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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Oregon, USC recruits continue to shine

By Dave Telep

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wednesday's nationally ranked showdown between No. 22 Omaha Central (Neb.) and No. 6 Long Beach Poly (Calif.) was the best so far of the City of Palms Classic.

On Tuesday we wrote about how you know exactly what to expect from Poly's star duo of Oregon-bound Jordan Bell and USC signee Roschon Prince. A day later, they delivered again as Bell swatted eight shots and had 17 points and 14 boards against Omaha Central, while Prince had 14 points and eight boards. These are both good players who should be contributing guys for four years at their respective schools. They should also both be kind to sophomore teammate Ke’Jhan Feagin, who drilled a buzzer-beater for the Poly win.

For Omaha Central, I can’t recall seeing a team from Nebraska (AAU or high school) with this many Division I candidates. Louisville-bound ESPN 100 big man Akoy Agau (13 points and seven rebounds) grabs the headlines. Guard Nick Billingsley is tough and makes shots; he’s going to Nebraska-Omaha. Junior power forward Tre’Shawn Thurman is a low-major candidate and Tra-Deon Hollins could sneak up on someone late in the spring as a small-college combo guard.

The takeaway from this game as an evaluator is once again the resilience of Bell and Prince. These guys trailed at halftime, but Bell’s defense initiated a momentum change in the game. Oregon will have to find a way to sneak him into the lineup and let him dig down on other bigs and unleash him as a help-side defender. Offensively, he’s going to patrol the lane for rebounds.