This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Peach Jam Day 2: Tubby target Woodbury says Gophers high on list

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players, Tubby Smith Updated: July 13, 2011 - 11:24 PM

North Augusta, S.C. - Adam Woodbury, a Sioux City, Iowa, prep, struggled on the first day of the Peach Jam tournament Tuesday. But he played a more physical brand of basketball Wednesday.

Woodbury, a 7-1 prospect in the 2012 class, scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds in All Iowa Attack's 69-64 victory over Howard Pulley. He followed that performance with 14 points and eight boards in an 82-78 loss to Mac Irvin Fire (Illinois).

He's one of the top targets on Minnesota's 2012 wish list. Woodbury said the Gophers are among the favorites for his services.

"Tubby's a great guy. I have a lot of respect for him. They're definitely up there on my list," he said.

Woodbury currently has offers from Ohio State, Xavier, Wisconsin, California and Minnesota, according to Rivals.com. His MVP performance at the NBPA Top 100 camp in Virginia last month planted him on the radar of some of the top programs in America.

He said he will choose a school before the start of his senior season at East High School in Sioux City, Iowa.

Check him out: 

Kyle Washington battles top Gophers target

Former Benilde center Kyle Washington battled Woodbury in the morning matchup between Howard Pulley and All Iowa Attack. He finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.

He outplayed Woodbury, a four-star prospect on Rivals.com, in that game. But they tussled for two halves.

Washington is still a raw prospect. But he's going to be a gem in the 2013 class. If the Gophers liked Ralph Sampson III out of high school and they continue to place an emphasis on athleticism, length and defensive versatility, why doesn't Washington have a scholarship offer? 

It doesn't make much sense to me. He's a shot blocker with the athleticism and size to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He'll fill out after he spends a year on campus eating cafeteria food. He'll develop more moves on offense. But he can change games defensively right now.

Washington has looked like a high major talent at Peach Jam. Gotta wonder if Tubby will call soon with an offer.

Howard Pulley 2-2 after splitting Wednesday games

Howard Pulley led All Iowa Attack by eight midway through the second half of their matchup Wednesday, but the Minnesota-based AAU program couldn't hold off its opponent's late charge.

Marcus Paige, a North Carolina commit, led all scorers with 23 points in his team's 69-64 win.

Hopkins senior Siyani Chambers outplayed Paige in the first half, when he hit his first five threes. But his team couldn't find its range after halftime, when it connected on 30 percent (3 for 10) of its three-point attempts.

But Howard Pulley responded during its night session game with a 72-67 victory over Mean Streets (Illinois). Apple Valley sophomore Tyus Jones scored 18 points. Benilde's Isaiah Zierden, one of the best shooters in the field and another local guy who could help the Gophers in the future, went 6 for 10 from the three-point line and led Howard Pulley with 19 points. Washington added 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

And now they're 2-2 entering Thursday morning's must-win game. A loss would eliminate their chances of making the Peach Jam playoffs Thursday night.

-An SEC official told me that referees at this week's event can make or break their futures if they're successful. Peach Jam features 41 officials. Many hope to advance to the Division I and pro levels, the SEC official told me. The decisionmakers in attendance will likely select the best officials at the tournament and put them on a career track that could lead them to the college basketball's top level.

-NBA All-Star Chris Paul nearly took a fall Wednesday. He was standing at the top of the steps in one of the gyms when he shifted back and nearly lost his footing. About three people in his vicinity grabbed him when they saw him stumble.

-A few things I've learned about youth basketball during this trip. You're not a true grassroots basketball player unless you wear Beats by Dre headphones. Also, the high top fade is making a comeback. About a dozen kids at Peach Jam are sporting the look.

 

 

 

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