Musings from Day One of the Las Vegas club tournaments
The day started with a 6:40 a.m. flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (well, it actually started with a loud buzzer ringing at 5:10), continued with a morning matchup that featured consensus No. 1 boys' basketball prospect Shabazz Muhammad versus UCLA commit Jordan Adams, took some intriguing turns during a lunch with Ben Howland at Burger King and concluded with a viewing of a game involving eighth-grader Stephen Zimmerman, who already has a scholarship offer from the Bruins.
Thanks to this blog, what happened in Vegas on Friday during the first day of the major club tournaments is going viral.
The featured morning game involving Muhammad's Dream Vision versus Adams' Atlanta Celtics lived up to its billing and then some, with the Celtics building a big early lead and the Vision rallying for the victory behind a strong effort from Muhammad, who finished with a jaw-dropping 38 points in front of a laundry list of major coaches that included Howland, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Memphis' John Calipari and Florida's Billy Donovan.
A couple of side notes from the Vision's victory: Adams is a great catch-and-shoot talent who is reminiscent of former USC shooting guard Lodrick Stewart. Adams looks to have an even better stroke, though his body, like Stewart's, remains a bit doughy. And in the battle of ballyhooed big men between the Celtics' William Goodwin and Vision's Robert Upshaw, it was no contest--Goodwin all the way. Upshaw gave new meaning to the phrase going through the motions.
The afternoon featured some more action in a cramped gym at Bishop Gorman High, where Arizona-bound Grant Jerrett and Long Beach-based Belmont Shore hung on for an impressive victory over New York's Juice All-Stars.
After a quick dinner at Subway (no time for fine dining on this trip), it was off to Centennial High to see Zimmerman of Dream Vision 16-under, who already has secured a scholarship offer from the Bruins despite not having played a second of high school basketball.
What could possibly happen Saturday to top all this? Stay tuned.
-- Ben Bolch in Las Vegas
Photo: Stephen Zimmerman dunks during a game at the Adidas Super 64 club tournament in Las Vegas on Friday. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times