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May 19, 2007

Cactus Classic: Meyer's Friday breakdown

TUCSON, Ariz. - Belmont Shores and Pump N Run Elite squared off against each other in the marquee game of the first night of the Cactus Classic, and Demar Derozan was terrific for Belmont Shores. Here is a breakdown on his play along with a number of other prospects.

Belmont Shores

Demar Derozan- Didn't get a lot of touches early in the game with Brandon Jennings and Roberto Nelson taking the bulk of the shots, so Derozan took it upon himself to dominate the glass for Belmont Shores. His rebounding effort matched the rebounding of Reeves Nelson of Pump N Run Elite. Derozan's effort on the boards immediately translated to a flurry of scores on the offensive end. And we're talking about scoring that will one day translate to the NBA.

Brandon Jennings- Aggrssively looking to score, Jennings did a nice job helping his undersized team out on the boards.

Roberto Nelson- A sturdy 2009 shooting guard came out of the gate knocking down threes. He also attacked the basket with strength.

Darius Morris- A fine looking young point guard prospect, Morris had to take a backseat to his new teammates Jennings and Nelson. Nonetheless, Morris had several eye catching plays on the night.

Pump N Run Elite

Jrue Holiday- Holiday put his stamp on the Pump N Run Elite, Belmont Shore's game both on defense and offense. Defensively, he alternated between guarding Jennings and Derozan as the only Pump N Run defender who could keep them in check. Offensively, he repeatedly found his way to the rim for his patented left handed finishes while also shooting the ball well from behind the arc.

Reeves Nelson- As usual Nelson was a beast on the boards. He also did a fine job leading the fastbreak off his defensive rebounds.

Wisconsin Playground Warriors

Jamil Wilson- With length, a live body and an alert mind, Wilson did a little bit of everything from his forward position. Most impressive was his ball handling and feel for passing the ball. Wilson didn't attempt any deep shots, but he scored the ball in the post.

Seattle Rotary Select

Mark McLaughlin- A thin 6-foot-5 shooting guard, McLaughlin made a lot of plays Friday night. With a build similar to Gonzaga commitment Austin Daye, he handled the ball proficiently and created scoring opportunities. His release is a bit slow, but he also knocked down jumpers from behind the arc. Bottom line is that he is an intriguing high-major prospect with a nice feel for the game.

Peyton Siva- At around 6-feet tall, Siva has a surprising vertical leap and a burst with the dribble in the open court. He knocked down at least five three-pointers, and even though he looked more like a shooting guard than point guard Friday, he did do an excellent job passing the ball off his penetration.

Joshua Smith- The freshman big man from Kentwood High School has some work to do on his body and conditioning, but he has tremendous hands and a soft touch. He also showed a knack for being around the ball.

Arizona Magic

Brendon Lavender- The recent Arizona commitment struggled Friday night in the McKale Center. He never got in a rhythm shooting the ball and had some careless turnovers. Lavendar did make some nice passes, but athletically he looked a step slower than the Seattle Rotary guards.

Inland Empire

Malcolm Lee- The UCLA commitment didn't have his best game as he was thwarted at the basket several times and didn't have his jumper dialed in. But Lee still showed that burst to the basket in the open court and his feel for finding shooters when he gets into the midrange.

Houston Elite

Stevie Rogers- Smooth with the basketball, Rogers consistently broke down the Arizona Stars defense. Deceptively quick, the sophomore point guard is in the mold of a pure point guard who knows how to run a team.


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