Fast-rising Tennessee guard among headliners on opening day of Las Vegas hoops spectacular; Tyler Dorsey leads Belmont Shore to comeback victory.
LAS VEGAS – It's a big deal when Sonny Vaccaro graces a basketball event with his presence these days.
The 73-year-old grassroots legend, who has taken a step back from the summer scene, was on hand Wednesday evening at Bishop Gorman High School for the Fab 48 Tip-Off Classic, signaling the start of a huge week of hoops in and around Sin City.
Over 1,000 boys teams will participate in the Fab 48 and two other major tournaments, the adidas Super 64 and Las Vegas Classic.
Vaccaro wasn't the only big name in the house at Bishop Gorman, joining the likes of North Carolina's Roy Williams and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun for a six-game showcase that included a number of Top 100-caliber talents.
Here's a look at some of the standouts from Wednesday's action at the Fab 48:
Hubbs can fill it up
Perhaps no prospect has raised his stock more this summer than Robert Hubbs of Dyer County (Newbern, Tenn.). Though his M33M team couldn't keep pace with DC Assault, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard did his part by showering in deep threes, finishing around the hoop and scoring from all points in between.
A self-described "nobody" prior to his junior year, Hubbs hopes to put his talent on display for the West Coast throughout the week.
"I definitely want to do that and get some of the West Coast schools to look at me," Hubbs said.
He's not short on suitors with most of the SEC and several ACC schools in pursuit. Though he is reluctant to name favorites, the rising senior star mentioned Tennessee as the school that is recruiting him the hardest.
Hubbs has taken unofficial visits to Auburn, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
"I'm looking for a program that is a championship contender, fast-paced, gets up and down and wins ballgames," Hubbs said.
A November decision is possible.
* Hubbs' M33M teammate Joshua Jones is an intriguing 6-4 senior combo guard. Jones has offers from Murray State and Santa Clara and is hearing from Auburn, Nevada, Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth. He played at Memphis Central (Tenn.) as a junior but could resurface at Melrose or White Station as a senior.
Dorsey to the rescue
Fab 48 organizer Dinos Trigonis pulls double duty by also coaching his Belmont Shore club team in the event. Trigonis received a big effort from rising sophomore Tyler Dorsey in a come-from-behind win over Double Pump Elite.
His constant activity translated to a number of transition dunks and provided a spark for a team that looked frustrated and out of sorts early on.
"I just go out there and play the game I love, play hard and do what I have to do to win the game," Dorsey said.
The athletic 6-4 guard averaged 22.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game as a freshman at Ribet Academy (Los Angeles). In the fall, he is taking his game to national power Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.).
"I want to play on the big stage and face a national schedule," Dorsey said of the transfer.
Arizona, who has recruited Dorsey since the eighth grade, may be the early leader. He also received a recent offer from Connecticut.
* Double Pump Elite featured 7-4 center Mamadou Ndiaye, who took a blow to the eye against Belmont Shore but recovered and continued to show glimpses of potential. His presence certainly had the college coaches in attendance buzzing.
Pepperdine is among the programs at the forefront of his recruitment, but there are plenty of schools taking note of his progress – probably more than would admit to taking an active interest at this point.
"He can move, block shots and he's a good passer out of the post," Double Pump Elite coach C.J. Williams said. "He has a lot of good intangibles so I think a lot of schools will be after him. I think he can play high major basketball if he wants to."
More Fab 48 notes
* There are a couple of young – really young – California bigs worth putting on the radar. Class of 2017 post player Cody Riley is simply an all-time manchild. At 14 years old, Riley is pushing 6-8 with wide shoulders and a build that could help him pass for an incoming college freshman. Expect him to be at Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) in the fall of 2013.
Also in action was 6-9 Class of 2016 prospect Trevor Stanback, the younger brother of former UNLV standout Chace Stanback. Trevor will play at Chaminade (West Hills).
Riley and Stanback weren't particularly dominant in their outings Wednesday, but both have a world of potential from a physical standpoint.
* Kenny Smith and Eddie Jordan both coached teams at the Fab 48. Smith, a two-time world champion with the Rockets and current TNT analyst, heads California-based Aim High. Jordan, a former head coach with the Kings, Wizards and 76ers, patrolled the sideline for DC Assault.