Friday, December 28, 2007

Day #2 of the T-Mobile Invitational on Saturday on Versus

Day #2 of the T-Mobile invitational continues and ends tomorrow on Versus with four games, two boys and two girls games. First up the third place games (consolation games) and then the first place games, ladies play first. The 3rd place for the men is expected to tip off around 1130am pacific (time may change) and the 1st place game is expected to tipoff around 230pm pacific.

The 1st place game will be between St Anthony's of New Jersey which blew out the local team on Friday and Lone Peak of Utah. The 3rd place game will be between Centennial of Roswell (Georgia) and La Cueva of New Mexico.

The games are played at the Pit, at the campus of the University of New Mexico, in New Mexico.

More details in our earlier T-Mobile Invitational preview.

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T-Mobile Invitational Preview (2007 edition)

The second annual T-Mobile Invitational High School Basketball tournament tips off tonight on Versus TV. Versus was formerly OLN (Outdoor Life Network). Some of it will also be shown on the high definition channel Versus-Golf which blends content from Versus and the Golf channel.

This is the official website for the T-Mobile tournament. Four men's teams and four women's teams square off. The games will be played in The Pit in New Mexico. Last year's inaugural T-Mobile invitational was played in Seattle, Washington.

There will be four games on today and tomorrow, all shown on Versus as one long block. The games will interchange between women and men. Tim McCormick and Tim Everett will be the announcers.

On the men's bracket the Knights square off (no, not Bob vs Pat Knight): Roswell (Georgia, not New Mexico) Centennial vs Lone Peak at 12:30pm mountain standard time, and at 330pm mountain standard time the storied St. Anthony's Friars square off with the La Cueva Bears. Please note that tip off times are approximate and depend on how long the previous games are going to be! Here are the official brackets of the tourney.

And here is the press release announcing this year's matchups.

More coverage of the event:

  • USA Today preview
  • The Versus website
  • (now a CBS Sports company)
  • Lone Peak preview at
  • ESPN Video (broadband)
  • Free New Mexican
  • Latest USA Today Super 25 rankings, St Anthony's leads this field
  • Rio Rancho Observer
  • Coverage of the inaugural 2006 T-Mobile Invitational here at Recruiting Wars

    Players to Watch
  • Mike Rosario (St. Anthony's)
  • Travon Woodall (St. Anthony's)
  • Bracken Funk (Lone Peak)
  • Justin Hamilton 6'10" (Lone Peak)
  • Lorenzo Brown (Centennial)

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    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Top basketball player of the 2008 class is not clear

    As you can see from our unscientific poll in the right hand column, the vote for the top player of the 2008 class is not clear at all. Of the six candidates we included in the poll, Brandon Jennings has a slight lead, but look at how close they are. The 6th player has about half of the votes of the 1st player. Brandon Jennings is leading with just 24% of the vote.

    Tyreke Evans and Samardo Samuels are currently tied at the #2 spot, while Greg Monroe is one vote ahead of Samardo Samuels who is one vote ahead of the 6th player, John Riek!

    This of course is consistent with what we see out there in the rankings among the various recruiting services and websites and what recruiting experts are saying. There is no clearcut top tier player (or players) in this class. No Greg Oden, or Kevin Durant. But it's only mid-December. There's still time for the players to "shape/reshape" our opinions of them.

    Then again, the way recruiting works these days, the spotlight starts to shine on the class of 2009 and beyond, since the 2008 class has been dissected and analyzed and a large number of the players have committed already.

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    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Oak Hill Academy vs St Benedict's

    In Benton, Kentucky, as part of an Old Spice event, Oak Hill Academy of Mount Wilson, Virginia squared off with St Benedicts Prep of New Jersey in front of an ESPN crowd and 6,000 in the stands. The game was previewed earlier here at Recruitng Wars.

    So what did we learn after watching the game? For one thing, that Fran Frachilla needs to retake Math 101: "300+ division 1 schools, with 13 scholarships each is more than 1,000 players" said Fran. *Cough* *cough* How about 4,000 players?

    Brandon Jennings had a lot of weight on his shoulders with Jason Campbell injuured (broken hand) and Malik Story dismissed from the team for other reasons. After watching this game, there's one thing that Brandon Jennings reminded me that I didn't think of before: Salim Stoudamire. And it's not just the step-back three, but his on-court demeanor/moodiness. Which perhaps explains his college destination (Arizona).

    If Jennings is the #1 player in the 2008 class, he didn't show it on Thursday. He surely showed flashes of great talent and explosiveness but he was not the star of the game by any means.

    The other touted player in the game, Samardo Samuels had a solid game, but was not as dominant as his top ranking might suggest. Part of it of course was the Oak Hill bottling it up zone, part of it facing a 300-pounder in "Tiny" Gallon.

    But there was a star in the game, Tamir Jackson, a junior (2009 class) of St Benedicts, who almost put 30 points on the scoreboard. Not bad for a player who was definitely flying under the radar on the national scene. #11 showcased his skilled at a very big stage, ESPN - and he certainly deserved it!

    A number of other juniors (2009 class) showed promise, like big man Greg Echenique of St Benedicts who promises to be a highly sought after big man among the premiere college programs. Oak Hill's Glen Bryant (#31) has a lot of athletic talent, and he's certainly at the right place to make the most of his talent. Another player in a similar situation is the big 300-pounded Tiny Gallon. Frachilla compared him to an Oliver Miller (no one was throwing burgers on the court as far as I could tell).

    But wait, there's more! The 2010 class (sophomores) was well represented, with Oak Hill's starting wing duo of Howard and Allen, and St Benedict's promising wing Aaron Brown (#22) and promising Canadian forward Tirstan Thompson (#13) coming off the bench.

    Of course as you are well aware a single game does not tell the whole story, but it can tell part of the story.

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    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Oak Hill Academy vs St Benedict's on Thursday on ESPN

    Be sure to program your TiVo or VCR for 9pm eastern on Thursday, December 13, 2007, on ESPN for the Oak Hill Academy vs St Benedict's high-school basketball game, featuring two of the top five players of the 2008 class, Brandon Jennings of Oak Hill and Samuel Samardo of St Benedicts.

    More details on the college hoops tv schedule at NCAA Hoops Today.

    Discussions and previews of this game at:

  • Zags Blog preview (not related to Gonzaga)
  • Kentucky Sports Radio
  • Oak Hill Hoops website, including player roster and profiles.
  • Saint Benedict's Prep's game preview, and basketball team page.
  • Blitz Sport blog
  • Blue Devil Nation

    Related Content
  • USA Today's Super 25, with capsule updates on the latest games.
  • Top players in the 2008 class by Slam Online

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    Sunday, December 09, 2007

    ESPN releases TV schedule of 2007-2008 high school basketball games

    ESPN has release the schedule of their 2007-2008 men's high school basketball games. A total of 15 games will air on ESPN's air. Details at

    A number of touted prospects are featured as expected, so be sure to mark your calendars or check the tv listings frequently at NCAA Hoops Today. The list includes Lance Stephenson, Tyreke Evans, Delvon Roe, Eloy Vargas, Jrue Holiday, Kenny Boynton, Brandon Jennings, and lots more!

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    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Campbell Hall (CA) vs St Edward (OH)

    It took an overtime to decide this high school game between Campbell Hall Episcopal of California and hosts Saint Edward of Lakewood, Ohio that featured three top 150 players, two of which are in the top 10 of the class of 2008. If you missed our game preview be sure to check it out.

    The highest ranked player of the game, UCLA-bound JRue Holiday justified his top tier ranking by showcasing a lot of skills by taking on the whole team and being very effective at it in the first half of the game. Clearly he looks like a special talent. Obviously under the Ben Howland regime his shot selection will greatly improve, but some of that was by necessity - as it is often the case in high school basketball where the talent level difference between teammates can be huge.

    The second highest ranked player, #7 by the ESPN Top 150 players of the 2008 class, Izzo State bound Delvon Roe also showed his skills, but because he was playing with a more mature and balanced team, he didn't need to try to take over the game the same way JRue Holiday did. Izzo himself was in the stands with his posse, wearing a leather bomber jacket to showcase his toughness (or because of the cold).

    Delvon Roe has another talented teammate, Indiana-bound Tom Pritchard, who was ranked just outside the Top 100 by ESPN, but after his performance last night, he may have managed to put himself into the top 100. He showed that he is good at doing what he can do, meaning that he plays within himself and focuses on his strengths. Not exactly NBA lottery material, but he is an ideal forward for Kelvin Samspon's rotation. And he has the Indiana trademark outside shot too.

    Of the other players, 2010 (sophomore) James Johnson of Campbell Hall showed some promise at 6'7". But he got a Fathead-size facial dunk by the high flying Delvon Roe, then pushed by Tom Pritchard and got an emphatic block too. A painful lesson for the youngster, but that's how one improves.

    Of the remaining players, two senior guards from each team have improved their standing and/or scholarship opportunities, St Edward's Frankie Dobbs and Campbell Hall's Dallas Rutherford.

    More on this game at West Shore Sun, Kid Cleveland, and the 5in60 blog.

    The next high profile high school basketball game on ESPN is on Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 9pm eastern (6pm pacific) between perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy and New Jersey's St Benedicts. This game features two of the best players of 2008, Oak Hill's (and presumably Arizona-bound) Brandon Jennings and St Benedict's Pitino-bound Samardo Samuels (Wow, both Caracter and Samuels in the line-up! Wow! For more details on the high-school and college basketball tv schedule, check the December 2007 College Hoops Schedule at NCAA Hoops Today.

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    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Tonight on ESPN2: Campbell Hall of CA visits Saint Edward of Ohio

    The first men's high school basketball game of the season airs tonight (Thursday, December 6, 2007) on ESPN2: Campbell Hall of CA visits Saint Edward of Ohio. The game will be televised live at 9pm eastern (6pm pacific). There is a college game before that (Providence vs South Carolina at 7pm eastern (4pm pacific), so if that game goes longer, it may "eat up" some of the air time of the high school game.

    The biggest stars in the game is J'Rue Holiday who is following Kevin Love to UCLA, and Delvon Roe, who broke Ol' Roy's heart when he signing with Izzo State.
    Here is a detailed college and high-school hoops tv schedule.

    You can find a nice preview of the game at USA Today. There you can also find their Super Top 25 "ranking" of high school basketball teams.

    The game is also previewed at, the city hosting the game - at St. Edward's home gym.

    Also a nice preview of the game at the 5in60 blog.

    Meanwhile Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal previews this game, but also has a schedule of upcoming college hoops games on the ESPN family of networks(six more events!) This year ESPN "stole" Spalding HoopHall Classic games from CSTV, except they are putting them on ESPNU which is like showing them on Mars because a number of cable companies and ESPN are unable to find a way to make ESPNU available to anyone who wants to subscribe to it. Here is a rant on Comcast and ESPNU.

    Update! Here is our post-game report

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