HENDERSON, Nev. – It was no coincidence that the gymnasium at Foothill High School was flooded with college coaches just after high noon Thursday at the Reebok Summer Championships.
With names like J.T. Terrell, Quincy Miller and Bishop Daniels dotting the roster, North Carolina-based D-One Sports was one-stop shopping for programs looking for talent.
But it wasn’t the Tar Heel State team walking away victorious as Texas Bluechips Navy built a 13-point lead in the second half and hung on for a 55-51 victory behind the play of bullish post Thomas Gipson, Jaron Johnson and Jared Harrison.
“This feels good,” the 6-foot-7 Gipson said. “Our first game yesterday was horrible (a 20-point loss to New Heights), but we picked it up and got the win today.”
The stands on the coaches-only side of the gym continued to fill up for what turned out to be a test of wills between the New York Panthers – coached by New Jersey Nets guard Rafer Alston – and Team Detroit. Both teams were big, physical and aggressive, and could have easily been mistaken for college clubs.
It’s tempting to try and fit in mentions of at least a half-dozen Team Detroiters, but head coach Paulette Holloway’s group eventually pulled away for an impressive win (70-52) behind the play of point guard Ray McCallum and 25 points from Trey Zeigler.
“We came out slow and picked it up in the second half. I told the guys ‘Let’s get together and run them out of the gym,’” McCallum said. “We knew we were better than them, we just had to concentrate, get more focused and protect the ball.”
McCallum, a 6-2 point guard from Detroit Country Day in Beverly Hills, Mich., was among the day’s standouts despite not going big in the scoring column. Alston’s bunch pressured McCallum furiously but the uncommitted rising senior showed why he is such a coveted commodity.
“I was penetrating and making that extra pass and it was there,” McCallum said. “If my team needs me to score, I will score. But today they didn’t need me to score.”
In the third featured pool game of the day, an undersized Playaz squad used clutch shooting from Myles Davis (24 points) and Charles Oliver (17 points) to overcome MBA Elite, 60-52.
Missisippi-based MBA Elite featured five players 6-8 or taller, including highly-touted 2011 wing forwards Rodney Hood and LaQuinton Ross. Hood had a couple of bright moments early on, including a 3-pointer, but Ross’ impact was limited at best.
“We started passing the ball more and got our chemistry back that we have always had,” Davis said. “We just had to make shots and get those big guys out of the game so they couldn’t hurt us.”
MaxPreps' coverage from Las Vegas continues Friday from the Vision Sports Main Event.
More highlights from Thurdsay’s action at Foothill High School;
Teams we saw: Boise Flite White (Boise, Idaho), Branch West (Orange, Calif.), California Supreme (Inglewood, Calif.), Dakota Schoolers (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Franchize All-Stars (Houston, Texas), D-One Sports (Louisburg, N.C.), Houston Superstars (Houston, Texas), KC Premiere Elite (Kansas City, Mo.), MBA Elite (Jackson, Miss.), New York Panthers (Baldwin, N.Y.), Northwest Panthers (Tacoma, Wash.), Playaz Basketball Club (Paterson, N.J.), Team Detroit (Detroit, Mich.), Texas Bluechips Navy (Dallas, Texas).
Head coaches in the crowd: John Beilein (Michigan), Mike Bray (Notre Dame), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Billy Donovan (Florida), Homer Drew (Valparaiso), Scott Drew (Baylor), Travis Ford (Oklahoma State), Anthony Grant (Alabama), Frank Haith (Miami), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Trent Johnson (LSU), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Sean Miller (Arizona), Isiah Thomas (Florida International), Buzz Williams (Marquette).
Bishop Daniels, 6-3, G, D-One Sports: Daniels is an athletic combo guard that defends and can finish – as evidenced by a wicked put-back dunk that energized the crowd at Foothill. The Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) rising junior rattled off Baylor, Clemson, Memphis, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as the schools most heavily involved in his recruitment at this point.
Myles Davis, 6-1, G, Playaz Basketball Club: Davis is another combo guard that wants to hurt you from the outside, but was opportunistic about taking it in the lane and getting to the line against MBA Elite. Has a nice stroke from the outside and drilled a couple deep threes Thursday. Kentucky, Marist, Penn State, Pittsburgh, St. Joseph’s, Virginia and Wake Forest are all checking in.
Dominique Ferguson, 6-9, F, Team Detroit: Got a little more than bargained for here as he was stronger in the paint than expected and stepped out and hit a big three against the New York Panthers. He did experience a humbling moment with an airball on a free throw, however. Appears to be headed to Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia next fall.
Thomas Gipson, 6-7, F, Texas Bluechips Navy: Gipson, a rising junior at Cedar Hill High School outside of Dallas, was a bull in the paint and too much to handle for D-One Sports’ long and lean post players. Gipson has a top five of Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.
Jaron Johnson, 6-5, G/W, Texas Bluechips Navy: Johnson has a nice 3-point stroke, hitting a couple early on to give his team a shot of confidence against the star-studded D-One Sports roster. He also afforded himself a couple of easy baskets underneath as a willing participant on the boards despite his lean frame.
Ray McCallum, 6-2, G, Team Detroit: The New York Panthers really got after McCallum as Team Detroit’s primary ballhandler, but the rising senior handled the pressure well, set up teammates and waited for his opportunities to attack the basket. Plays with intensity and will be a dream point man for the college of his choice. He has a final 11 of Arizona, Detroit (where his father Ray McCallum Sr. is the head coach), Florida, Kansas, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and UCLA. According to McCallum, he will sit down with family after the summer to begin the decision-making process.
Quincy Miller, 6-9, F, D-One Sports:
Miller is receiving a lot of attention and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski as well as assistants Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins were all on hand to take a look. There is a lot to like about this rising junior from Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was a little out of position as the only true post player in the D-One rotation, but took the task head on, disrupting defensively, swatting shots, providing help defense, talking and helping teammates get in position. Offensively, his mid-range jump shot wasn’t on Thursday but he did step out and hit a three and converted several opportunities around the basket to finish with 17 points. He was also effective in the high post. Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and South Carolina are coming hard. “They are all calling me everyday,” Miller said.
Deville Smith, 5-11, G, MBA Elite: Explosive athlete and demonstrated that with a contested, two-hand jam in transition as he simply outran the pack to the basket. An elite point guard who also flashed 3-point range in racking up 19 points. On a team featuring Rodney Hood and LaQuinton Ross, Smith was the standout Thursday.
Joe Young, 6-2, G, Houston Superstars: The MVP of Texas’ 4A state tournament, Young was scoring from everywhere in every conceivable fashion for the Superstars in the first half. When the Northwest Panthers of Tacoma, Wash., decided to lock him down with denial defense in the second half, his team couldn’t pick up the slack and got blown out 78-50. Tucked away in Foothill’s auxiliary gym, Young drew quite a crowd of coaches, including Texas’ Rick Barnes, Missouri’s Mike Anderson and Houston’s Tom Penders. Young, averaging 23.5 points per game through two contests, listed Houston, Miami, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M as favorites and says all have offered.
Trey Zeigler, 6-5, W, Team Detroit: Zeigler piled up 25 points in Team Detroit's victory and did it in a variety of ways with threes, dunks in transition, muscling under the glass and banging mid-range jumpers. The rising senior at Mount Pleasant High School is part of a very talented guard/wing contingent for the Motor City squad that also includes sleeper Richaud Pack and talented rising junior Brandan Kearney.
A quick glance at the rosters of the 136 teams participating in Reebok’s event shows two class of 2014 (yes, rising eighth graders) players listed. One of them, however, made a big impact Thursday. D-One Sports’ Theo Pinson of Greensboro, N.C., drilled a pair of 3-pointers against Texas Bluechips. The Tar Heel State squad generally played better the 6-4 guard/wing on the floor and he looks to have a huge future ahead of him. … Alex Davis of the Franchize All-Stars is an intriguing rising junior at defending Texas 4A champion Yates High School in Houston. Davis carries maybe 180 pounds on his 6-9 frame, but would be in the running for longest wingspan among the 600-plus teams playing this week in Las Vegas. It will be interesting to see if he can put up numbers in Yates’ up-tempo attack next season. The Lions topped the 100-point mark 12 times in 2008-2009. … Incoming Washington guard Abdul Gaddy was on hand at Foothill to watch younger brother Donald play with the Tacoma-based Northwest Panthers. Donald is a rising senior at Bellarmine Prep and finished strong at the rim on multiple occasions for 12 points in a blowout victory over the Houston Superstars. ... We haven't had the opportunity to see him play yet, but the event's leading scorer early on is Wisconsin-Green Bay verbal Kameron Cerroni, a 6-2 guard from Hamilton High School in Sussex, Wis. Cerroni dropped in 31 points in the opening game and followed with 29 against the Michigan Hurricanes.