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July 8, 2007

Summer Showcase finishes pool play

LAS VEGAS - After a long Saturday at the Rivals.com Summer Showcase presented by Vision Sports, pool play is over and the tournament will begin on Sunday morning.

The day began with the Miami Tropics defeating Moore Management OC Pride Gold by the score of 75-47. The Tropics won behind 2008 point guard Miguel Paul's 22, 2008 shooting guard Marlon Rivera's 14 and 2009 wing Richie Edwards' 10, all of which came in one spurt during the second half.

On Friday, we mentioned Edwards' impressive performance, which isn't surprising now that we've caught up with the small forward, who filled us in on his background.

Edwards' parents are missionaries and he moved with them to New Zealand when he was three years old. After 14 years in New Zealand, he returned to the United States in August of 2006, and it didn't take long for college coaches to take notice of his efforts on the basketball court at Lakeland High in Florida.

Baylor, Clemson, Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Missouri and Ole Miss are among the schools that have shown early interest in Edwards, but that should increase as more coaches see him.

Paul, from Lakeland Kathleen High School, says that he's hearing from several programs, but is favoring Tennessee and Miami.

Also on the Tropics this weekend is 6-foot-9 center Freddy Asprilla, who signed a Letter of Intent to play for Miami as part of its 2007 class, but informed Rivals.com on Saturday that he's going to prep school, reclassifying to 2008 and reopening his recruitment.

The Tropics lost their second game of the day, 75-61, against the Southwest Scorpions, a squad led by 2009 guard Stephon Lamar, who scored 25 points in the upset win. Lamar has an offer from San Diego but is getting Pac-10 interest and if he continues to grow, that should turn from interest into offers.

The Southwest Rebels Top Prospects had a successful day, defeating both Moore Management OC Pride Silver and B. Bass All-Stars. The Rebels were led by ASU commitment Taylor Rohde, who scored 26 and 15 points, respectively.

We saw Rohde's 15-point effort against B. Bass, and he did a good job of attacking the offensive glass, out-hustling his opponents for rebounds and put-backs. His teammate, 2009 forward Colin Borchert, scored 20 and 15 points in his two games.

The Rebels will take on Arizona Magic in their first round game on Sunday at 8:00am. The Magic also had a successful day, winning both of their games to go undefeated in the pool.

Arizona commitment Brendon Lavender led the way with eight points and 12 assists in a 90-56 win over Belmont Shore/Carl Jr. Superstars, while he followed that up with 14 points in the Magic's 54-42 win over the Las Vegas Toros.

Lavender started off the spring with a big performance in the Las Vegas Easter Classic, which led to offers from Arizona, Kansas and USC. However, he had a bit of a letdown in the Houston Kingwood Classic and didn't play well at the Arizona Cactus Classic.

With that said, he's bouncing back this weekend in Las Vegas, doing a good job running the point for the Magic, consistently making the players around him better. The Magic will need a big day from him on Sunday in order to have a successful tournament.

The hands-down favorites on Sunday are no doubt the Houston Hoops, who are having their way with everyone. The Hoops easily won their two games on Saturday, defeating the San Diego Knights 88-64 and the DC Blazers 73-58.

In action for Houston was Rivals.com's 25th ranked 2009 prospect in 6-foot-9, 290-pound forward Keith Gallon. "Tiny" is a very impressive player who each time out manages to show off a different talent of his that you didn't know existed.

In his first game, he stepped out to easily hit a three-pointer and in the second game, he caught the ball on the block, drew a double team, did a spin move to get around the defenders and went up to dunk on them, drawing a foul at the same time. A kid that big shouldn't be able to move as well as he does.

Gallon said he has offers from "everyone" which will probably be close to accurate by the time it's all said and done. He also confirmed that he'll be playing at Oak Hill Academy next season.

Newly committed future Stanford guard Jeremy Green had a good day, scoring 18 points in his first game and 11 in his second. Tommy Mason-Griffin built on a nice Friday performance by scoring 15 and 18 points in his two games.

Richard Dixon continues to stand out for B. Bass All-Stars, as the 6-foot-5 2008 wing uses his athletic ability to do move past bigger defenders and get to the rim. He scored 18 points Saturday in his team's loss to Southwest Rebels Top Prospects.

His teammate, Chris Bass, showed off his athleticism and did a good job of getting his teammates involved.

Las Vegas Dogcatchers Elite have a couple of impressive guards in 2008's 5-foot-11 Darian Norris, who scored 24 points in his team's 83-65 victory over Team AZ, and 2009's 5-foot-10 Mitrell Clark, who only had seven points but may have hit double digits in assists by using his quickness to get in the lane and find his teammates for open looks in the paint.

Moore Management OC Pride Gold defeated Marcus Banks Dynasty 64-61, but the losing backcourt of Deremy Geiger and Phillip Payne once again played well, scoring 16 and 14 points, respectively.

I-5 Elite point guard Ameer Shamsud-din was big in his team's 68-54 victory over Las Vegas Rebels, scoring all 10 of his points in the second half. The lack of interest in Shamsud-din is certainly surprising; he doesn't do anything great, but he's a smart point guard who does everything well.

John Hayward-Mayhew had 15 points in the win, while Raevon Samuel scored eight in his team's loss, with Pierre Jackson scoring six.

We'll have a full recap of all the tournament action after the Rivals.com Summer Showcase presented by Vision Sports concludes on Sunday afternoon.



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