way.

Not only is Sidney talented, but he plays with a maturity beyond his years. He communicates, plays physical and competes.

Rising prospects

6-foot-6 2007 prospect Robbie Hummel played some terrific ball for SYF during their run Sunday. Still growing and capable of shooting the ball and putting it on the floor, Hummel will catch the attention of coaches.

6-foot-9 2007 prospect DeAndre Jordan of the Houston Swoosh is a long lefty who can score, run, block shots and has a bunch of upside.

At 6-foot-7 2007 prospect D'walyn Roberts is a deadly shooter and caused trouble for opponents with his length at the top of the Dallas Mustangs' zone.

How much stronger these three players get will have a lot to do with how they develop as prospects.

Stay tuned to Rivals.com for more updates and scouting reports from the Kingwood Classic.


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