UAelite24

Julius Randle rounds out impressive weekend, shines in Under Armour Elite 24

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For those who were expecting a defensive battle in the 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 game, you, not surprisingly, didn’t get it.

But on the concrete in Venice Beach, Calif., Saturday, there was scoring and lots of it, as 24 of the best high school players in the nation gathered for the seventh annual contest.

The Raymond Lewis Squad, coached by Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, defeated the Marques Johnson Squad, coached by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, 164-138.

Three players led the way for Raymond Lewis in the victory: Julius Randle, who had 27 points on 13-of-14 shooting, Aaron Gordon, who had 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added seven rebounds, and Aaron Harrison, who had 25 points.

All three won MVP honors, along with Marques Johnson’s Justise Winslow, who had 21 points.

The most impressive overall weekend, though, was Randle’s, after he won the Slam Dunk Contest on Friday night by beating sophomore Jamar Ergas, then came back in the All-Star Game and went for a game-high 27 points.

Randle, a 6-9 Texas native, is a top-3 player in the country who is being courted by elite programs across the country, including UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Baylor, NC State, and others.

In the absence of Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins, who was selected for but unable to attend the event, Randle shined.

He and Wiggins famously battled at the 2012 Nike Peach Jam, where Wiggins got the best of him in a head-to-head matchup and perhaps cemented himself as the best player in the country.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: