Las Vegas Update Adidas Super 64
Both the New England Playaz and Mass Rivals were a perfect 2-0 heading into Friday night’s games.
That is particularly impressive for the Playaz, considering they were placed in one of the tournament’s “Super Pools”.
The 8 Super Pools in the field are designated for what the tournament directors deem as the top 32 teams. Consequently, each of those teams play three highly competitive pool play games and then receive an automatic spot into the gold bracket following the conclusion of pool play.
The Playaz opened with a commanding 75-52 win over the Nashville Celtics on Wednesday in a game that was dominated by their front line. Nate Lubick led all scorers with 19 points while Jevon McCrea had 18 and Dartaye Ruffin 14.
This morning the Playaz locked up with an incredibly talented Memphis Magic team featuring one of the nation’s most celebrated players in Joe Jackson, along with Jelan Kendrick and Adonis Thomas, who are both among the top 50 ranked players in the country for 2010 and 2011 respectively.
With hurds of high major college coaches watching, including virtually every top 25 caliber program in the country according to one media report, the Playaz scored a tremendous 69-64 victory as Lubick and Austin Carroll both shined.
“Austin went ballistic,” said Playaz director T.J. Gassnola.
Carroll had 15 points and four three-pointers, but more importantly was able to use his intellect and apply his many subtleties to help the Playaz slow down the tempo of the game and counter the incredible speed and athleticism of the other team. He was also said to make a series of tremendous passes late in the contest.
Dartaye Ruffin also scored in double figures while Naadir Tharpe and Anthony Ireland both had their moments in the backcourt. Tharpe is still a little banged up, but even at about 2/3 speed his presence is still enough to alleviate some pressure and allow Ireland to be more aggressive looking for his own shot.
The Mass Rivals are also turning some heads at the Adidas Super 64 as they’re off to a 2-0 start of their own. Over 80 college coaches attended Thursday morning’s game in which they defeated High Intensity (California) 82-60.
And for Carson Desrosiers the start of the second half of the live period wasn’t so different from the start of the first half as Providence head coach Keno David, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt, Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek, and Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio were all on hand to watch him play. Desrosiers didn’t disappoint either as he scored 19 points while piling up a handful of blocked shots on the defensive end.
The other big story of this morning’s game was the continued emergence of Zach Auguste who seized the opportunity to make a name for himself by dropping 16 points with a series of different types of buckets.
While the big men were the story in the second game, the guards got it done for the Rivals in Wednesday night’s opener, an 80-72 win over Arizona Pump N’Run. Matt Brown and Jordan Laguerre were dominant together in the backcourt as Brown led all scorers with 23 and Laguerre wasn’t far behind with 20. Evan Smotrycz and Carson Desrosiers had 13 a piece while Auguste chipped in with 8.