Monday, July 27, 2009

Latham - AAU Showcase

I had a chance to watch Baltimore Elite take on Team Final yesterday on ESPNU. The game was broadcast from Orlando, FL at the Milk House and it is a part of the AAU national tournament there. In the second game I witnessed the CP3 All Stars take on All Ohio Red. Of course those teams feature X targets Jay Canty and JD Weatherspoon respectively.

In terms of watching the actual games ESPN overproduced the show. During gameplay they had a segment called Katz's Korner featuring Andy Katz interviewing three D1 coaches at a time on current developments in the game, their programs, and recruiting in general. While it was interesting to hear the coaches thoughts it made it very difficult to watch the games. The most interesting of those segments to me was when Brian Gregory, Mick Cronin, and Mike Jarvis were on. Katz point blank asked why UD and UC do not meet every year. Gregory was very PC about it while Mickey said they were working on it next year. By the interview you can tell Mick is banking on Lance Stephenson suiting up next year for the 'Cats. He cringed every time Katz mentioned that UD is the top program in Ohio this year. I must admit I cringed too.

All four of the above mentioned AAU teams are loaded with high level talent. Mike Gilchrist is largely considered the best overall player in the 2011 class for Team Final. They ran over Will Barton and Baltimore Elite. There were no less than 7 players from Baltimore area who went to the NBA Top 100 camp so you know this team was loaded. However the kids from Philadelphia and New Jersey area were too much this game.

In regards to Jordan Latham; his frame is bigger than I expected. He showed flashes in this game of his passing ability and mainly played close to the rim. Which if your 6-9 225 is a good idea. Again these teams are loaded and it is hard for individual players to stand out. To give you an idea Tyreek Duren was the game mvp and he is a 6-0 point guard out of Neumann-Goretti in Philadelphia. His current school list included the likes of CAA schools and St. Bonaventure. After a nineteen point outburst and overall solid play for Team Final expect his stock to rise. In the other games, Jay Canty impressed me. He seemed slight of frame but was very active driving and crashing the glass. I saw one nice dunk by JD but when he was in the game it was 'Katz's Korner' on center stage.

There will be more action today at 5 PM on ESPNU. I believe the championship games are today. Even though it is annoying as hell with all the coach interview interruptions (show the games ESPN!) I will be tuning in again to see other potential X targets. Also the Reds have lost 6 straight so there is not a whole lot else to pay attention to on the Cincy sports scene.

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