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July 12, 2011
While most eyes this week are on the Elite 17 & Under AAU
teams, there are a number of stellar 16 & Under squads that warrant attention
with the number of prospects and amount of talent that they have. Among them is
the 16&U team from the prestigious Boo Williams program based out of Hampton,
4:02 PM: Supposedly Howard Pulley can't miss on their shots, leading CIA Bounce from Canada 63-42 with just over eight minutes remaining. So much for that prediction I made that CIA Bounce would win the whole EYBL - - they could be bounced early (no pun intended).
3:00 PM: Final 16&U- - Boo Williams 86, Houston Hoops 71
Some noteworthy numbers . . . Rockbridge guard Andrew Rowsey was the high scorer with 23 points, followed by Patrick Henry's Raymon Minor with 14 points, Cape Henry's Devon Hall chipped in 10 points to go with 5 assists, Kellam's Ramone Snowden added 9 points and Goochland's Corbyn Jackson had 7.
Nine different players scored in the second half for Boo's team, all between 2-6 points. A really balanced attack, and good team play all the way around. In fact, for the game, 11 different players scored.
Stay tuned, we'll be back later with more updates all week long from the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC.
2:45 PM: Miller School outside shooting specialist Travis Hester strikes to give Boo's 16 & Under team a 76-69 advantage with 1:09 left in the game. Since losing the lead a few moments ago, Boo's team is on a 13-4 stretch, closing out strong and now ahead 77-69 after Corbyn Jackson, the 6'6" Goochland product, splits a pair.
2:39 PM: Big shot by Andrew Rowsey in the corner puts Boo's team back ahead 68-67 approaching the 3 minute mark. The tension and intensity has heightened in this one, clutch steal from Ramone Snowden, who follows a miss with a put-back. That pushes the lead up to three, and a big charge drawn by Boo, giving them the basketball and a shot to go up five or six here to gain some much-needed breathing room. Snowden drives the lane and finishes, making it 72-67 - - he's got 6 points this half I believe at last count (which I'm trying to keep track of, but again, that's not 100% official).
Other college coaches are stopping by, including Missouri boss Frank Haith, formerly of Miami (FL), and Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel, who was once the Head Coach at Oklahoma and VCU.
Rowsey sinks a couple of huge free-throws; both he and Snowden have stepped up here in crunch time, to extend the lead to five at 74-69. A three-pointer is no good by Houston Hoops and I'd expect for Boo's team to put the ball in the hands of Devon Hall here to try and put it away at the charity stripe.
2:29 PM: The lead is now just one in what has become an exciting game between Boo Williams and Houston Hoops for 16 & Under level here at the Nike Peach Jam. It's 62-61, Boo's group ahead, with 7:13 remaining. Three players from the Class of 2014 in 6-foot-5 Jeffrey Roberson Jr., 6-foot-5 Kelly Oubre Jr. and 6-foot-4 Brandon Jones, Jr. A triple by Class of 2013 guard Ken Williams gives Houston Hoops their first lead since way back in the first few minutes of the game, now up 65-64. Boo's bunch just simply can't buy a basket right now, and continue to shoot themselves in the foot with mistakes.
The Head Coach of the reigning National Champion Connecticut Huskies Jim Calhoun has walked in the gym and taken a seat to check this one out, looking spiffy in his red Huskies shirt. Boo's team goes back in front 66-65 at the 4:57 mark after two foul shot makes by Ramone Snowden of Kellam.
2:17 PM: Kelly Oubre Jr., a 6-foot-5 wing from the Class of 2014, has ignited Houston Hoops to start the second half as they're on a big 12-2 run to close the gap to within seven. The only score this half through nearly five minutes for Boo's team came from Patrick Henry-Ashland guard Ray Minor, so after a splendid first half of basketball, it has been a second half of troubles with offensive fouls, turnover and getting beat for rebounds, failing to box out. All it may take is one three-pointer or big dunk on the other end to shift momentum back in their favor, however.
Houston Hoops' run continues as they've now cut Boo's lead to 56-54 when Devon Hall scored on a drive, plus the foul, now 58-54.
2:05 PM: At the break, it's the Boo Williams 16 & Under squad leading the Houston Hoops team by a count of 54-37. Rockbridge guard Andrew Rowsey has been money in the first half with 16 points. Patrick Henry-Ashland guard Ray Minor has added 8 points, Devon Hall from Cape Henry with 6 points and 4 assists. Also, Boo's squad is getting good contributions from Middleburg's Drew Henry and Kellam's Ramone Snowden among others.
1:58 PM: Nice change-of-pace move by Phoebus guard Khali Fletcher, and he gets to the rim and scores. Devon Hall kicks it to Andrew Rowsey for a triple, and it's good, plus the foul. That gives Boo's 16's a double-digit lead at 44-33.
1:52 PM: Goochland 6-foot-6 post Corbyn Jackson has the strength and size on the basketball court that would make you think he'd be a terror on the football field if he played. Jackson's move down in the low block gives Boo's team a bit of a cushion, followed by Ramone Snowden's dump off to Hampton guard Jordan Baker for a deuce, but Houston Hoops answers back with a triple. It's Boo's 16's in front 38-31 with 3:41 left in the first half after two free-throws by Snowden.
1:42 PM: Boo Williams' 16 & Under is overwhelming the Houston Hoops squad here in the early going, leading 24-16 with 8:30 to go before half-time. Leading the way with 8 points so far is Rockrbridge guard Andrew Rowsey. Cape Henry's Devon Hall has been impressive as well, displaying a shot that is very sound and smooth mechanically, plus making plays as a distributor with 3 assists.
1:33 PM: Houston hoops came out of the game up 7-2, but Boo Williams' team at the 16&U level is fighting back. UVA Head Coach Tony Bennett is keeping a very close eye on Cape Henry standout Devon Hall, who recently re-classed as a 2014 prospect. Hall has accelerated in the open floor really well a couple times in the early going, and he ties the game at 7 after a made free-throw. Boo's 16's are on a mini 5-0 spurt, and the defense has been solid thus far with the likes of Ramone Snowden (Kellam), Andrew Rowsey (Rockbridge) and Corbyn Jackson (Goochland) all getting after it and recording at least one steal. Hall just kicked it to Ray Minor out of Patrick Henry-Ashland for an open trey, putting his team up 10-7.
Rowsey just drilled a three-pointer in the corner and Minor with a nice move in the open floor to double up Houston Hoops 14-7 - - now a 12-0 run.
1:26 PM: After eating lunch in the hospitality room with several coaches, including Virginia's Tony Bennett, Maryland's Mark Turegon, Kentucky's John Calipari, Ohio State's Thad Motta, Butler's Brad Stevens and several others, back to some action as the Boo Williams 16 & Under AAU squad is set to take on Houston Hoops. Before I get to that, I must say that at least to me Bennett and Turgeon seem to be extremely nice, cool guys.
Also, we'll have an in-depth breakdown of the 16 & Under players on the Boo Williams squad with comments on each individual from Coach Kenneth Chisholm later in the week!
11:58 AM: Final - - Oakland Soldiers 87, Boo Williams 78
Boo Williams 78:
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day and week. Also, I can report that Team Takeover defeated All-Ohio Red, keeping their record undefeated. At 7:15 PM, Boo Williams' team will face Baltimore Elite. Team Takeover's next opponent comes at 6:00 PM against Athletes First (OK).
11:47 AM: Well, if Boo's team is able to make a super comeback and need a three-pointer in the final minutes they won't have Josh Fortune to deliver it for them. Fortune just fouled out, scoring all 24 of his points, including five triples, in the first half. Not enough muscle, power and height on the interior for the Boo Williams squad, though. It's now the Oakland Soldiers in front 82-70 approaching the 2 minute mark. Norcom guard Devin Patterson now sees his first action at the point with Big Cat moving to the '2'.
Next closest to Fortune on Boo's team in scoring is Justin Anderson with 17 points.
Update on Takeover/All-Ohio - - It's now Team Takeover in command 56-48 at the 5 minute mark. Looks like the unblemished record will stay intact for Keith Stevens' guys.
11:39 AM: Oakland's lead is eight points at 70-62, and it's going to be difficult to mount a comeback with the combo of Dominic Artis and Brandon Ashley combining for 39 points. Artis also has 5 assists. Speaking of Artis, he just drilled a potential back-breaking three-pointer from at least 25 feet out. That's his fourth trey, pushing the Soldiers' advantage to 73-62 with 6:34 to go in the game.
Troy Williams was just whistled for traveling, and Uncle Boo was very upset that the official closest to the play did not make the call. Not sure if he travelled or not, but I think Boo is just venting frustration that it looked as if they were close to tying things up, and it appears to be slipping away at this point. The lead has now increased to 13 nearing the 5 minute mark. Jamal Ferguson's drive and score now cuts it to 77-66.
Note to anyone planning on coming - - make sure you bring a seat cushion because otherwise these benches to sit on will make you regret it, which I am right now.
11:31 AM: You get the feeling that foul shooting could really loom largely down the stretch here. Boo Williams' team is 16-for-24 at the charity stripe, while the Oakland Soldiers are 17-for-22. Both teams are shooting right around 50% from the field.
Not only is Justin Anderson starting to play more aggressively this half, looking to take charge offensively, but he's starting to get involved on the backboards with 4. No answer inside for Brandon Ashley - - kid is just too darn good with 17 points and 8 boards, an automatic double-double pretty much every time he steps on the floor it seems. Scratch that . . . wait about a minute or two and Ashley now has 22 points, 8 boards, connecting on 70% from the field . . . putting in yeoman's work this morning. It's now the Soliders on top 69-60 with 7:57. Josh Fortune is scoreless this half after scoring 24 in the first half. Of course, Fortune has only attempted one shot this half, too. Fortune also just picked up his fourth foul.
An UPDATE BULLETIN worth passing along - - Team Takeover (DC), undefeated and the defending Champs of the Peach Jam, is in a dogfight with All-Ohio Red, knotted up at 44-all with 8:42 to play.
11:27 AM: Second chance points and offensive rebounding, another one from Brandon Ashley, is hurting any momentum Boo Williams' team gets. Just when I write that though, Boo's team suddenly cuts the Oakland lead to just 60-57 with 10:48 to go after a transition bucket by Justin Anderson, followed by a three-pointer from Anderson on an assist from Troy Williams (he's got 3 of those and so does Anthony Barber). Anderson has warmed up with 13 points - - 9 of which have come in the last five minutes - - and his play gives them a chance to pull of what probably would be considered an upset and a big win for Boo Williams' team if can knock off the Soldiers.
11:20 AM: Not even 30 seconds into the second half, Montrose Christian star Justin Anderson has as many shot attempts (1) as he did the entire first half. Fortunately for the Boo Williams team, the bucket is good, but Oakland Soldiers answer back with a score and a hard drive to the basket by Aaron Gordon, drawing a foul. At 6-foot-8, Gordon is a unique talent, able to drive it and hit the backboards . . . the Class of 2013 prospect is playing well at the '3'. Ifeanyi Onyekaba is starting to assert himself inside, which is good news for Boo's team. It's going to be hard to make a run though if they can't stop Ashley, who just missed a fade-away jumper, which is what they need to force him into instead of him operating down in the low block.
Big Cat is headed to the foul line with 12:06 to go in the first half. Barber makes them both, trimming the deficit to 58-52.
11:13 AM: At the half, it's the Oakland Soldiers leading Boo Williams 51-43.
Some numbers of note - - The game's top scorer so far with 24 points on 8-of-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from long distance is Kecoughtan swingman and Providence commit Josh Fortune. Phoebus' Troy Williams (Boo's nephew) has 7 points on 3-4FG, and Hampton guard Anthony 'Big Cat' Barber has chipped in 4 points on 1-for-3 from the field. Justin Anderson (UVA commit) also has 4 points.
Dominic Artis and Brandon Ashley lead the way for Oakland with 13 points apiece. Ashley also is 7-of-8 at the foul line with 6 boards, doing damage inside.
The key play that has to ignite Boo's bunch in my opinion is Anderson, who really could give them a lift if he's able to hit the boards and use his athleticism and explosiveness. They've got to keep Ashley off the foul line somehow as well. Surprisingly, the leading rebounder for Boo is Big Cat with 6 boards, and that's a scary thought because he's a guard.
11:05 AM: Boo Williams' squad is still trailing, but the only reason they are even within striking distance is because of Josh Fortune's tremendous shooting - - he's hit 7 of 8 shots for 21 points. Oakland has controlled every other facet of the game though, and it's going to take some adjustments and someone else getting hot to help Fortune out, particularly inside around the basket to complement what he's doing on the perimeter.
Marquette commit and Maury standout Jamal Ferguson scores his first bucket on a pull-up jumper from the right baseline - - that's his best play, and I've seen him hit that three or four times during the Maury Summer League. They're going to need more of those though because they trail this talented and aggressive Oakland Soldiers team 43-37 with 2:31 left in the first half, and big Brandon Ashley headed to the foul line for his seventh and eighth free-throw attempts.
With 1:50 left in the half, Oakland has pushed ahead by 10 at 47-37, but back comes Troy Williams with a lay-up in transition.
10:59 AM: Although Boo Williams' squad is down 37-31 with 5:23 in the first half, struggling on defense and on the boards, the definite bright spot has been Kecoughtan sharp shooter and Providence commit Josh Fortune, who has a game-high 17 points, including four makes from long distance. Fortune also has been doing a good job of driving, getting a couple rebounds and hustling on defense. If Anthony Barber or Troy Williams can get hot, then they have a chance to pull closer.
For Oakland, Dominic Artis has 11 points and Brandon Ashley has 9 points to go with three boards.
Funny moment of the half - - one official stops play and comes to the score table (I'm sitting right behind it) and asks the clock keeper, 'are we doing High School rules or college rules?' Really? At this point in the game, you're asking that question? That blew me away and all one of the AAU coaches sitting next to me could do it shake his head in disbelief.
10:49 AM: The bank is open for Langston Walker and from deep as the Oakland Soliders are on a run to go up nine at 27-18. Josh Fortune hits a critical three-pointer to stop the bleeding; he's got 11 of the 21 points for Boo's bunch. Rebounding is hurting Boo's team so far, and they need a spark right now from someone, perhaps Justin Anderson, who is getting ready to check in the game. Fortune is on FIRE and he nails another triple, cutting the deficit to five, and gets a rebound . . . really hustling on both ends of the floor.
A clever move by Big Cat, getting his defender on his feet and leaning in to draw the foul . . . so it'll be Barber going to the charity stripe to shoot a pair, trying to trim the deficit to three with 7:12 remaining in the first half.
10:44 AM: Boo Williams' team has pushed ahead of the Oakland Soldiers here 11-9 with good teamwork and balance all the way around as five different players have scored so far. Oakland gets a tap-back to tie it, and Boo's squad calls for an early time-out.
What college coaches are in the house watching this one? Kentucky's John Calipari and Arizona's Sean Miller are sitting next to each other. Kansas' Bill Self, Thad Matta of Ohio State, Blaine Taylor from ODU, who I had a nice chat with earlier this morning (he expressed excitement about Breon Key of Phoebus, a former Boo Williams player, as he gears up for his freshman season with the Monarchs), and UCLA's Ben Howland are also watching closely.
. . . . Back to the action after the time-out, Josh Fortune scores on a drive, plus is fouled. Fortune is the game's high scorer thus far with 8 points and it's dead-locked at 16-all until another long-range bomb from Dominic Artis to break the tie. Troy Williams of Phoebus just delivered an incredible cross-over move and drive to the tin, finishing with a flush that got some oohs and aahs from the crowd . . . just a simply gorgeous play any way you slice it folks. Brandon Ashley goes to work inside, dribble, spin, bucket and Oakland is up 21-18 with 9:57 to go in the first half, but Big Cat Anthony Barber is headed to the foul line to shoot a pair.
10:38 AM: Early on it's Oakland leading 9-6 with 13:38 remaining in the first half. The Soliders have gotten a pair of 3's from Dominic Artis and Tyrell Robinson. Oakland is applying ball pressure on Hampton guard Anthony 'Big Cat' Barber, and trying to speed Boo's bunch up. A three-point make from Kecoughtan's Josh Fortune ties the score at 9.
10:30 AM: Boo Williams' squad with a record of 9-6 overall has just tipped it off against the powerful Oakland Soldiers, who come in with a record of 14-1. The Soldiers are big and athletic, led by big man Brandon Ashley, one of the nation's top prospects.
10:25 AM: Indy Spiece 57, Team Texas Titans 56 - -
9:30 AM: Name a Head Coach from any college in the nation, and they're likely here. Among those in attendance during the first game I checked out between Albany City Rocks (NY) and CP3 (NC) were Kentucky's John Calipari, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg, Virginia's Tony Bennett, St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, Ohio State's Thad Motta, Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor, Clemson's Brad Brownell, Minnesota's Tubby Smith, Missouri's Frank Haith, Davidson's Bob McKillop and I know I'm missing quite a few. New Orleans Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul is also here.
9:00 AM: We're Blogging LIVE on this beautiful Tuesday morning from the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, SC here at the Nike EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam. Stay tuned here for updates and you can also see more from me on Twitter.
Matthew Hatfield is the AAA State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com - the #1 High School Sports Site on the Rivals Network. Check out Hatfield's website - www.matthewhatfield.com - for more involving pro and college sports. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and listen to him on the VirginiaPreps.com Hour every Saturday at 11AM on ESPN Radio 94.1.