Impossible is nothing: adidas May Classic — Day 1

Plenty to report from the first day of the adidas May Classic, on and off the court.

Although there was plenty of action on the court, it was easy to be distracted by the Assembly Hall audience. Eric Gordon, D.J. White, Ben Allen, Lance Stemler, Armon Bassett, DeAndre Thomas and Jamarcus Ellis were all in attendance. For the first game, White and Thomas helped run the clock, and for the third game of the evening the duo of Allen/Stemler manned the controls.

All of the players joked with each other and seemed to be enjoying themselves – although I would guess they were “advised” to be in attendance. The highlight came when an entire AAU team rolled up on an unexpected Gordon requesting autographs.

As for the play on the court, the biggest name in terms of IU recruiting in action last night was Angel Garcia. Garcia, who plays for the CAPS All-Star team, was less than impressive finishing with only four points.

Garcia did show flashes of potential while on the floor. His ball handling skills are impressive, and to steal Bill Simmons’s phrase he is something of a homeless man’s Dirk Nowitzki. He didn’t shoot well Friday night and reacted emotionally at almost every whistle or foul. Garcia has the potential to be a very good player, but he needs a lot of polishing.

After the game, Garcia confirmed that he would be a senior next season and would stay in the class of 2008. In order, he said he was interested in Indiana, Florida and Memphis. Garcia rambled off about a half dozen schools he was “interested” in, but he emphasized that those were the top three. Memphis is a distant third right now and Indiana is the clear favorite.

The East Chicago Central forward also said that he would be playing for the Puerto Rican National Team this summer. Garcia will be inactive the rest of the tournament due to his high school prom.

In the first game of the night, the Indiana Elite One (U16) defeated the Michigan Mustangs. The trio of Stephan Van Treese, D.J. Byrd and Colt Ryan proved talented enough to beat the Mustangs, despite not having their best games.

Coming off the bench, Van Treese displayed his athleticism and defensive prowess, while showing some offensive holes. He missed several close shots in the paint and didn’t finish well during this game. After the game, Van Treese admitted he was still trying to regain his touch stemming from his bout with mononucleosis.

Van Treese is regarded as one of the top-15 players of the class of 2009, and will be an extremely competitive target for the Hoosiers. Van Treese had about seven schools he said he was interested in, but spoke fondly of the Hoosiers. Could this be the Hoosiers mulligan on Lawrence North big men?

More to come tomorrow. We’re going to watch DeShasun Thomas and Ray McCallum at Bloomington North tomorrow afternoon, and Devin Ebanks and the Indiana Elite three at Assembly Hall later.

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