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SoCal High School & Prep Report

Pump-N-Run I & II: Profiles From
Pump Easter Tourney--(April 7, 1998)

Most of you know that we were at the Pump Easter Tournament. You may not know that the Tournament was won by DC Assault (without Keith Bogans), and you may also not know that they played the Texas Bluechippers for the title, and that for some reason, Texas had already lost a game, but the team which was supposed to play for the title couldn't change it's flight back home. Oh well, it was a great game anyway. More on that later.

Immediately before that game, Pump-N-Run I & II played in two separate games. Pump I lost by two points to Bob Gottlieb's BWBA I team on court 3, while on court 2 (center court) Pump II lost big time to Inflight Elite & Rockets, a team from the Inland Empire (not to be confused with IEBP I or IEBP II). I swear that every time I looked over to court 2 to see what was going on in the P&R II game, there was Cayce Cook or Scott Borchart, or Jeremiah Turner or Chris Williams making some great play. Since the score was really lopsided, I just assumed that P&R was just kicking the daylights out of those poor little guys from the Inflight.

After the game I ran into Mike Livacarri, the Inflight coach, and I said "Hey Mike, I'm sorry about the game, what happened to you guys." To which Mike replied, "What are you talking about. We won." Oops. I don't remember the final score, but it was at least a 20 point margin. I then bumped into Chris Johnson, one of the assistants at Chaminade who was coaching the Pump II team, and told him that I was amazed that they had lost. I told him that every time I looked over they were making great plays and the Inflight guys were missing shots, or losing out on the rebounds. "You must have only looked over about 4 or 5 times, because that's about how many great plays we had," Johnson replied. Oops.

Pump II is really a much better team than the one that played on Sunday; that must have been a bunch of imposters. Maybe it was that they were in the "consolation" bracket, playing late in the day on Sunday; maybe they just weren't really trying. Maybe we had all entered a wrinkle in the time-space continuum, a sort of twilight zone in basketball. Pump II is really a pretty good team. Really. Trust us on this one. The team roster includes:

J.J. Todd (6'-10" Jr. C) Chaminade: Hey, JJ, the Used Shoe Derby is on. Have you got any more shoes? JJ is a good player who needs to get more time in games. A 6'-10" player shouldn't only be a bench player, and at Chaminade this last season he not only didn't start in a single game, there were some games he barely played at all. He seems to be growing into his body, and getting used to his size. Tons of potential, now it just needs to be developed.

Glen McGowen (6'-5" Jr. G) Venice: Glen didn't show for the Sunday games. He didn't show for the Saturday games. According to some who saw him on Friday, he barely showed then either. Glen is a great talent, and we hear he was sick. Hopefully he'll be better, because he's a great talent.

Cayce Cook (5'-8" Jr. PG) Chaminade: Cayce is getting better and better. He seems to have lost some of that nervousness and has gained a ton of confidence after this last season. He is getting better at driving and penetrating, and there's no question he can dish the ball. He does need to work on his outside shooting to have a complete game, but still very impressive.

Brett Michel (6'-6" So. G) Simi Valley: The older of the two Michel brothers (pronounced Mitchell, just like the porn-king brothers), Brett is a fine player, with a lot of poise and a good touch. It just wasn't working very well Sunday afternoon.

Mike Bell (6'-6" Jr. G/F) Canoga Park: I honestly don't know if Mike was there or not on Sunday. If he was, I didn't see him.

Branduinn Fullove (6'-5" Jr. F) Simi Valley: Where was Rafael when you need him. . . oh, that was Scott Borchart instead, and Chris Williams. Fullove is a good player with a ton of potential, who can shoot from outside and looked to be having a pretty good game.

Jeremiah Turner (6'-6" Jr. F) Sylmar: This guy is the real deal. He was running, jumping, shooting and looks to be back almost 100% from his injury. Where's George Wrighster?

Shaun Michel (6'-1" So. G) Simi Valley: With two thirds of the Simi team and the other third from Chaminade, you'd think that they would have fared better. Shaun is a good guard, with solid fundamentals, but he's really a 2 not a 1. At some point Cayce's going to get tired and then the team is in trouble.

Scott Borchart (6'-8" Fr. C) Chaminade: Best freshman center in the house on Sunday. And that's only because Fernandez and Martinez weren't there because Artesia had lost on Saturday. He's not really 15. He's told us that he'll skip the 10th grade and announce for the NBA tomorrow. . . just kidding.

Chris Williams (6'-8" Jr. C) Notre Dame Sherman Oaks: What a talent! A great rebounder, good size, speed and footwork. Now just work on the shooting and forget the summer tournament thing.

Clarence Mitchell (6'-3" Jr. G) Chaminade: Again I didn't see him at this event on Sunday, but I know Clarence, and he's a fine player. I wish I would have seen him but I didn't. And apparently he didn't make too big an impression on many other people, so maybe he was sick or just not there.

So while this game was going on, over on the next court, Pump II was in a very tight contest with Bob Gottlieb's BWBA I team. Maybe that's why I didn't really pay attention to the score in the Pump II game.

Pump I had some great players who were just outcoached by Gottlieb and outplayed as well at times in the game.

Gilbert Arenas (6'-3' Jr. G/F) Grant High: Gilbert probably has the most raw talent of any player on the floor at this tournament, bar none. He can shoot, play defense oppressively, and with his size and quickness, and his very long arms, he's a triple threat player. He was sick this weekend, and between playing in Rockfish, at the Slam-N-Jam and here at Pump, and with the stomach flu he had on Saturday, he was playing inconsistently. We understand from Gil's dad that he ought to leave the laser light pens home from school (don't worry Gil, we'll talk to Dan Gruenberg, he's a buddy from way back), and if he bears down this summer, Gil could go anywhere after next year.

Demetrius Hunter (6'-3" Jr. G) Cheyenne: Dropped off the team and didn't show. He was supposed to be wearing No. 161 on his jersey, but I think that was Matt Moore from La Canada (6'-7" Sr. C) who showed up instead. Didn't get a whole lot of time on the floor, but played well.

Aaron Abrams (6'-4" Jr. G) Rancho Buena Vista: My nomination for Jason Kidd look-alike winner. Aaron has tremendous speed, good shooting from outside, nice footwork on defense, but like Gil, seemed to be a bit burned out with all the shuffling between tourneys this weekend. He's going to be a major D-I player though. Bet on it. I just wish he were up closer to LA so that we could see his games more often. A very exciting player.

Earl Lewis (6'-5" Jr. F) Junipero Serra: Didn't get a real good look at Earl, and he played more like a solid role-player on this team. With J.J. Sola trying to be a point guard, he didn't get the ball a lot, at least not from what I saw on Sunday.

Nate Hair (6'-5" Jr. G) Aliso Niguel: This guy will make you crazy. Very good or very bad. He does know how to hit the three, and proved he can do it, several times, but he played very erratically on Sunday. A talented, athletic player, with pretty good fundamentals. Is it the coaching? Or were all these guys just plain tired on Sunday.

Doyle Cole (6'-5" So. F) Gardena Serra: A great shooter, can hit the three and has a great perimeter game. He needs to work on his court vision and getting the ball to other guys on the floor when the shot isn't there. He'll be a very big talent next year and the year after.

J.J. Sola (6'-7" Jr. PF/C) Aliso Niguel: Is this guy a point guard? Doesn't he like the way Gil brings the ball up the floor. There is was, jacking it up from three point land, trying to bring the ball up the court, and only reluctantly giving it to a guard. He's a strong, tough player, but on a team like this, he should be posting high or low, and they ought to be pounding it in to him. He did hit some very nice perimeter shots. Hell, if Vlade can do it why can't JJ?

Aerick Sanders (6'-8" So. C) Gardena Serra: Didn't see him there on Sunday? Was it me, or was he really not there? I dunno.

Bo Segberg (6'-9" Jr. C) Wrightwood: A big, studly kid from up where the air is clean. At times he looked a little lost, but then you watch him and realize that he's just moving a bit slower than the little guys around him. There's that space-time warp thing again. Bo can block shots, and can even get up and rebound and shoot. A very promising young player.

Jesse Boyd (6'-9" Jr. C) Mira Costa: The roster lists him as a Jr., but I thought he was a Sr. A good post player who can shoot and pass, rebound and overall has got a good game. Unfortunately, on Sunday, it just wasn't around very much of the time. At least I didn't see him doing much on the boards or on the open court.

We'll have some stuff soon on the guys who beat both of these teams on Sunday, and Mike Livacarri promised to send something in soon too. But he's probably still exhausted from the experience. We know that we were.

The Swish Award
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