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July 23, 2009

Vegas Day 1: Jones excels

MORE: Rivals.com summer event coverage

LAS VEGAS - Rivals.com spent most of Wednesday at the GBOA one-day Challenge of Champions. Here is a breakdown of some of the standouts, including five-star forward Terrence Jones, who played inspired basketball.

Terrence Jones (I-5 Elite)

Jones had a productive day in a 58-point blowout win against a disinterested D-One squad. Playing with some competitive zeal, Jones put up 27 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four assists in a little over 20 minutes of playing time. He set the tone early with his defensive rebounding, instinctual passing and accurate three-point shooting. Also impressive was his defensive work. When matched up on Quincy Miller, Jones gave him fits with his superior strength and length, blocking several of his shots. Right now Jones and Tobias Harris are in a race towards the top of the power forward rankings.

Isaiah Epps (The Playaz Club)

The lefty point guard who is headed to Pittsburgh was sharp in his team's win over Team Odom. He passed the ball with timing and made his shots off penetration. Getting stronger with the basketball against smaller and quicker defenders and improving the consistency of his outside shot will help Epps have a bigger impact in the Big East.

Shaquille Thomas (The Playaz Club)

His length, athleticism and active motor as a three man immediately grab your attention. Still a work in progress skill wise, Thomas does have the foundation and feel for the game to make him an awful attractive high major prospect.

Gary Franklin (California Supreme)

In a hard-fought win over the DC Assault, Franklin struggled handling the basketball against the DC Assault pressure, but that didn't stop him from doing what he does best which is knock down shots. He led his squad with 20 points.

Joshua Hairston (DC Assault)

Eric Atkins and Cedrick Lindsay were steady from the outside for DC Assault, both scoring in double figures, but it was the inside/outside scoring game of Hairston that kept DC Assault in the game against California Supreme.

Norvel Pelle (2011 Team Odom)

Pelle looks the part as a long athlete who has flashes where he will block a shot and have a spectacular dunk off a rebound. The question is if he has the passion for the game and work ethic to develop his body and skill game to the point where he can help a high major team win games.

Trey Zeigler (Team Detroit)

Zeiglar, a four-star multipurpose wing, led Team Detroit in win over the Dallas Mustangs with 19 points.

Aishon White (The Playaz Club)

White played with bounce and confidence while knocking down shots. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard played like a quality mid-major prospect.

Recruiting News

Terrence Jones is wide open and has a plethora of schools recruiting him, but he did name Kentucky, Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, Connecticut and Oklahoma as the six schools at the top of his list. Duke and North Carolina are the only schools recruiting Jones who have not yet offered.

Shaquille Thomas is working with a top four of Syracuse, Xavier, Providence and West Virginia. All four schools have offered.

Keala King plans to sign in the spring, but he is presently considering offers from Harvard, Stanford, California, Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan and Kentucky. The four Pac-10 schools are at the top of his list.

Gary Franklin is no hurry to make a decision after decommitting from USC. Villanova, Tennessee and Arizona State (offer) are the newcomers to his recruitment. Washington, Arizona, UCLA, USC, Oklahoma and Virginia are also on his list with UCLA being the one school in this group who has not offered.

Pe'Shon Howard claims offers from Rutgers, Arkansas, Virginia, USF and USC, but has Harvard as his favorite.

"Situation wise it is a great school, and Harvard has coaches who have been at big time schools," said Howard. "I love to help turn the program around."

Forward Garrett Jackson, who had a strong second half for I-5 Elite, has offers from Santa Clara, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and Portland State. Washington State and Oregon State are heavily involved. Seton Hall has picked up the trail since the Peach Jam.


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