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Tag:Nike Global Challenge
Posted on: August 11, 2008 3:25 pm
 

Dear Gary (on Nike Global Challenge scuffle)

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: If you find any video of the scuffle at the Nike Global Challenge, please post it. I would love to see that.

-- Martin

Alas, I still haven't seen a video.

But I do have more details.

A source close to the situation (really close; like right there) said Sunday morning that he saw the whole thing go down, and that Hamilton -- contrary to his quote -- might've, well, actually started it. I'll try to explain. But the first thing you need to know is that the Serbian team was feisty and rough and unafraid of contact. I like those dudes. But Hamilton didn't enjoy their enthusiasm nearly as much, and after finding himself on the floor alongside a similarly tripped-up Serbian for the second time in a short span he -- again, according to a source close to the incident -- pushed the Serbian's face down into the court as he was getting up, like tried to shove the guy's nose straight through the wood.

That's when the other Serbian charged Hamilton and took a swing.

Then Roscoe Smith grabbed the ball and threw it at him.

And I sure hope the Olympics are this interesting.

Posted on: August 11, 2008 2:21 am
 

Bradley/Gaddy win gold at Nike Global Challenge

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Nike Global Challenge is over.

The winner: A team from the United States.

The reasons: Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy.

The Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) teammates were impressive again Sunday night, leading their team to a 117-104 victory over another team from the United States in the title game of this three-day event. Bradley had 25 points, four rebounds and four assists while Gaddy finished with 12 points and seven assists. They earned co-MVP honors and offset a 29-point effort from DeMarcus Cousins, whose skills are as good as his attitude is bad.

That's the thing about Cousins, if you don't mind me saying.

He's so gifted and physically dominant it's hard to imagine him not succeeding in this sport, but he really could use an attitude adjustment. The 6-foot-10 forward from Alabama (committed to UAB) always looks angry and always seems upset about something, and I might not have even noticed if it wasn't for the fact that Cousins spent the weekend surrounded by some remarkably mature and pleasant teammates whose examples he'd be wise to follow.

Take Roger Franklin, for instance.

He's a 6-5 forward from Texas who -- you recruiting buffs will be glad to know -- has narrowed his list of potential colleges to Indiana, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona and Oklahoma State. I spent some time with Franklin late Sunday and walked away impressed with how he handled himself, how genuinely happy he seemed to be experiencing the things he's experiencing and how respectful he was to any fan or reporter who wanted to talk.

Will Franklin ever be a college All-American?

I don't know.

Is his ceiling as high as Cousins?

Absolutely not.

But if I was a college coach I'd love to have Roger Franklin on my team.

And I'd be just as leery of having DeMarcus Cousins unless that tough-guy persona disappears soon.

Posted on: August 11, 2008 12:33 am
Edited on: August 11, 2008 12:35 am
 

Nike's 'Chosen Ones' watch list unveiled

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Nike is expected to announce a new campaign Monday designed to recognize high school players.

It's called "Chosen Ones" -- the name plays off the classic LBJ Sports Illustrated cover -- and will honor roughly the Top 50 high school players each year regardless of class or shoe company affiliation. The list will be updated in December and again in February before becoming the basis for the selection process of the annual Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game.

At this point I assume you're wondering who made the initial watch list, right?

Here it is (broken down by class):

-- SENIORS --

  • Kenny Boynton
  • Avery Bradley
  • Dominic Cheek  
  • Jamal Coombs-McDaniel   
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Aaron Dotson
  • Derrick Favors
  • Roger Franklin
  • Abdul Gaddy
  • Keith Gallon
  • Jordan Hamilton 
  • Xavier Henry 
  • John Henson 
  • Naji Hibbert  
  • John Jenkins  
  • Milton Jennings
  • Wally Judge Jr. 
  • Ryan Kelly
  • Tommy Mason-Griffin 
  • Leslie McDonald  
  • Mike Moser 
  • Erik Murphy  
  • Alex Oriakhi 
  • Daniel Orton 
  • Deshawn Painter
  • Mason Plumlee
  • Thomas Robinson
  • Durand Scott           
  • Renardo Sidney
  • Mike Snaer
  • Lance Stephenson
  • Dexter Strickland
  • Dontae Taylor
  • John Wall  
  • Christian Watford
  • Maalik Wayns
  • Royce White
  • Rodney Williams Jr.
  • Jamil Wilson 

-- JUNIORS --

  • Harrison Barnes
  • Reggie Bullock
  • Gary Franklin Jr.
  • Terrence Jones
  • Brandon Knight       
  • Kendall Marshall
  • Phil Pressey
  • Jereme Richmond 
  • Josh Smith  
  • Roscoe Smith 
  • Jared Sullinger 
  • DeShaun Thomas 
  • Tristan Thompson        
  • Jeremy Tyler 
  • Dion Waiters 

-- SOPHOMORES --

  • Michael Gilchrist
  • LaQuinton Ross
  • Anthony Wroten
Posted on: August 10, 2008 11:53 am
Edited on: August 10, 2008 10:27 pm
 

International incident avoided, barely

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- We nearly had an international incident Saturday night.

"I didn't start it," said Jordan Hamilton.

And that's true, by the way.

But everything happened so fast it was hard for anybody watching courtside to make out what exactly happened. That said, the result was that something led to a Serbian player charging Hamilton and taking a swing before Roscoe Smith, Hamilton's teammate, grabbed the ball, hurled it at him like a minor league pitcher from Peoria and nearly set off a full-fledged brawl during the second semifinal of the Nike Global Challenge.

It was bananas, I tell you. And it got crazier when, after a questionable call a few minutes later, the Serbian coach pulled his team off the court to protest and threatened to walk, forcing Nike's Raphael Chillious to step in.

"He said he was pulling his team," Chillious explained. "I said 'OK, but you'll lose.'"

Faced with this simple reality, the Serbian coach decided to send his team back onto the court after a seven-minute delay, proving the idea of losing is terrible in any language. "Diplomacy," Chillious said with a smile. And even the public address announcer chimed in when the third quarter finally ended.

"At the end of a spirited third quarter," he said, "USA 59, Serbia 56."

(Interesting side note: This is the Nike Global Challenge and practically everybody within a 30-mile radius is decorated in swooshes, which is why it's hilarious to see the Serbian team wearing Adidas gear. I know this might not sound like much. But try to imagine a kid showing up at a New York Yankees Camp wearing a Boston Red Sox jersey, and then imagine him nearly starting a fight. The scenarios are similar. It's good stuff.)

Anyway, the United States team -- minus Hamilton, who was ejected -- went on to win behind stellar performances from Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley. That set-up Sunday's championship game between them and another United States team (featuring Tommy Mason-Griffin, Harrison Barnes and Mason Plumlee) that is scheduled to tip at 11 p.m. ET.

With any luck, both coaches will keep their teams on the court the entire time.

If not, Chillious should be available to broker peace.

Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:16 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2008 10:28 pm
 

Wall breaks (somebody else's) recruiting news

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- John Wall finally announced a college decision Saturday afternoon.

No, it wasn't his decision, silly.

It was Jordan Hamilton's.

"I think he's going to Texas," Wall said. "I think that's where he's going."

So that's the (somewhat) big news coming out of the Nike Global Challenge, a three-day event here in the shadows of Nike's headquarters featuring three teams from the United States competing against squads from Senegal, Serbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and Lithuania. After Wall got 11 points, five assists and six steals in 23 minutes to lead his team to an 86-72 win over Puerto Rico, he disclosed Hamilton's future college -- though Hamilton is yet to confirm, it's worth noting -- and then made time to discuss his own roller-coaster ride of a recruitment with great candor.

A 6-foot-3 point guard, Wall has been thrust into the spotlight recently for three reasons:

1. He's the No. 1 prospect in America.

2. Baylor just hired one of his AAU coaches, Dwon Clifton, to be its director of player development.

3. His other AAU coach, Brian Clifton, is a former licensed sports agent, as CBSSports.com reported Friday.

Those developments have put Wall in the position of having multiple fan bases -- and to a lesser degree the entire recruiting world -- hang on his every move. It's strange, he admitted, particularly considering that this time two years ago he was a mostly unknown commodity outside of his home state of North Carolina.

"It's been kinda hard," Wall said. "But when you get on the basketball court you just have to block it out."

As for his recruitment, Wall acknowledged Baylor's hiring of Dwon Clifton matters.

Big surprise, huh?

"It might give them a little edge because (Dwon has) helped me out a lot," Wall said. "He's my AAU coach. He talked me through a lot and worked me out and things like that. I feel like all the schools are the same. But (Dwon) gave (Baylor) a little bit of an edge."

So there you go, Baylor fans.

You have the edge.

But the bad news for the Bears is that Wall said he's not ready to commit and that he will take official visits.

"I think I'll visit Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas and Kentucky," he said. "And I was talking to Jordan Hamilton and he asked me if I'd put (Texas) back into the mix. So I think I'm gonna give them a look, too. ... But I don't have a timetable (on a decision). ... It could be right before basketball season or during basketball season. It could be anytime."

In other words, stay tuned.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com